Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sure Of You, by Armistead Maupin

(pb; 1989: Book Six in the Tales of the City series)

From the back cover:

"A fiercely ambitious TV talk show host finds she must choose between national stardom in New York and a husband and child in San Francisco. Caught in the middle is their longtime friend, a gay man whose own future is even more uncertain..."

Review:

Less slapstick than its preceding novel, Significant Others, Sure of You is a worthy, if more serious (and possibly overdue) entry in the Tales of the City series.

Mary Ann Singleton is one of my least favorite Tales characters. Her personality, from Book One, has been edged with unnecessarily b*tchy judgments, and in Sure Of You her passive-aggressiveness is given full expression. This novel's focus on her character made me want her to be gone, already!

On the plus side, Thack Sweeney (Alcatraz guide and Michael's lover), introduced in Significant Others, is present; so is Polly Berendt, spiky Plant Parenthood nurserywoman (also from Significant Others).

Sure Of You also marks the series return of Burke Andrew, who last appeared in Further Tales of the City. In Sure Of You, he's a visiting media personality. His plot-necessary parts are mercifully brief.

Somber, still-excellent novel.

Followed by Michael Tolliver Lives.

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<em>Phantom</em> by Jo Nesbø

(hb;  2011, 2012: ninth novel in the Inspector Harry Hole series. Translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett .) From the back cover...