Kym's Reviews > The Dakota Winters

The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash
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really liked it

It seems like this novel shouldn’t really work. First, it’s a modern historical fiction coming-of-age tale that reads very much like a memoir. Second, it’s set in the (fairly) recent past – a time that many readers will remember clearly. And, last, there’s a lot of name-dropping. (And I really hate name-dropping.)

But, y’know . . . it WORKS!

Tom Barbash weaves the lives of “real people” (John Lennon, Joan Kennedy, and Johnny Carson, to name a few) with his fictional characters so skillfully that the name-dropping doesn’t seem like name-dropping at all. It just comes off as a particular and extremely famous circle of friends who all just . . . happen to know each other. And for me, (a reader just a couple of years younger in 1980 than the 23-year-old narrator), it was a nostalgic treat to recognize all the news/events/TV shows/musicians that serve as the backdrop to this story set in 1979-1980.

Barbash is a true master with dialogue. His characters talk to each other all the time, and their conversations are full of wit, wry humor, and spot-on analyses of human nature. It was a pleasure to “listen in” on their discussions.

Bottom line, this book provides an inside-view of what life might be like for a small group of extremely famous people struggling with the peaks and valleys of their own fame and ambition.

Highly recommended – especially if you like killer-dialogue and might enjoy a bit of 1980-nostalgia.

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Reading Progress

February 8, 2019 – Shelved
February 8, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
March 11, 2019 – Started Reading
March 16, 2019 – Finished Reading

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