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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 (444 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Denise Woodinville, WA, USA 04-05-14
    Denise Woodinville, WA, USA 04-05-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
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    "Ivan Doig has out-done himself."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book (audible and written) to any of my friends who are serious readers.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Delano and Zoe.


    Which character – as performed by David Aaron Baker – was your favorite?

    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.


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

    I'm not sure, but this is not a bartender's tale.


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed 03-02-14
    Ed 03-02-14 Member Since 2010
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    8
    6
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    "Ivan Doig writes another winner"
    What did you love best about The Bartender's Tale?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

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

    Have not yet, but will definitely put him on my list of preferred narrators.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Bartender's Tale and why?

    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..


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 02-26-14
    Donna 02-26-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Coming of age"
    What made the experience of listening to The Bartender's Tale the most enjoyable?

    This is an excellent coming of age story with some of life's hard knocks. Well written, excellent stortline and very well performed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Oneal California 02-20-14
    C. Oneal California 02-20-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm addicted to Audible. A new grandma I am responsible for my grandsons library, which reignited my interest in books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but not great"

    It was an okay read a distraction that didn't need great attention but not a recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Hot Springs Village, AR, United States 09-21-13
    Nancy Hot Springs Village, AR, United States 09-21-13

    There is nothing more entertaining than to listen to a book while doing chores. Always have one going.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Endless Tale"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas LONGBOAT KEY, FL, United States 06-19-13
    Thomas LONGBOAT KEY, FL, United States 06-19-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Wonderful story and characters."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Highly recommend to anyone over 12. Wonderful story depicts a man of integrity raising a son to have decency. I had a hard time interrupting the story for other things. Narrator was one of the best I have ever listened to. Can't wait to get to other Doig books.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rusty (the son) who had a keen awareness of everything around him.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Rusty meeting Cloe.


    If you could take any character from The Bartender's Tale out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Tom the bartender just to pick his brain for stories.


    Any additional comments?

    Truly my favorite among many good ones over the past two years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve 05-05-13
    Steve 05-05-13
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    "Pure enjoyment!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Bartender's Tale the most enjoyable?

    I'm going to Montana in a few weeks. After listening to this great story, I'll have a greater appreciation for northern Montana, with lots of smiles remembering the slag of times gone by. David Aaron Baker did a great job narrating this novel.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Mill Valley, CA, United States 03-23-13
    Diane Mill Valley, CA, United States 03-23-13 Member Since 2010
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    16
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    "What a gem!"
    Any additional comments?

    Characters you won't likely forget. Language that stays with you and you wish you could replicate. Ivan Doig is a wonder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    leighda 03-13-13
    leighda 03-13-13 Member Since 2011

    Audible is the best thing since sliced bread..

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    "I enjoyed this story a lot."

    A very touching story about a boy and his father. Set in the 50's and early 60's in Montana . The story captured me quickly and I could not stop listening.
    The performance is great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Kihei, HI, United States 04-11-13
    Connie Kihei, HI, United States 04-11-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Adverb assault!"
    What would have made The Bartender's Tale better?

    A better editor - cut adverbs!


    What was most disappointing about Ivan Doig’s story?

    I wanted to know more about why Dad was the best bartender in the world and what's up with Russell's maternal side...if I could continue, maybe I'd find out. But, I am so adverbally assaulted by this book, I cannot bear another minute of tortuously listening.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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