Francis King

Grrrl On The Loose

Michael Tolliver Lives


Doubleday 282pp £17.99 order from our bookshop

The last of the six volumes of Armistead Maupin’s hugely successful Tales of the City appeared in 1989. Now he has produced what is, he insists, not an addition but a pendant to it. To allay any possible disappointment, the jacket declares that ‘a reassuring number of familiar faces appear along the way’. But these faces are more likely to bewilder than reassure anyone either unfamiliar with the series or, after so many years, possessing no more than wisps of recollection of it.

Michael Tolliver, protagonist of Tales, once more occupies the central role. Witty, kindly and tolerant, he remains both loveable and believable. Having survived, thanks to the new anti-retroviral drugs, what appeared to be a death-sentence when he was first found to be HIV positive twenty years back, he is healthy enough to continue to work as an upmarket San Francisco gardener and to maintain a hectic social and sexual life – even if his youthful lover, a joiner called Ben, has to inject him with testosterone to ginger him up as a prelude to their love-making.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,