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The Power Of The Dog Paperback – 27 Apr 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews

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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 (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The Power of the Dog throws shadows a mile long. Fearless, humane, aesthetically fervent, it's also passionate, unapologetic, gorgeously written and unquestionably authentic." (Dennis Lehane)

"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

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sometimes you wonder why an absolute gem that would doubtless be enjoyed by millions of readers can remain a diamond in the rough for so long. The fact that this was published in 2005 and I've only just read it is a testimony to the difficulties that quality literature has breaking through in this crowded market.
It was the excellent reviews for his latest book, 'The Cartel', that lead me to its prequel 'The Power Of The Dog' and I have to say, I am completely and utterly knocked out by his work. It is a book that delivers on so many different levels. It informs, it entertains, it horrifies and at times it simply renders you speechless. Furthermore it is extremely well written.
How successive US administrations could be so misguided and corrupt with both their South American foreign policy and the entirely stupid war on drugs is laid bare in this absolute powerhouse of a thriller and this book should be compulsory reading for every US Foreign Secretary.
Wimslow takes one of the most important issues of our times and turns it into an absolute white knuckle ride of a thriller that will lead readers to understand completely why places like Juarez are the hell holes they are today.
The plot is intricate but the tension doesn't lapse for a moment as a tale that spans more than twenty years introduces you to a cast of characters who will in turn, make you laugh, cry and shudder with fear. There are no cardboard characters in Wimslow's opus. If Charles Dickens had been an American living on border with Mexico in the twenty-first century, this is the book he would have written.
Buy it now and make it number one in every best seller list. By God, it deserves it. Absolutely fabulous stuff.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a story so intense and ferocious that it almost leaps off the pages like a Pit Bull on steroids! Yes, it's that good. It's a powerful novel that intelligently traces the rise of the Mexican drug cartels as seen through the eyes of the five main characters: Art Keller, an obsessive DEA agent, Callan, an Irish hitman for the New York mob, Nora, a high-priced California call girl, Father Juan, a very influential Catholic priest, and one of the Mexican drug barons (who will remain nameless to avoid a plot spoiler).

Don Winslow is very good at distilling information and uses this skill to great effect here when describing the politics and intricacies relating to how America waged its War on drugs during the 70's, 80's and 90's. This may be a fictional account of that period but so much of the story is laced with hard truth.

Reading The Power of The Dog was an education in itself and an eye-opener to the violent and cynical reality of the drug dealing world. The nearest thing we get to a 'good guy' in the book is when we read about the life and exploits of Art Keller, a DEA agent who appears to make it his life-long quest to bring down the drug Cartels. But even such a stalwart as Art sometimes has to ask what on earth he is trying to accomplish. At one stage in the proceedings, Art ruminates over what exactly he and his fellow enforcers are attempting to achieve. He reaches the point where he can't decide whether the War on Drugs is an obscene absurdity or an absurd obscenity. In either case (thinks he), it's a tragic bloody farce with the emphasis on bloody.

Violence plays a big part in this book - so it's not for the faint of heart or the squeamish. And then there's the corruption. Oh boy, the corruption is rife!
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