The Bartender's Tale

Front Cover
Thorndike Press, 2013 - Fiction - 629 pages
35 Reviews

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 Medicine Lodge, the chief watering hole and last refuge of the town of Gros Ventre, in northern Montana. Tom also has a son named Rusty, an "accident between the sheets" whose mother deserted them both years ago.The pair make an odd kind of family, with the bar their true home, but they manage just fine.
Until the summer of 1960, that is, when Rusty turns twelve. Change arrives with gale force, in the person of Proxy, a taxi dancer Tom knew back when, and her beatnik daughter, Francine. 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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
20
4 stars
12
3 stars
3
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

From the book jacket: Tom Harry has a venerable bar called the Medicine Lodge, the chief watering hole and last refuge of the town of Gros Ventre, in northern Montana. Tom also has a son named Rusty ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nmele - LibraryThing

As always written in a plain but somehow lyrical voice, "The Bartender's Tale" contains echoes of Wallace Stegner and Mark Twain, especially "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer". Good company for any novelist. Read full review

All 2 reviews »

Other editions - View all

About the author (2013)

A third-generation Montanan, Ivan Doig is the author of thirteen previous books, including the Indiebound bestseller "Work Song" and the classic memoir "This House of Sky." He has been a National Book Award finalist and has received the Wallace Stegner Award, among many other honors. He lives in Seattle.

Bibliographic information