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The Barkeep | [William Lashner]

The Barkeep

Justin Chase is the perfect barkeep, tending bar as he lives his life, in a state of Zen serenity, until Birdie Grackle, a foul-mouthed alcoholic, walks into his bar and makes a startling confession. Six years ago Justin’s life was ripped apart when he discovered his mother’s bludgeoned corpse. Now Justin’s father is serving a life sentence and Justin drowns his emotions in a pool of inner peace. But when Birdie claims he murdered Justin’s mother for cash, Justin is hurled back to the emotions, back to the past, and, most frightening of all, back to the father he tried to leave behind.
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Publisher's Summary

Justin Chase is the perfect barkeep, tending bar as he lives his life, in a state of Zen serenity, until Birdie Grackle, a foul-mouthed alcoholic, walks into his bar and makes a startling confession.

Six years ago Justin’s life was ripped apart when he discovered his mother’s bludgeoned corpse. Now Justin’s father is serving a life sentence and Justin drowns his emotions in a pool of inner peace. But when Birdie claims he murdered Justin’s mother for cash, Justin is hurled back to the emotions, back to the past, and, most frightening of all, back to the father he tried to leave behind. Who hired Birdie Grackle to kill Justin's mother? As Justin pieces together the truth, a killing machine stalks Justin, leaving a trail of dead in his wake. Someone wants to bury the truth, and maybe Justin, too. Justin had better find some answers quick, because murder is just not Zen.

©2013 William Lashner (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (282 )
5 star
 (75)
4 star
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3 star
 (57)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (249 )
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Story
4.1 (248 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 10-01-14
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 10-01-14 Member Since 2015

    How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Pour me another!"

    This is my second Lashner novel, The Accounting being the first one. Despite the mediocre ratings from other readers, I hoped the depth of character I discovered in the hero of the Accounting would also be found in the Barkeep's heroes. I was not disappointed.

    This novel is so much more than a great mystery. It's about redemption, new beginnings and facing the demons that chase us all. The heroes are everyday people who are placed in extraordinary situations.

    Luke Daniels did great with most of the characters, but there were a few whose character along with the voice he gave them grated on my nerves. Nevertheless it was very close to a 4 star effort

    This was a really fun book to read. It's very close to 5 star experience.

    32 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-06-14

    Mac

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    "The Barkeep"

    Entertaining. Good not great.... As a former bartender, I appreciated the many references to the world "behind the board".

    16 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathrin Greenville SC 02-01-15
    Kathrin Greenville SC 02-01-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Narrator made the Story"

    The book started out slow. I was pretty lost the first couple of chapters and then the story started clicking.

    I thought that the plot was really good and had just enough twist and turns. The fact that every character besides the barkeep is a complete drunk was a little distracting. Sometimes the dialogs didn't feel like they push the plot forward, just made the plot linger. Also the end was a little weird and I didn't care for it that much.

    Overall, this book was a nice surprise. The narrator of the Audible made the story come to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Als185 01-14-15
    Als185 01-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Enjoyed it!"

    Kept my attention and I found myself looking forward to listening. Enjoyed the twists. Worth the listen. Will look for more titles by this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 01-05-15
    Gary Las Cruces, NM, United States 01-05-15 Member Since 2015

    Letting the rest of the world go by

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    "The Tao of Bartending and murder solving"

    The mystery is given to the listener in the first few minutes of the story. A crazy sounding old man approaches the barkeep and tells him he killed his mother and his father is falsely imprisoned. The charm for the story lies elsewhere. The barkeep uses one book as his guide book, "The Tibetan Book of the Dead" and embraces the Tao of that book giving him a Zen like detachment from the rest of the world. The barkeep also keeps the code of the bartender and knows how to separate himself from patrons of the bar.

    There's a lot to like with this story: the dialog between characters was full of witty repartee, the code that any barkeep (or for that matter, any person) needs to keep ones distance from others, the process of discovery one learns about oneself while focusing outside of oneself , finding the actual murderer of the barkeeps mother, and the problem with detachment all add to a very fun story to listen to in spite of the serious nature of the crimes under investigation.

    I enjoyed the narrator. He gave voices to most of the characters, exaggerated voices and emotions, and really let the theater of my mind go to town. The author and the narrator made for a good diversion and helped me detach further from the world much in the same way that the barkeep was in the beginning of the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quilter Pine Island, MN, United States 03-07-14
    Quilter Pine Island, MN, United States 03-07-14 Member Since 2013
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    "wasn't an i can't wait to get back to it"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I didn't feel there was 12 hours of story to the book. Lots of twists and turns, but I wish a few of the loose ends had been tied up.


    Would you recommend The Barkeep to your friends? Why or why not?

    No. It just want as thrilling as many of the other books I've read/listened to.


    Did Luke Daniels do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, he did different voices and was consistent with them. I've listened to others that are better.


    Was The Barkeep worth the listening time?

    For me, not really.


    18 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Sevener Springfield, IL United States 07-27-15
    D. Sevener Springfield, IL United States 07-27-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Horrible"

    The writing was terrible; the narration worse. Never before heard a narrator stereotype characters with tone of voice. Speaking of characters, they were all cardboard cutouts-- not a single one had any depth or credibility. The silver lining -- I now know never to read or listen to another Lashner book or to any book narrated by Daniels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady S. United States 07-25-15
    Lady S. United States 07-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Strangely entertaining"

    The premise of the story was good, there were lots of twists and ah ha moments. But the narration was off at times I couldn't tell when another charade was speaking because they all sounded the same and there was a bit too much mindless rambling. With all that being said it was a pretty good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda United States 07-17-15
    Linda United States 07-17-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Good every thing."
    What made the experience of listening to The Barkeep the most enjoyable?

    Luke Daniels.


    What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He can bring the characters to life. He has quite a range of voices to offer. He is my favorite narrator next to Ray Porter.


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Applen 05-12-15
    T. Applen 05-12-15 Member Since 2011

    Tudor

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    "Best Voice Artist ever"

    This reader is likely the best I've heard. I feel that the reader is somewhere around 25-50% of the experience that is an audiobook. (In the case of fiction, the voice artist is closer to 50% of the impact, in my opinion.) This is one of the few readers (actor, actually) that I'll search the library for - starting with the voice artist rather than the subject or author as the primary interest. In other words "what else has he done?" I need to know!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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