Monday, June 05, 2017

Vacation reading

I wanted to keep it relatively light and fun for my travels (which currently have me on a ferry back to Helsinki after a day in Tallinn). So I started with Carl Hiaasen's Razor Girl, fun but a bit trashy and not his best. Now, Don Winslow's The Cartel, fiction about Mexican drug cartels (and the U.S. and Mexican governments) amid the drug war down there. Harrowing (with apologies for the cliche); brings to mind The Wire in some ways. Great but not quite keeping it light.

Its precursor volume, The Power of the Dog, which is similarly good, brings to mind another book I read at about the same time that is completely unrelated despite having the same title. Thomas Savage's The Power of the Dog, published in 1967 and set among Montana ranchers in the 1920s, is exceptionally good. It's been compared to John Williams' brilliant classic Stoner, and both are among the handful of best books that I read for the first time, not having previously heard of them, in the last 10-15 years.

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