Customer Reviews

151
4.4 out of 5 stars
The Power of the Dog
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$12.49 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There are some books, which leave a lasting impression on you. The kind that you start to miss before you are even done, and then when you finish, you can't read another for a while. This is that kind of book. The story follows a number of people caught up in the various sides of the Drug War, a DEA agent, coke traffickers call girl, mafiosos and a priest. The most compelling part of the story is the humanity of each character. This is not just another book with plot twists-it also makes you feel what each person is feeling. Recommend Highly
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"The Power of the Dog" inspects three generations of Mexican drug lords and the psychology of those who oppose them. It's a book both about hopelessness and doing what you feel is right, regardless of the outcome. However, there's not much preaching -- written in a sparse style with excellent ending impact to each scene, it's a speeding trip through hell that reveals the corrupting force of politics, money, drugs, weapons and sex. The author has clearly done his research including the behind the scenes knowledge that never quite makes it into mainstream publications, and from it has spun a suspenseful and compelling yarn.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Don Winslow, narrator par excellence of nefarious activity in his beloved southern California, has got religion of a sort. The endless "war on drugs" has long since gone off the rails, linked ever deeply into the violence and corruption of Latin America's political culture and the USA's own ill-advised geopolitical meddling in that unstable region. Winslow tells the story of this destructive, hopeless campaign from the mid-70s thru the late 1990s, focusing on a Mexican crime family and an honorable DEA agent who slowly loses his soul. The author's narrative skill is in evidence through most of the book -- economical, evocative prose that drives the story along in fine style, descending only on occasion to borderline preaching and gratuitous, over the top violence. His characters are, as always, fleshed out in three mostly tragic dimensions. Reading this book may shake the strongest convictions on the political right about the drug war -- there has been and will continue to be far too much collateral damage.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
The plot is beautifully developed and I couldn't stop reading it!

However, I must say the Kindle edition has ample room for improvement. There were typos all over, and not one Spanish word was spelt right. Definitely not worth the money, I thought I was paying for an edited, published book, but the Kindle edition certainly is not. I haven't read any book by this author in paperback, so I can still hope those editions do not have the spelling issues.
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
Don Winslow is an emerging talent. I first read The Death and Life of Bobby Z a few months ago and thought it was quite a good book, not great but had potential.

That potential was nearly realised in The Power of The Dog.

Think of the James Ellroy books of about 10 years ago and you get The Power of the Dog except that Winslow is a touch graphic in the violence and the sex scenes and maybe a bit melodramatic but he is getting better with each book.

A good read, long book with a tonne of events to keep track of, but worth the time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A woderful rendering in fictional form of the CIA's involvement in South America & Central America during the Reagan and senior Bush presidencies. A thriller with a message. If you remember the Reagan years and the CIA shenanigans in Nicaragua and the Iran-Contra affair and all the phony denials by the Reagan and Bush administrations, then you will realize this is not only a very good thriller, but also realistic historical fiction from an embarrassing moment in U.S. history.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
In classical antiquity poetic art was divided into three broad categories: lyric, dramatic, and epic. The novel descends from the epic, though it seldom resembles it. Also in antiquity, authors scaled the genre ladder, beginning with pastoral and georgic and eventually moving on to epic. Don Winslow, like James Ellroy, has followed a parallel path, beginning with traditional genre fiction and moving on to something far more ambitious, in Winslow's case something that is epic in aspiration, if not in all of its specific elements. The sometimes incantatory nature of epic is here replaced with a narrative that, while complex, is always crystal clear and lightning fast.

This is a book that is daring in its size and scope and equally daring in its models and antecedents. The protagonist's obsessions with evil and his willingness to conquer it at any personal cost is explicitly Melvillean. Winslow's tracing of the connections between the evils of North and South America in an ethos of revolution and counterrevolution is explicitly Conradian, though The Power of the Dog is realized on an even grander scale than Conrad's masterpiece, Nostromo.

There have been concerns expressed about his criticism of American policies and actions, but while they are there they must also be seen in terms of the first dictate of the noir gospel: large organizations, be they crime families, unions, companies, or governments threaten the individual and the small degree of happiness and integrity that is possible in the world that they have wrought is seldom available except through limited, personal relationships. Personal loyalty is the summum bonum in this world and it drives the narrative in The Power of the Dog.

The historical sweep and detail is impressive, even though there is a lapse here and there. The M60 machine gun, e.g., fires the standard 7.62 NATO round, not a 50 calibre round. These are small matters in the face of Winslow's accomplishment--an instant classic, one of the top crime novels of our time. Don't fear its physical weight; the pages flip by like a hydrofoil on a sea of blood.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Rating this book is extremely difficult for me. Parts were an absolute 5-star read. Certain things annoyed me so much, I wanted to put the book down and forget about it. Much of the book was some combination of those two extremes.

I love that Winslow tackled our failed war on drugs, and the government deception that has propelled it. The story is well researched and contains sections of flawless writing.

This one book takes on decades of the drug war and, because of that, is long, sometimes dragged out, and maybe a bit too ambitious. At times it felt more like nonfiction rhetoric on government corruption than a fictional story.

We have several plot lines, even more subplots, and dozens of characters, all with POV parts. I felt like I needed a chart to keep up with them all. POV characters switched often. By mid-book, they were switching within the same paragraph, which I found jarring. And most of the characters were bad guys, giving me little to care about in terms of who made it through the battles.

For the most part, I felt like there was too much going on for me to latch on to any one story.

I have a lot of respect for Winslow's ambition here. The truth within these pages is a powerful story that needs to be told. I think it would have worked better had he told the story in a tighter POV, with two or three characters we could follow closely, or dropped the attempt at fictionalization altogether.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Don Winslow is one of the best writers around that no one has ever heard of. His books become more and more ambitious and this is the best yet. Combining characters from Hell's Kitchen, churches and whore houses with aristocratic Mexican drug lords, this book is violent, gory, suspenseful and--most important--beautifully written. Highly recommend.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
Don Winslow must be a fan of James Ellroy; this book reminded me of the latter's 'American Tabloid'. I like authors who tackle big topics. I'm not so keen on the infantile leftist geopolitics which repeatedly appears in this book - the CIA may be an incompetent steward of 'The War On Drugs', but did Vice President Bush really sanction drug running into the US in order to raise money for anti-communist guerillas? Why are Latin American death squads always "right-wing"? And why is NAFTA bad? A more thoughtful author could have woven a more intriguing geopolitical context.

This said, the book kept me interested right up to the blood-soaked ending. There's a grisly fascination in discovering the fate of the narco cowboys and their associates, and in finding out what becomes of the few "good" characters. I reckon I'll be reading a few more Winslow books.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages
The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages by Don Winslow (Paperback - June 18, 2013)
$13.41

Savages: A Novel
Savages: A Novel by Don Winslow (Paperback - March 15, 2011)
$15.00

California Fire and Life (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
California Fire and Life (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard) by Don Winslow (Paperback - September 4, 2007)
$12.30
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.