Tales of the City & Michael Tolliver Lives
by Armistead Maupin Books #8 & #9, read during June and July, 2015
When I found out that I would be traveling to San Francisco for the 2015 American Library Association Conference, I naturally referred to my librarian coworkers to recommend books that take place within the city limits. When I travel, I love to read fiction for a particular locale because beforehand, it warms you up to the culture and when you return, it helps to bubble all of those sense memories to the surface again. One of my most well-read and hippest coworkers recommended Tales of the City (TOC) by Armistead Maupin. For her, it had special meaning because she traveled to Frisco* during the 1970s, coincidentally when the first of the series takes place. Flash forward to 2015, two copies of the book on the shelf (not just one), which is indicative of its steadfast popularity.
Alastair planned and storyboarded like Hitchcock, who was his hero. Gangsters contains a brilliant homage to the crop-spraying sequence in North By Northwest, while Vertigo was a crucial influence on both Artemis 81 and the San Francisco of Tales of the City. After Gangsters came Hazell (1979) for ITV, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1980) with David Hemmings and the first episode of Inspector Morse (1987), followed soon afterwards by Traffik.