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The Bartender's Tale | [Ivan Doig]

The Bartender's Tale

The Bartender' s Tale stars Tom Harry and his 12-year-old son, Rusty, who live alone and run a bar in a small Montana town in the early 1960s. Their lives are upended when Proxy, a woman from Tom's past, and her beatnik daughter, Francine, breeze into town. Is Francine, as Proxy claims, the unsuspected legacy of her and Tom’s past? Without a doubt she is an unsettling gust of the future, upending every certainty in Rusty’s life and generating a mist of passion and pretense that seems to obscure everyone’s vision but his own.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Fiction, 2013

Time and again, Ivan Doig has proven himself to be a treasure of American letters. Critical darlings and New York Times best sellers, his novels target the heart of the human experience and never miss the mark.

The Bartender' s Tale stars Tom Harry and his 12-year-old son, Rusty, who live alone and run a bar in a small Montana town in the early 1960s. Their lives are upended when Proxy, a woman from Tom's past, and her beatnik daughter, Francine, breeze into town. Is Francine, as Proxy claims, the unsuspected legacy of her and Tom’s past? Without a doubt she is an unsettling gust of the future, upending every certainty in Rusty’s life and generating a mist of passion and pretense that seems to obscure everyone’s vision but his own.

As Rusty struggles to decipher the oddities of adult behavior and the mysteries build toward a reckoning, Ivan Doig wonderfully captures how the world becomes bigger and the past becomes more complex in the last moments of childhood.

©2012 Ivan Doig (P)2012 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (443 )
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4.4 (391 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jan 03-09-14
    Jan 03-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Original Father/Son Story You Don't Want to Miss!"

    As far as contemporary fiction goes, this one gets 5 Stars. The original storyline introduces us to a single father, whose son is being raised, unhappily, by an aunt. The father makes a decision to bring his son home, and together, they grow up running a bar. A wonderful father and son story that is not ruined by stereotypes or over the top emotion. Characters are rich and unique. Even though the storyline spans a couple of decades, the author presents it as just a "slice of life." Contemporary fiction isn't often my thing, but this book was. David Aaron Baker was absolutely the perfect choice for narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA 03-19-13
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA 03-19-13 Member Since 2003

    ShootingFish

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulous listen. Loved the Story and Characters"

    My father recently passed away and Tom Harry (the bartender) reminded me so much of my dad with his sayings and philosophy — don't do anything stupid. The narrator is terrific. The writing style makes this a very easy listen. Highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Burke, VA, USA 04-07-13
    Tim Burke, VA, USA 04-07-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting, but uninpiring"

    The narration of this book was excellent. The story in this book is unfulfilling. There were some interesting aspects to the story in that you get a sense of life in Montana's rugged country, and some other historical peeks, but the personal story that is interwoven with some fairly interesting characters reads flat to me and I just can't recommend this as a good read/listen. I couldn't stop listening because I was hoping for some vim and vigor which never occurred. I also compared notes with a sibling that read the book at the same time that I listened to it and we were both disappointed.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    School Nurse Cindy WV 03-19-13 Member Since 2015

    I've been listening to audio books for years and have been an audible subscriber for ? 10 years maybe? A long time anyway.

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    "Didn't expect this"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Bartender's Tale to be better than the print version?

    I cannot answer this question as I've only listened to it.


    What other book might you compare The Bartender's Tale to and why?

    Hmmm...name any autobiography. The place and timing are a bit different from most I've read however.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I'm actually not finished yet. That is how strongly I feel about this book. I love the father's gruff but loving words of advise. I love Rusty's description of his favorite room in 'the joint'.


    If you could rename The Bartender's Tale, what would you call it?

    Well, so far, it really isn't the Bartender's tale, but Rusty, the son's tale. But, I don't think I'd change it.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm anxious to share this book with my friend who is a native of Montana. I've read several books that take place in Wyoming, but none in Montana, so I'm enjoying learning a little bit about it's description and a little history.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Parker 07-04-15
    K. Parker 07-04-15
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    "Enjoyable to the end"

    Got lost in the story and enjoyed it to the very end. Will be looking at other books be Ivan Doig.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William United States 04-17-15
    William United States 04-17-15 Member Since 2011

    Bear

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    "This pulls it Together! "

    I just finished, I'm listening again starting the first thing in the morning! GREAT Book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Salem, OR, USA 01-03-15
    Linda Salem, OR, USA 01-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fabulous from a boy's point of view!"

    Thank you Ivan Doig for this remarkable tale. I was captivated from the very beginning at this gruff father and observant son relationship. The stories and how the relationship strengthened really kept me listening! Both characters were very good students of human nature. I highly recommend this to all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PNW 06-10-14
    PNW 06-10-14
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    "Extraordinary"
    Where does The Bartender's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 2--right next to A Prayer for Own Meany.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The grandfather. The character was very well developed and the reader had the privilege of getting to know him slowly. The character had integrity--in the sense that everything he said or did was consistent, and not simply introduced to advance the plot.


    Have you listened to any of David Aaron Baker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I plan to.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh out loud, literally--a little embarrassing because I was listening on the bus.


    Any additional comments?

    My husband read the book and we've spent many evenings discussing the characters, plot, setting. The book is so rich and filled with imagery that I know we'll continue our discussions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joange Rice, VA, United States 05-05-14
    Joange Rice, VA, United States 05-05-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Absolutely Fabulous Story"

    If you're looking for edge of your seat, action packed suspense, this is not the book for you. If you're looking for a beautifully told story, check out this book. The characters hold their own and each adds to the tale of a man and his son during the 50's in Montana. The ending is perfect - you get just enough information to satisfy any questions yet enough leeway to wonder. The reader does an excellent job. Wow! I loved this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenny Hogan 04-10-14
    Kenny Hogan 04-10-14 Member Since 2013

    A musician and songwriter from the Boston area. I like "Regular Guy" books. No chick Lit, no zombies, or vampires please. No politics.

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    "Loved it!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Bartender's Tale the most enjoyable?

    After a string of negative books I found this one - a tale with characters I could care about, root for, and even worry about. Good people in tough situations, rising above the many problems they encounter, this is a tale of fatherhood, a coming of age story, and a lesson in history. It's also a lesson in life. You have to play the hand that you've been dealt.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    You have to play the hand that you've been dealt.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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