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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Re-reading Savages by Don Winslow


So, I re-read Don Winslow's novel, Savages, today.

Yeah, that's how long it took. I started this morning at about 5. It's now 3pm and I'm done. Plus, I took a lot of breaks. That's how quick Savages goes down.

I did this because I'd heard about Oliver Stone's adaptation coming out soon, and I wanted to revisit this wicked little piece of entertainment.

As I've mentioned, Savages moves fast. Constructed of about 290 little cut-scenes that, as often as not, sort of meld into one another, the book reads like a ready-made screenplay. No wonder Stone was all over it.

Savages tells the story of a threesome who live a kind of idyllic SoCal lifestyle until their particular business (growing & distributing a kind of super-marijuana) garners the unwanted & predatory attentions of a Mexican cartel.

Things spiral pretty quickly out of control, sparking (of course) a big showdown.

It's all pretty standard crime-thriller stuff, but Winslow carries it off with a certain panache. He's an efficient storyteller, and even his most precious stylistic excesses come off as harmless. The narrative has a relentless, gas-pedal-to-the-floor pacing that's really fun.

While I recommend Winslow's book, I can't wait to see Oliver Stone's adaptation of it. Even when Stone makes a bad movie, it's still interesting, and Savages provides substantive grist for the mill of Stone's imagination.

jj@grouchyjohns.com
www.jjwylie.com



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