The Bartender's Tale (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Can you imagine what you would have learned about adults if you could
have grown up listening to patrons in your father's bar through a vent
in the back wall?  When Tom Harry finds out that his son, Rusty, has
been living with his ex-wife's sister and her bothersome children, he
has a dilemma.  Should he attempt to raise his son alone while he tends
and runs his bar, The Medicine Lodge, or leave him in the care of his
ex-sister in law?  He makes the decision to bring his son to live with
him, and it's the best thing that ever happened to either of them. 
Father and son reunite and get to know one another through a series of
awkward fishing tournaments and miscommunications that all serve to make
their bond stronger.  This is yet another Ivan Doig novel that manages
to be brilliant, entertaining and heart-warming without any of the flash
and splash of many of today's current novelists.  I adore Ivan Doig's
writing, his characters, and the simple way that he conveys the flawed
beauty of the human experience.

— Jessilynn

September 2012 Indie Next List

“Always one of the West's best storytellers, Doig has achieved here the perfect fictional mix: winning, believable characters; an intricate, timely, and surprising plot; and a Montana setting that pivots between the early days of JFK in the 1960s and the 1930s of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I frequently fall in love with books, but The Bartender's Tale is no mere infatuation!the love I feel for it will last a lifetime.”
— Betsy Burton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT


From a great American storyteller, a one-of-a-kind father and his precocious son, rocked by a time of change.

Tom Harry has a streak of frost in his black pompadour and a venerable bar called The MedicineLodge, the chief watering hole and last refuge of thetown of Gros Ventre, in northern Montana. Tom alsohas a son named Rusty, an accident between thesheets whose mother deserted them both years ago.The pair make an odd kind of family, with the bartheir true home, but they manage just fine.

Until the summer of 1960, that is, when Rusty turns twelve. Change arrives with gale force, in theperson of Proxy, a taxi dancer Tom knew back when, and her beatnik daughter, Francine. Is Francine, asProxy claims, the unsuspected legacy of her andTom's past? Without a doubt she is an unsettlinggust of the future, upending every certainty inRusty's life and generating a mist of passion andpretense that seems to obscure everyone's visionbut his own. As Rusty struggles to decipher theoddities of adult behavior and the mysteries buildtoward a reckoning, Ivan Doig wonderfully captureshow the world becomes bigger and the past becomes more complex in the last moments of childhood.

About the Author

A third-generation Montanan, Ivan Doig is the authorof thirteen previous books, including the Indieboundbestseller "Work Song" and theclassic memoir "This House ofSky." He has been a National Book Award finalistand has received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. He lives in Seattle."
Product Details
ISBN: 9781594487354
ISBN-10: 1594487359
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: August 21st, 2012
Pages: 387
Language: English

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