Moehringer writes with a survivor's wisdom . . . The Tender Bar is a memoir, but has the texture of a novel.
The best memoirist of his kind since Mary Karr wrote The Liars' Club . . . hilarious stumblebum wisdom and a born raconteur's ease. Highly entertaining . . . constructed as skilfully as a drink mixed by the author's Uncle Charlie.
Moehringer's depictions of the bar and the culture that thrives there are always vivid, and his affection for his subjects is tangible . . . an engaging delight.
In his gimlet-eyed memoir, The Tender Bar, J. R. Moehringer lovingly and affectionately toasts a boyhood spent on a barstool.
The genuine tension in the story lies in the distance between who young J. R. Moehringer was and who he wanted to be. As the distance shrinks, you'll want to cheer. But the cheer will die in your throat after you realize that once the gap has narrowed all the way, the story will be over. The only thing wrong with this terrific debut is that there has to be a closing time.
The Tender Bar is a beautiful, gravelly love letter to [an] amorphous father, a melancholy romance between a boy and a corner saloon that's as smoky and heart-crackling as a Sinatra 78.
Tart and uncloying like a good gin fizz, a generous pouring-forth of details and dialogue about social classes and the institutions that prop them up. The Tender Bar is quite simply . . . wunder-bar!
You'd have to go back a ways, maybe all the way to Joseph Mitchell, to find a writer who understands bar life as well as J. R. Moerhinger. The Tender Bar will make you thirsty for that life - its camaraderie, its hilarity, its seductive, dangerous wisdom.
A memoir about coming of age in, of all unlikely places, a great American bar. Blessedly, Moehringer's story is both joyous and triumphant.
Simply a wonderful book about a heaven of a life that had everything going against it except intense love worth more than all the money in the world. Everyone in it is incredibly alive, everyone shines, and every vice is transformed into something glorious. If only whiskey, the heady aroma of which floats from certain pages, gave as much pure happiness as reading this book does.