Later at the Bar

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Later, at the Bar: A Novel in Stories

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440775574
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/6/2009
  • Format: CD

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Later, at the Bar: Bittersweet, poignant and honest

    Why did I love this book? Well, it could be the structure (connected short stories), or it could be the setting (a small town very much like the one I grew up in). But it's not. It's because I know the people in this book. No, not literally, but I know who in my small town would've marched in the hastily planned Easter Parade, who would've saved a wounded bird from a sneaky cat, and who would've found solace, if just for one night, in a dim, loud, bar full of regulars and possibilities.

    The strength of this collection is the utter humanity of its characters. Barry has the honesty to show their flaws, sometimes crippling flaws, and the generosity to love them anyway. You can't really ask for more from a writer. If I was forced to offer a comparison, I would say Barry is Richard Russo from a different direction. And I love Richard Russo.

    Two of the stories have really stuck with me.

    Lucy's Last Hurrah, though short, brought the bitter cold of upstate New York back to me after almost 30 years of being away. It's not a benevolent cold (crisp, clear, etc), but the kind of cold that will kill you if you aren't prepared. I found myself nodding along as I read, remembering snow drifting across the road in front of my childhood home. If you have ever lived in a place where the weather is a fundamental force, particularly cold weather, this story will resonate.

    Instructions for a Substitute Bus Driver is unique in this collection in that it's told in the first person. Madeline the bus driver offers her substitute some helpful tips for handling situations on the bus as well as devastating descriptions of the home lives of the children who ride the bus, gleaned from years of pickups and drop-offs. I was reminded of the many people who see into our lives without our really noticing, and how astute their observations might be.

    Loved, loved this book.

    Read this book if
    1. You grew up in a small town where people knew your tragedies but respected you enough not to let on.
    2. You've spent enough time in a bar to recognize the hairline difference between disaster and redemption.
    3. You prefer fiction that feels true. Dirty, messy and true.

    Don't read this book if
    1. You don't read things without vampires.
    2. You like tidy (unrealistic) endings.
    3. .no, seriously. The vampire thing.
    4. Your life is messy enough as it is without stories about other people's messed up lives

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 25, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Memorable and Recommended

    Captures the universal experience of local-tavern-fellowship with funny, poignant and quirky particulars. Insightful, humorous, touching, well-written. LATER, AT THE BAR works both as a group of stories and as a loosely woven novel. Memorable and recommended. A seriously good and enjoyable book.

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

    Posted November 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 4 Customer Reviews

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