You will probably not like this book.
I know that’s a weird thing to say for a book I rated 4-stars. It sounds like I’m being critical of it and that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’m not sure it’s a good book but it’s a book written for someone like me: someone who loves adventures in Manhattan. Turn the clock back to 1980, throw in some historical figures, lifestyle porn, and urban tourism and I am content.
The book itself: it’s main character, plot, purpose, etc. are all rather flimsy. I never fully connected with Anton, an adrift 23-year old who returns home to the famous Dakota to help his dad. I never bought his dad, a Johnny Carson-type, as a tv comedy star. I never cared much for the auxiliary figures who get in the way. I don’t even like John Lennon enough to appreciate how well (it seemed to me at least) Tom Barbash writes him.
But I love New York. And I love reasons to bop through New York. even if the stakes feel cheap and manufactured, just give me a trip through the city and I’m gonna love your book.
I also appreciated Barbash’s larger commentary on the decaying 60s creative elite class watching the world shift through their eyes with Ted Kennedy’s defeat in the primary and Reagan’s inevitability. I wish he had drawn more on that and less on Anton’s Hamlet routine. But it still came through well.
So yeah, this isn’t a good book but it is a me book and if you have tastes like mine, you may like it.