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Savages by Don Winslow


by Don Winslow

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Frenetic and propulsive. More Please... ( )
  Verge0007 | May 21, 2017 |
Frenetic and propulsive. More Please... ( )
  Verge0007 | May 20, 2017 |
So recently I raved about The Power of the Dog and The Cartel, both by Don Winslow. As promised, I bought three more novels and read this one first. I was mildly disappointed but not deterred from Winslow.

This book revolves around two young guys and a girl. The boys become reliable suppliers of quality pot. Ben is an idealist who is using the millions he makes as a hydroponic grower to go around the world establishing hospitals, schools, build wells and do good works.

Chon is an ex-Marine who is the muscle in the operation as needed. So far, things have been relatively peaceful and life in Orange County is profitable as Chon minds the store. O is a spoiled OC girl who sleeps with both Ben and Chon, she loves them both for different reasons and everyone knows about each other so the trio works.

The Baja Cartel is ready to cross the border and offers to buy Ben and Chon’s business. When they refuse, a hostile takeover ensues. Ben and Chon, not used to having to deal with the ugly side of the business, are forced into a dirty, bloody turf war.

O is kidnapped and held by the Cartel bosses until Ben and Chon can buy her way out. O handles being a hostage by continuing her easy going slacker ways with her captors. She spends her days surfing the net, watching tv and eating fast food. An all-out rescue mission is as bloody as any Winslow book.

What I did not like was the writing style. It reminded me a little bit of Pynchon’s “Inherent Vice” and I found it distracted me from what would otherwise be a pretty good novel. It is not a long book and I have two more Winslow’s so let’s see what I think as I go forward.

Savages is a great read for the younger generation as I think it speaks their language well in their own voice. I just want to read something with a more mature voice I guess. I am giving this one 3 ½ stars. ( )
  ozzie65 | Feb 20, 2017 |
Since I have seen the first season of Breaking Bad, this book felt unnecessary. Also, I disliked the attention-getting gimmick of starting the book with "F--- you." (I am much like my father, who actively roots against teams with coaches who throw chairs and "act a fool", and who still has not forgiven the state of Indiana for Bobby Knight.)

I am awarding one bonus star for a funny fantasy sequence in which a character imagines herself on various talk shows, which culminates in her calling Dr. Phil an unkind name. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
I admit that I’m a latecomer to Don Winslow’s fiction, with 2015’s The Cartel being the first of Winslow’s books I read - and Savages, from 2010, being just the second. I’ve been told that Savages, although it was Winslow’s thirteenth crime novel, is considered his breakthrough novel, the one that moved him to a whole new level of success than could be claimed for any of his previous books. Savages is so good that I find this easy to believe even without having read any of the dozen books that precede it.

Savages is about three twenty-something friends who are living the good life in Southern California. Chon, Ben, and O have the money and the leisure time to do the things they want to do, and to avoid those things they don’t want to do. And they owe it all to the high quality marijuana product that Ben developed from the seed that Chon brought back from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. O, on the other hand, lives at home with her mother and what has turned into a long, steady stream of stepfathers – all of whom have been wealthy enough to allow O and her mother never to have to worry about how their abused credit cards are ever going to be paid off.

The product sold by Chon and Ben is so good that it almost sells itself to what has become a cult following that calls itself “The Church of the Lighter Day Saints.” Now the money steadily rolls in, Chon only occasionally has to apply strong-arm tactics, and Ben has time to travel the world spending his money in those places it will do the most good. But the good times can’t last forever, and when the Mexican Baja Cartel comes calling, those days may be over for good.

Competition among the Mexican cartels has grown so bloody and out of control that the head of the Baja Cartel has decided to cushion her losses in Mexico by moving her operation north across the California border. When she demands that Ben and Chon give up their marketing operation and sell their product directly to her instead, negotiations do not go at all well. Ben and Chon refuse to play by the cartel’s new rules set, but when the Mexicans kidnap O and threaten to behead her if the boys don’t agree to the deal, all bets are off. The Mexican drug war has officially come to Southern California – and Chon and Ben are in the middle of it.

Stylistically, Savages is a hard book to describe. It is dark, violent, and sexy just the way one would expect a crime fiction novel featuring the Mexican drug cartels to be. But it is also a hilarious and touching love story (albeit one involving two men and one woman) that makes it easy to forget just how much trouble the novel’s main characters are really in. Ben, Chon, and O, for lots of reasons (some good, some not so good) are going to stick in readers’ minds for a long time. And the good news is that in 2012 Winslow published a prequel to Savages called The Kings of Cool, so readers of Savages will be able to spend even more time with them. ( )
  SamSattler | Oct 27, 2016 |
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« Je rentre en Californie,
Y a tant de trucs chouettes dans ce pays.
Et plus question de la quitter,
Semble que le soleil s'y couche jamais. »

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Sur la glace ou sur la terre ferme.
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Book description
Part-time environmentalist Ben and his buddy Chon run a successful marijuana operation in Laguna Beach, and things are going smoothly until the Mexican Baja Cartel wants in, sending them the message that a "no" is unacceptable. Don Winslow's stylish new novel pits young kingpins against a major drug gang, offering a sharply funny thrill ride through the dark side of the war on drugs and beyond.
Haiku summary
Drag your mind through mud /
Find no moral.  Vice-virtue.
 / Clever.  Good girl porn.

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Running a lucrative marijuana operation in Laguna Beach, sometime environmentalist Ben and mercenary Chon confront a dangerous adversary in the Mexican Baja cartel, which kidnaps their playmate and confidante Ophelia, compelling the duo to plot ingeniousnegotiations.… (more)

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Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400117666, 1452607796


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