The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages

The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages

by Don Winslow
4.0 27

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The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
ABookAWeekES More than 1 year ago
A couple years ago, Don Winslow made waves with his fast and edgy novel, "Savages", in which young drug "entrepreneurs", Ben and Chon, embarked in a war against a Mexican drug group who kidnapped their shared girlfriend, O. It was, arguably, one of the best thrillers of that year and even spawned a film adaptation by director Oliver Stone. Now, Winslow returns to this version of California in a prequel, "The Kings of Cool". The novel centers on two main stories, one taking place around 2005 and the other beginning in the 1960's. Both portions are presented in alternating sections until the two narratives meet in the latter portion of the book. The 1960's story tells the tale of young Californians experimenting with the various drugs of the time. A few characters, from various backgrounds, discover the potential business opportunities that these drugs posses, and become involved with the drug trade. In 2005, Ben, Chon and O, are all recent high school graduates. Instead of following the traditional paths of their peers, they grow their own highly potent marijuana. As they become recognized for their superior product, their competitors begin to take notice. They are required to pay a portion of their earnings to their competitors in order to continue selling their drugs (think a kind of business tax). In the course of a couple of weeks, Chon receives orders to take his third deployment to the war in Iraq, O begins to search for her unknown father, and Ben is left to deal with the business. After his competitors murder a couple of his street peddlers, Ben must try to deal with the problem. "The Kings of Cool" is the best thriller I have read this year. Winslow's unique writing style is the perfect vehicle for a story like this. His bare prose and timely observations provide a contemporary edge that breathes life into this unconventional tale. The characters are so convincing that you can't help but root for theses drug dealing criminals to beat out their competitors. The two story lines seamlessly weave together, all driving towards an ending with the perfect amount of twist and resolution. I thought that perhaps with all of the praise that "Savages" received, Winslow was somehow pressured into writing another novel with the same characters. Fortunately, he avoided the traps that many series authors fall in to, creating a story that felt naturally conceived and executed flawlessly. I understand that the subject matter and the way it is presented may be unappealing to some, but for those looking for a thriller that is a bit outside of their normal reading habits, this is a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too many F words in first pages make me wish the author would use a dictionary. Decided not to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
Read this book because I heard such great things about Savages and decided to give the prequel a go. So, it's set primarily in Laguna Bech and shifts back and forth in time between the 1960's and 2005. In 2005 we start with the history of Chon, Ben, and O an how and why they became fast friends and business partners. In the 60's, 70's, and 80's we are introduced to Chon, Ben, and O's parents and the tangle web they weave unbeknownst to the younger generation. I actually enjoyed the older generation story much more than I enjoyed the younger generation. With some exceptions, mainly Chon in the younger generation, the characters had much more depth. I liked following the character's progressions through the years - Doc from crunchy cult leader to shrewd business man; Stan and Diane from idealistic hippies to middle class suburban parents; Kim as she followed her life plan to use her beauty to never be hungry again; and finally Jon, the steadfast individual who never really changed his ideals. So what I loved most about the book was the prose and writing style. I liked the short, on point chapters that seamlessly flowed from one to another. The author effortlessly jumped back and forth in time in places that always made sense. So, why did it not get more stars from me? Because of the mysogyny. The female characters were awful. Diane was a shrew. Kim was a gold digger. And O. O was just the worst of them all. She was a whiny, spoiled, self-absorbed woman-child. It got to the point where I really just wanted to fast forward through all the female characters. I was almost sad to know that O was in Savages because I kept hoping a successful hit would be put on her and I wouldn't have to suffer through her character any more. As an extremely sad commentary, had the author taken out the female characters, it would have been a much better book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ggfc
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Z
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed these characters. I'm sorry they are gone. Would love to know what happens next. I also recommend that you read Savages to get the whole story.
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This book is fast-paced and interesting. I loved the multi-generational story line and how they all came together in a epic conclusion. I'm reading Savages....immediately!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lets hang out ssometime
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
U there? Angel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gtg. Nite. ~Elena