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El poder del perro (Power of the Dog #1)

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  13,561 Ratings  ·  1,150 Reviews
Cuando su compañero aparece muerto con signos de haber sido torturado por la mafia de la droga, el agente de la DEA Art Keller, emprende una feroz venganza. Encadenados a la misma guerra, se encuentran una hermosa prostituta de alto standing; un cura católico confidente de esta y empeñado en ayudar al pueblo, y Billy «el Niño» Callan, un chico taciturno convertido por azar ...more
Paperback, 718 pages
Published January 30th 2009 by Grijalbo Mondadori Sa (first published 2005)
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Fran Armijo The book is full of scenes of violence, some of that are really disgusting, but they're written in a very natural style and don't go deep. I mean,…moreThe book is full of scenes of violence, some of that are really disgusting, but they're written in a very natural style and don't go deep. I mean, Winslow didnt't a morbid style, don't expect something like American Psycho for example. (less)
Yaniv Greenberg Not really,
since most of the characters are English speaking, most of it is is English, and even when there is a specific sentence or anything in…more
Not really,
since most of the characters are English speaking, most of it is is English, and even when there is a specific sentence or anything in Spanish, it is followed by the character translating it in his head (and for us in the book).(less)

Community Reviews

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Mar 18, 2008 brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CIA, DEA, FBI, NSA, NAFTA, irish mob, italian mafia, cold warriors, sandanistas, contras, high-priced whores, corrupt priests, reagan, bush, giuliani, colombian druglords, mexican cartels, campesinos, gomeros, torture, despair, murder, etc. this is one sprawling motherfuck of a great book. this guy leaves lehane pelecanos and any of his contemporary crimers (um, except ellroy) in the dust. gotta read more of his shit... viva don winslow y donkey don powell!
This is not my favorite Don Winslow novel. I’d put it at #3 after Savages and The Winter of Frankie Machine. However, considering that Winslow has written over a dozen books and for my money is one of the best and most underrated guys working in crime fiction today, getting a bronze medal is pretty damn good.

Running from the mid-1970s until the turn of the century, Winslow’s historical fiction illustrates the difference between the stated public policy of America’s drug war against the covert ba
Jul 23, 2015 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything about Don Winslow’s The Power of the Dog feels familiar. As I read it, pop culture artifacts as different as Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, and the techno-thrillers of Tom Clancy popped into my head. The dramatis personae is almost a list of archetypes: the hard-charging, straight-edged DEA agent; the hard-charging agent's charmless boss; and the urbane drug lord who gradually gets his hands dirtier and dirtier. This is a novel where you can see all the movin ...more
Richard Vialet
I've owned this book for years but kept putting it off until now. I got about 50 pages in and knew that I should have gotten around to this earlier and was peeved at myself for wasting time this year on more disappointing reads. This is the type of book that doesn't come around too often. A book that finds the perfect balance between it's attention to detail and research, it's sensitivity to character, and it's great structure, all wrapped up in passionate prose.

Imagine a mix of Traffic, Sicari
Jun 24, 2015 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brandon by: Kemper
Shelves: fiction, 2015
Beginning in the late seventies and stretching over a near thirty year period, Don Winslow’s The Power of the Dog follows organized crime and the devastation left in its wake.

In The Power of the Dog, Winslow heavily features the Mexican drug war, but he also tackles the mob in New York City, prostitution in southern California and the communist scare in South America. All of these locations and events share various characters that weave in and out of conflicts like a high speed motorcycle chase
Mar 24, 2008 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Power of the Dog can sit next to other books that portray the American Dream as dark bruise, such as Libra, American Tabloid, and Dog Soldiers, but it may feel uncomfortable as it lacks their power of prose, depth of character (none of the characters are cartoons though), and stylistic heights: but it does have their ambition and authenticity in its vision of history as double-crosses, compromises, and bloody spectacle. But this unfair as this is really a thriller at heart (especially its finale ...more
Patrick O'Neil
Mar 02, 2011 Patrick O'Neil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Damn, Don Winslow's The Power of the Dog is one hell of an ambitious novel. And it came out in 2005 – why haven't I heard about it until now? Obviously, my fault – I blame the usual culprits of isolation and ignorance. I mean I even read the blurb and didn't think much of the premise, but still decided to give it a go. I was dead wrong – the book rocked, I barely put it down. It's got everything an intense retelling of America's war on drugs needs. It aligns so many real and hypothesized events ...more
Apr 05, 2017 Lady-R rated it really liked it
Directa, cruda, crudísima, impactante, trepidante, adictiva.
Si HBO hiciera una serie basada en El poder del perro, me olvidaría rápido de Narcos. Si Scorsese la adaptara a la gran pantalla podríamos volver a ver algo al nivel de Goodfellas. Si Villeneuve volviera a rodar una escenaza en la frontera como la de Sicario con el material que se narra aquí, nos daría un jamacuco de la tensión.
No le pongo las 5 estrellas únicamente porque el género negro no es mi favorito para leer, lo prefiero en e
Nov 10, 2016 Azumi rated it it was amazing
Libra mi cuello de la espada.
Y mi vida de las garras del perro

Novela dura donde las haya. Es sangrienta, brutal, escalofriante y con pasajes que te ponen los pelos de punta y te revuelven el estómago.

Pero me ha encantado.

Pensaba ponerle 4 estrellas, pero solo por los últimos capítulos (que me leí anoche) en los que estuve agarrando fuertemente el libro y en tensión (view spoiler)
Jun 26, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I don't read much science fiction anymore. When it was great, it was all about man and the Big Idea, or First Contact. It was all about the discovery of revealing concepts and bizarre things. But after the 80s, Speculative Fiction, as 'they' preferred to call it, brought more of a social consciousness to the stories and explored political structures and how they affected whatever new world we were in.
It didn't take long for me to get sick of it and abandon the genre.

What the...? Did Bill get his
Psicologia ridotta all’osso (un osso molto rosicchiato).
Grandi descrizioni di quelle che mi viene da definire scenografie (interni ed esterni). Si tratta di un autore e di un libro che sono entrambi in forte prossimità cinematografica.
Dialoghi curati.
Azione, azione, azione.
Violenza, crudeltà, sangue, torture: Tony Montana in confronto è un chierichetto.

Winslow è stato un investigatore privato, consulente per studi legali e compagnie di assicurazione, esperto di tecniche
The Power of the Dog: Machismo, Madness, & Morality

Don Winslow has written the epic "Dope" novel in The Power of the Dog. It is a mean, dirty story where it is not always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys.

This is not a mere cop and crime story. Winslow goes much deeper than that. While not strictly historical fiction, because Winslow tends to change the names to protect the guilty, and omit the names to blur which Presidential Administration particular acts may be attributed to, c
Feb 14, 2015 Skip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A dark novel by Californian Don Winslow about the never-ending "war on drugs" and the various efforts of the U.S. government and its agencies to support or destabilize political regimes in Latin America (a/k/a geopolitical meddling), from the mid-70s thru the late 1990s Most of the novel centers on a Mexican crime family, an honorable DEA agent who slowly loses his soul, and a few Mafioso from NY. Well-researched but also extremely violent with repeated, cataclysmic collateral damage. However, t ...more
Oct 11, 2007 Ryan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm torn on this one because on the one hand, the story is pretty solid. Winslow really unpacks the bureaucracy that makes the war on drugs so snarly. By the time he's through, it's pretty clear which agencies are involved and why and how they're all connected.

Unfortunately, he also writes lines like: "Then the elevator doors slide open and water pours out, like a scene from a bad, grotesque horror film."

And he does it A LOT.

Winslow's good at distilling information, even generating a pretty swe
Apr 06, 2013 Harry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is not a novel I would compliment for it's stylistic prose, its character development, or it's originality in terms of plot: this is a novel that were it to be true is nothing short of a devastating indictment of the War on drugs. My rating of this book is based on its subject matter and its research and how it affects me as a reader.

Normally, I throw up my eyebrows in quizzical fashion when reading reviews that complain about the lack of verisimilitude, or that the author somehow has inven
Mar 15, 2015 Steve rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This one started out great, but with about 150 pages to go (it's well over 500), I found my interest waning. Characters started flattening out, repetitive gun battles where it seemed the major characters had an almost hobbit-like ability to survive, and a general sense of looseness as the epic subject (the drug wars) seemed to go beyond Winslow's pulpish grasp. There are a number of awesome, blood soaked scenes. A favorite of mine was early on where an Irish enforcer tries to lean too hard on a ...more
Jul 04, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usa, noir
Salva l’anima dalla spada, salva il cuore dal potere del cane

Ho letto molti commenti entusiastici su questo romanzo fiume. Un ottimo noir che analizza il mondo del narcotraffico tra Stati Uniti, Messico e paesi del Centro America, seguendo le strade tortuose della droga e delle armi che salgono e scendono tra i continenti in un intricato nodo di intrecci tra CIA, governo americano, DEA, polizia federale messicana, mafia italoamericana, movimenti comunisti sudamericani, Chiesa cattolica, Opus Dei
Aug 17, 2010 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic in story and substance, THE POWER OF THE DOG is the crime equivalent of a broad spanning fantasy novel. Told over a thirty year time frame, Winslow's masterful tale of cross border drug running, corrupt cops, and gangsters is much more than a bloody swipe at alphabet agency politicking, with themes comprising vengeance, betrayal, misguided justice, and the illusion of redemption rife.

Through Art Keller, Winslow delivers a rich and deeply satisfying plot driven by a tainted protagonist whose
Many reviews already written and a comprehensive synopsis on offer already. Thoroughly enjoyed this gritty, violent novel about the quest for power in the drug wars between the U.S.A and South America. The action takes place between the 1970's and late 1990's. It quite an intense read in places. Really no winners here and often difficult to know who the "good guys" are meant to be. Saw this recommended by author Adrian McKinty on his blog and decided to check it out. Very glad I did.
May 05, 2017 Albert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Por nada en particular, y por todo en general... cinco estrellas.
Camilo Guerra
Feb 08, 2017 Camilo Guerra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir, novel
-Si el diez por ciento de EL PODER DEL PERRO fuera verdad,sería algo horripilante.Que el noventa por ciento pueda ser cierto resulta casi insoportable.

No son palabras mias, sino de un critico Norteamericano que Rodrigo fresan incluye en su prologo, yu lo entiendo, ya que en esas palabras hay una crueldad devastadora que te hace sentir un frió asqueroso, que te hace sentirte sucio y triste. Una historia a varias bandas, con muchos personajes, desde el grupo de mafiosos Mexicanos que viven a plato
Dec 25, 2015 Atram_sinprisa rated it it was amazing
Me maravilla cómo Don Winslow ha sido capaz de crear este universo con tal complejidad de personajes y tramas, y que logre que el lector no se sienta perdido.

Novela dura, con cadáveres a mansalva, con droga a raudales y mentiras a destajo. Una novela sobre los cárteles, pero sobre todo sobre los seres humanos capaces de vender su alma al mejor postor.
Sep 07, 2015 Xabi1990 rated it really liked it
Winslow tiene un libro que se llama "Salvajes" ... pero este libro sí es realmente salvaje.

La sinopsis os dice de que va. Yo sólo os añado que se me puso mal cuerpo en varios pasajes, así de cruda y fielmente te presenta esas salvajadas por parte de las mafias de la droga. Espeluznante.
Comprare libri e poi aspettare anni prima di leggerli a volte può essere controproducente: Il potere del cane di Don Winslow è dal 2009 che si trova sugli scaffali della mia libreria, e nel frattempo lo vedevo sempre più collezionare voti altissimi e recensioni entusiaste. Un libro che mi *doveva* piacere (era piaciuto a tutti!), e forse questa aspettativa gli ha giocato contro, perché mi ha spinto a guardarlo con occhio iper-critico. O forse passare da una striscia di letture più "leggere" a un ...more
Jun 24, 2011 manuti rated it it was amazing
Ya estamos a medio camino del año. Y después de leerlo, solo queda decir que este es el auténtico libro del verano de 2010, no deberías leer nada sin antes haber devorado este novela de 10 estrellas. Esta novela de la que nadie quiere hablar y que a pesar de llevar 10 ediciones en España nadie quiere colocar en la mesa de libros más leídos, no sea que se lo lleve alguna abuelilla y luego tenga pesadillas el resto de su vida.

Una novela que abarca 30 años de lucha antidroga en México, donde aparec
Luis A. Vidorreta
El Poder del Perro me llegó casi de pasada, una recomendación de un amigo que me animó a comprarlo en la librería y a sumarlo a mi pila. Ni siquiera había oído hablar del autor (nada raro porque por aquel entonces era casi desconocido en España) pero cuando lo abrí descubría algo que me impidió dejarlo.
El Poder del Perro nos cuenta la guerra contra las drogas de EEUU en la frontera de México desde los 70 y con la figura de un agente de la DEA como personaje principal.
Don Winslow no se caracteri
Jan 18, 2017 Alberto rated it really liked it
Shelves: crimenes
Una semana me ha durado. Es una mezcla entre el Padrino /Uno de los nuestros y la serie Narcos con unas gotas de Breaking Bad. Empieza muy bien y con mucho ritmo pero a mediados de novela hay un momento de confusión tremendo (le sobran un centenar de páginas). Afortunadamente luego se recupera el hilo y el final acaba siendo muy bueno, lo suficiente como para animarte a leer la continuación "El cartel".
Wow! What an intense book! The Power of the Dog is an epic crime thriller that is powerful, intelligent, brutal, informative and riveting. The audio book is fantastic. The narrator brings the many characters in this story to life.

I find this book very difficult to review because it is such an expansive story. The book is as it spans three decades of the events revolving around the illicit drug trade in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. The story follows the character Art Keller, DEA agent
Roberto Alhambra
Muy buena. Muy cruda. Genial el tratamiento del narrador que hace Winslow, muy dinámico, y delirante el clímax final. Muy recomendable para estómagos poderosos y pieles de cuero.
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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

Power of the Dog (2 books)
  • The Cartel

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“You don’t let them knock you out, you make them knock you out. You make them break their fucking hands knocking you out, you let them know that they’ve been in a fight, you give them something to remember you by every time they look in a mirror.” 24 likes
“The Americans take a product that literally grows on trees and turn it into a valuable commodity. Without
them, cocaine and marijuana would be like oranges, and instead of making billions smuggling it, I’d be making pennies doing stoop labor in some California field, picking it.”
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