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Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Logical Family: A Memoir, written and read by Armistead Maupin. Includes a 30-minute interview between Neil Gaiman and the author.

Born in the mid-twentieth century and raised in the heart of conservative North Carolina, Armistead Maupin lost his virginity to another man "on the very spot where the first shots of the Civil War were fired." Realising that the South was too small for him, this son of a traditional lawyer packed his earthly belongings into his Opel GT (including a beloved portrait of a Confederate ancestor) and took to the road in search of adventure. It was a journey that would lead him from a homoerotic Navy initiation ceremony in the jungles of Vietnam to that strangest of strange lands: San Francisco in the early 1970s.

Reflecting on the profound impact those closest to him have had on his life, Maupin shares his candid search for his "logical family", he people he could call his own. "Sooner or later, we have to venture beyond our biological family to find our logical one, the one that actually makes sense for us," he writes. "We have to, if we are to live without squandering our lives." From his loving relationship with his palm-reading Grannie who insisted Maupin was the reincarnation of her artistic bachelor cousin, Curtis, to an awkward conversation about girls with President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, Maupin tells of the extraordinary individuals and situations that shaped him into one of the most influential writers of the last century.

Maupin recalls his losses and life-changing experiences with humour and unflinching honesty, and brings to life flesh-and-blood characters as endearing and unforgettable as the vivid, fraught men and women who populate his enchanting novels. What emerges is an illuminating portrait of the man who depicted the liberation and evolution of America's queer community over the last four decades with honesty and compassion—and inspired millions to claim their own lives.

©2017 Armistead Maupin (P)2017 Random House Audiobooks

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Thank you Mr. Maupin

I read Tales of the City as a naive, small town boy in Wales in the late Nineties. Now, as I reach my late 30s I still return to the books every year whenever I need a pick me up. So it’s no surprise perhaps that I adored this account of how and where the story began. Written in Maupin’s trademark whimsical style it’s a veritable flutter through the past 40 years, detailing his early days, Tales days and post Tales life. ‘Detailing’ is possibly the wrong word however, as the book races by in series of short vignettes - much like his masterwork. For my part, it could have been double the length and a lot more in-depth but then that’s not AM’s style. Bring on book two I say!

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A sublime book

Evocative, moving, beautifully written and narrated. An absolute joy to listen to and a book I will return to again very soon...

1 person found this helpful

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An insightful memoir from an amazing author

If you loved Tales of the City, then logically, you'll love this memoir too! Read by Maupin himself, the story ends with a reprise of Michael Tollvier's famous "coming out letter." In terms of raw honesty, the all encompassing emotion this surfaced reminded me just how lucky we are that times have moved on.

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Wow, wow wow

What a wonderful well read book, I laughed I cried. Didn't want it to end.

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a very logical family

a wonderful read, loved every minute of it, make sure you listen to the very end.

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The stories behind the stories

This autobiography is hardly a ‘warts and all’ tell all tale but does offer a fascinating glimpse of the man behind the epic ‘Tales of the City’ saga. Maupin narrates his own life. But glimpses are all that are on offer here. Then again, how to do full justice to a literary career - and life - that has spanned so many decades and both mirrored and been a part of such significant social change.
Recommended for fans of the ‘Tales’ series and those interested in gay history alike.

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More Tales

Altogether brilliant book. Sensitive bold and inspirational. There is something for everyone in this book - don’t miss out!

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the man behind tales is as captivating as tales

wonderful. just a wonderful way to spend a few hours listening to the man behind the Tales of the City series tell you the story of his life. highly recommended.

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Pure gold

A wonderful insight into an author whose books held my hand through my own coming of age. A treasure.

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Heartwarming and charming

Having recently read the first 3 Tales of the City books for the second time, and then read the remaining 6 books back to back, I was overjoyed to dive into the author’s life with this charming and heartwarming memoir.

Maupin’s led an amazing life, and tells it with wit, love and candour. It’s particularly nice to have him read it himself: his soft, mellifluous voice is like honey, pouring the words into your ear and transporting you to the wilds of Vietnam and the liberating bars of San Francisco.

I can’t recommend this little wonder enough. If you’re a Maupin fan, you’ll love it. And if you’re not, prepare to be delighted and excited by one of America’s great gay storytellers.