James's Reviews > Savages

Savages by Don Winslow
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Jul 26, 2012

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Read from July 26 to 27, 2012

A brisk, ellipsis of a crime novel with corruption, cynicism, a twisted battle between a drug gang and three Americans who stand in their way.
Winslow's style is completely original: random, free-associative, words turn into other words, referential in a way that seems like it was written this past year, references to Iraq, Afghanistan, Obama, Bush, and everything else. The characters are sketches, and the plot moves. Two young men, best friends, love one woman, O, and her kidnapping by the cartel puts everything into play. One man is a liberal, worldly donor; the other is a vicious, brutal ex-Seal with combat experience. They decide to take on the cartels, and part of the fun of this book is watching Winslow jump with these characters out of the plane, making it up as they go along. Everyone is a sketch and has darkness, but the ending is fun, and I thought the prose was eminently readable. I read this book at an astonishing clip, pulsing through it in about a day and a half. I'm going to read more Winsow; apparently, there's a prequel?
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