The Kings of Cool by Don Winslow

Any Don Winslow novel comes down to two things:

1) After reading one of his books, I want to be able to write like Don Winslow, but realize I’d never be able to pull it off.

2) I want to read more Don Winslow, even though I’ve read everything of his there is.

The Kings of Cool, the prequel to Savages, is no exception.  It has Winslow’s trademark prose, which reads like someone telling you a story at a bar.  It has violence, short, dirty, awesome bits of violence that seem to happen more or less of the page.  I don’t know about you, but when I read Winslow’s violence, my stomach turns.  Not because of what he says, but because of what he doesn’t.

The tale picks up on Chon, Ben, and O before the events of Savages.  We learn how Ben and Chon got into the weed making and selling biz.  We learn about O’s hopes and dreams.  And we learn about who came before Chon, Ben, and O, because the tale goes back all the way to the late 60s.

This book is everything I hoped for.  A clear, solid follow-up to Savages.  It makes you laugh and cringe and breaks your heart. So far, it’s the best book of 2012.  If you haven’t picked this one up yet, go out and get The Kings of Cool now.  And if you have picked it up…. go buy copies for all of your friends.

Damn.  Now I want to go to San Diego and do more than just tour breweries…


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