The Tender Bar

The Tender Bar

by J.R. Moehringer

Debbie Weiss: I enjoyed reading this memoir by J.R. Moehringer very much. As a child the author only knew his father as "The Voice" he heard on the radio --- his estranged father was a radio personality who had been abusive to J.R's mother and who never bothered to establish a relationship with his son. The lack of a father figure in his life and the resulting sense of rejection deeply affected J.R. Moehringer. He sought the missing male mentorship and companionship in the men he met at Dickens, a bar where his uncle worked as a bartender. The author was an extremely bright young man and despite the odds against him, he was accepted into Yale and eventually became a journalist. Demons in the form of alcohol brought him down for many years until he made the decision to turn his life around.
Rating: ****

Judy Stanton: I thought The Tender Bar was a very well-written memoir.  As with any good read, the book kept calling me back to find out what would happen next in J.R.'s life. I loved the nicknames he gave to the men in his life and the way they reflected each of their personalities. It may seem sad that a young boy found his "home" at the bar, and, ultimately,  had to leave that home to move on in his life. However, the characters are not just "drunks," they all had multi-faceted portrayals that showed more depth and humanity.
Rating: ****

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