This prequel to Savages, Winslow's 2010 bestseller and now an Oliver Stone-directed big-budget film, features the author's trademark punchy dialogue, and will more than satisfy fans of drug-crime thrillers. Here, Winslow provides the background story of Savage's three main characters: Ben, Chon, and O. Ben and Chon sold marijuana in Laguna Beach, California, before running afoul of a vicious Mexican drug cartel, which abducted O, the dealers' mutual love interest, and ushered the pot-peddling trio into a sordid world of violence and corruption. But that all happened later—this story opens in 2005, with the carefree 20-something friends playing a game in which they predict "each other's sexual preferences," and soon shifts back to 2003 to offer a somewhat unconvincing explanation for how the drug-dealing began: "Actually it was the fact that O had no freaking idea what she was going to do with her life that led Ben and Chon into the marijuana business" as a way to claim a "vocation." Later, the story leapfrogs back even further in time to 1967 to reveal the origins of an earlier drug ring—one with foreboding familial ties to the focal trio. As with many prequels, this will work best for those already familiar with Savages, but on its own, Winslow's penchant for consistent entertainment makes it a great read in its own right. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2012 Release date: 06/01/2012 Genre: Fiction
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