Savages: A Novel by Don Winslow

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.


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