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The kings of cool
Don Winslow
Adult Fiction WINSLOW

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The sins of the fathers and mothers are wrought upon sons and daughters in this prequel to Winslow's acclaimed Savages. Cutting their teeth as runners for their drug-dealing parents in sunbathed Laguna Beach, CA, teenagers Ben, Chon, and O slither between the hippie cave dwellers of the canyons and the ocean-view mansions of the mega-rich. Chon breaks from the beach crowd and joins the military, but upon his return he easily returns to the chaotic marijuana trade of his father. It's hard to turn down the money, and it gives Chon time with his pals Ben and O, who give his life meaning and stability. Caught among crooked cops, a publicity-seeking DEA agent, and the violent Mexican drug cartels, the trio become modern-day versions of Bonnie and Clyde as they fight to escape the crossfire. Friends over family is the clear choice in this adrenaline-fused collision of generations. Verdict Published to coincide with the release of Oliver Stone's movie version of Savages, this is another Winslow roller-coaster thriller. Set against the lush backdrop of Laguna Beach, it graphically depicts the ferocious drug trade and shows the reader how the characters of Ben, Chon, and O came to be the darkly engrossing twentysomethings of Savages.-Susan Clifford Braun, Bainbridge Island, WA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Ben
Age: 20's
Charitable; environmentally conscious; Berkeley graduate; runs a lucrative marijuana operation; being threatened by the Mexican Baja Cartel who wants to take over the business; his female friend is kidnapped.

Age: 20's
Former Navy SEAL; runs a lucrative marijuana operation; being threatened by the Mexican Baja Cartel who wants to take over the business; his female friend is kidnapped.

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