The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages

Hardcover | October 18, 2013

byDon Winslow

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Published to coincide with the release of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone’s major film of Savages from Universal Pictures in July 2012—starring John Travolta, Blake Lively, Benecio Del Toro, Uma Thurman, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, and Salma Hayek—this is the much-anticipated prequel to Don Winslow’s acclaimed New York Times bestseller.

In Savages, Don Winslow introduced Ben and Chon, twenty-something best friends who risk everything to save the girl they both love, O. Among the most celebrated thrillers in recent memory—and now a major motion picture directed by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Oliver Stone—Savages was picked as a best book of the year by Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly, Janet Maslin in The New York Times, and Sarah Weinman in the Los Angeles Times.

Now, in this high-octane prequel, Winslow reaches back in time to tell the story of how Ben, Chon, and O became the people they are. Spanning from 1960s Southern California to the recent past, The Kings of Cool is a breathtakingly original saga of family in all its forms—fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, friends and lovers. As the trio at the center of the book does battle with a cabal of drug dealers and crooked cops, they come to learn that their future is inextricably linked with their parents’ history. A series of breakneck twists and turns puts the two generations on a collision course, culminating in a stunning showdown that will force Ben, Chon, and O to choose between their real families and their loyalty to one another.

Fast-paced, provocative, and wickedly funny, The Kings of Cool is a spellbinding love story for our times from a master novelist at the height of his powers. It is filled with Winslow’s trademark talents—complex characters, sharp dialogue, blistering social commentary—that have earned him an obsessive following. The result is a book that will echo in your mind and heart long after you’ve turned the last page.

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From the Publisher

Published to coincide with the release of Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone’s major film of Savages from Universal Pictures in July 2012—starring John Travolta, Blake Lively, Benecio Del Toro, Uma Thurman, Emile Hirsch, Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, and Salma Hayek—this is the much-anticipated prequel to Don Winslow’s acclai...

Don Winslow is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels. He lives in Southern California.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.2 inPublished:October 18, 2013Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1451665326

ISBN - 13:9781451665321

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Customer Reviews of The Kings of Cool: A Prequel to Savages

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic This book was great. I really enjoyed Savages and was skeptical of a prequel but it was perfectly done. I may have even liked it better than Savages. Great book!
Date published: 2012-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'd Say It's About 1000 Pages Too Short -- Just Didn't Want to Stop Reading. Another outstanding addition to the character driven saga that is 'Savages'. Though I was a little unsure of how Don would deliver a prequel with the same flow, he managed to come through with flying colors, opening up the story from present day(ish), to the early SoCal grassroots of the 60's. Heck, half the story runs Ben and Chon-less, but manages to keep them in view, while providing an welcomed glimpse in to who they are and where they came from. As an investigator, Don has clearly done his homework, which can be both enlightening and frightening ("where on earth did he dig that up from??"), but a point that makes this detail-driven story, something that could be 'based on a true story'. Above all else, Don's unique writing style - both language and lay out - have me pining for another; something I'm not sure we'll have the opportunity to see. For the sarcastic and cynical tongue, this is a wicked read that will get you laughing page to page, and working his word into your daily routine. Though the Kings make for a quick and easy read, the story and characters stick with you, as memorable souvenirs to a great read. For those fans of Savages, don't hesitate in grabbing this book if you're looking to continue your fix (so to speak). It's a quick go, so if you've grown attached to it all, perhaps you'll consider slowing your roll this time around.
Date published: 2012-07-30

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Laguna Beach, California2005 2 Is what O is thinking as she sits between Chon and Ben on a bench at Main Beach and picks out potential mates for them. “That one?” she asks, pointing at a classic BB (Basically Baywatch) strolling down the boardwalk. Chon shakes his head. A little dismissively, O thinks. Chon is pretty choosy for a guy who spends most of his time in Afghanistan or Iraq and doesn’t see much in the way of anything outside cammies or a burqa. Actually, she can see how the burqa thing could be pretty hot if you played it off right. Did, you know, the harem thing. Yeah, no. The burqa ain’t gonna work for O. You don’t want to hide that blonde hair, you don’t want those bright eyes peeking out from behind a niqab. O was made for sunshine. California gurl. Chon, he ain’t small but he’s thin. O thinks he looks even thinner than usual. He’s always been cut, but now it looks like he’s been carved with a scalpel. And she likes the short, almost shaved, hair. “That one?” she asks, jutting her chin at a tourist-type brunette with really big tits and a retroussé nose. Chon shakes his head. Ben remains silent, sphinx-like, which is a role reversal, because Ben is usually the more verbal of the two. This isn’t a high bar to jump, as Chon doesn’t talk a lot, except when he goes off on a rant; then it’s like you pulled the plug from a fire hose. While Ben is the more verbal, O considers now, he’s also the less promiscuous. Ben is more Consecutive Monogamy while Chon is more Women Are To Be Served Concurrently. Although O knows for a fact that both of them—albeit Chon more than Ben—take full advantage of the Tourist Chicks who watch them play volleyball here at the beach, just a few convenient paces from the Hotel Laguna—encounters she refers to as FRSO. Fuck—Room Service—Shower—Out. “That pretty much sums it up,” Chon has admitted. Although at times he skips the room service. Never the shower. Basic rule of survival in the Greater Cross V Crescent Sandbox Tournament: If there’s a shower, take it. He can’t shake off the habit at home. Anyway, Chon admits to doing matinees at the Hotel Laguna, the Ritz, the St. Regis, and the Montage with not only tourist women but also Orange County Trophy Wives and divorcées—the difference between the two being strictly temporary. That’s the thing about Chon—he’s totally honest. No pretensions, no evasions, no apologies. O can’t decide if that’s because he’s so ethical or because he just doesn’t give a fuck. Now he turns to her and says, “You have one strike left. Choose carefully.” It’s a game they play—ODB—Offline Dating Baseball. Predicting each other’s sexual preferences and hitting for a single, a double, a triple, or a Home Run. It’s a really good game when you’re high, which they are now, on some of Ben and Chon’s supremo weed. (Which is not weed at all, but a top-of-the-line hydro blend they call Saturday In The Park because if you take a hit of this stuff any day is Saturday and any place is the park.) O is usually the Sammy Sosa of ODB, but now, with runners on first and third, she’s striking out. “Well?” Chon asks her. “I’m waiting for a good pitch,” she says, scanning the beach. Chon’s been in Iraq, he’s been in Afghanistan . . . . . . Go exotic. She points to a beautiful South Asian girl with shimmering black hair setting off her white beach dress. “Her.” “Strikeout,” Chon answers. “Not my type.” “What is your type?” O asks, frustrated. “Tan,” Chon answers, “thin—sweet face—big brown eyes, long lashes.” O turns to Ben. “Ben, Chon wants to fuck Bambi.”

Editorial Reviews

“This adrenaline-fused collision of generations . . . is another Winslow roller-coaster thriller.” Library Journal (starred review)