Read San Francisco Stories: Tales of the City by John Miller Online


It falls down. It burns up. It goes Beatnik in the fifties and crazy in the sixties. It stays elegant throughout. Every city has its stories, but San Francisco seems to have more than most. From Jack Kerouac on working on the railroad to Anne Lamott on getting kicked out of the cafe scene, and from Jack London on the 1906 earthquake to Tom Wolfe on the acid tests of the 19It falls down. It burns up. It goes Beatnik in the fifties and crazy in the sixties. It stays elegant throughout. Every city has its stories, but San Francisco seems to have more than most. From Jack Kerouac on working on the railroad to Anne Lamott on getting kicked out of the cafe scene, and from Jack London on the 1906 earthquake to Tom Wolfe on the acid tests of the 1960s, San Francisco Stories collects the most outstanding writings about the city from some of the most distinguished authors of the last 150 years....

Title : San Francisco Stories: Tales of the City
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780877016694
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

San Francisco Stories: Tales of the City Reviews

  • Jamie
    2019-01-29 13:25

    San Francisco Stories, edited by John Miller, is an anthology of stories about or set in the city. One thing to note is the variety; most of these stories have little in common other than the fact that they document the city of San Francisco in some way. The works span the 20th as well as the second half of 19th century. The selection contains both fiction and nonfiction, both prose and poetry (mostly prose), and a variety of written forms -- from excerpts of novels and biographies to letters and journalistic articles. The selection also documents many different perpectives: foreign tourists, inhabitants, people from other parts of the country, and immigrants. The subject matter is also varied also but there are some themes, such as the physical beauty of the city, variety of its people, capitalism (service, commerce & trade), and change.I liked the variety of the stories. Some were enjoyable and others less enjoyable, but overall it was good. I would recommend it to people who like variety and are interested in the life of cities.A recurring theme is change how San Francisco is the leader of some movements: the Beat generation in the sixties and the gay liberation in the eighties. The article on gay liberation reminded me of the film Milk (2008). The film was about Harvey Milk, a gay right activists. In the article there were several gay liberation groups, one of which is the Harvey Milk club.

  • Beth Jusino
    2019-01-17 12:11

    I bought this book at the famed City Lights Bookstore in North Beach, and read it while exploring the city of the title for the first time, so a certain romanticism must be allowed. In the words of Dylan Thomas, "San Francisco is the best place on earth. It is incredibly beautiful, all hills and bridges and blinding blue sky and boats and the Pacific Ocean." The quote is one of many you'll find in this rather mixed bag of a compilation. From Rudyard Kipling to Amy Tan, with a much-too-long description of how the city of San Francisco reacted to the AIDS epidemic, the collection is both brilliant and mundane. It's most recent essay is 25 years old (it was published in 1990), so it must be considered a historical collection, but in its pages you'll find the Beats and Chinatown, the Gold Rush and The Fire of '06, hippies and gentlemen, poetry and prose. The literature is not particularly good, but if you read it in San Francisco, or when you're feeling particularly nostalgic, then this is a book to warm the soul and open the gateways to new perspectives and ideas.

  • Florence
    2019-02-05 14:22

    This collection of short pieces, mostly essays about San Francisco spans decades. Some of the entries are serious critiques of the literary and artisitic scene which require a fair amount of prior knowledge to appreciate. ( I don't have that knowledge. ) My favorite entry was by HL Mencken, about the Democratic National Convention of 1920. During Prohibition, the conventioneers were surprised and delighted by a high quality and plentiful bourbon which livened the festivities. I also liked Anne Lamott's piece entitled "Almost 86ed" about how she committed a faux pas in a stylish North Beach hang out which almost resulted in her permanent exile. I read a good bit of this book while I was visiting San Francisco and in the midst of a raucous presidential election campaign which added relevance and enjoyment to the experience.

  • J.C.
    2019-02-06 16:25

    It's interesting to realize that S.F. has so much history connected to it. Though a great majority (if not all) of the stories in this collection are from the 1906 fire, even from that time till today there isa considerable amount of cultural history to be discovered. to me the most interesting writings were the oldest ones, the ones that provided a glimpse into a time gone by in the golden city, of "the city that was". The fires took everything, and many say that after it S.F. was never quite the same again. They were written with nostalgia and a sense of loss, making it all more personal and real as you read it. A fine collection. if you find cultural history or S.F. history interesting, I recommend it. Or, if like me, you see the list of authors on the back (Hunter S. Thompson, Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac), then that might just be motivation enough to check it out.

  • Kasandra
    2019-01-20 11:20

    A wonderful collection of interesting tidbits, anecdotes, histories, and musings on the great city of San Francisco. I'd never read anything by Amy Tan, but her piece in here is so good that I may have to give her books a shot now. The Dylan Thomas letters sent from SF are delightful and poignant. I'd never read Ishmael Reed before now, either, and his piece is fantastic, so now I have to. Kerouac's "October in the Railroad Earth" is just plain awesome. And a great poem in here, too, by Vikram Seth! Lots to love.

  • Stewart
    2019-02-01 17:38

    This book contains fiction and non-fiction about San Francisco by authors from the 19th and 20th centuries: Mark Twain, Jack London, Amy Tan, William Saroyan, Jack Kerouac, Alice B. Toklas, and others. The quality and interest varied, but especially memorable were the description of the 1906 earthquake and fire by London and a bitter, dead-pan "travel" story by Kay Boyle called "Seeing the Sights in San Francisco," published in 1967.

  • J.C. Gary
    2019-01-26 10:19

    I don't usually read anthologies and bought this on a whim. I was surprised. This is a very nice, compact anthology with an interesting juxtaposition of works. I enjoyed reading it over a long period of time, being able to quickly pick this book up, read a chapter, and set it down. It was nice to read a chapter a time, taking breaks in between to really appreciate each piece in the collection.

  • Barbara
    2019-02-11 17:18

    I would say this would one of the more successful collection of short stories I've read recently. It had a good mix of old and new stuff and not just the usuals. Got it City LIghts. It also has some nice pictures to boot. I would say about half work very well and others are varying degrees of good.

  • Frank Snell
    2019-02-11 09:39

    Although it includes a bunch of famous authors, from Mark Twain to Amy Tan, it is only worth reading if you are really interested in San Francisco.

  • Pat Murphy
    2019-02-07 12:40

    Great stories written concerning San Francisco. A fun read.

  • Jasmine
    2019-02-13 17:14

    I didn't find a lot of these essays that interesting. Quite a few didn't really talk much about San Francisco.

  • Marilyn Chandler
    2019-02-12 12:35

    I used this in the SF urban studies class. It gives a varied, enjoyable "sampler" of the city over the course of its history.

  • Veronica
    2019-02-09 12:27

    started, not really that great.

  • Bill
    2019-02-05 15:28

    A wonderful survey of stories, essays and recollections of one of the world's great cities, by excellent writers from across the globe.

  • Chucho Pisano
    2019-02-16 09:20

    fiction, california, san francisco

  • Richard
    2019-01-28 12:33

    Another addition to my library of San Francisco books. Thanks for the birthday present, Tammy!