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
AVID reader; very critical. My reviews don't repeat the book's description, but are why I enjoyed the book and why I think you will.
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.
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.
A prehistoric musician and songwriter from the Boston area. I like "Regular Guy" books. Historical Fiction, Adventure, Detective Noir, etc.
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.
You have to play the hand that you've been dealt.
I would recommend this book (audible and written) to any of my friends who are serious readers.
Delano and Zoe.
Delano. He makes a lovely story, really exceptional. He made this story so much richer than it could possibly have been otherwise. I would have been really upset if he'd died in the flood. Zoe is a totally cool kid, who set the stage for Delano.
I'm not sure, but this is not a bartender's tale.
I would recommend this book (audible and written) to any of my friends who are serious readers---not those who want an easy, run-of-the-mill, best seller novel (which can have
their place in the world of entertainment!) I have been a fan of Ivan Doig for many years, but this book is his best example of story telling, and his best example of his ability to turn a phrase, use a word to describe a momentary happening, to use lingua Americana as a part of the story telling, but also as a part of one of the most significant parts of this book. Kudos, Doig! I really want you to top this!
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.
The return to the Two Medicine Country, and the intermingling of well liked characters from some older books with new characters, just as interesting and likable.
Tom, the bartender, doing the best he knew how to raise a son in uncertain times, and instill a sense of right in the boy--His reactions when confronted with a daughter he didn't know about show his innate sense of right and wrong, To say more now would be a spoiler.
Have not yet, but will definitely put him on my list of preferred narrators.
Montana Dan--I knew a number of older men like him when I was much younger, and Doigs characterization of the old semi hermit sheepherder is spot on..
This is an excellent coming of age story with some of life's hard knocks. Well written, excellent stortline and very well performed.
I'm addicted to Audible. A new grandma I am responsible for my grandsons library, which reignited my interest in books.
It was an okay read a distraction that didn't need great attention but not a recommend.
There is nothing more entertaining than to listen to a book while doing chores. Always have one going.
Starts out slow and gets slower. At first you want to know a little about the characters, but eventually you don't care about them. I just expected something to happen - and it never did. Glad to have finished this book, but won't get another by this author.
Listen to the sample of the narration. If you can listen to that for the length of the book, maybe the book will be enjoyable for you.
Say something about yourself!
Ivan Doig never fails to satisfy with excellent writing, a good tale while weaving together life in a small Montana and a backstory about the depression and the building of the Fort Peck dam. It's a fine and satisfying story.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content