Savages (Savages #2) Savages discussion

was this ending right?

Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Dariosk Is it just me or is the ending a bit disappointing?
I mean... these two smart guys going to an obvious ambush when they have the power to avoid it?
It doesn't make a lot of sense...
And how about taking so many risks hitting the cartel?
Don't get me wrong, I'm still in awe of what Winslow achieved, but I still feel something's not right.

Michael Sherer The whole book is morally ambiguous. Winslow has us rooting for criminals this time, and it's unsettling.

Tfitoby i can see what you're saying dariosk, i felt the end was a bit..... myself but it did seem to fit with what Winslow wanted to achieve. He was leaving enough clues all the way through to make the denouement the obvious conclusion, or at least understandable from the readers point of view.

at no point did i think they would back down from hitting the cartel, of course it would've been the sensible thing to do and the part of me that had already grown to like these people was hoping they would but it was clear it wouldn't happen because of who Chon and Ben were as people and their love of O.

message 4: by Dariosk (last edited Jan 13, 2012 08:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dariosk true... true...
but getting tough with the cartel was putting O. in even more danger.
you're right about Winslow wanting to get to that end
but I think he may have forced it.

he might have wanted to show that even 2 really cool cats like Chon and Ben can get stupidly greedy, that even they could not get out when they should've...

but to me it sounds forced, there's something there that doesn't fit... they are just too cool until the very last word so when did they get dumb and hotheaded?

Tfitoby to me it felt like they never had a choice, that events conspired against them and that their course of action was predetermined. aside from the final decision to ensure they remained together; to me this was the worst decision they made as there was a legitimate alternative, whereas all other moments where they could've backed down throughout the narrative meant death at the hands of the cartel.

i don't think greed came in to it. it's not like the cash was for them. if anything it was the greed of the cartel that screwed everything up for everyone.

the cartel were in control and Chon & Ben were simply trying to get their lives back. surely the dumbest/most hot headed move was to force two people to grow for you who didn't want to? accepting their desire to give up the trade would surely still have allowed the cartel to run things in that specific area anyway?

message 6: by Tad (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tad I read this book a few months ago, and I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. One decision after another led them to this ending, but how far back up the decision tree would they have had to go in order to make a choice that would have led to a different outcome? Really enjoyed the style of this book and it sticks with you.

Dariosk they didn't have to go back that far...
the last shootout could have been avoided

anyway... I really wanted the 'good guys'(ben, cho, O)
to come out OK of this.

they were doing their 'thing' without being nasty about it. they weren't forcing anybody to do anything for them and they were decent about their business.

I understand that in 'real life' the cool guys may never win (this world is too savage for that) but at least in fiction I like to see them sticking it up to 'the Man'

Tfitoby seems like gritty realism is not for you dariosk. there was at least some semblence of a happy ending. i might have preferred that they lost or even worse they were brutally tortured perhaps.

i wonder how true to the book oliver stone has been. i think that the film is now in post-production.

Nigel Bird It's a good while since I read it, but I didn't have any issues with the book at all other than how bloody good it is. I loved it.

Nice to see a work of such quality getting some discussion.

Dariosk Tfitoby:
yes, gritty realism is not for me
there's too much of that already in real life, thanks.
In fiction I like something a little better than that!

the film can never be as cool as the book, no way


message 11: by Riki (new) - rated it 4 stars

Riki Did all 3 of them die in the end? I wasn't too clear on it. Chon said Ben was a goner for sure, and he was just injecting them with morphine. I guess they were overdosing themselves...?

Dariosk hey Riki
yeah, I think the only clear thing is that Ben was out
which makes sense since he was thoroughly disappointed with this world (aren't we all?, ja!)


Ashley It's nice to see that I wasn't the only one a little iffy on the ending. While yes it was realistic in some ways....I still would have been happy with an unrealistic ending. Hell. It would have even been plausible for Elena to let them go safely after killing Lado and getting her daughter back.

Honestly what seems even more unrealistic to me is that only Ben is fatally wounded, honestly only Ben seemed to be wounded at all in the end and that O goes and shoots Elena? And then she and Chon choose to die with Ben.

I have no issue with them choosing to die with Ben. I thought it was sweet for how it had to end. But honestly....with that ending I think that it should have at least been mentioned that Chon and O got hurt somehow in the shoot out, didn't have to be fatal but they honestly couldn't have not gotten hit AT ALL, this is just me being nit picky about details.

My issue with Elena shooting all them goes even deeper than just wanting my favorite characters to live. It's that Elena wanted out of all this. She never wanted to kill O. And yes she had a thing against men but that's overpowered by the fact that she wanted out of the drug trade.

I figure things out as I type and what I'm trying to say here is that...the end was wrong for me because the author could have reasonably ended things by killing Lado, Elena backing off, and Ben, Chon, and O leaving the country for a different life.

Which makes me wonder what was the actual bigger message to killing them. Bad guys can't win? I get that maybe Ben would have been a little screwed up for having been forced to compromise his morals and O would have had some PTSD but really. They could have lived.

Dariosk hi Ashley

i have this to say about your comment...

after reading Satori i'm getting the impression that Winslow has a 'thing' for making his characters suffer.
there seems to be some strong kind of love/hate relationship going on here...

it's weird, because the guy is obviously such a gifted writer...


message 15: by Mia (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mia Downing Ashley wrote: "It's nice to see that I wasn't the only one a little iffy on the ending. While yes it was realistic in some ways....I still would have been happy with an unrealistic ending. Hell. It would have eve..."

They do mention injuries briefly. When Chon and O are with Elena they talk of a river of blood down O's tattoo, and that Chon can't hold up the rifle to shoot Elena. It's not clear, but it is there.

My problem was the lack of depth in the decisions. I would have liked just a bit more internal dialogue from the characters at the end. I felt like it was rushed, but it showed how much the three loved each other. Very chilling in some ways.

Ashley Mia wrote: "They do mention injuries briefly. When Chon and O are with Elena they talk of a river of blood down O's tattoo, and that Chon can't hold up the rifle to shoot Elena. It's not clear, but it is there. "

Ok You're right I did forget about the rive of blood going down her tattoo but Chon's injury is from that final ambush that got them the last of the cash they needed.

message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I'm a bit confused on the ending.. Did they all die? Ben was obviously dying but did the morphine kill the other 2? Wish the author would of elaborated.

Ashley It's implied Chon and O took fatal doses of morphine to die so they didn't have to live without Ben.

Dariosk mmmh I didn't get that...
I'll have to check it out.
I remember having the impression that what happens to Chon and O is pretty much open.


Tfitoby Theres a sequel released this month so i imagine we'll soon find out

message 21: by Riki (new) - rated it 4 stars

Riki I think it's a prequel, not a sequel that's being released.

Tfitoby Oh. Damn. My bad.
It certainly makes more sense. But is still entirely unnecessary

message 23: by O (new) - added it

O i thought it was a beautiful story, it was bitterly painful to see what the fates had in store for three characters i poured myself into, loved and was rooting for. tears literally fell out my eyes as i read ben fall.
though, i agree, the ending seemed a little rushed, i found myself, with tears running down my face being like "whaaaaat? wait.. what? "
This was an absolutely amazing book, definitely in my top 5!
roookeeen don Winslow

Chris I enjoyed this book as well and thought the end was pretty interesting. This is my first Don Winslow book. Any suggestions on what to read next of his?

Tfitoby Chris wrote: "I enjoyed this book as well and thought the end was pretty interesting. This is my first Don Winslow book. Any suggestions on what to read next of his?"

I read The Winter of Frankie Machine next and it was very nearly almost as good. It's not as fat as some of his others whilst having more substance than the very slim Bobby Z.

message 26: by Jeff (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeff Shelby I didn't like the ending, only because I liked the characters so much. But I thought it fit with the characters and their choices. Also fits with Winslow's view on the war on drugs - there are no winners.

Chris - I don't think you can go wrong with any of his books, but I'd highly recommend California Fire and Life, The Power of the Dog and The Dawn Patrol.

Bookiemom LG This was my first book that I have read from Don Winslow... I enjoyed Savages, but the ending confused me a little.... I didn't like the ending, but I see why it had to end that way... I plan on reading the prequel of savages, The Power of the Dog and The Winter of Frankie Machine. I heard they are really good...

message 28: by Simon (new) - added it

Simon I know I am late with adding to this discussion, but I only just finished the book - I think this has to be one of the books that I sat down and basically finished it in two marathon sittings. It was that good!

I loved it and was bummed out about the ending. However, I did think that it was hinted at throughout the book - like Ben's musings on how he had it coming to him Karma wise, because he killed those two people as well as setting up Alex.

Chon was interesting for me - the whole thing with the Cartel forcing him to become an enforcer and when he qualifies what his worldview is: Us against the world. Us being the three of them and everybody else he didn't care about.

I was definitely confused by the ending - I know that O was wounded (that whole thing with the Mermaid crying the river of blood), Ben was dying, Chon had been wounded during the last raid with the cartel. So, did Chon give everybody a shot of Morphine enough to kill them or....

Crissy I appreciated the ending.. much better than the movie's ending for sure!

message 30: by Dariosk (last edited Sep 10, 2012 03:06PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dariosk I only saw the trailer for the movie and it looks like typical hollywood crap

you need a superb director at the top of his game to translate a book like Savages into a great movie.
O. Stone is so far from that...

message 31: by Jeff (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeff Tucker I just saw the unedited version of the movie. They completely changed the ending. I think I liked the ending in the movie better but, for the most part, the book was better than the movie. I wonder if they'll make a movie of The Kings of Cool. It's a much more complicated story.

message 32: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike Had I not read and loved the book, the ending in the movie might have been okay. Considering that I DID read and love the book, the ending in the movie was crap.

I did feel the ending in the book worked... but of course I'm always a sucker for a good Butch and Sundance ending.

message 33: by Dave (new)

Dave For those of you who are angsting over a satisfying ending, apparently the movie makers did as well. See the movie and you will find a solution.

Tfitoby Haha that ending was awful, a dreadful end to a dreadful movie.

message 35: by Dariosk (last edited May 27, 2013 11:07PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dariosk well, I just saw it.
my apologies to mr. Stone
he did pretty well

the ending(s) are still problematic for me
the film's alternate is quite hollywood silly.

but on the whole i think the movie
did the book justice.

tfitoby: re reading your posts i get your points better.
the movie though, it was an almost impossible task
and I don't see how they could've done much better (ending excluded, of course)

Dariosk oh, and after watching the movie i got the
feeling that maybe Winslow was trying to say
that as long as pot is illegal it will always
involve savagery.
that's why the dreadful ending.
but still, I think
the characters deserved better.

Dariosk also (sorry for the add-ons)
i recently finished
"way down on the high lonely"
that has a similar situation at the end
with a different result
(i liked that one
and it makes sense to me)

back to top

all discussions on this book | post a new topic

Books mentioned in this topic

Savages (other topics)
The Winter of Frankie Machine (other topics)