Thursday, September 04, 2008

Book 58 of 52 -- J.R. Moehringer's The Tender Bar

I really enjoyed this memoir by J.R. Moehringer, Pulitzer-Prize winning writer for the Los Angeles Times.

Moehringer grew up in Manhasset, New York. He was raised without his disc jockey father, who abandoned the family when Moehringer was just a baby.

The father is often referred to as the Voice, and Moehringer would spend countless hours trying to locate his dad on the radio.

They did get together a handful of times, but each of those occasions ended in disappointment for Moehringer, who felt himself torn between idolizing the older man, and hating him for abusing his mother.

The memoir details the close relationship between Moehringer and his mother, and she comes across as someone strong and loving.

Moehringer goes on to talk about the neighborhood bar, originally called "Dickens", which becomes such a major part of his life. It is where he most feels the company of men, and where he comes to find his self-esteem.

Of course, over time, Moehringer begins to understand that the bar has become a crutch, and even worse, not a place of redemption but a place that is holding him back from success.

I strongly recommend this book. It is utterly charming, poignant, and very very funny.

No comments: