Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shit That I Dig (October 22)

Now, you are asking yourself if I really needed to emphasize that I think Salma Hayek has a great rack? The answer is no, I think my thoughts on that are well known. No, the subject of today's post is actually the writing of a gentleman named Don Winslow. If you've ever seen pictures of Don Winslow, you will understand why I didn't lead with a picture of him. The picture of Salma will become clear later...

I have read two books written by Winslow in the past month. They are two of the most visceral books I've read in several years. Winslow's writing focuses on crime and criminals, but unlike many authors, Winslow is not afraid to provide an unflinching look into the world where these criminals exist. It is often horrifying to read, but the storylines are compelling, if a bit familiar.

The biggest problem with reading genre literature is that after a while the conventions of the particular genre become stale and annoying. I know that with few exceptions, my ability to read fantasy has been gone for years. I sometimes fear that the same thing his happening with crime/mystery/thriller novels. Winslow's books have acted like a kind of buffer for that process. His writing in the novel Savages, which is being adapted into a movie (with Salma Hayek playing a drug kingpin), borders on the brink of ridiculousness, but he manages to maintain the tone of an almost fever-dream, as if the writer, along with most of the main characters, was viewing the events of the novel in some sort of marijuana haze.

I usually love to go out and get more of an author's work as soon as I finish something that I've liked and I did that with Winslow, reading the novel The Power of the Dog. It was more conventional than Savages, but it was still a great read. I'm holding off on buying more Winslow, at least until I clear out the reading queue, but I'm already plotting out which of his books is next. The very definition of shit that I dig.

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