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Savages (Savages #2)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  11,637 Ratings  ·  1,408 Reviews
Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Oliver Stone and featuring Blake Lively and John Travolta—the smash hit thriller about two young marijuana dealers who are blackmailed into a partnership with a Mexican cartel.

A breakthrough novel that pits young kingpins against a Mexican drug cartel, Savages is a provocative, sexy, and sharply funny thrill ride through the da
Paperback, 358 pages
Published May 29th 2012 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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If these two wordsmithing masters of dialogue, tone and hip colloquialisms ever had a literary LOVE CHILD… would DON WINSLOW.

I loved, loved, loved every single page of this thrilltastic story. Don Winslow has instantly become an author whose next book I will buy sight unseen. His writing, his tone, his slick as shit story-telling are all intelligent, original, hiply sparse and kick-ass coolio.

The basic plot is very simple (though the execution of it is anything but). Chon and Ben are the 2
Ben and Chon are the oddest of odd couples. Ben is a brilliant botanist and liberal do-gooder who spends his spare time in third world countries setting up clinics and schools. Chon (a nickname based on his real name, John) is an ex-Navy SEAL and Afghanistan veteran with a bad attitude and sincere belief that most people are just pretending to be civilized. Despite their differences, the two men are best friends and even knowingly share a girlfriend, Ophelia (also known as O.), who loves sex and ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

“Dope is supposed to be bad, but in a bad world it’s good, if you catch the reverse moral polarity of it.”

That awkward moment when you are incurring a library fine because you’re too lazy to just WRITE THE G.D. REVIEW ALREADY!!! I also noticed today that this is apparently #2 in the series and I had no idea it was turned into a movie a few years ago until my husband not so kindly informed me . . .

Chicago commercial photographers

What can I say? I’m not so quick o
“Something they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School.
‘Savages, How to Deal With.’

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly an infamous trio the three amigos and the three stooges funny trios.

When it comes to threesome there are many.

One trio you will soon be taking note of are the likes of Ben, Chon and the wonderful O or her real name Ophelia, in this Drug cartel solid thriller from Don Winslow.
The story is about lucrative money making with a specially brewed drug herb that the trio o
Jan 31, 2016 Darwin8u rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
"There is nothing so small that it does not save its life if it has the courage to defend itself against those who would lay hand on it." - Brasidas of Sparta, quoted by Plutarch.


Perhaps, one star for the story, one star for Don Winslow (I really, really liked The Cartel, The Power of the Dog, and The Winter of Frankie Machine), one star for its boldness, etc., but I'd almost like to remove a star for the awful sex writing. I'll leave it at 3-stars because almost no one can write about sex well,
Aug 10, 2012 Travis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a good story here, and it's told in a blisteringly fast manner that would work really well if the author weren't so obsessed with showing how "hip" he is by making up pretend slang that no young (or non-young) person has ever used. The corny wordplay and ridiculous geographic nicknames peppered throughout the book are just painful to read. There was much cringing. It's what you would get if you put Diablo Cody's "Juno" character into a movie about a brutal drug war in which a bunch of pe ...more
Jul 20, 2010 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um, we're not squeamish, right book club? No one minds that I recommended a book whose opening chapter includes graphic sex, decapitation, and quasi-free verse prose poetry? Look, I DIDN'T KNOW.

First of all: Ooooh. Don Winslow also wrote The Death and Life of Bobby Z. Hence, the stiking similarities in tone, setting and subject matter.

Secondly: glad I read this for book club-- I mean, aside form subjecting your sweet little eyes to to such vulgarities, my dears-- because I honestly haven't yet d
May 06, 2014 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction, 2011
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
Nov 09, 2012 Tfitoby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tfitoby by: Goodreads recommendations

Savages by Don Winslow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb: The smash hit thriller about two young marijuana dealers who are blackmailed into a partnership with a Mexican cartel."Baditude." Bad attitude. Ben, Chon, and O have a bad case of it, but so would you if you were the twenty-something, Laguna-cool producers of the best hydro on the Left Coast and now a powerful and vicious Mexican cartel wants in on your business. Ben's a genius botanist out to save the world. Chon's a former SEAL with a "Lac
Anthony Chavez
Jun 28, 2012 Anthony Chavez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben and Chon are best friends who have different views on life and how to live it, almost yin/yang opposites, but have two things in common: they share a gf, (O)phelia, and are in the business of growing and selling primo hydro mary jane. When the Baja Cartel wants them to do business for them, and they decline, the downward spiral begins.

Explicitly violent, explicitly sexual and explicitly... well one of the most entertaining books I’ve read this year. It was a radicalized and ripping rush of a
Aug 06, 2012 LMM rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What's with the hype? This book was a snooze. A hatchet job. A pastiche of Tarantino, Roger Avary, Ritchie, Brett Easton Ellis etc. My advice...stick to those guys because chances are you've seen it & read it all before only much, much better.

Savages, Schmavages.

A totally played out story line (which was unbelievable BTW), with recycled storytelling, featuring snappy, hipster dialog that tries SOOOOOO hard to have pop cultural significance in the vain attempts of being ingratiated into thos
James Thane
Mar 28, 2011 James Thane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime fiction fans
Don Winslow scores again with Savages. Two Laguna Beach buddies, Ben and Chon, operate a top-of-the-line marijuana business. Ben is a laid-back environmentalist and philanthropist; Chon is an ex-Navy Seal and former mercenary. They grow their own product, which is much desired, and they have a loyal and exclusive clientele. Both Ben and Chon are in love with the beautiful Ophelia, a spoiled local rich girl who loves both of them in return.

There have been occasional minor threats to the business
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 charac
Mar 15, 2013 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Baja Cartel want Ben and Chon to grow exclusively for them, so much so that they send a rather confronting video to Chon for his viewing pleasure. One could say Ben, Chon, and O have got themselves over their heads…

And so starts a non stop thrill ride of drugs, sex, violence, and big business cartel warfare.

When I first read SAVAGES, I was blown away by how engaging the characters were and the second time round is no different. O is unique, funny, and deeply in love with her boys, both of
Karina Halle
Jul 25, 2013 Karina Halle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. Unputdownable. Off to buy every single book Winslow has written. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Review to come in August.
Jul 24, 2014 Kristijan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Upravo sam povećao broj zvezdica na pet...
Koliko razmišljam o knjizi sve mi je bolja i bolja...

Ako bismo hteli da poredimo ovaj roman sa nekim filmom, najpribližniji bi bio Pulp Fiction... akcija, humor, pa još akcije i još humora (crnog, naravno), pa onda vrcavi dijalozi, mnogo poigravanja rečima, mnogo eksperimentisanja u načinu realizacije,... Vidi se da je Vinslou u glavi već imao film dok je pisao roman, jer ima toliko kratkih rezova u samom tekstu.
Ako bismo hteli da poredimo stil pisanja s
Apr 17, 2011 Johnny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't go for books where the style overshadows the substance, but when a book has this much style it's really hard to resist. Does the book move? And how. Here's a fun tally: the book has 302 pages and 290 chapters, including what has become a very infamous two-word Chapter 1.

It's hard to believe that this is the same author that wrote THE POWER OF THE DOG, one of the great crime novels of the last twenty years. Both are meditations on the border, but while THE POWER OF THE DOG spans y
Dec 05, 2012 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found Savages because of the movie trailer for Oliver Stone's adaptation of this book. My philosophy is that the book is always better than the movie. The book is quick-witted and hilarious but its also about an escalation of a drug war. From the very first page I was hooked.

I can say this with all honesty...I dare you to put it down after the first page. It's such a intriguing intro that wills you to read more. Then its a snowball down the mountain and before you know it you've finished it.

Kyle Pennekamp
Dec 31, 2010 Kyle Pennekamp rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read a lot of good reviews of this, heard Oliver Stone was adapting it, made some best-of-crime-fiction year-end lists...

And I don't get it. I will say that pages 175-250 were good, insofar as things actually happened. And quickly. The rest of it...

Don Winslow inserts his (or the narrator's) voice between the reader and the character, as a character of its own. But that character is indistinct. That character thinks he is incredibly clever and funny. And after he makes a funny, clever comment, h
Cristobo De
Jun 23, 2012 Cristobo De rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don, what have you done?
If you think the former joke was lame, you should read the book. Now THAT`s lame!
I loved "El Poder del Perro" by the same author. It was a page-turner, yes, it was an airport book, but it was also a solid structure and a believable plot. Seemed there was a good research behind: I bought all those stories about American foreign interventions in Latin America following defeat in Vietnam. Characters were nothing to write home about but their reactions, their background were
Apr 18, 2012 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This comes adorned with so many over-the-top raves and blurbs that you'd be forgiven for thinking that the novel is unlikely to live up to the hype. And you'd be unsurprised to discover that you're right.

This is a speedy read, and it is pretty much gripping once it gets going, and it does have funny bits, but something is lost: we never feel a lick of genuine interest in these characters, and they never feel like more than types being pushed around in something made for the movies. It's just awf
Dec 14, 2015 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, crime, mystery, thriller, 2010
Don Winslow’s Savages starts off with one of the most memorable opening chapters I’ve read; which simply said “F**k you”. These two words set up the feel of this novel really well. Chon and Ben are weed growers in Laguna Beach, California; their product is top of the range. Ben is the botanist that looks after their marijuana and business; Chon looks after the problems. Then there is O; their girlfriend. When the Baja Cartel takes interest in their product, things are bound to get Savage.

I’ve ha
Goran Gluščić
Nisam vidio puno knjiga koje na jednoj stranici znaju imati tri poglavlja. Al' stvarno... Ova knjiga ima više poglavlja (290) nego stranica (254). Što valjda i nije pretjerano čudno uzevši u obzir da neka poglavlja imaju samo jednu riječ.

Nije to jedina čudna stvar u ovoj knjizi. Čakšto, to je možda i najmanje čudna stvar, jer Winslow piše toliko anarhistički da neki put izgleda kao da nikad nije u životu pročitao knjigu. Poglavlja znaju biti pjesme, isječci iz scenarija, gotovo dadaistički razb
Jul 31, 2012 Kurt rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kurt by: Matt
The more time I have to reflect, the more I like this novel. My brother loaned it to me to read on a plane, and I definitely recommend reading it in a context where you can take two hours and just fly through the whole thing at one go. I do not, on the other hand, recommend reading it in a setting where you sit inches from strangers who may read over your shoulder and judge you for all the language and graphic sex and violence. Because yes, the language, sex, and violence are all over the top, b ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
An awesome book with great dialogue written with verve and panache about bad guys and bigger bad guys, who are all savages in the end.

Ben and Chon are high end drug dealers who sell hydro, chronic, a/k/a marijuana in California. They use specially imported plants from Afghanistan to make the best dope people can buy. Ben,uses the money to finance a variety of green projects around the world. Chon, an ex seal enforces the B & C brand with his gun. Both guys are involved with Ophelia, or as sh
Ed [Redacted]
Jul 09, 2011 Ed [Redacted] rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Savages was a great read, fast and fun it was very unlike other Don Winslow books I have read. The story is that of three people Ben,Chon and "O" who are involved in the Southern California marijuana trade. The most mellow drug trade ever just got a whole lot less mellow when the Baja Cartel, a mexican drug cartel, moves in to take over. Ben and Chon are of a mind to leave the trade but, it turns out, the Baja Cartel would rather them stay. To that end, the Cartel kidnaps "O" to force Ben and Ch ...more
Mar 09, 2012 Jake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A few months ago, I read Winslow’s “The Dawn Patrol,” and I liked it quite a bit. The language had a certain lazy cadence to it that perfectly fit the mood and tone of a story starring a bunch of surfers.

Winslow wrote Dawn Patrol in a specific style that never got in the way of the substance. In Savages, Winslow also writes in very specific style. Problem is, that style not only gets in the way of the substance, it trips the substance down a spiraling marble staircase and leaves it twitching at
Jim Coughenour
Savages is a consummate comic western, bobbing with buoyant nihilism. Winslow sets up his characters, spins his dialogue and torques his plot with the panache of Elmore Leonard on sativa and all hell breaks loose. It took me a few (very short) chapters to accept Winslow's poison-dart style; it's so over the top I surrendered.

"Don't do it," Chon says.
"Don't do what?"
"Don't waste your energy feeling guilty about these guys," Chon says.
May I remind you that these are the guys who –
–beheaded people
Mar 07, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished reading this book mere minutes ago, and I'm still amazed.

I accidentally watched the movie before I read the book, not knowing that this Major Motion Picture was previously a book. I loved the movie so much (but who wouldn't? Blake Lively, Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch), that I went out and bought the book.

Needless to say, I flew through this book. It was fantastic. I mean, seriously fantastic. It had witty humour, and the characters were likable and desirable. You were rooting for
Jonathan Peto
I've never been too impressed by people who need slang, clothes, and things to advertise their cool. I'm probably more tolerant of it now than when I was younger, because it's kind of cute to see people try on and discard personas like underwear. I guess I'm tolerant, less judgemental, more relaxed. Wiser maybe? "Get hip, take a long ride on my motorbike."

So what the hell does that have to do with Savages? Quite a bit actually.

Its main characters are young. In a way, they have a lifestyle, rathe
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Goodreads Librari...: Incomplete ISBN13: Savages, Winslow 4 19 Jan 12, 2015 01:21PM  
was this ending right? 37 538 May 27, 2013 11:04PM  
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Don Winslow was born in New York City but raised in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. At various times an actor, director, movie theater manager, safari guide and private investigator, Don has done many things on his way to being a novelist.

His first novel, A Cool Breeze On The Underground, was nominated for an Edgar, and a later book, California Fire and Life, received the Shamus Award. The Death An
More about Don Winslow...

Other Books in the Series

Savages (2 books)
  • The Kings of Cool (Savages #1)

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“If you let people believe that you are weak, sooner or later you’re going to have to kill them.” 50 likes
“Also: do not fuck with someone until you know exactly who the fuck you're fucking with.
And then don't do it.”
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