Genre – Contemporary Fiction/Biographical Fiction
Pages – 260
Just finished reading “The Last Bar In NYC (A Novel Memoir)” by Brian Michels. I would like to thank Brian for the signed copy of this book. Brian tells the story from the narrator’s point of view. The history and experiences of the unnamed narrator from age 2 to 50. He has a dream of becoming a bartender starting with his first memory of stepping foot into a bar at age 2 in 1964 and his first job helping out at the bar and shining shoes at age 4 to owning a bar in his 40’s and 50’s. Brian tells a very detailed story, not only of the character, but also the locations and time periods spanning the years, from dive bars to high end bars. We meet a lot of very colorful and interesting folks along the way. Brian is quite good at putting the reader in the time period he is writing about at any given time in the book with well thought out and fact based history. It reads like like nonfiction in a fiction format (if that makes any sense). The backstory of the other characters was just as detailed as the main character which added to the enjoyment of this read. I was very much taken in by this book from the first page to the last and was anxious to see what will happen in the upcoming chapters. This was a well written piece of contemporary fiction touching on many different stages of the narrator’s life involving sex, drugs, drinking and the psychology and his interactions with the characters. Quite simply put, it was a stellar read.
Synopsis (author’s description): Thank heaven for New York City bartenders. They satisfy your boozy thirst in a strife filled life and a good one will listen to anything on your mind when no one else will.
Our barman/narrator is one of the good ones. He’s been disposed under chins and elbows and cocktail napkins and ashtrays and spilled drinks for decades in New York City for countless drinkers willing to confess anything to a bar top. From one bar stool to another our barman’s raw and soulful voice delivers a metropolitan story of good times, struggle, regret and salvation – a story put together with well-known real life places, countless celebrity faces and amazing characters only found in New York City.
Maybe you live in New York or simply wondered about living there. Maybe you’ve dreamed of tending a bar or owning a bar or sitting in a bar in New York City. Maybe you’ve always wanted to meet a bartender from the prohibition era who pissed into Al Capone’s beer or a horse-betting Rabbi that can explain the world order or see Mickey Mantle fall down drunk with his face buried in a filthy barroom toilet. Maybe you’re interested in a wine and beer stained, cigarette burned oak top metamorphism that will add some hardened experience to your teetotaler life. Or maybe you just have a tiny sadistic stripe and you’d like to witness what a big city, countless smokes and lots of drugs, liquor, sex, and bearing witness to the eternal under the neon glare of Times Square can do to somebody, to anybody.
From 1966 and his first job in a South Bronx bar at 4 years old opening cans of beer to shining shoes in bars across the Bronx to serving booze in iconic bars and restaurants all over Manhattan our Barman spars with the life force of New York City for fifty years until last call when he’s faced with an unforeseen betrayal and is left almost broke, without a plan and nearly a hollow man. That is until he learns to forgive and luckily realize that life without warning has just begun.