Drew Nemec may not want to be back home in the suburbs of Flint, Michigan, but that’s where even the best of us wind up when heartbroken and drifting after graduating college.
In the late 90s, a solid economy and relative peace gave twentysomethings the luxury of being underemployed, overeducated underachievers. Bob’s Bar in Downtown Flint is populated with just such a crowd, proto-hipsters who fancy themselves urban pioneers who can save their post-industrialized city with beer and a great jukebox. In the 90s, one could be hopeful even in a place like Flint.
Drew inevitably finds his way to Bob’s, and since he’s not much of an active participant in much of his own life, he finds his way behind the bar as well. At Bob’s, he whiles away weeks and months obsessing over baseball and music and befriending Ray, the wise retired bartender who lives in an apartment over Bob’s. He also gets to know Ralph, one of his co-workers, and becomes the unwitting rival of Charlie, another fellow bartender. He slowly mends his broken heart, even if it’s also by accident.
The Way We Get By
Has a Playlist!
The 'The Way We Get By' playlist is meant to reflect two things; 1) The music that would be available on the jukebox at Bob's Bar between 1998-2001 and 2) Contemporaneous music that characters may have played during a passage in the book (I'm looking at you, "Broken Arrow"). Please enjoy!