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Interesting,
Insightful,
Dramatic

18 reviews

The Tender Bar: A Memoir
by J. R. Moehringer

Published: 2006-08-01
Paperback : 370 pages
14 members reading this now
54 clubs reading this now
22 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 18 of 18 members
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 ...
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Introduction

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.

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Compare the men to the women
Diferences for the kids
by bgjoey (see profile) 01/15/14

Who was the most inspirational person in your upbringing? At what age did you discover this?
by buchhel (see profile) 08/08/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Bar food
by bgjoey (see profile) 01/15/14
Discussion went all over the place depending on one\\\'s view of men spending time regularly at a bar.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by lkokeefe (see profile) 04/28/17

 
by Books1 (see profile) 08/02/16

 
by kmcqv (see profile) 05/23/16

 
  "The Tender Bar"by brenstuhr (see profile) 07/23/15

I like this book.

 
  "The Tender Bar"by vickigregory (see profile) 01/16/14

An interesting book on male bonding with sometimes hilarious dialogue. It illustrates the importance of both positive and negative role models.

 
  "The Tender Bar"by bgjoey (see profile) 01/15/14

Beautifully written memoir.

 
  "The Tender Bar"by caroleeb (see profile) 08/22/13

A beautifully written memoir. If you appreciate good writing, you will savor this book.

 
  "The Tender Bar"by buchhel (see profile) 08/08/13

Excellent memoir. Heartbreaking and funny. Everyone should read this. Mother knows best!

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