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The Dakota Winters: A ...
Tom Barbash
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The Dakota Winters: A Novel

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  77 ratings  ·  22 reviews
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.
ebook, 336 pages
Published December 4th 2018 by Ecco
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Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1979, Anton, the son of a late night talk show host returns from Africa to his family home at the Dakota to recover from Malaria. Prior to his stint in the Peace Corps, his depressed father detonates his career by walking off the set mid-show and travels to parts unknown to find himself. He has returned by the time Anton comes home and the novel focuses on a family revolving around a talented father attempting to make a come-back. John Lennon makes an appearance as do other celebrities of the ...more
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anton Winter has just returned to New York, at the beginning of this novel. He has been in Africa, with the Peace Corps, but a bout of malaria has left him needing to recuperate. Anton’s father, Buddy, is a late night chat show host, who is recovering from a break-down, after walking off the set of his show one night and out of a job. Anton’s mother was an actress and spends much of her time helping Joan Kennedy with Ted Kennedy’s Presidential race. Brother Kip plays tennis and his sister, Rache ...more
Nov 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: dnf
I may need to give up on historical fiction - I think it just isn't for me. The Dakota Winters has a synopsis that caught my attention, but I struggled to maintain focus. It's very slow-paced with a lot of chatting and name-dropping.

I think that this would be a good fit for the right reader. I was expecting drama, and it's lacking in that area. If you're a historical fiction fan, and are particularly interested in New York in the 70s, check this one out.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Please please me, oh yeah.

“There was an unwritten code in the Dakota that you made nothing of people’s celebrity and you treated everyone simply as neighbours, and for the most part we did.”

Not, as you might suppose, a bleak seasonal tale set in the American Midwest but the story of the Winter family living in Manhattan’s fabled Dakota building in the mid-seventies. The Dakota was home to John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1979, the year before Lennon was killed, and the inevitable outcome of this appe
Patty Shlonsky
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
“The Dakota Winters” is a story of historical fame and privilege, told through the eyes of Anton Winter. Anton is the son of Buddy Winter, a famous talk show host who is attempting a comeback after having a breakdown on his own show and simply walking out. The Winter family lives in the famous Dakota, a cooperative apartment building in New York City, where parts of Rosemary’s Baby was filmed.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono lived in the Dakota and they play a significant part in Anton’s story. At the b
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anton Winter is the son of a chat show host who has had a spectacular, and very public, breakdown. He narrates the tale of his father rehabilitation alongside that of the Dakota building's most famous resident, John Lennon. Both men are taking a break from their public personas and are both struggling to find their way back to their place in the limelight.

I enjoyed the story of Buddy the chat show host, as well as the more personal side of John Lennon. Where it fell down for me was when the writ
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1970s
Unexpectedly lovely. This snagged me because of the narrator's voice--it read almost like memoir. For some reason it kept reminding me of Ward Just's An Unfinished Season, even though I read that book ages ago and hardly remember it. It also paired bizarrely well with The Buddha of Suburbia, another bildungsroman from a completely different perspective.
Chris Roberts
Dec 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The whole of verbalized human interaction,
is a redundancy of self-predicated absurdity,
constantly articulated, time-time, again-again.

What 1979?

NYC, 1977, crazier summer blackout,
Son of Sam, graffiti tagged subway trains,
get mugged, repeat, Studio 54, cocaine.

Setting. The whole country hates New York City.

NYC, true to the cankering state that holds it,
is peopled with besotted, semi-beings,
who skulk the filthy streets trench-footed.


Chris Roberts, God Today
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it
A 3.5 rounded up.

I really enjoyed The Dakota Winters. Anton Winters, has returned from working at Peace Corps after contracting Malaria. His famous father, Buddy Winters, is keen to revive his career after walking off the set of his own talk show and suffering from a breakdown. The family are adjusting to life with Buddy off the air while residing in their home in the Dakota - an prestigious apartment block in New York City that also houses John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Desperate to get his career b
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is 1979. New York is changing. Anton Winters returns to New York from a stint with the Peace Corps. He has nearly died from Malaria. His dad, talk show host and raconteur Buddy Winters, is recovering from a nervous breakdown. Anton has long been his dad's wingman, and Buddy needs his help to get his career back on track. Anton went to the Peace Corps to make his own way. He doesn't really need to trail after his dad for the rest of his life, however charming Buddy is.
The real star of The Dako
Kim McGee
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Dakota in New York City is a magical place and for Anton Winter it is home. After narrowly escaping death from a stint in Africa with the Peace Corp Anton returns to his childhood home and the crazy goings-on of his family and other inhabitants of the Dakota.
Superbly crafted, Tom Barbash weaves in the fictional Buddy Winters and family with anybody and everybody famous in the late 70's and early 80's. Anton is floundering at home but takes on the tough job of reuniting his comedian host dad
I loved being transported back to the New York of the 1970s in this nostalgic, well-written novel. Anton, the 23-year-old narrator and son of a famous late-night talk show host, Buddy Winter, has recently returned from the Peace Corps and is recovering from malaria. As he passes the time with his father, who is in the process of recovering from a nervous breakdown, he contemplates his future and how he can break away from the emotional and professional relationship he shares with his father. The ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I don't usually read books narrated by men. But, like the narrator Anton, I had a father with talent, charm, ambition and a namesake brother who went into his line of business, so I wanted some insight into that dynamic. This was a little light on that: the older sister and John Lennon (the narrator's neighbor and friend at the Dakota) do that work, John especially well. It was clever, filled with anecdotes about famous people of my era and captures NYC at the end of the 70 s really well (though ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara Hall
23 year old Anton Winters lives with his family in the Dakota building in New York City's Upper West Side as 1980 approaches.
As Anton tries to figure out his life's direction, the story of his family and some of the Dakota's illustrious residents (including a former Beatle) are depicted. The urban grittiness of New York is a keenly observed background and the family relationships among the Winters family are portrayed in all their urban sharp humor, failings, loyalty and love.
I highly enjoyed
James Beggarly
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fun trip back to a rougher NYC that is just starting to change to someplace safer and less interesting. It’s amazing that he’s created the family of a fictional talk show host who is going through a midlife crisis. The family is so dynamic that it seems perfectly natural to have helping Ted Kennedy’s presidential campaign as a minor aside. They other beauty of the book is the love shown to the Dakota and it’s most famous resident, John Lennon. Briskly paced and a great read.
Shari Suarez
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A family epic revolving around Anton Winters who has just returned from a stint in the Peace Corps during the 80's. His father was a television host who had a breakdown and is now hoping for a chance to redeem himself. Anton is trying to find himself while also helping his father return to the spotlight. It's a wonderful look into 80's era New York City and the residents of the Dakota including John Lennon. Smart, poignant and funny, it gives off a definite Catcher in the Rye vibe.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I liked the voice of the narrator. I also liked that the narrator was not necessarily the focus of the book. I enjoyed the stories of Buddy Winters, John Lennon, and Ted and Joan Kennedy as told from Anton Winters' point of view. Given the timeline and the location of the story, most readers will already know how the story ends. The ending felt a little disjointed--like the author was ready to finish the story, so he did. Overall, I enjoyed this book tremendously. It really transported me to the ...more
Ruth Moore
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the period, the setting, the feeling of drifting through remarkable experiences with Anton. It was fun getting an insight, however invented, into an off-camera John Lennon. The date of the action tells us from the start where we’re headed, and I do wish Barbash had landed that ending. He doesn’t, quite. But it was a fun ride.
Marilyn Smith
An enjoyable read about a media famous family living in New York's Dakota Hotel. Anton Winter, back from a Peace Corps year in Africa recoups from horrible illness to regroup what his next chapter will be. For Anton at 23, the world can be wide open but returning to his comfortable, privileged family life can also be a gilded cage.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this, though the ending seemed rushed and kind of a cop-out.

Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the ARC.
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Aug 22, 2018
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Nov 16, 2018
Meredith May
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Oct 24, 2018
Elisabeth Campbell
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Nov 27, 2018
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Oct 02, 2018
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Jul 25, 2018
Madigan Naylor
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Jul 26, 2018
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Dec 08, 2018
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Tom Barbash is the author of the award-winning novel The Last Good Chance and the non-fiction book On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11; A Story of Loss and Renewal, which was a New York Times bestseller. His stories and articles have been published in Tin House, McSweeney's, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other publications, and have been performed on National Public R ...more