Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dead End Follies Book Club : SAVAGES


Under its explosive, chaotic and stylish presentation, SAVAGES is a novel that does a lot of things right. It follows as many rules as it breaks. The narrative is cool, off-beat, told in a weird, colloquial way and yet,  its characters are so rock solid and easy to relate to, because of how they love each other. There is a healthy balance between surprise and visceral satisfaction throughout the complete tale. Maybe this explains why it's a masterpiece

Last summer's movie adaptation was a let down, but it brought so much well-deserved attention to the movie, it was hard to argue against its existence. After all, it's seducing to think how blown away the new readers will be from the novel, if the film tipped them off about its existence. It's the movie trailer that tipped ME off and made this reading an unforgettable experience. You know that cliché that says: "The book is better than the movie"? Well, this one is true. Read the book. You can thank me afterwards. 

THREE REASONS TO READ: SAVAGES

1) Chapter One. Those who read it know what I mean. Can't really say more than that. 

2) All the chapters. They range from one line to 5-6 pages in length. It's quick, it's fun, it keeps the pace frantic and the novel accessible to all readers. There are almost as many of them as there are pages in the book and it's a great thing.

3) Don Winslow's wit. It's hard to hate on smart, sensitive, yet mischievous characters who can use guns and explosive to create mayhem and retribution. Winslow created characters with great power and imbued them with a tremendous sense of humor. Much of that goes through O., his Orange-County-princess-with-too-much-brain-for-her-own-good character. 

THREE TOPICS ABOUT: SAVAGES

1) Where do you situate the concept of law in SAVAGES, in the legal sense of the term? Is it even present or are the protagonists' moral compasses their only bearing for survival? How do you think the characters' relationship to the law (or lack of it) shapes their involvement in the story?

2) What do you think about Don Winslow's treatment of women in SAVAGES? Namely Elena and O.

3) What do you think the treatment of the O.C landscape and the American Dream in SAVAGES? What do you think is its place in the story?




2 comments:

  1. I haven't read this book. But you do point out a technique that does indeed seem to effect the pacing of a book (keeping chapters short).

    ReplyDelete
  2. Short and yet of variable length. When you finish a two pages long chapter, read a paragraph-long one (yet, displaying something more or less necessary to the storyline) and heading into a one page long chapter, you get the sense that things are moving fast.

    ReplyDelete