The Dakota Winters: Book summary and reviews of The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash

The Dakota Winters

by Tom Barbash

The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash X
The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2018
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Punctuated by clever dialogue and crisp social critiques, Barbash's incisive, funny, and poignant portrait of talented people and a city in flux illuminates the risks of celebrity and the struggle to become one's true self." - Booklist

"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." - Publishers Weekly

"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." - Library Journal

"Pleasurably endearing for anybody with a soft spot for pop culture, Annie Hall-era Manhattan, and 20-somethingdom at its most freewheeling." - Kirkus

"Seamlessly mingling historical figures with invented ones, Tom Barbash conjures a gritty, populous, affectionate portrait of 1979 New York City: the site of his subtly captivating paean to filial love." - Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach

"The Dakota Winters is deft, funny, touching, and sharply observed, a marvel of tone, and a skillful evocation of a dark passage in the history of New York City, when all the fearful ironies of the world we live in now first came stalking into view." - Michael Chabon, author of Moonglow

"A crazily charming novel - and a reminder that charm can be a profound literary value. I wanted to begin a new life… with these characters. I wanted to trade worlds with them...A wise and seductive story that feels truer than true, as only the very finest fiction does." - Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air

"Thoughtful and entertaining...A thought-provoking time capsule... If you were a fan of TV's Mad Men - specific to a time and place but universal in its exploration of the themes of identity and human vulnerability - you might very well love this novel as much as I did." - Wally Lamb, author of I Know This Much Is True

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Author Information

Tom Barbash

Tom Barbash grew up in New York and is the author of three books as well as numerous reviews, stories essays, and articles for publications including McSweeney's, Tin House, the Believer, Narrative Magazine, One Story, StoryQuarterly, Zyzzyva, the Missouri Review, Story Magazine, Men's Journal, ESPN the Magazine, BookForum, and the New York Times.

His short story collection Stay Up With Me was nominated for the Folio Prize, and was picked as a Best Book of the Year by the Independent, NPR, Amazon.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, and was a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a New York Times Editor's Choice. British GQ, British Vogue, and British Harper's Bazaar selected it for their summer book clubs.

His novel The Last Good Chance, was awarded The California Book Award, was a Publishers Weekly and Anniston Star Best Book of the Year, and was short listed for the Great Lakes Book Prize and the Saroyan International Prize.

He has held fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The James Michener Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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