I Left My Heart in San Francisco
I Left My Heart in San Francisco
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Tales of the City

An Armistead Maupin novel

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A Quick Tip by djevoke

  • Jul 28, 2011
The first book in the eight-novel series (eat your heart out Twilight!) is written in a fun, fast-paced style with an intermingling of some of the most interesting and well written characters in modern literature. Set in an apartment building on 28 Barbary Lane in the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, this novel weaves the stories of the intriguing tenants in such a fun and addicting way, that you'll be hard pressed to put the book down.

The chapters are about three pages long, doing a fantastic job of sucking you in just to change the channel on you and then, three pages later, changing it back. This kept me on my toes and strangely enough, though it is fast-paced, you do get a good sense of each character- their flaws, their hopes, their mistakes, their stresses and their voices. It does a fantastic way of celebrating the diversity and intricacies of San Francisco's unique culture of the 70's and 80's. Starting as a serial in San Francisco Chronicle, it grew into a series of novels which started in 1978 and ended (?) in 2010.

I bought this at Citylights Bookstore in SF, after constantly forgetting that I wanted to read the series and found it fitting to buy it there. I just finished this today and ran out to my local library to see if they carried the next book, More Tales of the City. Luckily, for my addiction, they had it. I've never done that with any other book, at least not since I was a kid.
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August 11, 2011
Excellent job, Sam! I loved this Quick Tip!! You really make me want to read this book and series. Let me know when you write another one about Book 2. I would love to read it. :)
August 16, 2011
Awwww....thanks Adri ;p I will def do that! I'll have to write a review on all of them- that should catch me up in Cafe Libri lol I'm on book 3 and the addiction continues....You should check it out- if you give me your address, I can send you my copy of the first book but, if you can't wait, they usually have it in libraries. That is, if you have time to get addicted to a 9-book series ;p
September 14, 2011
When you do, send me an email...or maybe wait until October to send me the email, lol! I've been uber busy, but I would love to read your content eventually. And, I would love a copy of the book. Do you have one to spare? If not, I don't want to take your only one away from you! Let me know, and I'll send you my address. I haven't made the time to go to the library, so I have no library card...yet...hopefully soon! And I will make the time to get addicted to the series, especially since it's so good! :D
September 14, 2011
I was wondering about your move! I'm glad to hear that you're getting settled...I will definitely work on it, I'm on the fifth book and no reviews, soooo....yeah, it may be October before I finish one LOL
September 15, 2011
Yeah, I dropped off the radar during the major portions of the move. Now, I'm trying to unpack everything before starting school next week. And, no problem on reviews. Take your time with reading and enjoy the book and series! Can't wait to finish catching up with everything once I'm done unpacking!
September 16, 2011
How is student housing? Are you loving it? I'm so jealous- as soon as you get settled, you are going to LOVE it! Take your time as well getting settled, I know it must seem hectic but, you'll get it done in no time. How's Jason adjusting?
September 17, 2011
So far, it's ok. It's family student housing, so there are a lot of little ones running around. Feels like a safe area, though. A bit of a mix between dorm life and living in a traditional apartment setting. I just wish I had one more week before classes started. I would definitely get settled in all the way. Jason is adjusting ok. The most difficult thing for him is the commute to Ventura for his new job. He's going to look into the commuter bus, though.
September 17, 2011
Aw man...that's a long commute. Hopefully the commuter bus will help him out. It sounds like a great spot to start out your lives in SB :)
September 17, 2011
Yup. Very long. I hope the bus helps him too. And I agree! :D
July 30, 2011
Hm....I think Sean has been influencing us in writing long quick tips LOL! Nice one, Sam.
July 30, 2011
LOL...I know...I started the review and was like, hmmm...nooo this is going to be too long for right now. Then, I was like aha! Quick Tips! But, of course it ended up long and not so quick, I guess ;p Thanks Woo! I'm mid-way through the second one already.
August 04, 2011
This series sounds great! Maybe when I finish what I am reading I will start this! Great job- I was also thinking that you should have just put this as a review!
August 05, 2011
I know! It started with just a few sentences and then, it got away from me lol. I also wanted to include more info in the review...
More Tales of the City reviews
review by . October 06, 2011
If you're a bookworm or Beat freak and in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco, there's only one place you're going to spend your afternoon, City Lights Bookstore, a favorite of Jack Keuroac's. It was one such afternoon where I came across what would soon become my biggest book addiction in a long time. I saw Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin proudly displayed amongst other San Francisco literature greats but, I reached out, suddenly remembering that I had always wanted …
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Tales of the City (1978) is the first book in the Tales of the City series by American novelist Armistead Maupin, originally serialized in The San Francisco Chronicle.


Seeking a change in her life, Mary Ann Singleton moves to San Francisco in 1976, soon finding herself living at 28 Barbary Lane. Her life becomes intertwined with those of her varied neighbors and myriad colorful characters.

The novel is a look at San Francisco in the 1970s, exploring "alternative lifestyles" and "underground" culture.


  • Mary Ann Singleton, a prudish naïf from Cleveland, Ohio, who impulsively decides to leave her sheltered life and turn a vacation to San Francisco into a new chapter in her life.
  • Anna Madrigal is the landlady of 28 Barbary Lane. Anna fosters a maternal relationship with each of her tenants, perhaps most aggressively with Mona Ramsey. In addition to gently encouraging Mary Ann to develop relationships, she begins an affair with Edgar Halcyon, which is threatened by a dark secret of Anna's that may soon come to light.
  • Mona Ramsey is Mary Ann's spacey, bohemian neighbor. Restless and somewhat melancholic, Mona finds herself unemployed after a particularly self-righteous day at the office. She lets her old friend Mouse stay in her apartment after his male lover ends their relationship, but she moves out herself to rekindle a relationship with D'orothea Wilson.
  • Michael 'Mouse' Tolliver is Mona's best friend and ...
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