A Gritty Tale Of Two Marijuana Dealers, And The Woman They Both Love

In Savages, Don Winslow writes with an inventive voice all his own. For what ends up being a dark novel, the narrative style is almost playful—fragmented sentences, words drifting into blank pages, staccato rhythms from one moment to the next.

Ben, who spends most of his time traveling the world doing good deeds, and Chon, a former mercenary who is not to be toyed with, grow amazing marijuana. They are the kind of Southern California drug dealers who make drug dealers seem like decent folk. Ben and Chon have an ethic about what they do, is what I’m saying. They are two of the most interesting characters you will encounter because they are so different and because Winslow doesn’t try to make these young men into anything but the people they are.

Ben and Chon share the love of Ophelia, and somehow their threesome works, no awkward friction here. When Ophelia, also known as “O,” is kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel, Ben and Chon abandon their ethic to get the woman they love back. Savages is gritty, and fast-paced. It’s one hell of a crime novel that is also an unlikely, thoroughly modern love story.