The Tender Bar

The Tender Bar

A Memoir

Book - 2005
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Grand Central Pub
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.

Baker & Taylor
A vivid memoir of growing up and coming of age with a single mother describes how the author received valuable life lessons and friendship at the neighborhood bar, an old-time New York saloon populated by a colorful assortment of characters who provided him with a kind of fatherhood by committee. 100,000 first printing.

HARPERCOLL
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 barJ .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.

Blackwell North Amer
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. Cops and poets, bookies and soldiers, movie stars and stumblebums, all sorts of men gathered in the bar to tell their stories and forget their cares. 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 fatherhood-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 - from his grandfather's tumbledown house to the hallowed towers and spires of Yale; from his absurd stint selling housewares at Lord & Taylor to his dream job at the New York Times, which became a nightmare when he found himself a faulty cog in a vast machine. Time and again the bar offered shelter from failure, rejection, heartbreak - and eventually from reality.

Baker
& Taylor

In a memoir of growing up with a single mother, the author describes how he received valuable life lessons and friendship from an assortment of characters at the neighborhood bar, who provided him with a kind of fatherhood by committee.

Publisher: New York : Hyperion, c2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781401300647
1401300642
Branch Call Number: B MOEHRINGER
B MOEHRINGER
Characteristics: 370 p. ; 25 cm

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ChristchurchLib Apr 14, 2014

"A vivid memoir of growing up and coming of age with a single mother describes how the author received valuable life lessons and friendship at the neighbourhood bar, an old-time New York saloon populated by a colourful assortment of characters who provided him with a kind of fatherhood by committee." Biography and Memoir April 2014 newsletter http://www.libraryaware.com/996/NewsletterIssues/ViewIssue/43337901-34d1-4c84-b134-32954b837d7d?postId=71b729f6-9022-4878-baad-967f3a6f4063

s
smichal
Apr 29, 2013

Could not get into it. I don't smoke, drink or gamble so it is hard for me to understand the boy's admiration for the people in this pub, even if he was looking for a father figure. Don't understand his fascination with his name either. At some point he should have realized that the dad is a write-off and just moved on.

c
Clamato
Feb 23, 2013

I loved this book and it's still one of my favourite memoirs. Thoroughly recommend it. Engaging, funny and well written. It stays with you.

t
trix29
Dec 11, 2012

This may be the best Memoir I have ever read. It takes more than an interesting life, a cast of characters and some good stories to write a good memoir. You have to be able to write too. JR Moehringer can write. One third of the way through the book, I forgot it was a memoir and was certain it was a novel. Then at the three quarter point I realized (again) that the narrator and the writer had the same name and I was indeed reading a memoir.

So good, so beautifully written, I did not want it to end.

I'd recommend to any adult or older teen.

c
charlie2009
Dec 16, 2010

Book Club - 2008

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