Cover image for The Dakota Winters [large print] / Tom Barbash.
The Dakota Winters [large print] / Tom Barbash.
Large print edition.
Publication Information:
Farmington Hills, Michigan : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, a Cengage Company, 2019.

Physical Description:
455 pages (large print) ; 23 cm


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An evocative and wildly absorbing novel about the Winters, a family living in New York City's famed Dakota apartment building in the year leading up to John Lennon's assassination

It's the fall of 1979 in New York City when twenty-three-year-old Anton Winter, back from the Peace Corps and on the mend from a nasty bout of malaria, returns to his childhood home in the Dakota. Anton's father, the famous late-night host Buddy Winter, is there to greet him, himself recovering from a breakdown. Before long, Anton is swept up in an effort to reignite Buddy's stalled career, a mission that takes him from the gritty streets of New York, to the slopes of the Lake Placid Olympics, to the Hollywood Hills, to the blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and brings him into close quarters with the likes of Johnny Carson, Ted and Joan Kennedy, and a seagoing John Lennon.

But the more Anton finds himself enmeshed in his father's professional and spiritual reinvention, the more he questions his own path, and fissures in the Winter family begin to threaten their close bond. By turns hilarious and poignant, The Dakota Winters is a family saga, a page-turning social novel, and a tale of a critical moment in the history of New York City and the country at large.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Barbash's spirited latest revolves around a family that lives in the Dakota, the Upper West Side apartment building where Rosemary's Baby was set and outside of which John Lennon was assassinated. Here, in 1980, 23-year-old Anton Winter is just back from a stint with the Peace Corps in Africa, where he contracted malaria. While recovering, he works for Teddy Kennedy's presidential campaign (Anton's mother is friends with Teddy's wife); goes sailing with his neighbor, John Lennon; gets a job as a busboy at a restaurant in Central Park; romances an English journalist; and-most importantly-helps his father, Buddy Winter, a famous TV talk show host (think Dick Cavett) who had a nervous breakdown two years ago and walked off his show, attempt a comeback. Barbash (The Last Good Chance) seamlessly mixes real-life celebrities into his fictitious narrative. All the backstage show business details ring true, as do the author's exhaustingly encyclopedic cultural references for 1980. Though the central relationship between Anton and his father barely strikes any sparks, the book is packed with diverting anecdotes and a beguiling cast, making for an immensely entertaining novel. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

New York Review of Books Review

AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE, by JoAnn Chaney. (Flatiron, $27.99.) In this thriller with echoes of "Gone Girl," a hiker whose first wife died in a mysterious fire rushes down from a mountainside claiming that his second wife has fallen from a precipice into the river below. THE PLOTTERS, by Un-Su Kim. Translated by Sora Kim-Russell. (Doubleday, $25.95.) In a slightly akilter version of Seoul, a handsome young assassin is in danger. ZUCKED: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe, by Roger McNamee. (Penguin Press, $28.) The story of Facebook has been told many times before, but McNamee - an early investor in the company - does a superb job of contextualizing its rise within the proper technological history. And this book is not merely the cri de coeur of a forsworn tech optimist zinged by moral conscience. It's also a robust and helpful itemization of the ways Facebook could be brought to heel. ANTISEMITISM: Here and Now, by Deborah E. Lipstadt. (Schocken, $25.95.) Lipstadt seeks to awaken her audience to the nature, persistence and scale of an age-old prejudice that never seems to die, along with the insidious new ways in which it seeks to disguise itself. BREAKING NEWS: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now, by Alan Rusbridger. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $30.) The former editor of the British daily The Guardian recalls coping with the dramatic transformation of the newspaper business and his concerns about the present assault on truth and fact. MERCHANTS OF TRUTH: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts, by Jill Abramson. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) Abramson examines four news organizations, including The New York Times, which she led at one time as executive editor, and combines analysis with gossip to underline her commitment to journalism at a moment when its future has never looked more uncertain. THE DAKOTA WINTERS, by Tom Barbash. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $26.99.) This novel is set at the famous Dakota building in 1979 and 1980, as the young narrator tries to define himself in the shadow of a charismatic father. He has help from one of the building's most famous residents, John Lennon. WHERE REASONS END, by Yiyun Li. (Random House, $25.) Composed after the suicide of Li's teenage son, this devastating novel comprises a dialogue between a mother and her dead child: a stringent meditation on love, loss and the limitations of language. CICADA, written and illustrated by Shaun Tan. (Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic, $19.99; ages 12 and up.) A gray-suited cicada works in an office, underpaid and insulted, until he transforms and flies away in this enigmatic, profound picture book for older readers. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web:

Library Journal Review

In fall 1979, 23-year-old Anton Winter leaves his Peace Corps assignment in Africa to recover from a near-fatal bout of malaria at his family's apartment in the Dakota, also home to John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and a host of other well-connected New Yorkers. Anton's father, Buddy, is on the mend after a spectacular on-air nervous breakdown that deep-sixed his successful nine-year career as a brilliantly funny late-night talk show host. Buddy looks to Anton to help him craft a comeback, relying on Anton's skillful navigation of the entertainment waters even as nervous caution about Buddy's plan dogs network executives and Buddy's wife and other two children. For the next year, Buddy's dependence on Anton intensifies just as his son's restless need to forge his own life is fueled by a near-disastrous sea voyage with Lennon, who is on fire with a renewed creative streak, a fascinating and tragic reminder that his murder is just months away. VERDICT Barbash (The Last Good Chance) has written a beautiful, evocative novel of family devotion, celebrity, downfall, and survival, framed by the political and cultural upheavals of America on the cusp of a new decade. Irresistibly tender. [See Prepub Alert, 6/21/18.]-Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.