Tag Archives: The Power of the Dog

Book review: The Kings of Cool

The Kings of Cool is Don Winslow’s latest book. That’s the Don Winslow who wrote The Power of the Dog, Satori and Savages, the last of which has been made into what, by nearly all accounts, is an excellent film by Oliver Stone. For many people, that’s all I really need to say. However if you need a bit more than the elevator pitch, here goes.

This book is the prequel to Savages, Winslow’s story of three Southern California drug dealers whose success in selling high quality, hydroponically grown marijuana attracts the unwelcome and deadly attention of a Mexican drug cartel. Ben is an ethical slacker and the business brains behind the operation. Chon is the muscle – he comes into his own when things get rough. O, the most annoying of the three is… well… I’m not really sure what she is. Let’s just settle on the messed up rich girl, the group’s mascot and popular culture cypher.

The Kings of Cool looks at the three friends as they start out in the drug business in the 90s, as well as exploring their complicated histories and how they first met up. Interwoven into this is the story of another group of counter cultural types in Southern California back in the 60s, and the evolution of their decision to become drug traffickers, from the amateurish beginnings to the more serious consequences as the Summer of Love fades and the trade mutates into a high stakes business.… Read more