Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Summary of Volume I was published on November 6th. Decided to review a series of books by Armistead Maupin. Intrigued by the scandalous BBC miniseries rebroadcast on PBS (nude scenes severely edited) to read the first three books about fifteen years ago. It would be cool if BBC would film another miniseries. Too bad Thomas Gibson won’t be included; he was deliciously naughty in the BBC show.

Tales of the City (1st in series) Three worms
Story line is a bit choppy but that is probably because it began as a newspaper column. Limited space makes the story terse at times. I especially enjoyed Michael’s diatribe about the holiday conspiracy.

More Tales of the City (2nd in series) Four worms
Stronger narrative flow with better developed characters. Events woven together for the adage of “small world in a big city.” Once again, the voice of Michael is the most poignant. His “Letter to Mama” could be used for the current “It Gets Better” campaign. Thankfully, our culture has become more inclusive but we have a ways to go to accept people for who they are instead of merely tolerate or openly despise them. Michael would definitely be a Little Monster fan of Lady Gaga and gleefully sing out “I was born this way!”

Further Tales of the City (3rd in series) Three worms
Storyline becomes a bit fantastical. Chemistry lacking since of the main characters is completely absent. The thriller aspect kills off the humor. The writing is strong but I miss the whimsy. Odd that the characters continue use of mind-altering substances despite aging.

Babycakes (4th in series) Two and a half worms
Creative bookends to the storyline, I like how the beginning and the end are tied together. Overweight people are maligned and the Little People of America (or the English counterpart) should have been consulted for respectful verbiage. Ending is a bit too sweet and tidy.

Other notable:
Visited the 1968 Exhibit at the Minnesota History Center and thought of death by macramé, which occurs in one of the Maupin books. The exhibit starts with the Vietnam War and then moves into politics and arts. The grade-schoolers who were there giggled at the old voting machine, which I remember being awed by as a little kid. It sounded so cool with the lever jingle and looked like the wizard’s booth in Wizard of Oz. Exhibit ended with the Apollo program. The display cases need rounded corners, an audio tour option, and better exit signage. All I remember about 1968 was being in the hospital for a tonsillectomy.

Reviews of the series will be continued in the next edition.
© 2011 Ima B. Musing

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