The Bartender's Tale

  • by Ivan Doig
  • Narrated by David Aaron Baker
  • 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

If you love a good story ...

this is your book. Ivan Doig has been called "The New Wallace Stegner" for a long time. I love Wallace Stegner, so I take that comparison seriously. There have always been similar threads, but never has the quality of the writing been as close to - or better than Stegner's - than in this book.

Doig has a way of writing about small events and everyday people that makes even an annual fishing event sound interesting. (Perfect example is a "bit" he wrote about looking for ticks. I never would have guessed there was a story in that. There is when it's in Doig's hands and it's funny.) I also think there's an element of autobiography in this one with Rusty, the young narrator.

I love the crisp writing, the use of local jargon - as he calls it "lingua America" - and the bits of history woven in for good measure. I love the 87 ways he can allude to sex without ever getting into the nitty gritty of it. But I especially love his characters - so real you can almost reach out and touch them.

There's a special feeling you get with certain books. The characters come and live at your house while you're listening. Rusty and his dad have been at my house the last few days and I miss them terribly now that they're gone. Very few books measure up to this in terms of pure, good writing. It's such a joy.
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- B.J. "I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear."

I loved being read to!

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The narrator was perfect. I felt like he was personally telling me a story. I have listened to one other book by Ivan Doig and hope to listen to many more. The story was poignant, quirky and made me giggle out loud many times. Such a "feel good" book.
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- Elizabeth "Listen to about four audio books a months. Never without one."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-21-2012
  • Publisher: Recorded Books