Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What I Read - Tales of the City

I just finished Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin today, after renewing it twice. It was originally a newspaper serial in the 70's, so all the chapters are pretty short, like two and a half pages each. I decided to read it when I heard the guys from Avenue Q are making it into a musical; I'd never even heard of it before then.
That said, this book is VERY Seventies. Which is maybe why I had a hard time slogging through it, despite the short chapters. Still, I may have only been able to read it in bits and spurts, but I'm sure others wouldn't have this problem. The story is written in an interesting way, with characters weaving in and out of the story and the other characters' lives on a whim. This makes for great interconnectivity revelations, but occasionally left me thinking, "Who's this character again? Do I know them?" I mean, it's a little meaningless to have a chapter end with one character accusing the other with "I know about you and Lexy!" if you can't recall who Lexy is. And I can't blame that one on my on-and-off reading of the book, since I read the chapter where that character was introduced just one day before I read the chapter with the accusation.
Mainly, though, I could see exactly why someone (multiple someones, even) would think that this could be a musical. The characters are both recognizable and yet slightly larger than life. And again, all the drama that goes with the interconnectivity makes for great theater, musical or otherwise. In fact, it's already been a miniseries.

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