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The Kings of Cool by Don Winslow
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The Kings of Cool (2012)

by Don Winslow

Series: Savages (2)

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English (12)  German (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All (17)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Mind blown! Winslow is a master storyteller. This was my 4th book of his and I can't get enough.

Kings of Cool is the prequel to Savages, which is a standalone (and apparently a major motion picture which I have no recollection). I chose to go with the prequel first to keep things in chronological order storytelling although I'm not sure that was the best choice. I had no basis for these people and with all the multiple time periods, large collection of characters, and one word/sentence/paragraph chapters in audiobook format things were more than a little confusing for a while.

But then...THEN storylines started to intertwine and weave together and characters became so much brighter, motivations so much clearer, the story so much, well, cooler.

I HIGHLY recommend this book. I would recommend reading over audio, as I think that would clear up some of the confusion. And I can't say yet if I'd recommend prequel before standalone yet, it could go either way. ( )
  she_climber | Oct 27, 2017 |
My Don Winslow obsession continues with Kings of Cool. This is a prequel to Savages which I previewed at an earlier date. I wish I had read this one first because I think my opinion would have been more favorable towards Savages.

This time, the story goes back in time to the early 1970’s and follows the exploits of Chon’s father, Ben’s mother and father and O’s mother, all who were the first Association to set up the importation and dealing of drugs in Orange County.

I loved the time period, the story made a lot more sense to me and it certainly explained how Ben, Chon and O came to be and the influences they had on them growing up. It made me more empathetic to all three of the younger characters.

The early days cover the time from about 1970 up into the 80’s and currently. Ben, Chon and O are just getting their enterprises and their reputations established and unbeknownst to them, are in direct competition with their parents Association.

The parents have no idea who the new players in the game are but want them taken out. As the story goes back and forth, Ben, Chon, O and their parents make and break alliances, get involved with corrupt cops and unfold the secrets of the past that inform the younger players about how and why it was done.

I actually enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. As I said, had I read this first, I would have had a much better outlook on Savages. Damn you Don Winslow! ( )
1 vote ozzie65 | Jun 20, 2017 |
And now for something completely different...

I've read almost anything Don Winslow has written and this time he breaks new ground with this book in terms of narrative structure (I haven't read "Savages yet). High kinetic energy throughout the entire book!

The narrative jumps all over the place, back and forth in time, person and viewpoint.
He also occasionally switches to a movie script format during longer portions of dialogue, just to make sure that the reader is paying attention.

It doesn't make any difference. You'll love every word of it, from the cheerfully obscene opening to its final pages. Full blast all the way...

For fans of Winslow's other books, there are a couple of delightful, surprise cameos (Frankie Machine, for instance), which also make me hopeful that even if there isn't another prequel/sequel with Ben, Chon and O(phelia) at the center, perhaps this isn't the last time we'll be seeing them.

My only quibble is the fact that sometimes it's difficult to keep track of who's related to whom for large portions of the book.

In my own rating system I only gave this book 5 stars instead of 6 (my nirvana book collection...). In the goodreads grade system I rated it a solid 4 stars.

PS. You'll love the one-liners, if your into that sort of thing. ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
In this prequel to his novel, Savages, Don Winslow provides the backstory for Chon, Ben and O, and it’s a pretty good story by itself. Winslow’s writing style is sharp, sardonic and totally engaging here. He sets the scene of the southern California surf and drug culture from the early days in the 1960s to the mid-2000s.

His characters are amazingly well drawn – you’ve got to love that O’s (Ophelia) mother is known throughout the book (and Savages) as the acronym Paqu – passive-aggressive queen of the universe. And she gets married and divorced so often that her latest husband is only known as Four. Ben runs into Paqu unexpectedly and doesn’t even know how to safely address her.

This is a stylish, witty (down to the title), addictive, perfectly-paced, and highly readable novel. ( )
  Hagelstein | May 19, 2016 |
Another great opening line, just like "Savages"! And another great book too! It's the prequel to "Savages" and we get to find out much more about Ben, Chon, and O and also their parents and how all of their lives are intertwined! More sex, more drugs, and more violence as this book unfolds, and all of the connections are made quite clear! I love these characters, this kind of narrative, and this book! ( )
  Stahl-Ricco | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
But if this prequel isn’t as chill as “Savages,” it’s made funnier by the seditious spin Winslow puts on the romanticized 1960s hippie culture of peace and love and hard drugs.
added by y2pk | editNew York Times, Marilyn Stasio (Jun 29, 2012)
 
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« Lors d'un combat, Mama, Cain tua Abel
Et fut chassé à l'est d'Éden, Mama,
On naît à cette vie pour payer
Les péchés du passé d'un autre. »

Bruce Springsteen« Adam Raised a Cain »
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À Shane Salerno, pour tout. N'importe quand, n'importe où, mec.
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Fuck me.
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"In Savages, Don Winslow introduced Ben and Chon, twentysomething best friends who risk everything to save the girl they both love, O. Now, in his high-octane prequel, The Kings of Cool, Winslow reaches back in time to tell the story of how Ben, Chon, and O became the people they are. Spanning from 1960s Southern California to the recent past, it is a tale of family in all its forms--fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, friends and lovers. As the younger generation does battle with a cabal of drug dealers and crooked cops, they come to learn that their future is inextricably linked with their parents' history. A series of breakneck twists and turns puts the two generations on a collision course, culminating in a stunning showdown that will ultimately force Ben, Chon, and O to choose between their real families and their love for each other"--… (more)

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