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Jon Blankenship

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  • The Tender Bar

  • A Memoir
  • By: J.R. Moehringer
  • Narrated by: J.R. Moehringer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 486
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 233

Torn between the stirring example of his mother and the lurid romance of the bar, J.R. tried to forge a self somewhere in the center. But when it was time for J.R. to leave home, the bar became an increasingly seductive sanctuary, a place to return and regroup during his picaresque journeys. Time and again, the bar offered shelter from failure, rejection, heartbreak, and eventually from reality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Good Deal and a Good Deal More

  • By Jim E on 09-15-05

This memoir is filled with head and heart

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-09-18

What made the experience of listening to The Tender Bar the most enjoyable?

Hearing the author of a book narrate his own memoir, I think, always adds to the experience. Who does a better job of telling your story than, you? Moehringer is a writer by trade but he could also have a career as a reader of audiobooks if he so chose. His natural voice talent -he got it honest from his father- lends an empathy to the story that an outside narrator may not be able to provide. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to him.

What other book might you compare The Tender Bar to and why?

Hillbilly Elegy, Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run; For whatever unknown reason, I'm drawn to books and characters in which the protagonist has had a strained or unhappy relationship with males in his life and has a mother who has had to overcome the men in her life more than she has had the men be partners. The above books feature both as does The Tender Bar. Moehringer's is one of those stories. I can relate to so many anecdotes in so many books that it feels like I could share a beer with any of the authors that have written on the subject. Dickens/Publicans/Edisons would be a great place to have one of these conversations. What a gathering that would be.

What about J.R. Moehringer’s performance did you like?

He has a naturally smooth and flowing delivery to go along with the richness of his voice. Moehringer is a natural.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There are many. When he talks about Sidney, you can hear in his voice and that maybe he still misses her. If not her, then maybe he misses like most of us that feeling of euphoria on a first date or a first kiss. Whether he misses Sidney now at 53 or doesn't, hearing the hurt in his voice makes the reader remember how badly those moments hurt when you're young and without the years of hindsight that help you get through these events later in life. Whether he's describing Sidney's looks or her charm, he describes her beautifully. Out of these moments, maybe the most memorable moment for me is when he talks about working in the cafe and that maybe right at that moment he's the happiest he'll ever be in life. Right after that realization, Sidney hits the window with a snowball and he realizes that she's just made him even happier. That's just a poignant moment that he talks about but also memorable that he had the foresight to note to himself that that's as happy as he's ever been or may ever be. That thought has stuck with me since reading the book. Not as an afterthought, but the way Moehringer describes that bar makes me miss some of the bars I'd patronize in my youth. The old wood, smell of cigarette smoke and beer, those feel like home to me and make me smile to this day. Moehringer describes those sights and smells here the way I wish I could describe to my friends when I talk about missing the smoky haze in today's nonsmoking establishments.

Any additional comments?

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who has some of the thoughts about moms and men that I mention above. I first noticed the book years ago due to the striking cover art on the shelf in a bookstore. I didn't buy it but have often thought of it and searched for it here and I'm glad that I did. This is also going to be a good read for someone who misses home, relationships of youth and folks who just like a good memoir. There's something here for everyone.

  • All-American Murder

  • The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the Superstar Whose Life Ended on Murderers' Row
  • By: James Patterson, Alex Abramovich
  • Narrated by: Peter Coleman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 692
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 606
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 609

He was a college All-American who became the youngest player in the NFL and later a Super Bowl veteran. He was a star tight end on the league-dominant New England Patriots, who extended his contract for a record $40 million. Aaron Hernandez's every move as a professional athlete played out in the headlines, yet he led a secret life-one that ended in a maximum security prison. What drove him to go so wrong, so fast?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Sadly, I had to stop listening...

  • By T. Migliaccio on 01-25-18

Not sure about the goal

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-02-18

This is probably a good read for people who don’t know anything about Hernandez’s story. If you followed along while it was happening, there’s nothing new or unveiled.