Art Montana is an obsessive DEA agent. The Barrera brothers are heirs to a drug empire. Nora Hayden is a jaded teenager who becomes a high-class hooker. Father Parada is a powerful and incorruptible Catholic priest. Callan is an Irish kid from Hell's Kitchen who grows up to be a merciless hit man. All of them are trapped in the world of the Mexican drug Federación.
From the streets of New York City to Mexico City and Tijuana to the jungles of Central America, this is the war on drugs like you've never seen it.
©2005 Don Winslow; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"A pit bull of a book. Once unleashed, this thriller...charges and attacks without mercy, shredding anyone in its path....A well-tuned plot, driving rhythm, intelligence and a touch of politics." (Washington Post)
I haven't been drawn into a book this deeply in a long time, perhaps since The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. Though it has a few weaknesses (could have left the romance-novel-type stuff out), it is truly a powerful story wrapped around recent history. Bad stuff happens and dire deeds are done, even by the good guys. The only real complaint I have is that not having a book to page back through, I sometimes forgot who a particular character was or how he connected. Initial chapters are focused on only one of the main characters. The narration is stunning - I can't believe one guy did all those totally complete and separate voices. I immediately recognized each character by their voice. Wonderful job and I hope to hear more from him.
This book has extremely graphic sadistic violence in it, but that's reality.
Five star read.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
There are a lot of very good narrators and readers in the world of audible books, but there are far fewer really accomplished voice actors. In that rather small company, Ray Porter stands out as among the very best of the best. He peoples this book with a full cast of very distinct characters, each with his/her own speech pattern and vocal timbre. In addition, his facility with dialect is extraordinary. Doing a single Italian or Mexican or Irish voice convincingly is difficult. Creating a range of Italians, Irish or Mexicans, each distinct, consistent and steeped in the life of the character is nearly impossible. Porter does it and makes it sound effortless. I have spent a lifetime as an actor/director/theatre teacher and I have never heard it done better.
Happily, as many reviewers have made clear, Porter is given a rich and varied set of characters to work with. Together the author and the actor provide us with a five star experience, and along the way they school us in the history and nature of the greed/power wars north and south of the border. Highly recommended!
Winslow is trying to teach readers about the history of the drug war vis a vis Mexico. On the one hand, the story itself is often exciting, but the stretches of history and philosophizing could be a bit dull if you know about US involvement in El Salvador, Colombia, etc.
However, all credit to Ray Porter, the narrator, who manages to make each of these mini-history lessons sound different from each other, and to inject emotion into them. He also manages to make the occasionally purple prose go by smoothly, so that we can focus on the story, which is really worth hearing.
I started listening to this last summer on my jogs outside in the Texas heat. Holy cow the intensity of this book was more than enough!
I loved the rich plot. Nice & detailed & complex - and I know this sounds stupid, but: LONG! :) It was fun to have a nice "thick" book to enjoy for so long.
Loved the characters & especially the satisfying resolution at the end.
As I've seen in other comments on this book, I wasn't sure I wanted to get into a heavy book on the drug wars, but it had such good reviews I decided to check it out.
This is a very, very good novel! Well written, great dialogue, thought-provoking political insights, personal dramas. It is sometimes quite heavy, but worth it. There are a lot of characters and a lot of details, so can be a little hard to follow if you aren't paying attention, but the story flows quite well, so for the most part, it isn't a problem.
The narration is absolutely the top. Amazing how this narrator switches effortlessly between Italian Mafia to Mexican to Anglo accents. Perfect delivery and timing on the dialogue and story.
One of the best novels I've listened to!
I rate "The Power of the Dog" a 4.5. Don Winslow has written a first rate thriller that also provides the reader with insights into America's so-called "War on Drugs." Entertaining, substantive, and compelling - I loved "The Power of the Dog." I will make a confession: I hesitated on purchasing "The Power of the Dog" for weeks. I wasn't sure I was in the mood for a thriller. The story creates the mood. Just listen and go for along for the ride.
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Amazing simply amazing. This is Don Winslow at his very best. Surprisingly there are a ton of great historic facts in the novel. The strange thing is this should be a work of historic fiction. The characters are deep and you never know exactly whats going to happen next. There is plenty of action and suspense plus an air of much needed complexity to the plot, that is lacking in lot of novels out there right now. The best part of this book is once your done with it your going to have a pretty good understanding of the Drug War and the CIA's operations within latin America. GET THIS BOOK!
Loyal member since 1998
'The Power of the Dog' is a harrowing account of the "Mexican Trampoline" -- aka the trafficking of cocaine from Medellin to Honduras to Mexico to the States. The story is made more complex by collusion between the Mafia, Mexican drug lords and an American government that turns a blind eye to the rampant coke shipments.
DEA operative Art Keller is a tortured sole at the heart of 'Dog'. He embarks upon a 30 year war to take down the Mexican drug cartels. The protagonist is obsessed with evil and he is willing to conquer it no matter the personal cost. His journey is rocky and terrifying. The brutality of the drug lords is shocking but mesmerizing. Also, Winslow does a great job of showing how futile the war on drugs really is. ENJOY.
Perfect pace, characters who breathe, dialogue that snaps, seamless melding of history with fiction, I could go on forever, and could never do it justice. It's simply brilliant.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
If you haven't already guessed it, this book, in my view, was LONG. Too long. Only because I grew tired of the ghastly violence that surrounded nearly every element of the book. Reality it probably is in the world of drugs and illegal arms, but the violence was so graphic and so horrendous that I found myself wanting to walk away from the book, even though the story itself was compelling.
The narration was first rate and I agree that this is a story that needs to be told. I am just a little too squeamish for the descriptions of man's inhumanity to man (and woman) that accompany it. I finished it and recommend it only for those who don't flinch when torture is described in detail. I flinch.
Still, I won't dock stars. A good solid 4 star story and a 5 star performance.
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