Jean's Reviews > The Tender Bar

The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
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Apr 04, 09

bookshelves: memoir-male, relationship-parent-child

And on the other hand, here is a love song to a particular Long Island bar (and way of life) where teenage boys and older men drink way, way too much and somehow come through wise, funny, and without down-the-toilet alcoholic lives.

It reminded me in some ways of the Glass Castle, where the girl child makes it through an incredibly weird and unconventional “raising” and come through with a love of her parents and of stories. In The Tender Bar, the characters that matter are entirely male, unless you can call the stereotypical gorgeous smart girl romantic obsession someone who matters. I harbored some resentment toward the drinking narrator and all his uncles and male friends when I thought about the wives and children left behind for all those hours spent in the bar. This book is about emotions, inadequacy, measuring up, the saving grace of blood relatives and drinking friends, and the power of stories. Worth a read – if only to scratch your head over “what causes addiction?” and “what leads to a happy life?”.
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