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 just found Winslow and can't believe I have never heard of him before now. His writing is up to par or better than Fynn, Crais, Lee, Connelly ext. The Power of the Dog had my attention from the first minute and kept it until the last words of the pro log. I loved it and will listen to the remaining two books he has here, one being Dawn Patrol which is down loading now.
Winslow has a gift for being able to describe a brutal killing while adding the best of dry humor which he does superbly. The characters are complex, perfectly developed through the balance of the book but easily followed and I felt like I was in Calif. and Central America by the time it was finished, all the while you are experiencing a killing spree during the process.
I hope you enjoy this fast paced (A huge understatement) thriller while being absolutely abhorred with our Governments actions during this time period and being totally entertained during the journey that Winslow has so masterfully written.
Buy this one, you will enjoy it!!!
PS Franky the Machine is just as great as this one is!
Former Marine. Will buy beer for other Marines. Will skewer authors who wrongly describe or denigrate our service to this great country.
I spent 32 years chasing narco in Los Angeles. Did I make a difference? Did I put a dent in the trade. Was it all worth it? The answer is no. We never caught the big guys, we only reeled in the little fish. The narrative in this book rings true. The violence is real and believe me the 5 Freeway continues to be a narcotics super highway to this day. The dope goes north and the money goes south. The politicians don't care. We still have an open border with Mexico. The bad guys laugh at us. Just like the book.
Ray Porter is an incredible narrator and brings the Power of the Dog to life. My only beef is the author needs to pay attention to some minor details concerning firearms. A "service revolver" does not have a "safety". You can't release the safety on a revolver before firing it because there is NO safety. The M-60 machine gun fires 7.62mm rounds and is not a "50 caliber". Hearing these descriptions made me cringe as everything else about the narco trade and their antics is spot on.
Authors should check firearm references before publication with someone familiar with weapons and their functionality. I can't fault Don Winslow for including some accurate references to the Marine Corps and Camp Pendleton. For that, he gets a Semper Fi from me.
I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Long commutes have turned me into a dedicated Audible fan. Looking at my stats I can't believe I have 825 titles in my Library.
Everything you want in a thriller and maybe more than you want to know about how we got to where we are in the "War on Drugs" . If even a fraction were true and I suspect it's more than a fraction, corruption permeates every level of government here and abroad. Honest men and women are destroyed fighjting this cancer. The answer? It has to be legalization.
I never watched the movie "Savages," based on Winslow's book, because I'd heard it was really violent and graphic. The Power of the Dog is as well, and if you're squeamish like me, there will be parts you'll want to fast-forward through, or at least turn down the volume for a few minutes. Still, it's not gratuitous violence and gore. It feels just right for the story.
And the story is incredible -- fast-paced and eye-opening, it made me want to learn more about the failed "war on drugs" and the Mexican cartels. It's a little bit horrifying to think of how many parties (including government officials) play both sides, and play dirty. The US doesn't come out smelling like a rose, either. But I never got the feeling that Winslow had a bias toward one side, or any particular point of view. He seems to want to lay out the facts, and let us decide how we feel about it. But in doing so -- in laying out the facts in a fictional way -- he tells a darn good story, one that keeps you engrossed. The characters are fleshed-out nicely (which is no small feat, considering how many there are), and there are plenty of surprises along the way. There is humor and pathos in this novel, and writing of a caliber you don't often find in genre fiction.
Finally, I loved the narration by Ray Porter. His voice is so pleasant, his reading so smooth, his diction so perfect, I felt like the story was placed in the hands of a master. He did a wonderful job with numerous accents and ages -- whether a craggy Southerner (American, that is) a New York gangster, a young Irish woman, or an aging Mexican priest. His Spanish pronunciation was excellent.
I haven't even finished the book, and I'm back on Audible to buy "The Cartel," (fortunately also narrated by Ray Porter). I highly recommend "The Power of the Dog."
Sometimes writers can use fiction to tell more of the facts than nonfiction.This is a well researched account of the failed war on drugs and the human casualties of this war. A lot of it is based on actual events. There is a surprising subplot regarding
Religion and loss of faith. Recmended
As the New York Times critic pointed out this book should be read before the just released book The Cartel. Winslow brings the whole sordid realpolitik of the Latin American drug trade to life. The narrator is excellent.
Nevertheless I could not stop listening. There is a lot of sex, torture, murder and betrayal but aren't those the consequences of being involved in the drug business? In the end, I think it's an honest portrayal of the so called "war on drugs." Certain scenes in the book I could not get out of my head for days. There are no good guys here and no one to really root for but I learned a lot. I grew up near the San Diego/Mexico border and so I'm familiar with a lot of the locations mentioned in the book. This was my first Don Winslow book and he's an excellent writer.
Again, Ray Porter does an excellent job in the narration. I just love this guy. He brings the book and characters to life.
The ending is depressing but just like in life, not every ending is a happy one.
What is the Power of this book, of the Dog?...With 2,722 books currently in my Audible library, thousands of ratings, but only 18 written reviews...why am I taking the time to write about this particular book? Applying simply surface thinking , this book transcends genres, and should thoroughly satisfy and engage the mind and the emotions of most readers (even Sci-Fi lovers, as while based totally in this current world, it does transcend time and unfolds as do the deepest and most complex of our eternal/internal operas). At its root, this book reveals the darkest Use and/or Abuse of Power and Greed via Political, Religious, Class, "Good Intentions" and Economical means and the resulting consequences in this particular story and to all of us today and throughout time. Yet, have you ever read a such book that most people would proclaim exposed the Real Raw Truth...people across all political and religious strata...the most politically passionate left-wing collectivist, the nuttiest on the farthest right wing, the most pious religious believer, the most stringent atheist, the richest class elitist, the poorest and most dispossessed, people of any race would agree as the sober truth thinly veiled as a fictional story? I think this author achieved this without a shrill agenda. Of course what these people would define as proper Use or Abuse of the Power exposed will be vastly opposed. I imagine that few will have a sure solution, and most will define the DOG differently, but we all are still being savaged by its bite in different guises. This book should make us all face the reality we know exists but prefer to bury; but as one line in the books ponders this book will probably make you wonder, "What is the best you can do in this world?" It's a really good story and enjoyable on the lightest or deepest of levels. What is the Dog to you?
Callan and Nora, of course. I imagine most people say that.
There's so much going on in this story, and it's a credit to Ray Porter that he doesn't distract from it in any way, if that makes sense. I didn't give much though to the narrator, but not because he wasn't good but precisely because I was able to focus entirely on the book without distraction. I can only think it was because he was a perfect fit. He did the accents very well, all the characters impressively distinct, his pacing was very good, A+.
"The other side of the border. "
I really enjoyed this book, and from the brutal beginning and on, I really did want to finish this book in one sitting (impossible, of course!). It was very interesting to see blips into something I know nothing about, new perspectives into the "drug war," a perspective that--besides being entertaining--is something we all could benefit from looking at. All in all I really enjoyed this book, it was a great, thrilling listen, well-read/performed, interesting to the end.
Begin with the inner workings of the drug cartels, add the mob angle, and anti-drug interdiction efforts, and you have a great story that just keeps getting better. It's very believable. Also, as a 30-year resident of Southern California, I felt like I knew exactly where the author was taking me. A great listen!
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