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Savages: A Novel

Savages: A Novel

Написано Don Winslow

Озвучено Michael Kramer


Savages: A Novel

Написано Don Winslow

Озвучено Michael Kramer

оценки:
3/5 (332 оценки)
Длина:
7 часов
Издатель:
Издано:
28 мая 2012 г.
ISBN:
9781452677798
Формат:

Описание

Part-time environmentalist and philanthropist Ben and his ex-mercenary buddy Chon run an independent Laguna Beach-based marijuana operation, reaping significant profits from an established clientele. But they may have come up against something that they can't handle-the Mexican Baja Cartel wants in, and saying no is unacceptable. When they refuse to back down, the cartel kidnaps Ophelia, the boys' playmate and confidante. O's abduction sets off a dizzying array of ingenious negotiations and gripping plot twists that will captivate listeners eager to learn the costs of freedom and the price of an amazing high.
Издатель:
Издано:
28 мая 2012 г.
ISBN:
9781452677798
Формат:

Об авторе

Don Winslow is the author of nineteen acclaimed, award-winning, international bestsellers – including the No. 1 international bestseller The Cartel, winner of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, The Power of the Dog, Savages, and The Winter of Frankie Machine – several of which have been made into movies or are in development. A former investigator, anti-terrorist trainer, and trial consultant, Winslow lives in Southern California.


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3.1
332 оценки / 38 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (3/5)
    A definite page turner and I like Winslow's prose style, although the characters are flatter and the writing less original than in his Cartel trilogy. (I took almost no notes.)
  • (3/5)
    I couldn't decide if I hated or loved this book.His writing threw me off it's so different, but I enjoyed that. I found his quirky, fast style fascinating and entertaining. His prose was beautiful and at times irreverent (and explicit). It was by far my favorite part of the book.The story is also interesting, if maybe a bit frustrating.And yet, overall, I did not like it.
  • (3/5)
    I always rate crime novels differently because this genre requires me to use a different grading style then I use for "literary fiction". This is my second Don Winslow novel and this one was bit light compared to "The Cartel". The narrative prose is excellent but the characters are all cliches which is about what you expect in these type of books. That is doesn't occur with writers like Kate Atkinson and Dennis Lehane who have taken the crime novel to a higher level. That being said, this was a page turner which is what I want from a crime novel. Takes place in Laguna Beach and deals with drug turf wars that involved Mexican Baja Cartel. This is an easy introduction to Don Winslow who is one of the best in the crime novel area.
  • (5/5)
    'm late to the Don Winslow party, but I'm damn happy I finally found it. I'm going through his catalog in reverse order, it seems, and every novel is excellent. 'Savages' is another SoCal drug book, and along with 'The Power of the Dog' and 'The Cartel', goes a long way toward educating readers about the issues at our southern border. Savages is more of 'micro' view, while the other two are more sprawling in scope.Savages' plot is pretty simple. Two SoCal buddies, one an ex-Seal and the other more of a pacifist type, develop a killer strain of marijuana from seeds brought back from an overseas posting by the ex-Seal. A Mexican cartel member gets wind and decides they want the action. The two buddies aren't interested, so the cartel decides to exert a little leverage. The bargaining chip ends up being a young lady who's the shared girlfriend of the buds. There's lots of violence and other action involved, which seems to be a trademark of Winslow's work.It's taken me awhile to appreciate Winslow's writing style. Of the 4 novels I've read, the structure of Savages is the least conventional, with lots of missing punctuation, odd sentence lengths, etc. Once you get used to it, it's actually sort of refreshing in that he's trying, I think, to match the sort of unpredictable nature of the story. His dialogue is great and the characters are clearly developed through the book. By the end, you tend to know what each participant will do, which is the mark of a good character writer.Savages is a great novel that'll whet your appetite for more Winslow!
  • (3/5)
    Younger folks might rate most of this book as a 4 star book liking the language more than I did. I was hovering over 3 most of the time, pretty good, but very close to the edge & a bit much pretty often. It's different, quirky, & fun with a choppy, irreverent, & down right hilarious style that really worked in places, but got a bit wearing in others. The names for people, places, & things were fun. O's mother is Paqu - Passive Aggressive Queen of the Universe - perfect!

    The characters were well sketched out well, very believable, as was the situation. Again, it was quirky & different, but it made sense & poked a lot of fun at everyone involved & many who weren't.

    I HATED the ending & almost gave this 2 stars because of it. Not only didn't it make any sense to me, I don't think it could have happened that way.
    - I can't see Chon giving O the fatal shot so easily. Once that was done, taking one himself wasn't a huge leap.
    - The length of time it took them to go out seemed long, though. The one time I had morphine, it was in my butt & seemed to work instantly. AGONY -> woah, instant golden glow. I'd think mainlining it would take a few seconds to run them into no where.
    - And he had enough on him to OD 3 people? The doc had given him a few hits to manage his own pain.

    I wouldn't want to read many books like this, but I'm glad I read one.
  • (1/5)
    It was read in a hot summer without much expectations and found wanting even so.
    Provocative? really? would have been good.
  • (4/5)
    Winslow has a unique style of writing, which I think you either enjoy -- or not. Very short chapters, choppy sentences. Storytelling here is enjoyable -- about two buddies in the pot business in southern California, making a good living and enjoying life until a Mexican cartel wants to take over their business. Lots of funny social commentary.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book! Crazy action, characters, and settings! Be be warned!!! Verrrrry strong language, sex, and violence! It works in this story, but not for the weak or stomach (or mind!). Chon, Ben, and O are three characters that I don't think I'll soon forget! The three of them against the drug cartels of Mexico - yee hah! I love the way Winslow writes too! Both the style and the substance! I could not keep my hands off this book! Sex, drugs, but no rock and roll!!!!
  • (2/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    Ben & Chon are two Southern California dope dealers who manufacture and distribute some of the most potent pot available. Ben, a Buddhist and Chon, a gun-toting ex-US solider run into trouble with an invading Mexican drug cartel. When their mutual girlfriend, O (short for Ophelia), is kidnapped - all bets are off. Ben and Chon must do whatever it takes to ensure her safe return, even if it means risking their lives to do so.

    Absolutely incredible.

    I tried listening to the audio version of this book but was seriously turned off, immediately. I almost just about gave up but picked up a copy from the library instead. What a mistake that would've been. Geez.

    Everything. From the prose, to the story, to the characters to the ending. All of those elements blend together to create an intriguing and fast paced thrill-ride. Also, I've yet to experience an ending that had my heart pounding as quickly as this one.

    Where did this author come from? I've never heard of him before reviews started popping up on Good Reads declaring this novel an instant-classic. I definitely need to get my hands on more of his material and soon; he's that damn good (forgive me, I appear to be thinking out loud).

    In closing, Winslow has written one of my favorite passages I've ever read. Here is that passage:

    We reinvented ourselves every day, remade our culture, locked ourselves in gated communities, we ate healthy food, we gave up smoking, we lifted our faces while avoiding the sun, we had our skin peeled, our lines removed, our fat sucked away like our unwanted babies, we defied aging and death.

    We made gods of wealth and health.

    A religion of narcissism.

    In the end, we worshiped only ourselves.

    In the end, it wasn't enough.


    READ THIS. NOW.
  • (4/5)
    Whoa!
    Excellent! Great writer. Fast paced, heart in your throat suspenseful and, yes, savage indeed. And, would you believe, in the midst of it all, funny!! The writer has a unique writing style of using very short chapters, many only a few seconds to a few minutes long. This creates a certain rhythm and also seems to add to the mounting nail biting suspense towards the end. It is pretty brutal so may not be good listening for the feint of heart! Otherwise, I’d say go for it!!
  • (2/5)
    Adult fiction. This is like a Quentin Tarantino movie--fast paced, lots of drugs, sex, sharp language, and of course violence.
  • (4/5)
    Frenetic and propulsive. More Please...
  • (3/5)
    Savages was fine, but pales in comparison to The Cartel, especially, but The Force, as well.
  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I did not love book as I expected. This was maybe my 6th Don Winslow book and I gather a fairly popular one since it was made into a major motion picture, including the prequel. I do blame this in large part to the poor narration, I listed to an audio version as I have all his other books. It felt less like a work of fiction than a long spoken word monologue and not well read at all. But maybe that's how it was supposed to read. I did not come to love Winslow's characters like I have in his other books. There really was no depth to them or the plot. Just shock and awe. I can't imagine exactly how little I would I have cared about them if I hadn't read the prequel first. I've got the movie waiting for me now at the library and I'm not even sure I want to watch it.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Another reviewer wondered whether to be fascinated or repulsed by this book, I agree entirely. This is a lightning paced thriller in which we are meant to empathise with two drug dealers, simply because their opposition is so much worse and because one of them does good works in the third world; and, besides, marihuana is not so bad, I'd it? I think the time has come for me to pass on Don Winslow, talented as he undoubtedly is.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This is not a good book. The plot is very weak, it feels like the author did not bother too much to work on it and took a lot of shortcuts. Characters are stereotypical and make obvious choices. The ending only adds to this by being completely unrealistic and cliche.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    “Savages” is on the surface a full-out action thriller about a trio of Laguna Beach kids who have become very wealthy off hydro farming and their battle with the Baja cartel that wants in on their action. It is fast-paced action that almost never lets up from beginning to end. But, the thing about “Savages” is that that it may be about more than just a drug war thriller. It is about the age-old battle between civilized society and the savages and the thing is that savages don’t play by civilized rules. They see you trying to be reasonable and compromise and see it as a sign of weakness that they are going to exploit. It plays out in the Yin and Yang that is Chon and Ben, one a pseudo-hippie that still wants to save the world in Darfur and the Congo and elsewhere, and the other battle-hardened by three tours of duty in Stanland (Afghanistan) against savages armed with IEDs and no lines that wouldn’t cross. It plays out in the battle between Chon and Ben and the insidious cartel that chops heads off merely to send a message. No quarter given.

    It plays out against the sun-drenched backdrop of Laguna Beach with its basketball court and volleyball court right smack on the beach and O (Ophelia) who shops till she drops at the most fabulous malls in the country. Amidst all that sun and surf and innocence is a cutthroat battle, not just between the drug dealers and the cartels, but the predators who exist in real estate and business who simply are little more than savages in three-piece suits and who will give no quarter and exploit every weakness that they can see.

    And how do we do battle with these savages and remain somewhat civilized without giving away the store? Do we end up becoming savages ourselves in the name of showing who can stand up taller?

    Can you really just close up shop and go to some island paradise without letting the whole world be overrun by savages? And how does one do battle with savagery when one has family and friends that can be threatened?

    This novel is written in the same style as “Kings of Cool” with 290 short chapters. Some of it is stream of consciousness, but not such that you would get lost in it like in Finnegan’s Wake. But, this novel, is like a high speed train gliding faster than the rails can be built. This novel lacks the history and backstory that fleshed out “Kings of Cool,” but it is still far more than just another action sequence.
  • (5/5)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (5/5)
    Ben and Chon sell the best hydroponic pot Laguna, maybe in SoCal, and they’ve made a ton of money. So good the Baja Cartel wants to take over their operation and make them employees. Ben is the brains behind the weed and Chon (it used to be John), a former SEAL, is the enforcer – the hard man. Ophelia, known as O, is girlfriend to them both. They’re not going to bend easily and the cartel doesn’t negotiate.This could be a typical drug war story, but Winslow’s crisp writing elevates it to something more. Not only crisp, but stylish and intelligent. This is a story that flows, and every word is perfectly placed. The research and craft that went into it are evident.
  • (4/5)
    A pleasant surprise. I heard about this book before I knew the movie existed, and figured I'd try it, even though this type of subject matter isn't usually my cup of tea. I'm glad I picked this up. It's a fast-paced, action packed story that's funny in some points and touching in others.

    I loved the characters - Ophelia (better known as "O"), Chon, and Ben. Three very different people with one main thing in common: they all love each other very much. Ben and Chon are best friends, polar opposites, and O is their shared girlfriend and pal.
    Chon's an almost emotionless, cynical war veteran, who doesn't have much use for anyone other than Ben and O. Ben's a do-gooder to the extreme, traveling to various countries to do what he can to ease poverty, suffering, and to generally be a hell of a humanitarian, and O - well, O stays busy being herself, shopping, trying to keep up with her mother's latest phase and newest husband, and keeping both her men happy. Ben and Chon are two of the biggest drugs dealers in Orange County, California, and make a great living selling high quality marijuana. It's all fun and games, until the Baja Cartel out of Mexico decides they want a cut of the action - which essentially means they want Ben and Chon's empire. This, obviously, does not go over well with Ben and Chon, who decide not to take the cartel's crap and fight back, in their own way.

    I now want to see this movie, although I've heard it's not nearly as good as the book (it never is), and that the ending is totally different from the book's. Figures.

    It's a great story, full of action and intensity, and it's hard to put down. Fair warning, however: mostly, it's violent and grisly. If you can't stomach blood and gore (not to mention drugs and sex), this isn't for you.
  • (4/5)
    THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE AUDIOBOOKFirst things first, this is not a book for the faint-hearted or the easily offended. I listened to it on audio when I was walking my dogs and there were times when I felt myself blushing from what I was listening to … ON MY HEADPHONES! I kept thinking “If people only knew what I was listening to now, they’d be shocked.” This is some hard-core, graphic writing … and hearing it read out loud makes it seem even more so. (By the way, Michael Kramer has the perfect voice for the material … with a kind of WTF/seen it all, done it all attitude.) The basic story deals with a love triangle between two pot dealers and their girl and what happens when they run awry of a Mexican drug cartel and the girl gets kidnapped. The writing—despite its bluntness and graphic descriptions—was good and often very funny. But this is by no means a “feel good” book. And if people in SoCal are really like the characters in this book, then I’m staying the hell away.
  • (4/5)
    This book is awesome! Ben, Chon, & O hang out and live a pretty carefree live in SoCal. Ben and Chon grow weed - Ben is the brains of the outfit and Chon is the muscle. O just hangs out and smokes weed with the boys.All their lives change; however, when the Baja Cartel moves in and tells them that they now work for the Cartel. Unfortunately for them, Ben and Chon refuse which leads to the Cartel kidnapping O to make them comply in order to their friend back alive. Chon, though, is not the type of guy you want to mess with!I really did enjoy this book - like others have said, it is pretty violent, twisted, and is graphic as well. Winslow's writing style is different and the book is quirky with a very deep, black sense of humor.
  • (3/5)
    This book started with two famous words, F*ck You. So to sum up this book in only two words: Oddly Interesting. This was my first time reading a drug cartel,"shoot em up" action book. The reason I picked up this book was because I saw the trailer for the movie coming out in July. The writing style was unique. You weren't reading from someones perspective, it was as if you were watching the scenes happen. You got to peep into their lives from an outside view. They also would switch to screenplay writing for certain scenes. The characters were likable and very detailed to the point that you felt like you knew them in person.The three main characters in the book were O, Chon, and Ben. O or Ophelia is our main person that we see the most in the book.All she cares about is sex, shopping, and drugs. Her nickname "O" came from, you guessed it, orgasms (multiple). She has two men in her life, who are best friends, and they seem okay with sharing her. Her mother is a nut that likes to pick up new hobbies and new husbands. Chon is the man all about action. I think with him going to war it messed up his head. He always has a fighter "kill or be killed" mentality. Ben is the reason they are tied up in the drug business. With the best chronic on the west coast you can understand why the drug cartel wants to do business with him. Ben isn't one of those sleazy drug lords though, he likes to do good things with the money he makes like helping third world countries. There is some strong sexual content between the characters, but not to the point of being to much. With the way the book is written the scenes are not very detailed. It happens so fast that you kind of think, "Did that just happen?" I didn't have high expectations going into this book because I wasn't sure what I would get from it. I like the lingo that O comes up with. I am guessing this how they speak on the west coast and just reminded me of lazy surfer talk, always shorting words. My favorite is PAQU, which is what O calls her mom, Passive Aggressive Queen of the Universe. I loved that the drug cartel in this book was ran by a woman. You normally see some Godfather wannabe, but to see a woman was very refreshing.She was one tough cookie don't get me wrong, but it was interesting to see her soft side. All she wanted was love and to provide for her family. One of her hit men Lado "The Cold One" just completely disgusted me. I see how he could be described as the man with no soul. The things he does are slightly horrific and I guess if anything he would be the bad guy in this book. A few things I didn't like about the book was when O gets kidnapped because Ben and Chon won't have anything to do with the cartel. At first it seemed like a normal hostage situation, but when they come to a certain agreement, it had more of a "sleepover" aspect. O would veg out and watch reality TV all day with her guard. Also the book did not go into much depth, but I guess having very descriptive characters helped. Also the book wasn't as action packed as I thought it would be. The ending was very sad for me. The book had been compared to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and there was even references in the book about it. So I knew it probably wasn't going to end well, but I never expected the actually ending to be the way it was. I felt like it could have been prevented, but Ben and Chon made some not so smart decisions. I guess I just didn't get justice or feel satisfied with it. The ending was so fast and rushed through that I literally said out loud "that's it!?" Even though the book had its ups and downs I still want to see the movie. I hope you enjoy this Oddly Interesting book.
  • (5/5)
    When a Mexican drug cartel decides to add an independently owned and operated pot groaning business they won't take no for answer. When the two main characters do say no to the cartel's demands, things get messy.I was blown away by this book. The writing style and plot are unique and engaging, and the short chapters make it an easy, fast read. I really don't want to say too much about the book because it is such a uniquely written novel that I think a person should go into it with just what's provided on the back cover. That way you'll be just as surprised by Don Winslow's dark humor and gritty action.
  • (5/5)
    An absolute masterpiece, this is the true classic that Tarantino is yearning to create. A novel that perfectly fuses high and low brows, a funny yet gritty mix of the best elements of noir, comedy, action, tragedy and romance, "Savages" is even told in a brilliant and poetic avante-garde style of fragmented sentences, wild formatting in gonzo narration. This book is somehow a hysterical stoner comedy on one hand, a touching love story on another, and yet a rock-hard adventure of war and crime on a third hand in this awesome mutant of a book. To top it all off, it even is layered with a profound amount of insight and ruminative philosophy on the modern world, its wide scope ranging from mundane suburbia and consumerist materialism to the upper echelons of crime, military and politics. I cannot recommend this book enough to anyone who likes rated-R movies.
  • (4/5)
    A quick read, better than your average thriller, although not quite what I hoped for given stellar reviews from critics I liked.
  • (4/5)
    Wow. This is an explosion of a novel. Winslows minimalist prose is a surprisingly effective tool for this fast paced drug thriller. This is a hard R rated novel, but fans strong and fast paced action movies are sure to enjoy reading this.
  • (5/5)
    Very good. Small pot growing operations meets the Baja Cartel.