The Bartender's Tale

The Bartender's Taleby Ivan Doig

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“Doig has delivered another compelling tale about America, epic as an Old West saga but as fresh and contemporary as the news.” – Seattle Times

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.

About the Author

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.

Product Details

Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (August 21, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594487359
ISBN-13: 978-1594487354
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches