Sunday, January 13, 2013

Doig Does it Again!

I just had the pleasure of reading Ivan Doig's latest novel, The Bartender's Tale, set in Montana in 1960.  Told from the perspective of Rusty Harry, a twelve year old boy, the story focuses on Rusty's relationship with his father Tom, the legendary bartender of the town of Gros Ventre.  While focusing in on small town happenings, Doig also infuses the book with interesting history by introducing a character named Delano who works for the Missing Voices project for the Library of Congress, who is tasked with seeking out "lingua americana" which he finds no shortage of once he befriends Tom and learns about his past.  And while Delano learns about Tom's past, so does his son.  In addition, some rather unexpected folks roll into town that affect the father/son duo. 

Doig's books are so pleasant to read - great dialogue, an interesting array of characters, and a glimpse into small town life.  While the plot is not dense with intrigue and riveting scenes, Doig spins a good old-fashioned tale that is winsome and smart.  Doig's book are just plain fun to read, and great stories to boot.  I will definitely be reading more of his novels soon!

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