The Bartender's Tale

By Ivan Doig
(Thorndike Press, Hardcover, Large Print, 9781410454591, 629pp.)

Publication Date: January 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the 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 are rocked by a time of change. The pair make an odd kind of family, with the bar their true home, but they manage just fine until the summer of 1960 when two new women enter their lives.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Theatre plays a great part in this story, with Rusty and Zoe initiated into the mysteries of the stage via the amateur actress Mrs. Reinking and their own forays into comic “bits.” What are the two adolescents learning about character and contrivance? How does the theme of performance and pretense underscore the dramas of the novel's “real” dramatis personae – especially Tom, Proxy, and Francine?

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