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Summary

A hilarious and touching new installment of Armistead Maupin's beloved Tales of the City series.

Twenty years have passed since Mary Ann Singleton left her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue her dream of a television career in New York. Now a pair of personal calamities has driven her back to the city of her youth and into the arms of her oldest friend, Michael "Mouse" Tolliver, a gardener happily ensconced with his much-younger husband.

Mary Ann finds temporary refuge in the couple's backyard cottage, where, at the unnerving age of 57, she licks her wounds and takes stock of her mistakes. Soon, with the help of Facebook and a few old friends, she begins to reengage with life, only to confront fresh terrors when her checkered past comes back to haunt her in a way she could never have imagined.

After the intimate first-person narrative of Maupin's last novel, Michael Tolliver Lives, Mary Ann in Autumn marks the author's return to the multicharacter plotlines and darkly comic themes of his earlier work. Among those caught in Mary Ann's orbit are her estranged daughter, Shawna, a popular sex blogger; Jake Greenleaf, Michael's transgendered gardening assistant; socialite DeDe Halcyon-Wilson; and the indefatigable Anna Madrigal, Mary Ann's former landlady at 28 Barbary Lane.

More than three decades in the making, Armistead Maupin's legendary Tales of the City series rolls into a new age, still sassy, irreverent, and curious, and still exploring the boundaries of the human experience with insight, compassion, and mordant wit.

©2010 Armistead Maupin (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs K
  • Grantham, United Kingdom
  • 13-07-14

Loved it

Another brilliant listen, I have loved every one in this series and the characters all feel like friends. Mary Ann is probably my least favourite character but loved it none the less.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • 05-12-14

It all comes full circle

Would you consider the audio edition of Mary Ann in Autumn to be better than the print version?

No, for the simple reason I would have loved to have Laura Linney reading this book. Saying that I love Armistead Maupin and like that the author is reading the book.

What other book might you compare Mary Ann in Autumn to, and why?

Every other Armistead Maupin book. They all have that warm inclusive feel, and centre on the Logical family. You finish these books wishing to be part of the family that these people have created for each other.

What does Armistead Maupin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I've met Armistead Maupin a couple of times during his books signings. He is very charming and incredibly witty and it is nice to have his voice on the audio books.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes and No, I wanted to keep on listening, but I had to pace myself. I always wish I had enjoyed reading the book at a leisurely pace and not rushed to next chapter.

Any additional comments?

You can't go wrong with these books, they are warm and funny. They always leave me feeling better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

expect a twist like the end of maybe the moon

lovely to hear about the old crew, and to catch up on a loose end, but ARGH!

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Wonderful to be have them back!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes definitely. I absolutely loved this audiobook. It was great to catch up with what the ex Barbary Lane residents had been doing since the last Tales book 'Michael Tolliver Lives'. I would suggest though that if you are new to the 'Tales of the City' series you start at the beginning.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Mary Ann in Autumn?

No stand out moment but I guess the ending made me feel a little emotional !

Have you listened to any of Armistead Maupin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is my first time listening to Maupin as a narrator. I was a little concerned as I have loved the variety of narrators used on the Tales series and don't often like authors narrating their own work. However, Maupin is absolutely fantastic and brings all of the characters to life.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not quite but I did finish it over the course of 3 days and was keen to keep listening.

Any additional comments?

If you've never read the 'Tales of the City' series you are missing out on a real treat. Start from the beginning and enjoy!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Keith
  • 10-01-11

He Has Done It Again!

This was a great read! Once again, Armistead Maupin has taken us back to the familiar city and characters we have loved for years. Given the way he goes back to previous stories, it was like a love letter to those of us who have read and re-read the previous works in the series. The story, however, does not require one to have read the previous books. Armistead Maupin is one of those rare authors who is capable of reading his own work! Great job all around! I would highly recommend this book to others!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leigh Bartley
  • 21-09-13

So good to hear from dear old friends

These characters are like dear old friends.. It's always great to hear how they're doing and what they've been up to... Thank you Mr. Maupin for getting us caught up... Always good to hear from my dear, old friends from Barbary Lane...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stephane Gelinas
  • 16-04-13

A great 'Tales of the City' novel!

Reconnecting with all the characters from Tales of the City is like comfort food. There all here: Mary Ann, Mouse, Miss Madrigal...the book, like its predecessors, has a great plot (revisiting some unfinished business from the first tome), funny and tender moments... It's a must for fans of the series! Read by M. Maupin himself, that's great!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Marianna
  • 07-01-13

Well written and well read

If you could sum up Mary Ann in Autumn in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining, provocative, satisfying

What other book might you compare Mary Ann in Autumn to and why?

The rest in the series.

What about Armistead Maupin’s performance did you like?

Excellent reader; easy to listen to with wonderful character development

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A must see if you've lived through the 70's & 80's.

Any additional comments?

Once I listened to "Tales of the CIty" I couldn't stop wanting to know more about the characters of Barberry Lane. I wish, however, that I had realized that this is the last in the series as it would be better to read or listen to them in sequence. So now I'm listening to them out of order but because of the narrater I don't mind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kathleen
  • 12-03-11

Just okay.

Characters were interesting and written with empathy. I learned a lot about transsexuals. This book was not great, not terrible.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sy Kay
  • 29-04-17

My one true love of the City

I first discovered Tale of the City, whilst enjoying the Chronicle Newspaper back in the late 1970's where I was one of the many transplanted gay men, who were moving to the City in groves. Hell, I loved Armistead's writing immediately & have been a follower of both his earlier books (had quite a collection when they finally made the column into book-form) & his now newer books. I, like many if my dear departed comrades, will always love these Adventures of the denizens of Barbary Lane & beyond. This novel about Mary Ann (Singleton) made me laugh, cry & miss all of the great times I had in the City, & are sure to make you wish you could've been there too.

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  • wld1
  • 12-08-14

This was much better

What did you love best about Mary Ann in Autumn?

I loved that Maupin went back to the characters and told their stories. I loved that the stories, as in earlier Tales of the City books were interwoven, suggesting an inter-connectedness and real community.

What three words best describe Armistead Maupin’s performance?

Cynthia Nixon's better.

If you could take any character from Mary Ann in Autumn out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Anna Madrigal

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 09-06-13

You can't go home again

Any additional comments?

The first books in the series were wonderful, easy reads. This book is a hard read, never liked the character MaryAnn and this confirms she should have stayed on the east coast. The series has become trite and should be retired.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Edwin Williamson
  • 19-11-11

Mary Ann's OK

I found this engaging enough to distract me during a long car trip, but not really great.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • JFC
  • 08-05-11

Skip it

Really liked the original TALES OF THE CITY books; was excited when I read that Maupin was revisiting the characters. But, after SURE OF YOU and now this book, it's clear that some things are much better left in the past. I remember the original books as bright, open and generous. The new two, though, are gloomy, clastrophobia, dull and not even well written. Was Maupin always this bad at writing believable dialogue? I'm tempted to go back to the orginal books and see but, really, it's probably better just to leave them in the past.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful