The Power of the Dog: 0 MP3 CD – Unabridged, 1 May 2008
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MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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- MP3 CD : 2 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1433245469
- Product Dimensions : 13.92 x 1.42 x 18.72 cm
- ISBN-13 : 978-1433245466
- Publisher : Blackstone Audiobooks, Inc.; Unabridged Edition (1 May 2008)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
About the Author
Don Winslow is the author of the highly acclaimed, multi-award-winning novel The Cartel, a New York Times bestseller, which also garnered the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and made the "Best Books of the Year" lists for the New Statesman, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Amazon. His other books have won the Shamus Award, Maltese Falcon Award, and the Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize. Winslow has also written for film and television.
Ray Porter is an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator and fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Almost Famous, ER, and Frasier.
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Top reviews from Australia
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The book has well drawn characters and is a reasonable story
While reading I saw in my mind scenes from the film “Sicario” and I felt the same feeling of discomfort, but a thousand times amplified by the evocative power of the written word.
The story is engaging, and so shocking, when the author shows the heinous acts of violence and murder. Some sequences leave in suspense and urge you to continue reading until you learn how it ends. It contains so many double and triple games that it is difficult to see a twist as it arrives. Maybe you know it’s coming, but you have no idea what will happen.
Moreover I particularly liked the connection between the beginning of the novel and the end of one of the last chapters.
In general this is a book that must be tackled with the intention of reading it in a short period, because the abundance of detail puts a strain on the reader’s memory. Personally I think this is a good thing for a novel, as it is a sign of a great work of structuring the plot and because it stimulates me as a reader.
Conversely, there are some aspects which have prevented me from giving it full marks.
The novel offers a lot of info-dump on the drug trade, politics, and everything about it. I understand that it is essential to understand the context in which the plot takes place, but I had a hard time reading all this information and I tended to skip it, without this making me miss anything essential to the understanding of story, because I was more interested in characters. All this often breaks the action, because there is an alternation of told pages, which tend to bore you (unless you are interested in the subject), and real action.
There are also too many characters. It isn’t a problem in itself, but their excessive amount makes strenuous to feel empathy for them. It is difficult to “feel” them in yourself, and when you succeed, then they disappear for tens of pages.
In particular, the decision to dedicate each of the first three chapters to a character is quite distracting. I was about to give up at the second chapter, because I did not see any relevance with the first. It seemed another story. Only at the end of the third I started reconnecting things and appreciating the plot, but not all readers can go on like this, because the chapters are very long.
Finally, there really is a lot of violence, shown in a very graphic way, which makes it not suitable for people easily suggestible. I myself was happy to have finished the reading, because at times the book was having a bad impact on my mood. Also this aspect is not negative in itself, because it shows how the book manages to engage the reader, but personally I don’t like this kind of deep involvement with violent and often disgusting acts.
In other words, it’s a great book, a powerful novel, but I would have preferred not to have read it, because it left me with many negative feelings. For this reason I don’t think I will read its sequel.
Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, author of Kindred Intentions
Top reviews from other countries
Warning - the type face in this book is smaller than usual so if you prefer larger words on the page then this is not the book for you.
The action is fast paced which keeps you coming back for more to find out what is happening next as the plot twists and turns in unexpected ways. Who will come out on top, Art Keller, an American-Hispanic DEA agent, or the Barrera family.
I have already purchased the next book, The Cartel, and look forward to reading that next.
The story and premise are sound, drug running and bent police, maybe i can pick it up again, but doubt it.
Well i did pick it up again a few days later, and stuck with it, and proved myself wrong! Turned out to be well worth the effort. Picks up with various people through the years and how the drugs business moves from Mexico to Colombia. Who is who, how they move it. The violence and all with a few central characters still around. Yes, i was mistaken. Yes i have downloaded The Cartel!
‘A lot of money goes into bribes.
silver or lead’
The prologue opens in El Sauzal, Mexico 1997. Art Keller our protagonist and US operative is at the scene of a violent and bloody murder. 19 bodies lay slain, including a mother and baby. The death toll is 10 men, 3 women and 6 children. The victims were lined up against the patio wall and shot, execution style. Some of the family members show signs of torture, leading the cops to believe this is gang/cartel related. One lone victim remains, who was forced to watch the violence take place.
The novel goes on to describe the various methods of torture for crime committed. For example, traitors are shot in the back of the head and informers in the mouth. Life is the cartel is far from easy.
‘El poder del perro’ – The power of the dog
From the start the novel has a violent and explosive opening. However, the novel does go on to detail various areas of Mexico, who is affected by the cartel trade which includes the poor and just trying to get by citizens. But it also covers the policing, how a multidisciplinary team approach is desperately needed. But no one trust each other.
Art Keller is new to Mexico at the opening of the novel, but the end he is accustomed to the harsh way of life/death the cartels live by. At the beginning he is suffering flashbacks from his tour in Vietnam.
I wondered myself, which would be worse war? Or the war on drugs?
The DEA has been in operation 2yrs and Nixon has recently declared his ‘war on drugs’ stance. This is as the same time Art find himself recruited from the CIA to the DEA. Art is an experienced soldier, but I believe at the beginning he was naïve at just how integrated the cartel structure is into everyday life. His boss Tim Taylor hates him, and he is isolated and alone in and new to Mexico. This is when he first meets Adan Barrera. . .
‘Years later, Art would have given anything in the world to have just killed Adan Barrera on the spot’
‘A partnership made in hell’ – Art Keller & Tio Barrera
There are a wealth of characters from Father Juan to Nora Hayden, it would be impossible for me to break down all the details of who fits into the plot and where, just know that each individual mentioned is relevant and they all play a part no matter how big or small in the formation of a divide.
Which will sit Art on one side of the fence and the cartel on another.
Art is also dealing with his own new marriage and personal problems. He is a complex character and there is so much more to Art than first meets the eye.
‘The only redemption for having a bad father is being a good one’
Art has adapted the motto YOYO aka you’re on your own. A motto that when dealing with the cartel will serve him well, as you never know who you can trust.
When Art’s colleague Ernie Hidalgo goes missing, all hell breaks loose the DEA will stop at nothing to return one of their own.
Adan Barrera’s character also evolves. He is quite the strategist and manages to ensure he is top-dog of the cartel empire. But how long can that last for?
And how quickly can you be taken down or killed?
Adan also has a daughter that suffers a rare genetic condition. He personally feels responsible for this and it causes a huge rift in his marriage. With both him and his wife, ready to accept full responsibility for the condition.
‘Neither god nor science can help his daughter’
The novel goes on to explain Adan’s rise within the organised infrastructure of the cartel drug trade.
‘Adan Barrera has reinvented the drug business’
The cartels are comfortable with the situation of buying the very police sent to stop them, they see it as a franchise, a business expense.
‘Just look the other way, be someplace else, see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil and the monthly payment will be there in full and on time’
The cartel trade runs into profits of $8million a WEEK, yes that is a WEEK!!!!!! It is easy to see that every man, woman or child just has a price tag attached. Except one man, Art Keller can not be bought and will not be put on the pay roll.
It just might be his downfall and he knows it. . .
‘He’s only sure that either he will kill Adan or Adan will kill him, and those are the only two ways this thing can end’ – Art Keller
This novel has a deeply layered plot, that covers politics, corruption, flow of drugs, cartel wars, deception and violence. The last 20% is very intense and sets the scene perfectly for the next novel in the series The Cartel. Which I already have sat on my tbr pile.
A fantastic insight into the real ‘war on drugs’.
We follow Keller through a quarter century of fighting the same battle against the cartels, corrupt officials and even his ostensible allies. The story intertwines the drug trade with the story of a New York Italian crime family with a virulent disavowal of drug smuggling and a high-end escort agency in California. As the years pass, we learn how the drug war encompasses weakly governed countries in Central America, and how the US government used the drug was to funnel funds to anti-communist operations in the same place. Keller must watch as the cartels become a well-oiled business whilst efforts to counter it become more and more inept, and as a result Keller’s obsession with Adan Barrera, the drug kingpin grows. The book closes as the 21st century dawns with progress in the war on drugs negligible despite Keller’s sacrifices.
I have read some of Winslow’s other books (including accidentally reading the sequel to this book before realising it was a sequel!), so I sort of knew the ‘end’ but that didn’t bother me. Winslow writes in a deep, engaging manner and you get a real feel for the places our protagonists inhabit. Keller, whilst not perfect, is a sympathetic hero, even when he crosses the line. In fact, one of the things I like most is that Winslow writes his characters so that you can even sympathise with a ruthless hitman and a hooker. The descriptions of the never-ending War on Drugs, and the corruption, whilst fictionalised, still feel largely realistic – well publicised events about escaping drug kingpins and police working for drug dealers tell us Winslow has not strayed too far from the truth.
Absolutely excellent, and I would recommend The Winter of Frankie Machine and The Cartel.