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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 (399 )
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  •  
    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 Member Since 2007

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

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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
  •  
    Barbara Davis 09-15-13
    Barbara Davis 09-15-13 Member Since 2001

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Single father raising is son in eastern Montana"

    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.

    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 2005
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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..

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
  •  
    Tim United States 06-14-13
    Tim United States 06-14-13 Member Since 2010

    My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.

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    "PG-12"

    The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig is not for everyone beyond a certain age. If I had a son or daughter that wanted to read something for the summer before they start sixth grade in the fall, I would let them read this one just because it is so innocent. Other than that, I wouldn't touch this book with a 10 foot pole because I already passed 6th grade long time ago. The story reminds me something from the Hardy Boys' series. It's very simple and age appropriate for tween demographic.

    I was seeking for a different read from Audible. I should had known better when most of the reviewers still has their wisdom teeth when they wrote their awesome reviews.

    I will avoid this author in the future for sure just because I'm too old at reading these kinds of stuff and I'm still having a hard time at understanding the title. There is no stories from the bartender at all.

    It's PG-12 at best, about a 12 year old coming to age and his adventures involving his dad that runs a bar, his "friend" who is a girl and a much older sister from another mother. The story is very much like My Girl with Macaulay Culkin.

    Just innocent.

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
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