A Review of “Barflies” by Carol James Marshall

Full disclosure – I was provided a copy of this book by the author; however, I have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.

Barflies is set for a Summer 2019 release

The stories that can be told

Barflies is a new book by author Carol James Marshall and is a bit of a departure from her prior works. Unlike the Women of the Grey trilogy where the action takes place with alien hybrid women or her short story Troublemakers where mischievous Leprechauns wreak havoc on an unsuspecting family, the cast of characters in this offering are real-life persons, places and events that occurred throughout her prior life as a bartender. Although the names have been changed, the author assures us that the situations and persons are very real.

For those who have spent any amount of time in a bar, I would assume that many of these personalities could be described as typical stereotypes and to an extent that is true. But, within the pages of Barflies the patrons’ situations and stories are relayed with nothing but the highest level of respect and dignity. Marshall’s compilation of her observations has taken the typical characterization that can sometimes be viewed by some with a tinge of judgment and instilled a human element. For me, this is the most refreshing aspect as it tells the stories while also adding depth and humanity to a portion of society that is practically hidden.  The stories relayed range from sweet, wild, fun and tragic with all points in between. Set in two parts and two vastly different locales, patrons and societal types Marshall in her memoir has also managed to illustrate one important point – While we may be vastly different, deep down we are all the same.

Although it is not a long book, Barflies is packed full of poignant stories that will have you smiling, rolling with laughter and wiping away a tear all within the span of a few pages. If you have ever wondered about what goes through the mind of a bartender or even if you haven’t, this book can be a real eye-opener. On the other side of that, if you are looking to reminisce about your wilder days as a barfly you may find the pages of this book feel like going back to the old club for a visit.

 

 

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