peter in port, September 18, 2011 (view all comments by peter in port)
The bar which is the subject of this book is only about two miles from my home, so I felt obligated to read it. The author, whose father was an alcoholic disc jockey, was forced to live with his grandfather in a house just a few steps from a bar. His uncle, a man in his twenties, takes the young boy under his wing, and teaches him much about the life of a seventies party animal, cruising to the beach in an old Caddy, drinking beers to erase a hangover, and going to Shea Stadium to see the Mets play through a haze of intoxication. J. R. Moehringer eventually gets into Yale University, and becomes a writer. A true memoir, and an homage to the village of Manhasset on the North Shore of Long Island.
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kgeiger, September 2, 2010 (view all comments by kgeiger)
This is a stunning book! I can indentify with all the sadness but most of all with the joy thank you for writing a book that I will never forget and please keep writing Thank you kathy Geiger
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Maya.Brandon, December 31, 2008 (view all comments by Maya.Brandon)
Through Moehringer's honest portrayal of Manhasset, it becomes difficult to put the book down. A beautiful telling of the struggles Moehringer overcomes and those who shaped him. By the time you finish reading The Tender Bar, you’ll feel nostalgic for a bar you’ve never entered, a town you’ve never known, and a journey you’ve seemingly just begun.
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tracyann_podias, May 24, 2006 (view all comments by tracyann_podias)
I finished reading this book in two days. I haven't felt compelled to read something as voraciously as this in some time. J.R. Moehringer's writing takes the reader into his world & experiences flawlessly.
Mostly I had been reading The Tender Bar because I had heard my cousin, Tim Byrne, was mentioned in the book. I was very touched to read the author's descriptions of not only Tim, but Uncle Patrick as well, and the great courage of the family and my Aunt Charlene. While I found these moments in the book to be comforting and moving, I also throughly enjoyed the book.
This is a great book and I highly recommend it. It has inspired me to reread my classics (that I have told myself I didn't have the time to read again) and to discover new reads instead of winding down with the tv.
Thanks again, J.R. for remembering cousin Tim as well as Uncle Patrick-two incredible men.
Tracy (Byrne) Podias
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"[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.)
by Entertainment Weekly,
"[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-)"
by Booklist (Starred 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."
"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
"The Tender Bar will make you thirsty for that life — its camaraderie, its hilarity, its seductive, dangerous wisdom." Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
by USA Today,
"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."
by Vanity Fair,
"In his gimlet-eyed memoir, The Tender Bar, J. R. Moehringer lovingly and affectingly toasts a boyhood spent on a barstool."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"A straight-up account of masculinity, maturity and memory that leaves a smile on the face and an ache in the heart."
by Los Angeles Times,
"[A]n aching torch song of a memoir."
by Cleveland Plain Dealer,
"[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."
by Janet Maslin, The New York Times,
"The best memoirist of his kind since Mary Karr wrote The Liar's Club."
by Malcolm Jones, Newsweek,
"The only thing wrong with this terrific debut is that there has to be a closing time."
The author's vivid memoir about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a grand old New York saloon that was sanctuary for all types of men — cops and poets, actors and lawyers, gamblers and stumblebums — is told with heart, drama, and exquisite comic timing.
In this searing and inspiring memoir, a runner, now 13 years sober, confronts his past in a bib number and pair of running shoes, completing seven marathons in a year's time
The monikers drunk, addict, abuser, and boozehound were Caleb Daniloffandrsquo;s for fifteen years. Now, the introduction that fits him best is My name is Caleb and I am a runner.
In Running Ransom Road, Daniloff, many years sober, confronts his past by setting out, over the course of eighteen months, to run marathons in the cities where he once lived and wreaked havoc. Competing from Boston to New York, Vermont to Moscow, Daniloff explores the sobering and inspiring effects of running as he traverses the trails of his former self, lined with dark bars, ratty apartments, lost loves, and lost chances. With each race he comes to understand who he is, and by extension who he was, and he finds he is not alone. There are countless souls in sneakers running away from something, or better, running past and through whatever it is that haunts them.
In this powerful story of ruin, running, and redemption, Daniloff illuminates the connection between running and addiction and shows that the road to recovery is an arduous but conquerable one. Strapping on a pair of Nikes won't banish all your demons, but it can play an important role in maintaining a clean life. For Daniloff, sweat, strained lungs, and searing muscles are among the paving stones of empowerment, and, if he's lucky, perhaps even self-forgiveness.
The New York Times bestseller and one of the 100 Most Notable Books of 2005. In the tradition of This Boy's Life and The Liar's Club, a raucous, poignant, luminously written memoir about a boy striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar.
J.R. Moehringer grew up captivated by a voice. It was the voice of his father, a New York City disc jockey who vanished before J.R. spoke his first word. Sitting on the stoop, pressing an ear to the radio, J.R. would strain to hear in that plummy baritone the secrets of masculinity and identity. Though J.R.'s mother was his world, his rock, he craved something more, something faintly and hauntingly audible only in The Voice. At eight years old, suddenly unable to find The Voice on the radio, J.R. turned in desperation to the bar on the corner, where he found a rousing chorus of new voices. The alphas along the bar--including J.R.'s Uncle Charlie, a Humphrey Bogart look-alike; Colt, a Yogi Bear sound-alike; and Joey D, a softhearted brawler--took J.R. to the beach, to ballgames, and ultimately into their circle. They taught J.R., tended him, and provided a kind of fathering-by-committee. Torn between the stirring example of his mother and the lurid romance of the bar, J.R. tried to forge a self somewhere in the center. But when it was time for J.R. to leave home, the bar became an increasingly seductive sanctuary, a place to return and regroup during his picaresque journeys. Time and again the bar offered shelter from failure, rejection, heartbreak--and eventually from reality.
In the grand tradition of landmark memoirs, THE TENDER BAR is suspenseful, wrenching, and achingly funny. A classic American story of self-invention and escape, of the fierce love between a single mother and an only son, it's also a moving portrait of one boy's struggle to become a man, and an unforgettable depiction of how men remain, at heart, lost boys.
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