Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Savages by, Don Winslow

"F--- you."


The uncensored version of the above is the first sentence of Don Winslow's Savages.  Hell, it's the whole first chapter.  Winlsow, author of The Dawn Patrol and California Fire and Life, brings his trademark gonzo style to bear on the drug war.

Our heroes are a trio of stoners.  Chon is a former SEAL who saw action in I-Rock-and-Roll and Stanland.  He suffers from PTLOSD - that is Post-Traumatic Lack of Stress Disorder.  Ben, his super-genius best friend, has a head for business and botany.  How does he put his smarts to use?  By growing the finest weed you can possibly imagine, of course.  Rounding our our trio is their shared slacker girlfriend O (short for Ophelia).

Ben and Chonny's brand draws the attention of the Baja Cartel, who is looking to move up norte.  After being rebuffed on their takeover offer, they kidnap O and force Ben and Chon to work for them.  Talk about harshing your buzz.  Ben and Chon think this is very uncool and show the BC exactly how savage they can be.

The best word to describe this book is baditude.  Ben and Chon have it.  Winslow has it in spades.  Words spill onto the page in what sometimes looks like free verse poetry.  The short sentences and chapters propel you forward so fast that when you finally take a breath you realize you just blew through 60 pages without batting an eye.

It's no wonder Oliver Stone made a movie out of it.  (Coming to a theater near you on July 6th).

Savages is profane, violent, sexy, and, at times, uproariously funny.  I still think The Dawn Patrol is my favorite Winslow book, but, damn, is this a good one.

Highly Recommended.

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