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The Tender Bar: A Memoir

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The Tender Bar: A Memoir Cover

ISBN13: 9780786888764
ISBN10: 0786888768
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A moving, vividly told memoir full of heart, drama, and exquisite comic timing, about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar.

J.R. Moehringer grew up listening for a voice: It was the sound of his missing father, a disc jockey who disappeared before J.R. spoke his first words. As a boy, J.R. would press his ear to a clock radio, straining to hear in that resonant voice the secrets of masculinity, and the keys to his own identity. J.R.'s mother was his world, his anchor, but he needed something else, something more, something he couldn't name. So he turned to the bar on the corner, a grand old New York saloon that was a sanctuary for all types of men — cops and poets, actors and lawyers, gamblers and stumblebums. The flamboyant characters along the bar — including J.R.'s Uncle Charlie, a Humphrey Bogart look-alike; Colt, a Yogi Bear sound-alike; Joey D, a soft-hearted brawler; and Cager, a war hero who raised handicapping horses to an art — taught J.R., tended him, and provided a kind of fatherhood by committee. When the time came for J.R. to leave home, the bar became a way station — from his entrance to Yale, where he floundered as a scholarship student way out of his element; to his introduction to tragic romance with a woman way out of his league; to his stint as a copy boy at the New York Times, where he was a faulty cog in a vast machine way out of his control. Through it all, the bar offered shelter from failure, from rejection, and eventually from reality — until at last the bar turned J.R. away.

Riveting, moving, and achingly funny, The Tender Bar is at once an evocative portrait of one boy's struggle to become a man, and a touching depiction of how some men remain lost boys.

Review:

"[Signature] Reviewed by Terry Golway You needn't be a writer to appreciate the romance of the corner tavern — or, for that matter, of the local dive in a suburban strip mall. But perhaps it does take a writer to explain the appeal of these places that ought to offend us on any number of levels — they often smell bad, the decor generally is best viewed through bloodshot eyes and, by night's end, they usually do not offer an uplifting vision of the human condition.Ah, but what would we do without them, and what would we do without the companionship of fellow pilgrims whose journey through life requires the assistance of a drop or two?J.R. Moehringer, a Pulitzer Prize — winning writer for the Los Angeles Times, has written a memoir that explains it all, and then some. The Tender Bar is the story of a young man who knows his father only as 'The Voice,' of a single mother struggling to make a better life for her son, and of a riotously dysfunctional family from Long Island. But more than anything else, Moehringer's book is a homage to the culture of the local pub. That's where young J.R. seeks out the companionship of male role models in place of his absent father, where he receives an education that has served him well in his career and where, inevitably, he looks for love, bemoans its absence and mourns its loss.Moehringer grew up in Manhasset, a place, he writes, that 'believed in booze.' At a young age, he became a regular — not a drinker, of course, for he was far too young. But while still tender of years, he was introduced to the culture, to the companionship and — yes — to the romance of it all. 'Everyone has a holy place, a refuge, where their heart is purer, their mind clearer, where they feel close to God or love or truth or whatever it is they happen to worship,' he writes. For young J.R., that place was a gin mill on Plandome Road where his Uncle Charlie was a bartender and a patron.The Tender Bar's emotional climax comes after its native son has found success as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times. On September 11, 2001, almost 50 souls who lived and loved in Moehringer's home town of Manhasset were killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. One was a bartender we've met along the way. Another was one of the author's cousins.Moehringer drove from Denver, where he was based as a correspondent for the Times, to New York to mourn and comfort old friends. He describes his cousin's mother, Charlene Byrne, as she grieved: 'Charlene was crying, the kind of crying I could tell would last for years.'And so it has, in Manhasset and so many other Long Island commuter towns. Moehringer's lovely evocation of an ordinary place filled with ordinary people gives dignity and meaning to those lost lives, and to his own. Agent, Mort Janklow. (Sept.) Terry Golway is city editor at the New York Observer. He is also the author of the recently published Washington's General (Holt), a biography of Nathanael Greene." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Simply a wonderful book about a heaven of a life that had everything going against it except intense love..." James Salter, author of Burning the Days

Review:

"The Tender Bar will make you thirsty for that life — its camaraderie, its hilarity, its seductive, dangerous wisdom." Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls

Review:

"[O]utstanding....Moehringer has hours and hours of stories that any bar hound worth his stool would bend both ears to drink in. Thankfully, the writer has opted to put them down on paper. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"The Tender Bar, a lovely coming-of-age memoir, begins as a celebration of a saloon....It ends as a richer, more complex story of growing up and sobering up and remembering the lesson of an old-timer at the bar." USA Today

Review:

"Funny, honest, and insightful, The Tender Bar finds universal themes in an unusual upbringing and declares a real love of barroom life without romanticizing it too much." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"In his gimlet-eyed memoir, The Tender Bar, J. R. Moehringer lovingly and affectingly toasts a boyhood spent on a barstool." Vanity Fair

Review:

"[A] wonderful read....Anyone who has ever played on a tavern softball team or spent enough time at a favorite watering hole to learn the quirks of its bowling machine will raise a glass to its clear-eyed and tough sentiment." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"The best memoirist of his kind since Mary Karr wrote The Liar's Club." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"A straight-up account of masculinity, maturity and memory that leaves a smile on the face and an ache in the heart." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The only thing wrong with this terrific debut is that there has to be a closing time." Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

Synopsis:

The bestselling memoir that captured the hearts of readers and critics nationwide is now available in paperback.

In the tradition of This Boy's Life and The Liar's Club, J.R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar is a raucous, poignant, luminously written memoir about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar. A national bestseller that was named one of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2005 by the New York Times, The Tender Bar will reach an even larger audience in paperback.

Synopsis:

Torn between the feminine comfort of his mother and the masculine camaraderie he finds in a series of bars and taverns, Moehringer details his difficult but loving upbringing.

About the Author

J.R. Moehringer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing in 2000, is a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and a former Niemann Fellow at Harvard University. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 7 comments:

momn8tor, January 24, 2013 (view all comments by momn8tor)
Delicious. The characters are rich, better than fiction, and provide a full spectrum of everyday heroes. The story is deep and goes in many different directions. Left me wanting to know everything that has happened to the author of the this memoir everyday since the end of the book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
kimmiva, January 2, 2011 (view all comments by kimmiva)
This story winds its way through a lot of dark topics and years, yet the writing style doesn't drag the reader into a dark place. I thought it would be a challenging read but found that I couldn't put it down and wanting more when it ended.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Lil, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Lil)
A heartfelt (but not sappy) coming-of-age memoir that had me fully engaged from start to finish. This is one of those books that you'll read and then want to pass around to all of your friends.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 7 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780786888764
Subtitle:
A Memoir
Author:
Moehringer, J. R.
Publisher:
Hyperion Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
Bars (Drinking establishments)
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Connecticut
Subject:
Arizona
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
TradePB
Publication Date:
20060731
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8 x 5.1875 in 12.40 oz
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » Memoirs
History and Social Science » Journalism » General
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists

The Tender Bar: A Memoir Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Hyperion Books - English 9780786888764 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "[Signature] Reviewed by Terry Golway You needn't be a writer to appreciate the romance of the corner tavern — or, for that matter, of the local dive in a suburban strip mall. But perhaps it does take a writer to explain the appeal of these places that ought to offend us on any number of levels — they often smell bad, the decor generally is best viewed through bloodshot eyes and, by night's end, they usually do not offer an uplifting vision of the human condition.Ah, but what would we do without them, and what would we do without the companionship of fellow pilgrims whose journey through life requires the assistance of a drop or two?J.R. Moehringer, a Pulitzer Prize — winning writer for the Los Angeles Times, has written a memoir that explains it all, and then some. The Tender Bar is the story of a young man who knows his father only as 'The Voice,' of a single mother struggling to make a better life for her son, and of a riotously dysfunctional family from Long Island. But more than anything else, Moehringer's book is a homage to the culture of the local pub. That's where young J.R. seeks out the companionship of male role models in place of his absent father, where he receives an education that has served him well in his career and where, inevitably, he looks for love, bemoans its absence and mourns its loss.Moehringer grew up in Manhasset, a place, he writes, that 'believed in booze.' At a young age, he became a regular — not a drinker, of course, for he was far too young. But while still tender of years, he was introduced to the culture, to the companionship and — yes — to the romance of it all. 'Everyone has a holy place, a refuge, where their heart is purer, their mind clearer, where they feel close to God or love or truth or whatever it is they happen to worship,' he writes. For young J.R., that place was a gin mill on Plandome Road where his Uncle Charlie was a bartender and a patron.The Tender Bar's emotional climax comes after its native son has found success as a journalist for the Los Angeles Times. On September 11, 2001, almost 50 souls who lived and loved in Moehringer's home town of Manhasset were killed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. One was a bartender we've met along the way. Another was one of the author's cousins.Moehringer drove from Denver, where he was based as a correspondent for the Times, to New York to mourn and comfort old friends. He describes his cousin's mother, Charlene Byrne, as she grieved: 'Charlene was crying, the kind of crying I could tell would last for years.'And so it has, in Manhasset and so many other Long Island commuter towns. Moehringer's lovely evocation of an ordinary place filled with ordinary people gives dignity and meaning to those lost lives, and to his own. Agent, Mort Janklow. (Sept.) Terry Golway is city editor at the New York Observer. He is also the author of the recently published Washington's General (Holt), a biography of Nathanael Greene." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Simply a wonderful book about a heaven of a life that had everything going against it except intense love..." James Salter, author of Burning the Days
"Review" by , "The Tender Bar will make you thirsty for that life — its camaraderie, its hilarity, its seductive, dangerous wisdom." Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
"Review" by , "[O]utstanding....Moehringer has hours and hours of stories that any bar hound worth his stool would bend both ears to drink in. Thankfully, the writer has opted to put them down on paper. (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "The Tender Bar, a lovely coming-of-age memoir, begins as a celebration of a saloon....It ends as a richer, more complex story of growing up and sobering up and remembering the lesson of an old-timer at the bar."
"Review" by , "Funny, honest, and insightful, The Tender Bar finds universal themes in an unusual upbringing and declares a real love of barroom life without romanticizing it too much."
"Review" by , "In his gimlet-eyed memoir, The Tender Bar, J. R. Moehringer lovingly and affectingly toasts a boyhood spent on a barstool."
"Review" by , "[A] wonderful read....Anyone who has ever played on a tavern softball team or spent enough time at a favorite watering hole to learn the quirks of its bowling machine will raise a glass to its clear-eyed and tough sentiment."
"Review" by , "The best memoirist of his kind since Mary Karr wrote The Liar's Club."
"Review" by , "A straight-up account of masculinity, maturity and memory that leaves a smile on the face and an ache in the heart."
"Review" by , "The only thing wrong with this terrific debut is that there has to be a closing time."
"Synopsis" by , The bestselling memoir that captured the hearts of readers and critics nationwide is now available in paperback.

In the tradition of This Boy's Life and The Liar's Club, J.R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar is a raucous, poignant, luminously written memoir about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar. A national bestseller that was named one of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2005 by the New York Times, The Tender Bar will reach an even larger audience in paperback.

"Synopsis" by , Torn between the feminine comfort of his mother and the masculine camaraderie he finds in a series of bars and taverns, Moehringer details his difficult but loving upbringing.
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