Scott's Reviews > The Tender Bar

The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
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's review
Sep 03, 2012

it was amazing
Read in September, 2010

I haven't read a book this quickly in a long while. It's a great memoir of a guy who was typically Long Island Irish in some ways, but rather extraordinary in others. Moehringer grew up impoverished, with an absentee father but some loving relatives. He also happened to be exceptionally brilliant, especially with literature, which allowed a poor kid from Long Island to make his way into Yale. He thinks back and traces his own personal growth through his various highs and lows with his parents, his friends, his jobs, and his lovers, and how many, if not most, of them have some kind of link to his neighborhood bar and the drinkers that it sheltered. Anyone who's even been some kind of regular at any bar can probably relate to the tragedy and strange allure of such a place, and Moehringer captures it with a writer's eye for characters. Perhaps I could see some glimmers of overlap with my own life, as far as the kinds of friends and relatives he has, and that's why I drank it all up, but I have to think that nearly anyone with a sense of humor and humanity would love this book.
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