We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Tender Bar Audiobook

The Tender Bar: A Memoir

Regular Price:$14.17
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

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 plumy 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. Cops, bookies, soldiers, and stumblebums, all sorts of men gathered in the bar to tell their stories and forget their cares. 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 soft-hearted 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 fatherhood-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.

©2005 J.R. Moehringer; (P)2005 Hyperion

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Winner, Narration by the Author
  • 2005 Audie Award Nominee, Biography/Memoir

"Funny, honest, and insightful." (Booklist)
"[Moehringer's] the best memoirist of his kind since Mary Karr wrote The Liars' Club." (The New York Times)
"In his gimlet-eyed memoir, The Tender Bar, J.R. Moehringer lovingly and affectingly toasts a boyhood spent on a barstool." (Vanity Fair)
"The Tender Bar will make you thirsty for that life: its camaraderie, its hilarity, its seductive, dangerous wisdom." (Richard Russo)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (413 )
5 star
 (163)
4 star
 (153)
3 star
 (69)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.2 (169 )
5 star
 (81)
4 star
 (58)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.3 (170 )
5 star
 (86)
4 star
 (53)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jim E San Jose, CA, USA 09-15-05
    Jim E San Jose, CA, USA 09-15-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Good Deal and a Good Deal More"

    "The Tender Bar" is that most elusive item today, a wonderful tale lovingly told. For any guy who has been lost and found this story connects on levels seldom touched today. Alternately plaintive and hard-boiled the story never slows or lessens its grip on us. It is real writing by a real writer. JR as the narrator only makes the listening that much richer carrying the words lovingly on his tongue. This is a 'must have.'

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Saint Augustine, FL, United States 11-04-05
    Sandra Saint Augustine, FL, United States 11-04-05 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "This was outstanding, a treasure."

    My only complaint was that it was abridged. One has to wonder about what was omitted. I will probably read the unabridged book, having enjoyed this listen very much.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Compton 03-01-06
    A. Compton 03-01-06 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    131
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "LOVED IT!"

    This is an incredible story of stuggle and perseverance; from a life of poverty, questionable family members and a bar room full of men to call friends, to incredible success. But it wasn't in spite of those hurdles that he succeeded, it seems that it bas because of them. He writes honestly and with emotion of his failures as well as his achievements. There are plenty of lessons you could take away from this book to be sure, but also, its just a really wonderful, sad, funny, entertaining story about a boy coming of age. Definitely I would recommend.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 11-23-08
    Pamela 11-23-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    33
    Overall
    "The Tender Bar"

    A wonderfully insightful book about one boy's navigation towards adulthood! Listened while driving and the normally exhausting 6 hours passed very pleasantly!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Finnessy 04-18-13

    Nana

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I loved this book."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Tender Bar to be better than the print version?

    Not necessarily


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was so real and true. I loved the characters.


    What does J.R. Moehringer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It was as if he was actually telling me his story while I was driving to work each day.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I looked forward to hearing it on my 40 minute drive to work


    Any additional comments?

    I am looking forward to reading Sutton.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Norfolk, VA, USA 04-15-10
    Thomas Norfolk, VA, USA 04-15-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Like having a beer with an old friend"

    This book was just a joy to listen to. We listened while we were painting our house, and it was like listening to a friend tell us a story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Branford, CT, USA 11-28-05
    Kathleen Branford, CT, USA 11-28-05 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "beautifully crafted."

    JR has clearly finally "gotten in". This is a beautiful piece that manages to show-case his tremendous skill at crafting a story (albeit true) while sounding like he is just speaking with you (probably helps that he is reading it). In league with "the kite runner", this memoir reaches out and touches your heart without leaving the feeling that you have been forced into an experience like a puppet! I was truly impressed by the author's ability to present very complex characters without conveying any animosity. I truly enjoyed this book!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Pelto United States 06-22-16
    L. Pelto United States 06-22-16 Member Since 2014

    BookGobbler140

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Warm, beautiful story of becoming a man"

    I am very rigid about books I read for pleasure. I believe life is too short to reread a book. Until this. I read it three years ago and loved it. When I saw that the author read it himself, I had to hear him say his words aloud. It was even better than the print version. After finishing, I let it linger in my ears like a fine Merlot on the tongue, I sampled some other books, including Moehringer's Sutton for my next listen. Then I opened up the library and decided to listen again right away. Stunning writing, and his reading lets you peer even deeper. If I could give it 10 stars, I would.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 04-03-16
    Anna 04-03-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Why abridged?"

    The book is good, the abridged version is not. The story has the potential for so many characters and their stories are truncated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fan of ion rollers 03-06-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great storyline! enjoyed the little details."

    Loved the storyline and little details that come to life. it shows how somebody that longed for a father figure found it in so many different and unlikely candidates. personal struggles and self doubts are revealed throughout this book that many of us can identify with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.