Saturday, July 07, 2012

Books: The Kings of Cool by Don Winslow

The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to SavagesThe Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages by Don Winslow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Don Winslow is fast becoming one of my favorite storytellers, and Savages, the book this novel was based on, was one of my favorite novels of 2010. While the conclusion of that book limited the options for a sequel, it did offer many unanswered questions about what came before, questions that Winslow spins into another excellent story with this book. This story has a split focus, one half of it following the developing marijuana empire of Ben and Chon and their lady-friend O as the develop it in the mid 2000's. The backstory shows the development of the development of the drug culture in California as it moves from the peace and love 1960's to the cocaine cowboy era of the 1970's and 80's. As Ben and Chon become the victims of their own success in their business and begin to attract the attract the attention of law enforcement and big time drug syndicates, the past and the future collide with deadly consequences. Winslow is an excellent writer and he keeps the story moving at a breakneck pace even as he weaves a complicated thread tracing multiple plot lines over nearly forty years. His snarky sense of humor becomes progressively darker as the plot moves along, and the characters are well drawn and the dialogue is excellent, reminiscent of the witty banter of Elmore Leonard. Brutal, yet funny, this is a fine fast paced thriller. The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages -

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