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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tender Bar, 3 Jan 2011
By 
Mrs. ME Richardson (Belfast United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I can't understand why there are no customer reviews for this book. I have tried several times to post a review on Amazon but it has not been accepted.
It is a brilliant book. One of the best memoirs since Mary McCarthy's Memories of a Catholic Girlhood, full of characters reminiscent of Steinbeck's Cannery Row and Damon Runyon's short stories, and written in a unique style.
A true prize winner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book, 16 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Tender Bar: A Memoir (Paperback)
I stumbled upon JR Moehringer, having read Andre Agassi's autobiography, which I also loved.

Moehringer is a stunning writer and story-teller. I was as hooked on this book as he was on Publicans - his "bar". As with Agassi, he gives amazing food for thought for those of us who would achieve, but find ourselves hiding behind one thing or another. Inspiring and life-changing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly honest & tender, 13 Sep 2012
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It might be of interest to know how I stumbled on this book. Through Andre Agassi's biography 'Open'. I have a habit of looking at the end of book just to check if there is a bibliography or some other info page (This is because of reading many Chess books..index of openings & players comes very handy). So I happened to find 'Acknowledgement' page at the end (Kindle edition). Andre has taken help of J.R. Moehringer so much so that he wanted Mr. Moehringer to take the authorship. So this intrigued me & during lunch time in office I found this book on Amazon.
Some pages were available for sample reading. I read them & realised that before starting 'Open' I had to finish this book. I liked JR's wrting style. He makes writing seem easy. I went through the whole range of emotions while reading it. The way he finds words or words find him ( as he says)is fabulous. Many a times his justification/s for doing or not doing a thing seem plausible just because of his writing.

I wonder how can one be so frank about his life. This book is tender, candid & worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Through a glass, darkly, 26 May 2013
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I had never heard of J.R. Moehringer until a couple of weeks ago when a library blog recommended his novel Sutton, a fictionalised biography of American bank robber Willie Sutton. And an excellent read it proved to be.

Moehringer, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, had previously written the autobiography of his first 25 years, The Tender Bar. It's an account of a clearly dysfunctional family. Moehringer's mother had walked away from his volatile, violent father, when J.R. was a baby, returning to live with her own apparently impoverished parents, in a chaotic shabby house. The young Moehringer yearns for his father, whom he knew only as 'the Voice' as a radio broadcaster.

In search of male role models he lights on his uncle Charlie, who works as a bartender in a legendary Manhasset bar, Dickens, later Publicans.

And so begins a beautifully written (but to this reader) ultimately depressing paean to the erudite, witty, wasted lushes of the bar, and to Moehringer's own battles with his insecurity, his fecklessness, and a sort of pervading 'I could a been a contender', which surely is a fairly universal anthem of 'in your cupsness'

Moehringer is a definite romantic - holding the torch for a lost love, holding the torch for the roseate glow of this amazing bar, filled with heroes, savants, personalities etc. I would not deny that indeed the broken veined, beer paunched denizens may well have been all Moehringer claims of them - but my impatience is with the self-indulgence of it all. NOT with the writing - it is the wasted lives.

But then, I never really believed the warm cosy glow of Cheers (which almost sounds like it could have been modelled on aspects of Publicans).

So unlike the quote from a review by Newsweek, on the dust jacket "The only thing wrong with this terrific debut is that there has to be a closing time" I was utterly impatient for Moehringer to get out of the bar and start living his life. Alcoholism is a killer. There is nothing whatsoever romantic about how it kills, either. The first introduction to the men Moehringer hero worships from the off, had me, once the sunset colours of the assembled faces are described, filled with sadness.

And curiously, unlike Sutton, which I thought was beautifully structured and paced, this drinkalogue, as is the way of drinkalogues, rambles on for too long. Beautifully, but the romanticised, Great Gatsby glow was lasting way too long.

Had this been a novel, I may have enjoyed it more, but I couldn't escape the pity and pain for the long inability to face reality, of those people's lives
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Your Usual Bar, 12 May 2013
By 
prisrob "pris," (New England USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Tender Bar: A Memoir (Paperback)
"There's a place my friends and I like to go." "Name it." "Do you remember where the old Publicans used to be?" J.R.Moehringer is trying to convince an old friend to talk about 9/11, and they end up where J. R. Moehringer grew up, the Publican, a bar in Manhasset, Long Island.

Of all the places in the world that you remember from your youth, how many of us remember the neighborhood bar? Not many, I would guess. But this memoir seems right, seems true and the sanctuary that Publicans gave J.R. is the kind of place we dream of going back to. Of course, none of us can really go home again.

J.R. Moehringer has a gift, the kind of gift his mother always dreamed her son would have. Not the gift of law as a lawyer, but the gift of telling the story, the story of a bar and the love found within. J.R.'s mom was the center of his life, and she was the one who helped shape him into becoming the man he is today.. J.R., didn't really want the dots after his initials, just like he didn't really want the name. The name of his father, the man who left his life early on and in the leaving almost killed J.R.'s mother. They lived with his mother's folks, grandpa and grandma. In an old house kept together with duct tape. The house bothered his mother, and she kept trying to leave, but with the little amount of money she made, they somehow had to keep moving back to the old house. J.R. tried to find his life in the house with all of his relatives, and it was his Uncle Chas who had the most effect on him. Chas was a bartender at the Publican, and this is where J.R. gravitated when they would let him in. He spent summers with the inhabitants at the beach, and the evenings at the bar. He learned to drink at the bar when he was old enough, and he learned about life, love and whiskey. The people were all glorious and bigger than life and knew the story of J,R,; every turn and every detail that happened along the way.

We spend a lot of time at Yale, and we know how excited and how difficult life was for J.R. Sidney, the first love and the most difficult to leave. In fact, a little piece of Sidney lives with J.R., but he was able to leave her when he knew it was time. His cousin McGraw, a lovely girl Michelle, the guys at the bar; Steve, Colt, Joey D, Uncle Charlie, Jimbo, Smelly, Cager and Bob the Cop; all real life characters from his life at the bar. They helped teach him everything he knew. He was their son, the one who made good, the one they were proud of, the one who would lead the kind of life they all wished for. The "Times", Lord & Taylor, Arizona and the Publican, all places that make the life of J.R. J.R.Moehringer opens his heart and his life for us to view. I know the hurts, disappointments, good times, loves won and lost, and the father that disappointed over and over, but was always "The Voice" in your head. J.R. Moehringer, a talented writer to be remembered.

Highly, highly recommended. prisrob 05-11-13
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 2 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Tender Bar: A Memoir (Paperback)
Some books just grab you and you are off , others are just very good.
Well I am off . Pleased to see females liking as thought it may be more male ish
The story telling , the emotion, the intellectual stimulus WOW.
I read a lot but what a story this is.
Also got this through Agassi and as he didn't seem to get on with the intellectuals / artists he met through Brooke Shields so i delayed reading this .
This is just a really great book , I hope you read it.
Mike
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tender Bar, 4 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Tender Bar: A Memoir (Paperback)
This is a very readable and well written auto biography, almost seemed a fictional story rather than a real life account.
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5.0 out of 5 stars splendid reading!, 19 Jun 2014
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I read this book because I had heard that it was Steffie Graff's favorite. I was just curious why she thought so. And it did not disappoint me. I read and read (it is very long!) and did not lose interest whatsoever. Why! it was the author's first novel! and so good! incredible. It straightaway had this authentic ring. You felt that all he said was true. Even the long,long time until JR finds himself can be endured although I lost my patience with him when he took such a long time to get away from the seedy world he loved so much. But I must also remind myself that this world was his backbone that sustained him from childhood and he had to find something else in its place. He searched for this in other people but eventually realized it had to come from within himself .Very acceptable prose, smooth,rolling along. I will read his other books! J.S
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 27 April 2014
All great writing engenders a deep and enduring spirit of time and place - simple , evocative language , a wonderful book .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book club read., 29 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Tender Bar: A Memoir (Paperback)
When starting the prologue of this book I judged that it was going to be hard going and put it away over the summer. However, I always make sure I read our club choices and made an effort to start again. I was glad I did. As you get into the book proper it's much more enjoyable, there's a real story feel to it. I empathised with the characters knowing they were real people and wanted to know what happened to them all. J.R.'s discoveries about himself and his family and his connection with the bar make for a real good read.
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The Tender Bar: A Memoir
The Tender Bar: A Memoir by J R Moehringer (Paperback - 7 Sep 2006)
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