Book Review: Savages

Posted July 6, 2012 by @Angelized_1st in Books, Entertainment / 0 Comments

Savages is a book written by Don Winslow. Originally published in March 2011, it has already been adapted into a motion picture which will hit theaters this Friday.

The novel tells the story of three friends – Ben, Chon, and Ophelia – who live affluently in Southern California thanks to the guys’ drug business. The marijuana they manufacture is so potent (and popular) that the Baja Cartel want a piece of the action. With no desire to connect themselves with a criminal organization, the boys’ refusal sets off a chain of events you won’t see coming.

“If you let people believe that you are weak, sooner or later you’re going to have to kill them.”

At the heart of the novel is the love story between the three friends. Having known each other since grade school, the three are inseparable. Probably having to do with Ophelia, AKA O, being romantically linked to both men. When she is used as a bargaining chip by the Baja Cartel to force Ben and Chon to cooperate, they will risk everything to get her back. Even their lives.

What I loved about reading Savages was that Winslow’s writing reminds me of one of my favorite authors, Charlie Houston. In other words, his writing sounds like how real people talk, and his characters act like how people really behave in the situations Winslow places them in. This allows the reader to get into the book easily, because though the characters pull some crazy stunts they’re grounded in reality. When people get shot, they bleed.

The other thing I loved was how action-packed the story was from start to finish. My adrenaline was so pumped just from reading what the characters were doing, that I could hardly put the book down to go to sleep. Every time I got ready to stop for the night, I kept telling myself, “One more chapter.” This was easy to do, since like another one of my favorites, James Patterson, the chapters were only 1-4 pages each. Despite the violence, I would still consider this the perfect vacation book since you can easily finish it in a few hours. Calling it a page turner is an understatement.

As I previously said, the film will hit theaters this tomorrow, July 6th. It stars Selma Hayek, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, John Travolta, and Benicio Del Toro. From the trailer it looks like it stays loyal to the novel, and I plan on seeing it this Saturday. The film was directed by Oliver Stone, so if you are gun-shy, you may want to steer clear. I’ll be sure to post a film review after I leave the theater.

If you decide to read Savages yourself, then I should let you know that Don Winslow also wrote a prequel – Kings of Cool. Check out the synopsis below:

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. – Goodreads

Source: Video – Hollywood Scoop TV

@Angelized_1st

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0 responses to “Book Review: Savages

  1. I have been wondering about this book since I saw the previews for the movie. I thought the previews meant that the book was really violent so I didn’t dare buy it from B&N, but now that I’ve read your review – I think I would really like it. I will definitely have to read it before seeing the movie. I wondered how the three were linked from the previews since Blake Lively is with both guys – and now I understand. : ) Thanks for this review!

    • The book is violent, but the story is so good you just go along for the ride. As I said, the movie looks very much like the book. If you’re squeamish about violence, it may be easier reading about someone getting shot, then seeing it. Definitely read first, and then decide if you want to see the movie.

      • Well, to be absolutely frank, I don’t know jack shit about Aaron Johnson so I can’t coetmeplly defend him BUT when it comes to Taylor Move Me to Tears Kitsch, you can bet I can defend him plenty. It’s obvious you haven’t seen much of the series Friday Night Lights , Basil. Or even The Bang Bang Club . I’ll admit that X-Men Origins: Wolvervine disappointed me deeply but even there, Taylor kicked ass and excelled with the material given to him. He’s recieved RAVE reviews for his skills and he has Hollywood kicking down his door with parts. The next time you want to downtalk talent, order a sample of their work from Netflix. Maybe you’ll discover new talent.

  2. I have been wondering about this book since I saw the previews for the movie. I thought the previews meant that the book was really violent so I didn’t dare buy it from B&N, but now that I’ve read your review – I think I would really like it. I will definitely have to read it before seeing the movie. I wondered how the three were linked from the previews since Blake Lively is with both guys – and now I understand. : ) Thanks for this review!

    • The book is violent, but the story is so good you just go along for the ride. As I said, the movie looks very much like the book. If you’re squeamish about violence, it may be easier reading about someone getting shot, then seeing it. Definitely read first, and then decide if you want to see the movie.

      • Well, to be absolutely frank, I don’t know jack shit about Aaron Johnson so I can’t coetmeplly defend him BUT when it comes to Taylor Move Me to Tears Kitsch, you can bet I can defend him plenty. It’s obvious you haven’t seen much of the series Friday Night Lights , Basil. Or even The Bang Bang Club . I’ll admit that X-Men Origins: Wolvervine disappointed me deeply but even there, Taylor kicked ass and excelled with the material given to him. He’s recieved RAVE reviews for his skills and he has Hollywood kicking down his door with parts. The next time you want to downtalk talent, order a sample of their work from Netflix. Maybe you’ll discover new talent.

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