Archive for March, 2013

‘The Kings of Cool’ by Don Winslow

March 6, 2013

A crime novel. Quite cool indeed — or hot, compared to the quaint Sherlock Holmes novel (A Study in Scarlet) I read just before. Very hard-boiled also, though it’s not a hard-boiled detective novel but rather about two amiable marijuana dealers and organized crime.

I got two Winslow books — Kings of Cool and Savages — for my birthday. I wasn’t sure whether to read the two books in the order of publication or in chronological order. In the end I decided for the latter, so Kings of Cool, the prequel, came first.

I tend to compare crime novels with those of James Ellroy and Andrew Vachss. From that perspective, this one is much sunnier and funnier, but there are still lots of brutal violence. The protagonists here are not as damaged and obsessed. Winslow’s stylistic gadget of putting mere parts of sentences in separate paragraphs or even chapters is interesting — though there’s maybe a bit too much of that.

I enjoyed this book very much and am looking forward for more, maybe The Power of the Dog next. (At the time of writing, I’ve been through with Savages for quite a while already; my backlog is accumulating again.) However, Ellroy — at least the later Ellroy of the L.A. Quartet and the Underworld USA Trilogy — seems more worthwhile from a literary standpoint. Vachss less so.