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El cártel (Power of the Dog #2)

4.3  ·  Rating details ·  16,493 Ratings  ·  1,650 Reviews
El cártel es una colosal narración que se mueve entre los áridos escenarios mexicanos y los despachos de los poderosos en Washington, y que se extiende hasta ciudades europeas como Berlín y Barcelona. El absorbente trabajode documentación de Winslow (libros, prensa, fotos, vídeos, encuentros personales...) le ocupó cinco años, y marcó su vida personal por las implicaciones ...more
Hardcover, 694 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by RBA (first published May 22nd 2015)
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Everyman Yes to both. If you don't want to read about many, many people being killed in many, many gruesome ways, skip this book. If you don't mind that, then…moreYes to both. If you don't want to read about many, many people being killed in many, many gruesome ways, skip this book. If you don't mind that, then go ahead.

But if you have elementary or middle school children who are readers, I strongly recommend not leaving this book in a place where they can access it. (less)
Lynn No. I did read The Power of the Dog long enough ago that I wondered if I should read it again, but I had a problem finding it so when I got The Cartel…moreNo. I did read The Power of the Dog long enough ago that I wondered if I should read it again, but I had a problem finding it so when I got The Cartel I jumped in and no regrets. Truly a magnificent read, not just compelling fiction with rich, complicated characters, but for anyone interested in "the war on drugs" and how it plays out on the other side of our border, this might be the closest one can get to fly on the wall other than first person reporting. (less)

Community Reviews

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Rick Riordan
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Winslow is such an awesome writer. He’s one of those people who makes storytelling look easy, even for other storytellers like me, who know very well that it is NOT easy. The amount of research he did for this book must have been staggering. It is a fictionalized telling of the recent drug wars in Mexico and beyond, with all the gore and horror that I remember from the headlines when I was still living in South Texas. It felt so real, so true to what happened, that I started fearing for the auth ...more
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s a scene in this book in which a Mexican drug lord essentially strolls out of prison thanks to a corrupt system. Reality imitated art a few weeks after it was released when a Mexican drug lord escaped prison via a tunnel so elaborate that it’s very hard to believe it could have been built unnoticed by prison officials.

Don Winslow isn’t a prophet.* He’s just a very talented crime writer who has spent years researching the war on drugs, and he knows all too well how the same mistakes have b
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
" the end of the day or the end of the world, there are no seperate souls. We will go to heaven or we will go to hell, but we will go together."
- Don Winslow, The Cartel


I went into this thinking I was going to get Tom Clancy+, but actually ended up with a novel closer to Norman Mailer. 'The Cartel', and Don Winslow's previous book on the Mexican drug trade ('The Power of the Dog') are best described as a two-part, fictionalized history of the War on Drugs in Mexico.

I was first drawn to read
This is a huge book in every way—for its effects on people’s thinking and actions, in its implications for drug policy worldwide, and in the scope of its historical documentation. It is very up to date. In the fabulous and informative July 13, 2015 interview at Politics & Prose, the Washington, D.C. bookstore, and published online by Slate magazine, Winslow describes the genesis of this book and his writing process.

For writers, this downloadable Soundcloud podcast is a must-listen for how o
È più corrotto il venditore o il compratore, lo spacciatore o il consumatore?
Quanto deve essere corrotta una società perché i suoi cittadini cerchino droghe per sfuggire alla realtà, al prezzo di sangue morte e sofferenza dei loro vicini oltre confine?

”Sicario”, di Denis Villeneuve, 2015, un buon film su droga e lotta ai cartelli. Il sequel, “Soldado”, è stato diretto dal regista italiano Stefano Sollima, di prossima distribuzione.

Con la Pri
Mar 13, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime

He became his own blues song, a Tom Waits loser, a Kerouac saint, a Springsteen hero under the lights of the American highway and the neon glow of the American strip. A fugitive, a sharecropper, a hobo, a cowboy who knows that he’s running out of prairie but rides anyway because there’s nothing left but to ride.

The shit hath hitith the fan.

It infuriates him, this killing, this death. Infuriating that this is what we’re known for now, drug cartels and slaughter. This my city of Avenida 16 Sep
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Violent and devastating look at the "war on drugs." An indictment, really, of both the drug kingpins and law enforcement. Thoroughly absorbing. A bit long in places. But wow. Mercilessly grim in a good way. Some interesting women characters of which I wish there were more. One hell of a read. Art Keller, who is the bitter heart and soul of this book has a fascinating moral code. This is an epic.
Sam Quixote
Drugs are bad, m’kay? And so’s Don Winslow’s latest novel, The Cartel, m’kay?

Ok, I’ll stop that (m’kay?)!

The Cartel spans a decade of the Mexican drug wars from 2004. That’s basically the “story” because what follows for 640(!) pages is a sprawling mess of characters and horrific incidents none of which adds up to anything.

There’s Art Keller, a 50-something former DEA agent who’s retired from locking up drug lords and taken to the monastic life before returning for one last job (what is this,
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
High-Octane Thriller of Mexican Drug Wars
Fallout from America's Opioid Crisis: Opioid Alternative, Cinnamon & Black Tar Heroin Priced to Sell by Sinaloa Cartel and Mexican Rivals
“The Mexicans have finally found a drug that white trash likes and can afford. And one thing you ain’t never gonna run out of is white trash.”
“Just across the bridge is the gigantic marketplace, the insatiable consumer machine that drives the violence here. North Americans smoke the dope, snort the coke, shoot th
Mark Rubinstein
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read nearly everything Don Winslow has written and think he's one of the most innovative writers out there. The Cartel is an opus of a book and follow-up to his earlier novel, The Power of the Dog. This powerhouse book finds DEA agent Art Keller plunged into the Mexican-American drug cartel wars firing up on both sides of the border, even in Central America. This is a gripping saga, but don't be intimidated by its 624 pages--it reads like a drug rush with Keller pursuing Adan Barrera, the p ...more
G.H. Eckel
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a 17 hour Ken Burns' movie in a novel and you get Don Winslow's, The Cartel. It's an epic story of the drug cartels in Mexico, their turf wars, and their fight with government forces that are as violent and ruthless as the cartels they seek to destroy. The novel focuses on one Don who comes back into power after a stint in jail, and the American agent who originally put him there and wants him incarcerated again. The story is fictional but rings true because it's based on real cartels, e ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars

There are a number of ways to receive Don Winslow's massive fictional undertaking The Cartel (a novel even more massive when you consider it's a 600+ page, very-much stand-alone sequel focused on the drug trade in Mexico):

We could blithely ignore what's gone on in the last few decades, and pretend the Grand Guignol of Mexican horrors hasn't directly affected us and willfully whitewash it from our collective cognizance. We could gobble it up and point to it as a proof-positive exemplar of
The Cartel picks up years after the final events in Winslow's drug war chronicle The Power of the Dog . And if you thought Dog was epic, wait till you get a load of this one. In a culmination of their 30-year feud, cartel lord Adán Barrera and DEA legend Art Keller have both lost everything and are stuck in their own prisons. Adán is living large behind the bars of a Mexican prison that he turns into his personal headquarters, and Art is living in seclusion at a border monastery. But when Adán ...more
Vaios Pap
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Το "Καρτέλ" αποτελεί αδιαμφισβήτητα το μεγαλύτερο Επικό Μυθιστόρημα των ναρκωτικών...
Edward Lorn
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover
Not as amazing as THE POWER OF THE DOG but still a good read. I missed Callan. A lot.

A solid four stars. I do wonder what the hell the third book is gonna be about, though.
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brandon by: Kemper
Shelves: 2015, favorites, fiction
Picking up after the events of The Power of the Dog, Adan Barrera is sitting pretty in a Mexican jail. With corruption at its highest, Adan’s cell looks more like a luxury condo as he orchestrates the actions of his cartel outside the prison walls, waiting for the right time to escape.

Art Keller is living a modest life off the grid. After Barrera's escape, Keller is brought back into the fold, charged with tracking down and capturing Adan. And so, it begins again. Keller vs. Barrera. Round Two.

Aug 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an epic this is - it's like about 4 different books combined into one as one cartel after another battles against each other. It really is the Mexican drug equivalent of the Godfather - or maybe all 3 Godfather films combined into 2 books.

I've seen reviews saying that is Winslow's best book but I think I'd put it equal top with "The Power of the Dog" - it is really a continuation of that and you need to read that first to get the most out of it. If you've already read and liked "The Power o
Linwood Barclay
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm only 60 pages or so in, but it's terrific so far, and has an epic feel to it. Winslow either knows this world very well, or has done some amazing research.
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For those of us that remembered Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán's vanishing act from his first maximum-security prison stint at Puente Grande -- supposedly via a laundry cart in 2001 -- it was deja vu all over again when it was announced on July 12th that "Shorty" had done it again. Unnoticed by guards, Guzmán pried open a 1'6" sq. metal grill in the floor of his shower, went through the floor, down a ladder, along a tunnel...
...and out the door onto his ride to freedom. So thorough was the rehearsal
Jess Penhallow
This book wasn't quite as good as The Power of the Dog for me. Perhaps it was because the novelty of this authors style has worn off, perhaps the storyline was too complicated, I'm not sure. It just didn't pack the punch that I was expecting.

This book, set around 5 years after the conclusion of the previous book. was some how much narrower in scope than its predecessor (the action was mainly contained to Mexico and a time span of 10 vs 30 years) and much broader at the same time. There were far
João Carlos

Nas páginas iniciais de ”Cartel” (2015) o escritor norte-americano Don Winslow (n. 1953) refere que: Este livro é dedicado a: Alberto Torres Villegas, (…), David Araujo Arévalo, jornalistas assassinados ou “desaparecidos” no México durante o período de tempo abrangido por este romance. Houve outros.”
Dessa extensa lista constam os nomes de cento e trinta e um jornalistas assassinados ou “desaparecidos” no México entre 2004 e 2012; uma contagem assustadora, mas que apenas é um pequeno número de ví
One of the easiest five stars I've ever given to a book. Not only is this one of the most epic, sweeping crime novels I've ever read, it's also a brilliant fictionalized history and inarguably a work of social activism. Don Winslow is officially The Shit, more later.
This book is filed under Fiction because it is a fictionalized account, but the events, the descriptions, the locations and even many of the names are very real. The disturbing violence is very real. The situations have precedence, and while I knew this overall, reading Winslow's recent article in Esquire, underscored it even more (See: El Chapo and the Secret History of the Heroin Crisis ).

It's devastating, but it's important. Following the narrow, law enforcement both US and Mexican, and the
Carlos Gomez
This was an okay book and it shed some more light on the cartel situation in Mexico. With full respect to Mr Winslow and his past work (the book "Power of the Dog" was very good), I must say, however, that after reading two other novels on the subject recently, this one seemed flat.

Bolano's "2666" 2666about all the murder/rapes in Ciudad Juarez was very very much a horror story, and then Perez-Geise's "Send More Idiots" Send More Idiotsabout a kidnapping was completely on the other end of the s
Patrick O'Neil
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fuck yeah, Don Winslow’s The Cartel is here and I read it, and all I can say is “Fuck! Holy Fuck! Fuck Yeah!” Although I’m pissed that I tore through the entire book in less then a week. I was busy, I had shit to do, like work, and eat, and sleep, and it just got in the way of me reading, but I still couldn’t make it last more than five days. Shit, Winslow’s the literary equivalent to Jon Stewart and The Daily Show – because nobody demystifies the Socioeconomic/Political/Narco tangle of Mexico l ...more
This story follows on from The Power of the Dog. It's not too often that you come across a second novel in a continuing storyline that is as excellent as the first novel. A story of revenge, power and domination between Art Keller and drug lord Aden Barrera in South America. It's a violent, dark and seedy world that they inhabit. Sometimes difficult to ascertain just who the "good guys" are meant to be. A fitting ending to the struggle between the two characters.

Time and money well spent and de
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an opinion on drug policy
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: Joe Cummings of GR
Shelves: fiction, thriller
The dedication belies the standard disclaimer: “This is a work of fiction....” That dedication is a list of over 120 journalists murdered or “disappeared” in Mexico during the time frame of this novel (2004-2012). It ends with the chilling valediction: “There were others.”

THE CARTEL opens in November 2012 with a familiar action sequence. A Blackhawk carrying special forces flies on a clandestine assassination mission on foreign soil. What follows is a flashback of the previous eight years of
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read 'The Cartel' immediately after it's prequel 'The Power of the Dog'. According to the New York Times 'The Cartel' can be read as a stand alone book but it's best to read the two books in sequence. I agree.

Together, 'The Power of the Dog' and 'The Cartel' span nearly 1,200 pages and 40 years and present a multifaceted view of the War on Drugs. 'The Power of the Dog' covers the first 30 years, during which the war was fought on a much more intimate scale than it was from 2004 to 2014, the pe
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a shocking story. Better review coming, but seriously, read this!

Find more reviews and bookish fun at
Jack Getze
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Super book. Like many Americans, I used to talk about Mexico's corruption, how easy it was for drug criminals to move their goods through Mexico. I understood the problem was an American one, too. No demand, no drugs flowing into the US, no violence, no corruption. What I didn't understand until I read this book is how hopeless it is for the Mexican police, local state and federal. There's a fictional federal law enforcement official mentioned who tries to explain to the American protagonist, a ...more
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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

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“When you ask people, “What’s America’s longest war?” they usually answer “Vietnam” or amend that to “Afghanistan,” but it’s neither. America’s longest war is the war on drugs.” 9 likes
“Maybe money can’t buy happiness, but it can rent it for a long time.” 8 likes
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