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The Dakota winters : a novel
2018
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  Publishers 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.
Summary
<p>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</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p>
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