cover image Savages


Don Winslow, read by Michael Kramer, Tantor Media, unabridged, six CDs, 7.5 hrs., unabridged, $34.99 ISBN 978-1-4001-1766-6

Interpreting Winslow's two Southern California beach-bum marijuana dealers—thoughtful philanthropist-environmentalist Ben and his ex-navy SEAL pal Chon—narrator Michael Kramer develops a laid-back, unruffled persona for the former and a harder-edge, restless attitude for the latter. He even manages an acceptably feminine, spacey voice for their mutual girlfriend, Ophelia. Kramer focuses on keeping a moderately fast pace for the trio's witty dialogue, but when the Baja Mexico drug cartel led by its beautiful but vulnerable leader, Elena, demands a piece of their action, things speed up. And when the cartel kidnaps Ophelia and demands a million-dollar ransom, Kramer barely breathes in following the twists and turns devised by Winslow's antiheroes, and matches the novel's mood as it turns from wittily hip to dark and disturbingly violent. A Simon & Schuster hardcover (Reviews, May 31). (July)