Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow

So I'm not actually going to write up a review of my own because le0pard13's review at Lazy Thoughts From a Boomer is better (and more informed) than anything I could come up with so click here for an excellent review.

I do have a couple comments, though:

1. Read this book! It is awesome, mind-blowing, tense, illuminating, heart-breaking, and unputdownable.

2. My back aches from how wound up with tension I was for the last ~100 pages.

3. I owe Michael endless favors for mentioning this book to me. (Seriously! Cash in anytime, lp13, my debt is great!)

4. I am more convinced than ever that the War on Drugs ought to be fought in treatment centers rather than bullet-proof vests.

5. I recently read a book with a page-long acknowledgments section and a two page author's note and the book was merely historically placed fiction. This book spans ~30 years, multiple countries, politics, drug cartels, the cold war, etc and there is not one tiny peep in the book or on the author's website re his research? Hunh???? Where can I find more information on this book?

6. The communism domino theory thing truly is one of the stupider theories this world has suffered from.

7. Just when you think the internet is bereft of surprises you find a table detailing the current leaders and founders of Mexico's drug cartels on Wikipedia. On Wikipedia!!!!! My gosh, I love the internet!

8. Read this book!

rating: 5 of 5 stars


  1. Sounds like the movie 'Traffic' which left me boundlessly depressed at how NOONE could escape the snare of narcotics.

    Also: that link is FAB. I think the guy smoking while is roof is on fire was the best one.

  2. How funny! We're talking across blogs as I just finished posting a comment to yours. :)

    Yes, Traffic and this book have some very similar messages of despair.

    And I totally agree re the guy on his porch. That is hard core!

  3. I am very glad you enjoyed this book, Rachel. As well, I agree on all of your points. At his recent book signing (for his new novel SAVAGES... which also contains a section that summarizes the period between the end of THE POWER OF THE DOG and what's happening on the other side of the border currently) Winslow recalled the amount of research he did for this novel. He said he interviewed government players, law enforcement on both sides of the border, plus cartel members. 90-95% of what was covered in the book was based on real events (including what happened to those children at that bridge in Columbia). He, too, was depressed after writing the book.

    I think if Don Winslow ever detailed his research on this book, it would become a best seller. Thank you so much for thoughts on novel, and your kind words and linkage.

  4. I keep looking for SAVAGES at the library but it hasn't been in lately. I definitely want to read that one, too.

    It's hard to believe most of that book is real. Truth is stranger than fiction, yes?

    If you hear anything re the documentary based on the book let me know. I still haven't been able to find it.