The Dakota Winters

A Novel
Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (162 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's 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 23-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 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 pause-resisting social novel, and a tale of a critical moment in the history of New York City and the country at large.

©2018 Tom Barbash (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Editor's Pick

A great novel for your holiday travels
"If you have been following my monthly selections in 2018 (Of course you are. Kidding...sort of.), you may have noticed that I rarely choose fiction; however, for the last month of the year I wanted something that was going to allow me to just relax and become enveloped in a strong story. Author Tom Barbash and narrator Jim Meskimen delivered. Equal parts period piece, coming-of-age story, and family saga, The Dakota Winters tells the dual stories of Anton and Buddy Winter. Anton is a young man trying to find his way in early '80s New York, and his father, Buddy, is trying to make his way back to the top of the entertainment industry after a very public meltdown. Along the way we are taken to frigid Lake Placid and across the Atlantic Ocean—with none other than the Dakota’s most famous former resident, John Lennon. If you are looking for a listen that is not short on depth or wry humor, look no further."—Kyle S., Audible Editor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    55
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    79
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    19
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    11

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful reading,love John Lennon as a character

Such a delightful creative read i just purchased his other two books. If you lived through the 70s in MY you will get goosebumps.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

An Enjoyable Diversion

The author took me on an enjoyable excursion to the past, some of it factual, some fictional. There were a lot of references and remembrances of those times that sparked my imagination. The story seems to me to suggest that America changed in that time. Being roughly the same age as the protagonist, I remember how America felt to me before and after that time. I agree, but everyone has a point in life where perspective changes, the scales fall away, and we can see the world with better balance. That's what seems to be the vague direction of the story. The author never really gets the story to a point, but I gather my own from it. It's sad too, to hear the imagined character and dialogue from John Lennon as he unknowingly approaches the day he's assassinated. At the end the story left me melancholy, and pessimistic, the same way I felt that day. Sometimes there is no point.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth your time.

Enjoyed a nostalgic trip back in time, to a NY of my younger days. I was struck by the familiarity with fictional characters that caught the mood of the times. At the end, I felt satisfied with the use of my time and selected the first novel Barbash had written 16 years earlier for my next read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent! Very original!

Well written with a great mix of truth, fiction and a tender story of family and personal discovery.

The narrator was exceptional! Easy to listen to and really inhabited the story. He also did spot on accents and impersonations without being cheesy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

WAAAY more than expected

A bit of a domestic potboiler, and more about '80's and '90's east coast/NYC/show biz culture/privileged coming of age than about the Dakota per se - but that was totally OK by me. Includes a bunch of quasi-fictional/who-knows glimpses of Lennon's last months, but nothing soppy or prescient, and very little Yoko. May just be me, but thank you, Tom, for that.
Jim Meskimen gets two thumbs-up on voice acting: to my ear, he nailed every dialect and differentiated gender/age/geographic origin without sliding into stereotype or hyperbole.
This book had languished in my wish list for a couple months, but I pulled it out when I realized I hadn't listened for months to anything that didn't hinge on murder(s) or the obliteration of an entire world/species. Geez - time for something a little lighter, right?
Born before 1960? Give Dakota Winters a whirl for the nostalgia of life before cell phones, Twitter and the 24/7/365 news cycle and a brisk trot down Penny Lane.
Born afterwards? Listen, and be amazed that somehow, human kind has thus far prevailed, regardless.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this book!!

I absolutely loved this book. Perfect summer read. Great story, great writing. I highly recommend!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I was hooked. i live in New York, the descriptions of places I could picture easily. I was a bit nostalgic.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Story was interesting but anticlimactic,

Book was anticlimactic, I guess because we all know what happens to John in the end. I loved the characters and I love John. Exactly how i would want to remember him. Good story just not dramatic enough I guess. Nice listen. Thank you

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

No plot line

This is a walk down memory lane in 1979, 1980. Lots of name dropping and capitalizes on John Lennon’s fame. The Winters are uninteresting in themselves. Hung in as long as I could hoping there might be a story in there somewhere, but finally quit after chapter 10.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Forgot that it is a work of fiction!

This one reads like a bio. So much that I forgot that much of this is not fact. It's very entertaining and I even had to google Buddy Winters just to make sure that there wasn't really such a person.

Good going, Tom Barbash. Loved it!!

1 person found this helpful