Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY
1:06p.m. EDT March 14, 2013
Excerpted from USA Today “Give this quartet of new books a listen”
Written by Armistead Maupin; read by Frances McDormand; introduction by Rachel Maddow
Harper Audio, unabridged (7 hours, 39 minutes); on sale March 26
***½ out of four
Amistead Maupin’s groundbreaking books about bohemian life in San Francisco are now available as unabridged audios. Actress Frances McDormand does a splendid job as she narrates the first, Tales of the City. First published in 1978, it opens as a young woman from the Midwest decides suddenly that the city by the bay is where she belongs. The interconnected stories provide a glimpse of the recent past (mood rings! pet rocks! disco!). They also paint an atmospheric portrait of a unique American city teeming with eccentrics back in its pre-Web days. McDormand’s strong voice adapts to each character, young and old, male and female, straight and gay. HarperAudio is also releasing the five sequels on March 26: Cynthia Nixon (More Tales of the City); McDormand (Further Tales of the City); Alan Cumming (Babycakes); Nixon (Significant Others) and Eric McCormack (Sure of You).