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Savages: A Novel by Don Winslow
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Savages: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Don Winslow (Author)

Series: Savages (1)

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8966120,560 (3.67)9
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 ingenious negotiations.
Member:mortalfool
Title:Savages: A Novel
Authors:Don Winslow (Author)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2011), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Savages by Don Winslow

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» See also 9 mentions

English (54)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
A very unique book, if nothing else. At 289 chapters, you might think it would be long, but it was fairly short; some chapters were only one or two words, but they often are incomplete sentences, continued in the next chapter, so they aren't very good places to stop reading. I think they're just arbitrary breaks added on impulses. Or maybe it's just a style, which is almost a stream of consciousness style.

The story is both brutal and humorous. Lots of unexplained references and terms that some people might not know, although I knew most of them. If you're politically correct, you probably will find lots of places to cringe, but it was probably necessary for the story and style.

To me, a big lesson in the story is that if you live outside the law, you need to be more than just honest - you need to realize that when things go wrong, you never know what it might take to make them right, if possible. When the laws aren't written down, anything can happen. And in this book, they do. Or maybe the lesson is simply if you break the law, don't do it in a way that will attract too much attention. ( )
  MartyFried | Oct 9, 2022 |
We got it, Don Winslow. Loud and clear, actually. In the drug trade, there are no good guys - no matter where you moral compass may point. And Oliver Stone? What did you see in this? Potential? We'll have to see how you vamped up the film later. I'm not going to spend more money on Savages, not yet anyway. Let's just hope Netflix picks up when its released for home viewing. Besides, my money is for The Dark Knight Rises. Sorry.

Savages follows the fall of Ben and Chonny - a potent strain of marijuana that blends indica and sativa in perfect harmony (it's stoner science, I suppose). The growers and distributors of the strain are Ben - a pacifist and humanitarian who majored in business and botany - and Chon - formerly John, a SEAL who uses his skills to "negotiate" with people who get in their business. Coupled with the living-in-the-material-world girl, O, the threesome is a sexually charged epitome of what wrong with the world. In a word, they are savages.

Enter the Baja Cartel. After a viral video of a beheading is sent to Chon, he knows the days of running the game solo have come to an end. But will they go down without a fight?

Don Winslow presents to us - poorly, but still - a tragic tale of emotionally (not just sexually, by the way) charged characters. But isn't that the definition of a savage? One who follows emotion rather than logic and ration?

The story itself is great. Winslow's execution of it leaves a sour taste. His character development is unfavorable - there are just things that didn't need to exist (so what if Lado is having an affair?). ( )
  ennuiprayer | Jan 14, 2022 |
Savages was fine, but pales in comparison to The Cartel, especially, but The Force, as well. ( )
  JasonChambers | Dec 16, 2021 |
This is my first taste of Don Winslow's writing, and certainly won't be the last. I was hooked right from the first chapter consisting of only two words. The entire novel is told in crisp, short chapters that make the pages keep turning. The characters are bold and brash, and the dialogues are highly amusing. The author's language is clever - sometimes too clever for me to understand at the first instance - that makes for a fun reading. There is a lot of violence, described vividly, and the action sequences are exciting. Though some parts of the plot are unrealistic in my ignorant view, I liked this entertainingly narrated pulp-ish thriller a lot. ( )
  aravind_aar | Nov 21, 2021 |
Well that was a delight! Satire with heart. As always with Winslow this is well-written, funny, wise, wry, very violent, very racy/kinda filthy, and at least as much about the people as about the capers. And who knew it would turn out to be a love story?! (By no means is that meant to indicate there is a happily-ever-after. It might be an HEA, but it is fair to say that is a completely subjective assessment.)

I keep going to describe the story itself, and it feels like everything is a spoiler. I was happy coming into this blind, so I will give you the same option. If you do read it, my favorite line is "It's all fun and games until someone loses and I." If you read it I hope you enjoy it too. From the mouths of half-assed Buddhists...

Had I rad this in 2010 it might have been a 5-star. Elements are dated, but mostly it is not an issue. My biggest problem was with the way the women were drawn. This is satire, so there are going to be all sorts of tropes in the mix, and women in noir have certain hallmarks. Making one woman a hot California blond who cares little for anything but orgasms and shopping (both of which she cares about deeply) and who eats like a lumberjack and never gains an ounce, another a California seeker looking for meaning it whatever someone puts in front of her (plastic surgery, Jesus, life coaching, etc.), and the third a true femme fatale makes sense, but they needed something to animate the stock character. The men got to embody tropes while still being very much individuals. That did not, in my estimation, happen for the women. It turned out to be a fairly minor quibble, but it did have an impact on my enjoyment of the book, and I think on the overall storytelling. ( )
  Narshkite | Oct 23, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
« 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. »

John Mayall, « California »
Dedication
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
À Thom Walla.
Sur la glace ou sur la terre ferme.
First words
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Fuck you.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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 ingenious negotiations.

No library descriptions found.

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.
(RabbitHoller)

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Don Winslow is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (3.67)
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1 8
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2 21
2.5 6
3 65
3.5 21
4 95
4.5 12
5 55

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400117666, 1452607796

 

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