Customer Reviews for

The Tender Bar

Average Rating 4.5
( 141 )
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5 Star

(85)

4 Star

(31)

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(12)

2 Star

(8)

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(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

A Place like Home

¿Everyone has a holy place, a refuge, where their heart is purer, their mind clearer, where they feel closer to God or love or truth or whatever it is they happen to worship¿ (8). J.R. Moehringer¿s memoir, A Tender Bar, is a captivating story about how Dicken¿s Bar in ...
¿Everyone has a holy place, a refuge, where their heart is purer, their mind clearer, where they feel closer to God or love or truth or whatever it is they happen to worship¿ (8). J.R. Moehringer¿s memoir, A Tender Bar, is a captivating story about how Dicken¿s Bar in Manhasset, New York, was his refuge. His story is one of struggle, ambition, confusion, and lost love.
Growing up without a father, J.R. seeks a male figure in his life. He creates a character out of the only piece of existence he has of his father: The Voice. It is the voice of his father on a radio station which he relies on as his ¿only connection to the masculine world¿ (17). The lack of a male figure in J.R.¿s life defines who he is and what he is seeking. The bar becomes his father, ¿it¿s dozens of men melding into one enormous male eye¿ watching over him, and guiding him through his life (8). J.R. writes about each man in the bar who impacted him. His style of narrating characters with such intricate detail and an apparent sense of appreciation makes his writing unique.
The narrative structure of J.R.¿s memoir appeals to the experiences of the audience. The chronological line of events of his life is simple. J.R. faces challenges which most readers could easily relate to. This gives his readers a sense of hope in themselves that they too can overcome their barriers.
The convincing style he writes in makes every word he says serious and important; hence, his writing is extremely powerful and emotionally involving. Along with telling his life story, he slips in meaningful lessons relating to his own experiences. One lesson involving his dedication to his fathers¿ voice is, ¿Life is all a matter of choosing which voices to tune in and which to tune out, a lesson I learned long before most people, but one that took me longer than most to put to good use¿ (17). He writes in a very simple yet effective style to get his point across.
J.R.¿s story is told out of appreciation of those who helped him get through his life. He gives greater meaning to that which most belittle or disregard. It is simply a bar he reflects on but he brings out the best of the bar and the men that inhibit it. J.R. says, ¿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¿ (4). The bar embraced, and in turn defined, J.R.

posted by eliz31 on October 24, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing...

I bought this book hoping to catch a glimpse into a young man's fancy, fascination and feel for growing up in a bar. I was disappointed. Moehringer seems to have a more genuine understanding of blue bloods from his Yale years than bars. He just flat out tries too ha...
I bought this book hoping to catch a glimpse into a young man's fancy, fascination and feel for growing up in a bar. I was disappointed. Moehringer seems to have a more genuine understanding of blue bloods from his Yale years than bars. He just flat out tries too hard and it comes off as contrived. For example, this rates as one of the more forced passages I have ever read: 'I looked around the barroom. Someone else might have seen nothing more than a random crowd of drinkers, but I saw my people. Kith and kin. Fellow travelers. Every sort of person was there-stockbrokers, and safecrackers, athletes and invalids, mothers and supermodels-but we were as one.' Can't say I have ever been in a bar with 'supermodels' and find it unlikely that they would rub elbows with 'safecrackers' in this wildly eclectic bar on Long Island. Or his his description on seeing Sinatra in person and his observations on the blueness of his eyes: 'They darted left and right, sweeping the room like blue searchlights, and I noticed thet they turned different shades of blue as they moved-indigo, royal, navy.' Romantic yes, but real? Moehringer, a Met fan, takes a Dave Kingmanesque swing and miss at capturing the true feel of working class bar.

posted by Anonymous on April 27, 2006

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  • Posted October 24, 2008

    A Place like Home

    ¿Everyone has a holy place, a refuge, where their heart is purer, their mind clearer, where they feel closer to God or love or truth or whatever it is they happen to worship¿ (8). J.R. Moehringer¿s memoir, A Tender Bar, is a captivating story about how Dicken¿s Bar in Manhasset, New York, was his refuge. His story is one of struggle, ambition, confusion, and lost love.<BR/>Growing up without a father, J.R. seeks a male figure in his life. He creates a character out of the only piece of existence he has of his father: The Voice. It is the voice of his father on a radio station which he relies on as his ¿only connection to the masculine world¿ (17). The lack of a male figure in J.R.¿s life defines who he is and what he is seeking. The bar becomes his father, ¿it¿s dozens of men melding into one enormous male eye¿ watching over him, and guiding him through his life (8). J.R. writes about each man in the bar who impacted him. His style of narrating characters with such intricate detail and an apparent sense of appreciation makes his writing unique.<BR/> The narrative structure of J.R.¿s memoir appeals to the experiences of the audience. The chronological line of events of his life is simple. J.R. faces challenges which most readers could easily relate to. This gives his readers a sense of hope in themselves that they too can overcome their barriers. <BR/>The convincing style he writes in makes every word he says serious and important; hence, his writing is extremely powerful and emotionally involving. Along with telling his life story, he slips in meaningful lessons relating to his own experiences. One lesson involving his dedication to his fathers¿ voice is, ¿Life is all a matter of choosing which voices to tune in and which to tune out, a lesson I learned long before most people, but one that took me longer than most to put to good use¿ (17). He writes in a very simple yet effective style to get his point across. <BR/>J.R.¿s story is told out of appreciation of those who helped him get through his life. He gives greater meaning to that which most belittle or disregard. It is simply a bar he reflects on but he brings out the best of the bar and the men that inhibit it. J.R. says, ¿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¿ (4). The bar embraced, and in turn defined, J.R.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2005

    Move over, Pat Conroy

    Speaking of sports books, George Plimpton once said somthing like,'The smaller the ball, the better the writing'. In a variation on this theme, Moehringer has written a great book about a seemingly small subject, his neighborhood bar. Don't be fooled by that apparent lack of scope. This bar is just a keyhole that we peer through in order to view a very broad, and very funny universe. Oh, and scary, and warm, and cruel, and sad, and uplifting, and educational. There's even more than that, but don't take my word for it. Read this one for yourself.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2011

    Touching

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story. The author wrote such a touching memoir of his journey as a young boy to a man. I laughed, I cried, and I was very entertained. Overall it was a great book and very well written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    The world is a confusing place for a boy with little guidance.

    J.R. a fatherless boy, lovingly tells the story of his relationship with the men in a neighborhood bar who become his surrogate fathers. They are all alcoholics who have their own pain as well. No judgement, just love these good men as they are.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2007

    Ended Too Soon

    Couldn't put this book down. The only thing missing were photos of Publicans and some relatives of JR. I identified with his mom in the fact that I raised three sons with no child support and very few visits from their father (when he was in town.)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2006

    Such a good memoir

    Simply a great book and since there aren't enough of those, you should give this one some of your time. It's well worth it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2006

    Fill in your own names and faces

    'The Tender Bar,' is a finely written memoir of Mr. Moehringer's growth as a man and a writer. As a reader who grew up in an area similar to Manhasset with a man's reputation much affected by which bar he frequented, I could relate to his relatives and friends very closely. Underlying all of the author's friendships and relationships...good or bad...is the constant concern for his mother and the lack of a true father figure. Though not advertised as an emotional ride, this book will take you from laughter to tears in pages. This book should be a must-read for all men over the age of 40!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    Very good memoir

    A very good story behind a good memoir of a young man growing up to be a man around a group of questionable role models at a bar he has adopted as his hangout.

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  • Posted June 9, 2013

    an excellent read. filled with surprises and an interesting life

    I have only read a couple of memoirs. This is one that captured my interest and held it for the entire time. It is not a long read. The author carries you along on a life memory that is for some unfathomable and for others it brings up memories in their own lives of similar events or feelings. It is worth the investment of time and money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    Cloud

    Hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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