Monday, July 30, 2012

Savages by Don Winslow

(hb; 2010; sequel to The Kings of Cool)

From the inside flap:

"Part-time environmentalist and philanthropist Ben and his ex-mercenary buddy Chon run a Laguna Beach-based marijuana operation, reaping significant profits from their loyal clientele. In the past when their turf was challenged, Chon took care of eliminating the threat. But now they may have come up against something that they can't handle - the Mexican Baja Cartel wants in, and sends them the message that a 'no' is unacceptable. When they refuse to back down, the cartel escalates its threat, kidnapping Ophelia, the boys' playmate and confidante. O's abduction sets off a dizzying array of ingenious negotiations and [violence]. . ."


I was immediately hooked by Savages's snappy writing and dialogue, interesting characters, as well as its gleeful blend of raunchy sex, character-based casual brutality and its off-beat, blink-and-miss-it asides.

I was so energized by this addictive, holy frak this rocks novel that I read it in one sitting, a rare event when I'm reading 300-page novels.

Savages isn't for prudish readers; it is for those enjoy the neo-noir works of Elmore Leonard, Charles Willeford, Jim Thompson and Will Viharo, which seamlessly blends (varying degrees of) deviant sex, twisted pathos and slick/real world consequences-intact violence.

Worth owning, this.

Followed by a prequel, The Kings of Cool.


Savages was released stateside as a film on July 6, 2012.

Oliver Stone directed the film, from a screenplay he co-authored with book author Don Winslow and Shane Salerno.

Taylor Kitsch played Chon. Aaron Johnson played Ben. Blake Lively played O. Benicio Del Toro played Lado. Salma Hayek played Elena. Diego Cataño played Esteban.

John Travolta played Dennis. Demián Bichir played Alex. Emile Hirsch played Spin. Sandra Echeverría played Magda. Joaquín Cosio played El Azul.

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