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The Power Of The Dog Paperback – 27 Apr 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (27 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099464985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099464983
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"No one since James Ellroy has conveyed the morally troubled heart of the American dream with such savage aim, and Winslow cleverly adds a pointed political dimension to his saga. A future classic.' Guardian"

"'Don Winslow is the kind of cult writer who is so good you almost want to keep him to yourself.'" (Ian Rankin)

"'The first great dope novel since Dog Soldiers thirty years ago. It's frightening and sad, with a superbly sustained intensity. A beautifully compressed vision of hell, with all its attendant moral madness.'" (James Ellroy)

"A damn good read. If you've never read Don Winslow, start now." (Val McDermid)

"It is impossible in a few words to do [it] justice... It's a huge book, both in size and scope...' Sunday Telegraph"

Book Description

Don Winslow's break-out novel. A hugely ambitious, page-turning thriller of power and revenge, in the tradition of the Great American Novel.

'This is Winslow's masterpiece (so far) and should have a place on every crime freak's bookshelf. Superb!' Independent on Sunday


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kasablanka on 6 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best crime novels I've ever read. It might make you cry; cheer; feel angry; thrilled; and exhausted. It will certainly not leave you unmoved. For those who just want action, then there is hardly a chapter without action. For those who want an interesting and intelligent read, it is that as well. It is like a cross between 'The Godfather' and 'American Tabloid'.

The core of the story is the crusade of Art Keller, an American-Hispanic DEA agent, against the Barrera family, Mexican drug barons, who he meets as a young man at the beginning of his career, is initially friendly with, but soon becomes their dedicated enemy. The fight between them lasts nearly thirty years.

It is also a tale of political expediency; cynical pragmatism and corruption.
The Mexican government feels it cannot afford to crack down on the drug trade; The American government have their own agenda in South America, in their fight against communism; and the Catholic church wants a way back into Mexico. So the result is a deadly minefield for anyone who dares to try to do some good.

There are five main characters, whose lives criss cross over the years. Art Keller, the constant outsider, who understands the mentality of the barrio;Adan Barrera, who, rather like Michael Corleone, in the Godfather, turns to 'the dark side' after a brutal act of violence against him and wants into the family business; Father Juan Parada, the decent, brave priest who always speaks his mind; Nora Hayden, the call girl with a heart; and, Sean Callan, the hitman who wants out, but keeps being dragged back in. There are many more great characters.

I raced to the end of this book and was sorry I had finished it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By G. Fergus on 6 Aug 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story of 40 years of history as seen through the eyes of two men on either side of the drugs trade. It will open your mind and should seriously make you question aspects of American Foreign policy and the truth behind the War on Drugs. Full of amazing characters and beautifully written.

Absolute quality that is difficult to put down. Do yourself a favour and read this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clariana on 29 May 2006
Format: Paperback
Fabulously violent from the offset, at first I was not too keen on this book, thinking it had more bloodshed than brains. Now almost at the end, how wrong I was. Not only is it a great thriller, that can stand comparison with anything by, say, Forsythe or Ludlum, it is also a lesson in the history and geopolitics of the drug trade in the Americas. Real events are deftly interwoven with the plausible fictional narrative forming a devastating expose of the brutal but fruitless war against drugs waged from the north. If you want a better understanding of the resentment and bitterness that exists between the US and many South American countries, especially Mexico and Columbia, you could do much worse than start here.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sam Tyler on 20 Nov 2006
Format: Paperback
With 'The Power of the Dog', Don Winslow has written one of the best books I have ever read. It tells the story of the Mexican drug trade through the 70s to present day. Not only do you get Mexican gangsters, but also the Italian Mafia, Irish, Cubans, corrupt Mexican cops, covert CIA ops and the DEA.

This rich brew of characters and influences makes the book both action packed and riveting to read. The novel has four major characters that drive the plot forward over 30 years and also has plenty of supporting characters who have differing fates.

Winslow does not shy away from the violence of the drug trade and also seems to have researched very well giving the book an informed feel. The characters are fantastic; Winslow makes all of them three dimensional so even the nicest character may get sucked into evil. The style of writing and story itself is excellent throughout and will leave you gripped.

Read this book.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Fat Bob on 9 Nov 2006
Format: Paperback
Wow - this book has jumped straight to the top of my favourites list. It has it all - drugs, sex, violence, politics, religion. It has Mexican drug cartels, Italian and Irish Mafia, veteran DEA and CIA agents, hookers and priests, communist guerrillas and high-level government cover-ups. Its like a cross between Scarface and Killing Pablo, charting the rise of the fictional Barrera brothers from street hoodlums to billionaire drug lords, and the catalogue of torture and killing left in their wake. Central to this is the obsessive DEA agent Art Keller, who pulls out all the stops to bring them down, battling the bandits and his own conscience as he discovers the truth about the real war on drugs.

Every chapter has a running gun battle, an interrogation scene, a double-crossing or a brutal murder. At times it even feels like there's too much action, but this doesn't detract from the gripping and complex plot. It's huge in scope, spanning 30 years and several countries, interlinking different characters and organisations and playing them off against each other, keeping us guessing until its bloody conclusion.

Wimslow's prose is great, eloquent enough but sprinkled with street slang and gangster-speak. No flowery language, just straight to the point and hard as nails. The violence is shocking and frequent (torture scenes leave little to the imagination). This is undoubtedly a blokes' book, a testosterone-packed powerhouse of a novel, and certainly not for the faint-hearted.

My favourite book used to be The Godfather. Not any more. Power of the Dog is even better, and as the front cover states, a future classic.

Essential reading. 5 stars.
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