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The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages

The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages

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The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages

4/5 (18 valoraciones)
493 página
4 horas
Jun 19, 2012


From the New York Times bestselling author of The Cartel, The Force, and The Border

In Savages, Don Winslow introduced Ben and Chon, twenty-something best friends who risk everything to save the girl they both love, O. Among the most celebrated literary thrillers, Savages was a Top 10 Book of the Year selection by Janet Maslin in The New York Times and Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly.

Now, in this high-octane prequel to Savages, Winslow reaches back in time to tell the story of how Ben, Chon, and O became the people they are. Spanning from 1960s Southern California to the recent past, The Kings of Cool is a breathtak­ingly original saga of family in all its forms—fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, friends and lovers. As the trio at the center of the book does battle with a cabal of drug dealers and crooked cops, they come to learn that their future is inextricably linked with their parents’ history. A series of breakneck twists and turns puts the two generations on a collision course, culminating in a stunning showdown that will force Ben, Chon, and O to choose between their real families and their loyalty to one another.
Jun 19, 2012

Sobre el autor

Don Winslow is the author of twenty-two acclaimed, award-winning international bestsellers, including the New York Times bestsellers The Force and The Border, the #1 international bestseller The Cartel, The Power of the Dog, Savages, and The Winter of Frankie Machine. Savages was made into a feature film by three-time Oscar-winning writer-director Oliver Stone. The Power of the Dog, The Cartel, and The Border sold to FX to air as a major television series, and The Force is soon to be a major motion picture from 20th Century Studios. A former investigator, antiterrorist trainer, and trial consultant, Winslow lives in California and Rhode Island.

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The Kings of Cool - Don Winslow

Praise for The Kings of Cool

My beef with Don Winslow comes down to this: He can’t write these books as quickly as I rip through them. Though good lord, he’s tryin’. . . . As always with Winslow, the savage delight is in the details. . . . Throw in the usual array of crooked cops, stone-cold killers and Magic Mountain sex, and you have another Cherry Garcia reading experience.

—The Oregonian

Wordplay is a hallmark of Winslow’s distinctive narrative voice . . . [He] maintains a loose, witty stream-of-consciousness banter laced with puns and pop-culture-fueled digressions.

—Entertainment Weekly

"An inventive writer . . . Winslow pushes the boundaries of prose in The Kings of Cool, supplementing a conventional story with haiku-like paragraphs, the occasional script and a stream of consciousness approach."

—The Denver Post

"All the snap and savvy of Savages but with even more ambition and heart . . . The money gets bigger, the stakes get higher and the violence turns from an off-screen flirtation into a live-in lover. . . . [Winslow has] graduated from well-reviewed writer to a name brand author who delivers the goods."

—The Huffington Post

Blistering . . . Winslow serves up nonstop action, tempering the tension with his trademark razor-sharp wit. . . . This cool, clever entry is sure to be a royally popular summer read.

—Booklist (starred review)

Another Winslow roller-coaster thriller.

—Library Journal (starred review)

Praise for Savages

"A revelation . . . Every bit as savage as its title . . . This is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid on autoload."

—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

"Savages will jolt Mr. Winslow into a different league . . . [His] most boisterously stylish crime book, his gutsiest and most startling . . . its wisecracks are so sharp, its characters so mega-cool and its storytelling so ferocious that the risks pay off, thanks especially to Mr. Winslow’s no-prisoners sense of humor. . . . The Winslow effect is to fuse the grave and the playful, the body blow and the joke, the nightmare and the pipe dream."

—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Savages is the book of my generation . . . Solidifies Winslow’s reputation as not just one of the best crime writers working today, but one of the best writers, period. Jesus Christ, this book."

—Brendan Leonard, January Magazine

Blisteringly original . . . Winslow’s prose is so choppy and grammatically acrobatic that in lesser hands it would have obliterated the storytelling. Like his heroes, though, the only rules he plays by are his own, branding him a kind of Hunter Thompson for the fiction world. . . . The perfect meshing of style and substance.

—Jon Land, Providence Journal-Bulletin

Winslow’s marvelous, adrenaline-juiced roller coaster of a novel . . . is both a departure and a culmination, pyrotechnic braggadocio and deep meditation on contemporary American culture.

—Sarah Weinman, Los Angeles Times

While the book is hip and slides along as smooth as a docile wave over sand, the stakes are extreme and the outcome fatalistic. This is the story of love’s costs—and the acceptance of whatever that cost entails.

—Randy Michael Signor, Chicago Sun-Times

" Savages continues Don Winslow’s streak of darkly funny Southern California novels. Winslow’s short bursts of well-timed action, hipster dialogue and rat-a-tat prose are as addictive as ever."

—Adam Woog, The Seattle Times

" Savages is an unrelenting and entertaining summer read. And the fun— even in a novel where you can trust that few people end up in one piece— is flat-out contagious."

—Steve Duin, The Oregonian

"A spellbinding tour de force that is utterly impossible to put down. Savages is, bar none, the finest novel I have read in years."

—Christopher Reich

" Savages is Don Winslow’s best book yet—a wickedly funny and smart novel, with a ripped-from-the-headlines story that gets your pulse racing as the action unfolds. Razor-sharp plot twists, a cast of ruthless antiheroes, and of course, Winslow’s superb, adrenaline-fueled prose make this scorching, drug-infused thriller an addictive and entertaining read."

—Janet Evanovich

A game-changer for the genre. This fascinating thriller is super hip, wildly funny, supremely smart and sexy. Don Winslow has actually invented a new kind of graphic novel by using uniquely formatted, vivid prose constructions instead of hand-drawn panels. It’s a thrilling and brilliant tour de force, and it will produce many imitators.

—Joseph Wambaugh


Title Page

To Shane Salerno, for everything.

Anytime, anywhere, man.



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Chapter 51

Chapter 52

Chapter 53

Chapter 54

Chapter 55

Chapter 56

Chapter 57

Chapter 58

Chapter 59

Chapter 60

Chapter 61

Chapter 62

Chapter 63

Chapter 64

Chapter 65

Chapter 66

Chapter 67

Chapter 68

Chapter 69

Chapter 70

Chapter 71

Chapter 72

Chapter 73

Chapter 74

Chapter 75

Chapter 76

Chapter 77

Chapter 78

Chapter 79

Chapter 80

Chapter 81

Chapter 82

Chapter 83

Chapter 84

Chapter 85

Chapter 86

Chapter 87

Chapter 88

Chapter 89

Chapter 90

Chapter 91

Chapter 92

Chapter 93

Chapter 94

Chapter 95

Chapter 96

Chapter 97

Chapter 98

Chapter 99

Chapter 100

Chapter 101

Chapter 102

Chapter 103

Chapter 104

Chapter 105

Chapter 106

Chapter 107

Chapter 108

Chapter 109

Chapter 110

Chapter 111

Chapter 112

Chapter 113

Chapter 114

Chapter 115

Chapter 116

Chapter 117

Chapter 118

Chapter 119

Chapter 120

Chapter 121

Chapter 122

Chapter 123

Chapter 124

Chapter 125

Chapter 126

Chapter 127

Chapter 128

Chapter 129

Chapter 130

Chapter 131

Chapter 132

Chapter 133

Chapter 134

Chapter 135

Chapter 136

Chapter 137

Chapter 138

Chapter 139

Chapter 140

Chapter 141

Chapter 142

Chapter 143

Chapter 144

Chapter 145

Chapter 146

Chapter 147

Chapter 148

Chapter 149

Chapter 150

Chapter 151

Chapter 152

Chapter 153

Chapter 154

Chapter 155

Chapter 156

Chapter 157

Chapter 158

Chapter 159

Chapter 160

Chapter 161

Chapter 162

Chapter 163

Chapter 164

Chapter 165

Chapter 166

Chapter 167

Chapter 168

Chapter 169

Chapter 170

Chapter 171

Chapter 172

Chapter 173

Chapter 174

Chapter 175

Chapter 176

Chapter 177

Chapter 178

Chapter 179

Chapter 180

Chapter 181

Chapter 182

Chapter 183

Chapter 184

Chapter 185

Chapter 186

Chapter 187

Chapter 188

Chapter 189

Chapter 190

Chapter 191

Chapter 192

Chapter 193

Chapter 194

Chapter 195

Chapter 196

Chapter 197

Chapter 198

Chapter 199

Chapter 200

Chapter 201

Chapter 202

Chapter 203

Chapter 204

Chapter 205

Chapter 206

Chapter 207

Chapter 208

Chapter 209

Chapter 210

Chapter 211

Chapter 212

Chapter 213

Chapter 214

Chapter 215

Chapter 216

Chapter 217

Chapter 218

Chapter 219

Chapter 220

Chapter 221

Chapter 222

Chapter 223

Chapter 224

Chapter 225

Chapter 226

Chapter 227

Chapter 228

Chapter 229

Chapter 230

Chapter 231

Chapter 232

Chapter 233

Chapter 234

Chapter 235

Chapter 236

Chapter 237

Chapter 238

Chapter 239

Chapter 240

Chapter 241

Chapter 242

Chapter 243

Chapter 244

Chapter 245

Chapter 246

Chapter 247

Chapter 248

Chapter 249

Chapter 250

Chapter 251

Chapter 252

Chapter 253

Chapter 254

Chapter 255

Chapter 256

Chapter 257

Chapter 258

Chapter 259

Chapter 260

Chapter 261

Chapter 262

Chapter 263

Chapter 264

Chapter 265

Chapter 266

Chapter 267

Chapter 268

Chapter 269

Chapter 270

Chapter 271

Chapter 272

Chapter 273

Chapter 274

Chapter 275

Chapter 276

Chapter 277

Chapter 278

Chapter 279

Chapter 280

Chapter 281

Chapter 282

Chapter 283

Chapter 284

Chapter 285

Chapter 286

Chapter 287

Chapter 288

Chapter 289

Chapter 290

Chapter 291

Chapter 292

Chapter 293

Chapter 294

Chapter 295

Chapter 296

Chapter 297

Chapter 298

Chapter 299

Chapter 300

Chapter 301

Chapter 302

Chapter 303

Chapter 304

Chapter 305

Chapter 306


About Don Winslow

In the Bible, Mama, Cain slew Abel

And east of Eden, Mama, he was cast,

You’re born into this life paying

For the sins of somebody else’s past.



Fuck me.

Laguna Beach, California



Is what O is thinking as she sits between Chon and Ben on a bench at Main Beach and picks out potential mates for them.

"That one?" she asks, pointing at a classic BB (Basically Baywatch) strolling down the boardwalk.

Chon shakes his head.

A little dismissively, O thinks. Chon is pretty choosy for a guy who spends most of his time in Afghanistan or Iraq and doesn’t see much in the way of anything outside cammies or a burqa.

Actually, she can see how the burqa thing could be pretty hot if you played it off right.

Did, you know, the harem thing.

Yeah, no.

The burqa ain’t gonna work for O. You don’t want to hide that blonde hair, you don’t want those bright eyes peeking out from behind a niqab.

O was made for sunshine.

California gurl.

Chon, he ain’t small but he’s thin. O thinks he looks even thinner than usual. He’s always been cut, but now it looks like he’s been carved with a scalpel. And she likes the short, almost shaved, hair.

That one? she asks, jutting her chin at a tourist-type brunette with really big tits and a retroussé nose.

Chon shakes his head.

Ben remains silent, sphinx-like, which is a role reversal, because Ben is usually the more verbal of the two. This isn’t a high bar to jump, as Chon doesn’t talk a lot, except when he goes off on a rant; then it’s like you pulled the plug from a fire hose.

While Ben is the more verbal, O considers now, he’s also the less promiscuous.

Ben is more Consecutive Monogamy while Chon is more Women Are To Be Served Concurrently. Although O knows for a fact that both of them—albeit Chon more than Ben—take full advantage of the Tourist Chicks who watch them play volleyball here at the beach, just a few convenient paces from the Hotel Laguna—encounters she refers to as FRSO.

Fuck—Room Service—Shower—Out.

That pretty much sums it up, Chon has admitted.

Although at times he skips the room service.

Never the shower.

Basic rule of survival in the Greater Cross V Crescent Sandbox Tournament:

If there’s a shower, take it.

He can’t shake off the habit at home.

Anyway, Chon admits to doing matinees at the Hotel Laguna, the Ritz, the St. Regis, and the Montage with not only tourist women but also Orange County Trophy Wives and divorcées—the difference between the two being strictly temporary.

That’s the thing about Chon—he’s totally honest. No pretensions, no evasions, no apologies. O can’t decide if that’s because he’s so ethical or because he just doesn’t give a fuck.

Now he turns to her and says, You have one strike left. Choose carefully.

It’s a game they play—ODB—Offline Dating Baseball. Predicting each other’s sexual preferences and hitting for a single, a double, a triple, or a Home Run. It’s a really good game when you’re high, which they are now, on some of Ben and Chon’s supremo weed.

(Which is not weed at all, but a top-of-the-line hydro blend they call Saturday In The Park because if you take a hit of this stuff any day is Saturday and any place is the park.)

O is usually the Sammy Sosa of ODB, but now, with runners on first and third, she’s striking out.

Well? Chon asks her.

I’m waiting for a good pitch, she says, scanning the beach.

Chon’s been in Iraq, he’s been in Afghanistan . . .

. . . Go exotic.

She points to a beautiful South Asian girl with shimmering black hair setting off her white beach dress.


Strikeout, Chon answers. Not my type.

"What is your type?" O asks, frustrated.

Tan, Chon answers, thin—sweet face—big brown eyes, long lashes.

O turns to Ben.

Ben, Chon wants to fuck Bambi.


Ben’s a little distracted.

Sort of following the game, but not really, because his mind is on something that happened this morning.

This morning, like most mornings, Ben eased into his day at the Coyote Grill.

He got a table on the open deck near the fireplace and ordered his usual pot of black coffee and the crazy-good eggs machaca (for those in the benighted regions east of I-5, that’s scrambled eggs with chicken and salsa, a side of black beans, fried potatoes, and either corn or flour tortillas, which might be the best thing in the history of the universe), opened his laptop, and read the Gray Lady to see what Bush and his coconspirators were doing on that particular day to render the world uninhabitable.

This is his routine.

Ben’s partner, Chon, has warned him against habits.

It’s not a ‘habit,’ Ben answered. It’s a ‘routine.’

A habit is a matter of compulsion, a routine a matter of choice. The fact that it’s the same choice every day is irrelevant.

Whatever, Chon answered. Break it up.

Cross the PCH to the Heidelberg Cafe, or drive down to Dana Point Harbor, check out the yummy-mummies jogging with their strollers, make a freaking pot of coffee at home for chrissakes. But do not do not do not do the same thing every day at the same time.

It’s how we nail some of these AQ clowns, Chon said.

You shoot AQ guys while they eat eggs machaca at the Coyote Grill? Ben asked. Who knew?

Funny asshole.

Yeah, it was sort of funny but not really funny because Chon has smudged more than a few Al Qaeda, Taliban, and their assorted affiliates precisely because they fell into the bad habit of having a habit.

He either pulled the trigger himself or did it remote control by calling in a drone strike from some Warmaster 3 prodigy sitting in a bunker in Nevada knocking back Mountain Dew while he smoked some unsuspecting muj with a keystroke.

The problem with contemporary warfare is that it has become a video game. (Unless you’re on the actual ground and get shot, in which case it is most definitely not.)

Whether direct from Chon or run through the gamer, it had the same effect.


Blood and sand.

Without the bull(shit).

All true, but nevertheless Ben isn’t going to get into this whole subterfuge thing any more than he has to. He’s in the dope business to increase his freedom, not to limit it.

Make his life bigger, not smaller.

What do you want me to do, he asked Chon, live in a bunker?

While I’m gone, Chon answered. Yeah, okay.

Yeah, not okay.

Ben sticks to his routine.

This particular morning Kari, the waitress of Eurasian Persuasion and almost reality-defying beauty—golden skin, almond eyes, sable hair, legs longer than a Wisconsin winter—poured his coffee.

Hey, Ben.

Hey, Kari.

Ben is seriously trying to get with her.

So fuck you, Chon.

Kari brought the food, Ben dug into the machaca and the Times.

Then he felt this guy sit down across from him.


Burly guy.

Big, sloping shoulders.

Sandy, receding hair combed straight back.

Kind of old school.

In fact, he was wearing one of those Old Guys Rule T-shirts, which totally miss the obvious point that if old guys really ruled, they wouldn’t have to proclaim it on a cheap T-shirt.

They’d just, you know, rule.

These are guys who can’t figure out social media technology, so Ben figures their days of rule have gone the way of the compact disc.

Anyway, this guy who looked to be in his fifties sat there staring at Ben.

Very high creepiness rating.

Ben was like, do I know you, am I supposed to know you, is this some sort of weird early-morning gay thing? Or is this guy just one of those I’m a people person tools who thinks it’s his human duty to strike up conversations with people sitting alone at restaurants?

Ben is not I-like-to-meet-new-people guy. He’s I’m-reading-my-freaking-newspaper-and-flirting-with-the-waitress-so-leave-me-the-fuck-alone guy.

So he said, Bro, no offense, but I’m kind of into what I’m reading.

Like, there are five empty tables, why don’t you sit down at one of them?

The guy said, I’ll only take a minute of your time, son.

I’m not your son, Ben said. Unless my mother has been deceiving me all these years.

Shut your smartass mouth and listen, the guy said quietly. "We didn’t mind when you were selling a little custom shit to your friends. But when it starts showing up in Albertsons, it’s a problem."

It’s a free market, Ben answered, thinking he sounded like a Republican all of a sudden. Seeing as how Ben is generally to the left of Trotsky, this came as an unpleasant epiphany.

There is no such thing as a ‘free market,’ Old Guys Rule said. The market costs—there are expenses. You want to sell up in L.A., compete with our little brown and black brothers, be our guest. Orange County, San Diego, Riverside—you pay a licensing fee. Are you paying attention?

I’m riveted.

Are you clowning me?


Because I wouldn’t like that.

And I wouldn’t blame you, Ben said. So, for the sake of discussion, what happens if I don’t pay this licensing fee?

You don’t want to find out.

Okay, but just for the sake of discussion.

Old Guys Rule looked at him like he was wondering if this kid was fucking with him, and then said, We put you out of business.

Who’s ‘we’? Ben asked. He saw the look on the guy’s face and said, I know—I don’t want to find out. And if I do pay this fee?

OGR held out his hands and said, Welcome to the market.

Got it.

So we have an understanding.

We do, Ben said.

OGR smiled.


Until Ben added, We have an understanding you’re an asshole.

Because it’s also Ben’s understanding that no one controls the marijuana market.

Cocaine—yes. That would be the Mexican cartels.


Meth—the biker gangs, more recently the

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Lo que piensa la gente sobre The Kings of Cool

18 valoraciones / 13 Reseñas
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  • (4/5)
    Mind blown! Winslow is a master storyteller. This was my 4th book of his and I can't get enough. Kings of Cool is the prequel to Savages, which is a standalone (and apparently a major motion picture which I have no recollection). I chose to go with the prequel first to keep things in chronological order storytelling although I'm not sure that was the best choice. I had no basis for these people and with all the multiple time periods, large collection of characters, and one word/sentence/paragraph chapters in audiobook format things were more than a little confusing for a while. But then...THEN storylines started to intertwine and weave together and characters became so much brighter, motivations so much clearer, the story so much, well, cooler. I HIGHLY recommend this book. I would recommend reading over audio, as I think that would clear up some of the confusion. And I can't say yet if I'd recommend prequel before standalone yet, it could go either way.
  • (4/5)
    And now for something completely different...

    I've read almost anything Don Winslow has written and this time he breaks new ground with this book in terms of narrative structure (I haven't read "Savages yet). High kinetic energy throughout the entire book!

    The narrative jumps all over the place, back and forth in time, person and viewpoint.
    He also occasionally switches to a movie script format during longer portions of dialogue, just to make sure that the reader is paying attention.

    It doesn't make any difference. You'll love every word of it, from the cheerfully obscene opening to its final pages. Full blast all the way...

    For fans of Winslow's other books, there are a couple of delightful, surprise cameos (Frankie Machine, for instance), which also make me hopeful that even if there isn't another prequel/sequel with Ben, Chon and O(phelia) at the center, perhaps this isn't the last time we'll be seeing them.

    My only quibble is the fact that sometimes it's difficult to keep track of who's related to whom for large portions of the book.

    In my own rating system I only gave this book 5 stars instead of 6 (my nirvana book collection...). In the goodreads grade system I rated it a solid 4 stars.

    PS. You'll love the one-liners, if your into that sort of thing.
  • (1/5)
    The first chapter is one word long.. Fuck. I should have known at that point, but started reading anyway. The word is used so much, I don’t know how the author learned to write. Shock value?.. It was impossible for me to concentrate on the plot so I gave up. I’m an old veteran, so not offended, just wondering how this book was so popular..
  • (5/5)
    Winslow creates characters that are deeply flawed, corrupt and greedy. However, what Winslow does give his characters, are the seeds of compassion and the realisation that his readers understand and can actually feel empathy for characters such as Ben and Chon. Why? Because Winslow knows we all have a dark as well as a light side!
  • (5/5)
    second favorite book
  • (4/5)
    My Don Winslow obsession continues with Kings of Cool. This is a prequel to Savages which I previewed at an earlier date. I wish I had read this one first because I think my opinion would have been more favorable towards Savages.This time, the story goes back in time to the early 1970’s and follows the exploits of Chon’s father, Ben’s mother and father and O’s mother, all who were the first Association to set up the importation and dealing of drugs in Orange County.I loved the time period, the story made a lot more sense to me and it certainly explained how Ben, Chon and O came to be and the influences they had on them growing up. It made me more empathetic to all three of the younger characters.The early days cover the time from about 1970 up into the 80’s and currently. Ben, Chon and O are just getting their enterprises and their reputations established and unbeknownst to them, are in direct competition with their parents Association.The parents have no idea who the new players in the game are but want them taken out. As the story goes back and forth, Ben, Chon, O and their parents make and break alliances, get involved with corrupt cops and unfold the secrets of the past that inform the younger players about how and why it was done.I actually enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. As I said, had I read this first, I would have had a much better outlook on Savages. Damn you Don Winslow!
  • (5/5)
    Another great opening line, just like "Savages"! And another great book too! It's the prequel to "Savages" and we get to find out much more about Ben, Chon, and O and also their parents and how all of their lives are intertwined! More sex, more drugs, and more violence as this book unfolds, and all of the connections are made quite clear! I love these characters, this kind of narrative, and this book!
  • (5/5)
    In this prequel to his novel, Savages, Don Winslow provides the backstory for Chon, Ben and O, and it’s a pretty good story by itself. Winslow’s writing style is sharp, sardonic and totally engaging here. He sets the scene of the southern California surf and drug culture from the early days in the 1960s to the mid-2000s. His characters are amazingly well drawn – you’ve got to love that O’s (Ophelia) mother is known throughout the book (and Savages) as the acronym Paqu – passive-aggressive queen of the universe. And she gets married and divorced so often that her latest husband is only known as Four. Ben runs into Paqu unexpectedly and doesn’t even know how to safely address her.This is a stylish, witty (down to the title), addictive, perfectly-paced, and highly readable novel.
  • (4/5)
    Bisher hat mich das Äußere eines Buches nur selten verleitet, darüber etwas zu schreiben. Aber in diesem Fall ist die Aufmachung so ungewöhnlich, dass ich einfach einige Worte dazu verlieren muss. Eckig und völlig schwarz kommt das Buch daher, inclusive aller Seitenschnitte; Titel, Autor usw. sind hingegen in weißen, schnörkellosen Buchstaben dargestellt. Wer die Hardcoverausgabe von 'Unendlicher Spaß' von David Foster Wallace kennt, hat hier nun die Negativform vor sich liegen.
    Doch ein Buch nur wegen seiner äußeren Erscheinung zu kaufen, machen wohl nur Wenige :-) Aber der Inhalt steht der Aufmachung in nichts nach. Erzählt wird die Geschichte von drei jungen Menschen, die mehr verbindet als nur Freundschaft. Sie sind sich die Familie, die alle drei nicht oder nur wenig hatten. Chon ist der Kämpfer, Ben der Humanist und O die Schöne. Ben und Chon sind im Marihuanageschäft, mit dem sie ihren Lebensunterhalt finanzieren, ohne jedoch weitere Ansprüche zu erheben wie Machtzuwachs oder mehr Gewinn. Sie genießen ihr Leben im sonnigen Kalifornien und so könnte es für sie weitergehen bis ans Ende ihrer Tage. Es ist eine Idylle, die jedoch nicht von Dauer ist. Denn es gibt Andere, die wollen ihren Anteil an dem gutgehenden Geschäft der Beiden. Ein Krieg bricht aus und alle Drei erkennen, dass nicht nur sie, sondern auch ihre Eltern darin verstrickt sind.
    Wer wie mit wem zusammenhängt, wird in einem zweiten Erzählstrang ganz von hinten aufgerollt. Hippiezeit, peace, love - man experimentiert mit Drogen und noch basiert alles auf Vertrauen und Freundschaft. Doch die Zeiten ändern sich, es geht ums Geld, um Macht und alle versuchen, so viel wie möglich vom Kuchen abzuhaben. Auch wenn von vornherein klar ist, dass die Wurzeln der drei Freunde hier ihren Ursprung haben, bleiben die Details vorborgen (zumindest für mich). Die Auflösung kommt recht überraschend, aber wirklich unerwartet und hart ist die Nüchternheit und fast schon Kälte, mit der dies berichtet wird. Cool, einfach cool.
    Winslow hat einen ungewöhnlichen Stil (zumindest in diesem Buch, ich kenne seine anderen nicht). Es wirkt, als ob die handelnden Personen einem direkt die Geschichte selbst erzählen: immer wieder kurze, auch unvollständige Sätze, die zu Beginn eher holpernd anmuten. Doch schon nach kurzer Zeit zieht einen diese Schreibweise in ihren Bann und man steckt mittendrin in dem Geschehen. Auch der atypische Satzspiegel trägt vermutlich dazu bei, dass man das Gefühl bekommt, das Tempo wird immer schneller. Es sind kurze, zum Teil sehr kurze Kapitel, die insbesondere gegen Ende immer wieder aus einer anderen Sicht berichtet werden. Dieser schnelle Perspektivenwechsel steigert die Geschwindigkeit noch zusätzlich und man rennt dem Showdown buchstäblich entgegen.
    Richtig klasse gemacht und ich bin mir sicher: Dies war nicht mein letzer Winslow, den ich gelesen habe!
  • (4/5)
    I enjoy Don Winslow's style of writing -- a mix of short and choppy sentences and great characters. In this prequel to his hit book (and horrible movie), Savages, Winslow tracks the early lives of the trio of Ben, Chon, and O -- and their parentage. While a good read, I did not quite enjoy it as much as I did Savages. If you like California, beach culture, and the hippie life (as well as the drug culture), you;ll enjoy this book.
  • (4/5)
    I liked the story, the writing and twists and turns but I.m still scratching my head over the ending.
  • (5/5)
    Ein großartiges Buch. Mit seinem manchmal an Lyrik anmutenenden Schreibstil erzeugt Don Winslow Tempo und Spannung. Der Schauplatz Kalifornien und Drogendealer als Protagonisten sind an sich schon interessant, aber es gibt keine Schwarz-Weiß-Zeichnung, Moral ist kein Thema - oder doch. Aber eben her sowas wie persönlich Ehre, Liebe, Zusammengehörigkeit, die in diesem Buch nicht in der Familie, sondern in der Freundschaft gefunden wird. Eine harte Story und mein erstes Buch von Wislow. Sicher nicht mein letztes!
  • (4/5)
    I actually I enjoyed this more then its predecessor, Savages. While Chon, Ben, and O are still the main protagonists, Kings delves into their family history and by turn the history of the drug trade in Southern California. Very fascinating and a excellent read. I especially like the one scene were characters from three other of Winslow's books show up