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El bar de las grandes esperanzas

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  27,749 ratings  ·  2,592 reviews
J.R. creció con su madre, pues su padre lo abandonó antes de que pronunciara su primera palabra. Pero J.R. sabe quién es: un pinchadiscos de Nueva York que tiene un programa de radio que él escucha con devoción, hasta el día en que su voz sale del aire y J.R. se queda sin nadie a quien escuchar. Encontrará entonces refugio en el amor de su madre y en el Dickens, el bar de ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published August 31st 2015 by Duomo (first published 2005)
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Valerie I think it reflects a natural state in a young man's life; most young men at one point or another take their mothers for granted. At best mothers are…moreI think it reflects a natural state in a young man's life; most young men at one point or another take their mothers for granted. At best mothers are to be tolerated (the annoying thing moms do that show their love) but when life throws a hardball or two knowing she's there in the background can mean surviving and in a strong relationship, thriving. I don't think there is any latent or evidential mysogyny present in this book; quite the opposite; his yearning for a meaningful relationship with a close male shows the void not present for a femaile counterpart. (less)
Martin he helped A.Agassi with his auto-biography 'Open' which is a really good book.
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3.95  · 
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 ·  27,749 ratings  ·  2,592 reviews

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Jul 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What's This Book About?
From The Tender Bar by J. R. Moehringer:

"I hate when people ask what a book is about. People who read for plot, people who suck out the story like the cream filling in an Oreo, should stick to comic strips and soap operas. . . . Every book worth a damn is about emotions and love and death and pain. It's about words. It's about a man dealing with life. Okay?"

Okay! Pulling this excerpt from page 335 of this 416 page book, I feel, allows me to use the author's own words to de
Debbie Petersen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard Sutton
Aug 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here's the thing. I'm a writer. I'm not a proofreader or an editor. When I read, I read for the pleasure of a good story with memorable, honest (not cardboard) characters. I'm not hard on other writers' work, unless they really disappoint me. An occasional repeat of an expression, a dropped comma, a misused semicolon -- none of these bother me unless they stop the read cold, and only then, if I can't pick it up again. It happens. I'm not a complete masochist, but I have noticed that most of the ...more
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book by reading Andre Aggasi's memoir, "Open", in which he describes how taken he was by "The Tender Bar" and how this led to his collaboration with J.R. Moehringer. I was equally engrossed in the book and could hardly put it down over the course of a week or so during which I read the entire thing (which, for me, is 2x-3x my normal turnover rate for a book of comparable length).

The book is a wonderful memoir of a tough childhood (J.R. Moehringer grew up without a father in his lif
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just read for book club. Its an easy read. I guess I was interested in his life and the history on Long Island makes it easy to identify with. I just feel like I have been down this road before with a memoir. Dysfunctional family, overcoming it all and going to Yale, etc..etc...and does he whine about it. He never stops!

He continues to show the people in his life addicted to alcohol, drugs, and gambling in a postive light - even when sometimes the outcome of such a life is horrible- he still ho
Oct 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-memoir
I really loved The Tender Bar! Any book that can sweep you into a story and its beautifully rendered characters (all the more beautiful, poignant, and powerful because they are real) is worthy of recognition, and I found this memoir to be fascinating and enormously moving. It was also interesting from its snapshot of a slice of American and local history: Manhasset, Long Island, in the 70s and 80s and into the early 21st century. The author, being raised by his mother in her father's dysfunction ...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir
THE TENDER BAR is one of the first memoirs I read after jumping back on the reading band wagon in 2000. I loved this book and Moehringer's writing. Still have the hardcover on my shelf.
Jan 19, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Two friends of mine claimed this was their favorite book, which is probably the only reason why I made myself finish this long, whining memoir. JR Moehringer starts off with a nice premise: He wants to write about the Long Island bar he grew up in, and the wild cast of characters at the bar who filled in for his absent, dead-beat dad. Moehringer's got some funny stories, and he's pretty good at capturing the moods of the bar and describing the people in his life. But at the end of the book, all ...more
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy sitcom-like memoirs
Jeesh. I picked this up for my husband's birthday and decided to read it myself. I was so excited. I got it from a local book store where one of the book clerks wrote an amazing review. I thought it was going to be about bar culture and the magical and redemptive qualities that can be found in your local bar/pub. I was wrong. It's mostly a memoir of Moehinger's boyhood and college days at Yale. The lack of male role models is a constant and boring theme that runs throughout the book. The love of ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As many stars as there are drops of beer in a pint glass. Some of the most beautiful writing ever.
Steve Piacente
Jan 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Oh, the damage an absent father can do. No-show, no-care dads practice a different brand of abuse than fathers who use their fists, but the distinction is lost on the little boy waiting curbside for a dad who isn’t coming. Given a choice, the boy might even opt for corporal punishment over icy indifference.

J.R. Moehringer captures the lives of many such boys in his poignant memoir, “The Tender Bar.” Moehringer’s radio personality dad was MIA so often, he came to think of his dad as “The Voice,”
Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star-rated
This is an incredibly honest book by an incredibly good story teller. JR grew up with an absent father and ended up with many "fathers", and one enormously strong and dedicated mother. I, too, grew up with an absent father and an enormously strong and dedicated mother so I could relate to much of his emotional upheaval at times. My heart was breaking when his father didn't show up after telling him he would be there to take him to a baseball game.

During my reading of this book, I also saw a hal
Mar 01, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't mind listening to other people talk about themselves
While reading, I wrote this:
Working on it. Mom's book club. Came in a box with Valentine's Day goodies, including:
- A heart-shaped potholder
- Cups with hearts on them
- Candy hearts
- A heart-shaped PEZ dispenser
- Pink footie socks
- 3 or maybe 4 V-Day cards, they keep turning up in odd places, like wedged into The Tender Bar.
- Pink rubber duckies with hearts on them
- My camera battery charger

A good story. A bicentennial sofa. A little deliberate, but I'm still going.

After reading, I write this:
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, biography
Publicans, the bar where the author found his mojo, has just been rechristened in Manhasset. I guess it's pretty telling that I liked a 5 star and a 1 star review, because both made valid points about the book. On the positive side, Moehringer writes well (for a Yalie anyway), but his life is a mess, with a deadbeat, absentee father, and a mother barely able to keep them afloat, shuttling between living with her parents or trying to make it in their own place. The other highlight is the zany cha ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Sep 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Tata J
Shelves: memoirs
John Joseph Moehringer (born 1964) grew up in Manhasset, New York. He is a graduate of Yale and used to work at New York Times and won the Pulitzer Award for Feature Writing in 2000. This memoir, The Tender Bar is the recollection of his childhood up to his early adulthood. Published in 2005, when Andre Agassi read this book, he asked Moehringer to collaborate with him the writing of his own memoir, Open published last year, 2009. You must be seeing that book prominently displayed in your bookst ...more
Oct 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
i found this to be a memoir with a lot of heart but little literary value. what moehringer does very well is create a vivid atmosphere, using dialogue in particular to paint a picture that you can easily imagine as if you were in the room with him. i read in a separate review that the most interesting thing about the author is the people he knows - and it's true, the characters in this book are very colorful and tend to overshadow moehringer's self-absorbed drama. another reason to enjoy the boo ...more
Apr 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I found myself laughing out loud while reading it. The book is basically about his coming of age and most of it takes place at a local pub on Long Island where his uncle was a bartender. I really like his style and how the chapters are like short stories, yet they follow a timeline. I really got to like the author; he reminds me of a straight version of Sedaris or Borroughs.

The missing star is mainly a pet peeve I have about the epilogue, which I recommend you skip.
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was required reading for a memoir class that I audited last year. I must confess, I’m not a fan of memoirs that are soaked in booz, but I did my usual quick read through to get the story and found that, though appalled at times, I did enjoy the story and cared very much for J R and his mother. The Tender Bar title is a play on words. Growing up in the bar, J R was not coddled, but he was tended to or watched out for by a series of regular bar customers and bar tenders. I think of the f ...more
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars! My friend Beth wanted me to read this for ages! I still have tears in my eyes at the poignancy of this memoir.

I don't think I can write a review of The Tender Bar. I just really liked it and am happy I read it and would tell others to read it too. It is very sad though.

It's amazing how well he wrote, using such great descriptive words that you really could almost feel you were right there with him experiencing it all.

I'd recommend it!
Jan 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I initially fell in love with this memoir, and for 150 pages could not put it down. This is when Moehringer describes his childhood in a dysfunctional broken-down home in Long Island and his search on the radio air waves for his missing father's voice. He writes hauntingly and convincingly of his childhood anxieties, much of which center on protecting his mother, and his drive to take care of her. He describes his early discovery of the neighborhood bar, where his Uncle Charlie worked, and found ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had read this sooner.
Thomas Holbrook
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memior
One must have a “place” in order to be. Without a place to stand, one cannot perceive the idea of belonging. For many, if not most, of us spend a great deal of our “growing up” years sorting out just where that “place” is. This mythical location that is more real than the keys of this computer, is made up of: physical location, culture, belief, what is ingested, speech, language and a multitude of other factors that are as imperceptible as the “daily recommended allowance” of needed vitamins and ...more
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If it takes a village to raise a child, for J. R. Moehringer, it took Manhasset, in Long Island, NY; and more specifically, it took a neighborhood bar named Dickens (later called Publicans).

In the 1970s and 80s, the young boy was first captivated by The Voice, the unseen presence of his absent father. When the radio presence mysteriously disappeared, he inadvertently stumbled upon a host of other mentors in the bar on the corner in his village.

Two themes guided the young boy: growing up to take
"I used to say I'd found in Steve's bar the fathers I needed, but this wasn't quite right. At some point the bar itself became my father, its dozens of men melding me into one enormous male eye looking over my shoulder, providing that needed alternative to my mother, that Y chromosome to her X".--JR Moehringer, pg. 9 of prologue

I keep saying this memoir reminded me of an American version of Frank McCourt's "Angela's Ashes". However, it's the essence more than the actual details that brings me
Patrick Gibson
Mar 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Patrick by: Suzanne, David and a bunch of you guys
This is a curious way to preface a book: “I needed a family, a home, and men. Especially men. I needed men as mentors, heroes, role models, and as a kind of masculine counterweight to my mother, grandmother, aunt and five female cousins with whom I lived. The bar provided me with all the men I needed, and one or two men who were the last thing I needed.”

It’s not what you think.

And I can’t really write any comments on this book. Six trillion people love it—and two don’t. I am the other one.

Not a bad memoir; not particularly gripping, but very vivid in its way of person-description-by-storytelling. Probably the least "woe is me, I'm a drunk" and most interesting "look how I became a reporter for Times" book out there. And still, it became rambly. About two-thirds of the way through, I wondered why so many pages remained and what Moehringer could possibly have left to tell me that was so darned important. I hate when the story seems over and the book keeps going. Of course, I claim ...more
Masterful and wonderful to read. Like a good scotch, The Tender Bar should not be rushed through and instead, savored slowly and thoroughly. Also like scotch, it took me a couple of exposures to The Tender Bar before I started liking it.

The first exposure was when my husband and I were researching bars we should visit while in Tokyo. During my googling, I found a few mentions of this book but read a blurb about it and thought it sounded boring, so I let it slip my mind. In Tokyo, we visited an e
Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I don't read a lot of non-fiction (I MAKE myself read something every summer), and memoir is my least favorite type in this genre. I just find it so often unbelievably dramatic or annoyingly whiny. This book, however, is intelligently and poignantly written, and very honest! The author, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, struggles from an early age to replace the father who abandons him and finds the stable "home" he is looking for in, of all places, the bar where his uncle works. A bonus is t ...more
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J.R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar describes Moehringer's experience as a boy growing up in decrepit, old house with his cynical grandfather, his grandmother, and his mother, in the town of Manhasset, New York. It is a well-crafted memoir tracking the development of a fatherless boy with aspirations to make something of his life. Searching for a mentor, Moehringer manages to find a group of men from a local bar to serve as a collective fatherly figure. They teach him the ins and outs of sports, be ...more
Tracy Towley
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another book I want to jump in down and scream READ THIS BOOK about. And not just because I'm a drunk! I've read a lot of novels that involved drunks/bars. They are either over the top dramatic, OMG! BOOZE WILL KILL ME! Or, "Yeah, I drink 2 pints of Whisky a night and get fired all the time. What?" I felt this book was really honest about the whole boozing all the time issue. The guy does eventually stop drinking but he doesn't have all these awful things happen to him. Shit just changes. And he ...more
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Author's Oct 2001 LA Times article 1 13 Oct 16, 2015 12:59PM  

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J.R. Moehringer is an American journalist and author. Born in New York City and raised in Manhasset, New York, he is a former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

A 1986 graduate of Yale University, Moehringer began his journalism career as a news assistant at The New York Times.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2000.
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“While I fear that we're drawn to what abandons us, and to what seems most likely to abandon us, in the end I believe we're defined by what embraces us.” 56 likes
“I don't know. Sometimes I try to say what's on my mind and it comes out sounding like I ate a dictionary and I'm shitting pages. Sorry” 42 likes
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