PDA

View Full Version : The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer



TrainofThought
06-02-2007, 07:31 PM
I recommend to anyone wanting a memoir.

J.R. Moehringer wrote this memoir about his search to be a good man, his struggles with school and writing only to realize that the solid strength in his life was his mother. His writing is straightforward and I was able to relate to several topics in his book. It’s in two parts; the first part is about his childhood with his mother and the second in trying to graduate from Yale, to write, and understanding the lessons he learned from the many men he turned to at Dickens/Publicans for knowledge, strength and comfort. This isn’t how the book ends, but I’m not going to spoil it for anyone.

I cried from his touching admiration he had for his mother and how he distanced himself from her. His book is a learning experience from an only child’s POV whose father left him to search for traits in others on how to be a good man so he can take care of his mom. In the end, he learned that his mother possessed the strength he desperately needed in life. The second wonderful thing he did for his mother was dedicate this book to her.

Buy and read this memoir. :D

Mud Dauber
06-03-2007, 08:52 PM
I loved this book! JR Moehringer's candor about his life struggles growing up without a father and his humorous tidbits about his love for words made me devour it in two days. I related to so many of the things he described: the whispery reverence whenever someone took out the dictionary, his list of words that sounded smart when he was applying to college (and then his mom's reaction, LOL)... I read it last spring so I'm a bit foggy on the details, but I know I laughed and cried and didn't want it to end. I also remember cracking up for days whenever I'd think of the Mr. Salty (I think that's what he called it) incident.

On a deeper level, yes, he definitely did adore his mom. What a heartfelt tribute this memoir was to her and true testament of how her love and strength helped him become who he is today.

Good review, Train. I second the recommendation.;)

TrainofThought
06-03-2007, 10:44 PM
I’m glad two Chicagoans appreciate J.R. ;) I did love how they took out the dictionary to look up words, or when Uncle Charlie used a big word and asked, Is it all right if I use that word? I appreciated the break down of chapters either introducing or explaining his relationship with someone, or talking about something that bothered him like his name.

The Epilogue really brought everything together offering a good-bye to those who helped mold him.

A few lines really stick out for me because they define the bar and his mother.

“Of course many bars in Manhasset, like bars everywhere, were nasty places, full of pickled people marinating in regret.” He relied on the men at Dickens/Publicans to help him grow into a man, yet they struggled with their own problems and regrets. For years, he thought they were making him a man, but what he was doing was learning from their mistakes.

“When my mother was caught in a lie, she was refreshingly unrepentant. She had a “relationship” with the truth, she explained coolly, and like all relationships it required compromises.” His mother lied to spare him from pain. Life was tiring for her, yet she worked hard and intervened to push him in the right direction. Because of this, SPOILER, I cried when he ordered a Yale ring for his mother instead of for himself stating, “As far as I’m concerned, you graduated from Yale today too. And you should have some proof. Sparkling proof.”

Maybe I enjoyed this memoir so much because its rare you hear a man speak of his mother in an endearing way. Who appreciates her sacrifices and strong-will.

jennifer75
07-25-2007, 08:27 PM
I recommend to anyone wanting a memoir.

J.R. Moehringer wrote this memoir about his search to be a good man, his struggles with school and writing only to realize that the solid strength in his life was his mother. His writing is straightforward and I was able to relate to several topics in his book. Itís in two parts; the first part is about his childhood with his mother and the second in trying to graduate from Yale, to write, and understanding the lessons he learned from the many men he turned to at Dickens/Publicans for knowledge, strength and comfort. This isnít how the book ends, but Iím not going to spoil it for anyone.

I cried from his touching admiration he had for his mother and how he distanced himself from her. His book is a learning experience from an only childís POV whose father left him to search for traits in others on how to be a good man so he can take care of his mom. In the end, he learned that his mother possessed the strength he desperately needed in life. The second wonderful thing he did for his mother was dedicate this book to her.

Buy and read this memoir. :D



I bought this book as part of a 4 for 3 sale at Borders months ago.....along with The Kite Runner (how that relates, I don't know...). Everybody who saw my purchase questioned me, why would I want something that seemed so depressing...I absolutely love Memoirs! I can't wait to read this. Thank you for your thread, it may help me decide which book to read next.

You may want to check out The Only Girl In The Car. It's a good read.

Dantes
01-09-2008, 07:09 PM
Yep. Excellent book. J.R. is an excellent writer. In my nonfiction book I quote an imam telling the Catholic priest that I write about that all greatness in man comes through the mother, yet so few men are willing to accept this gift offered from their mother. It's a touching scene after the priest has buried his mom with all the bells and whistles that respect garners. ... I think J.R. is another who has accepted this gift offered by women/mothers.

Laurie Champion
01-13-2008, 10:21 AM
I have this quote from THE TENDER BAR as the signature on my email. A wonderful novel. If you like it, read THE RISK POOL, Richard Russo. You'll love it. I almost promise.

QUOTE

He leaned sideways to see the book I was reading. "A FAN'S NOTES?" he asked. "What's that about?"
Maybe it was because . . . I'd had one too many of Mapes's potent Bloody Marys, but I couldn't take it anymore. "I hate that question," I said. "I hate when people ask what a book is about. People who read for PLOT, people who suck out the story like the cream filling in an Oreo, should stick to comic strips and soap operas. What's it about? Every book worth a damn is about emotions and love and death and pain. It's about words. It's about a man dealing with life. Okay?"
---J. R. Moeringer, THE TENDER BAR---