Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Last Bar in NYC by Brian Michels

The Last Bar In NYC
by Brian Michels

Publisher: AntiStar (April 24, 2016)
Publication Date: April 24, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Print Length: 248 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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.

 The Last Bar in NYC by Brian Michels

The Last Bar In NYCNew York City, big, bold and alive with people on the move. People who use bars and restaurants to conduct business, meet to unwind, meet to hook up or just prefer the connection with the magical maestro of inebriating libations, the bartender. Part buddy, enabler, matchmaker and an ear to hear your deepest thoughts who never judges, but somehow arrives at sage advice with something as slight as a nod.

Follow our narrator as he details his own love affair with bars and bartending that began as a young boy on his daddy’s knee sitting at the local pub and a grimy barstool. That young boy decided right then that this was the life for him, this was his piece of the dream pie, being the larger-than-life guy behind the bar, and he was determined to do whatever it took to make his dream come true as the ringmaster in the circus that is the rare breed of the human race of New York.

Our narrator provides a tale that reads like a legendary journey that heroes are made of! With a wry sense of humor, a twisted journey through the sixties and beyond, through brief forays into self-indulgence, be it with drugs, alcohol or women, a shallow soul replaces the little boy who had a dream. Helping hands along the way bolster our bartender, good looks and charm, as well as a good work ethic, seeing life through his eyes is both enlightening and feels like I have been treated to the inside track of bars, their owners, their patrons and the secrets they hide behind a boozy veil. Get a behind the scenes look at celebrities at their worst, the stuff that makes tabloid fodder if not hidden by the white knight AKA the successful bartender. Who knew how much goes on behind the bar?

Will OUR bartender reach his dream to own his own bar? Is it worth the work it will entail? Can he make it the THE LAST BAR IN NYC that anyone will ever need to find friends, comfort and a good time in? Author Brian Michels is going to entrance you with his fresh and bold style of writing as he tells the ultimate American Dream tale for a young boy who may have taken a the long way around, but finally discovers what he truly needs to make his dream of the perfect life into a REAL life that is flawed, filled with warts but much more satisfying.

I cannot recommend THE LAST BAR IN NYC enough for entertaining reading that bravely dissects both the narrator and his quest over a period of decades! Often humorous, certainly believable and even brutal at times, I WILL re-read this, because I know I missed some nuance in the words of this talented author!]

I’m not saying Brain Michels will bring world peace with his words, but he sure brings real entertainment to the world of reading and isn’t that why we read?

I received this copy from Brian Michels in exchange for my honest review.

My Rating: 4.5 Stars

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