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The Power of the Dog Audio Cassette – May 1 2008


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Audio Cassette, May 1 2008
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (May 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1433245442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1433245442
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.9 x 6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The war on drugs is powerfully dramatized in Winslow's ambitious, dense and gritty latest (after 1999's California Fire and Life). Art Keller is a brilliant DEA agent who sometimes breaks the rules to serve justice. Adan Barrera is an urbane drug dealer whose charm masks his brutality. Nora Hayden is a high-class call girl whose heart is in the right place. And Sean Callan is a taciturn mob hit man, a stone-cold killer who just wants out of the life. Winslow follows these four characters and assorted extras as they cross paths over three decades in the international drug trade, from Keller's first encounter with Barrera in 1970s Mexico, through the drug cartels' corruption of government officials in the U.S. and Mexico governments, to a final showdown on the U.S. border in 1999. Winslow's depth of research and unflagging attention to detail give the story both heft and immediacy, and his staccato, present-tense prose shifts easily among wildly disparate settings and multiple points of view. A complex plot, well-drawn characters and plenty of double-crossing make this a thinking person's narco-thriller. Agent, Jimmy Vines. Author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Winslow (California Fire and Life, 1999) once again offers a crime novel with breakneck pacing, a sardonic worldview, and a teeming cast of superheated characters. He also displays bold ambition as he takes on the war on drugs, moving his extremely violent story between the DEA, the Latin American drug cartels, and the Mob. At the center of the novel is DEA agent Art Keller, who makes a fatal mistake as an idealistic rookie. On his first posting, to Culiacan, Mexico, capital of the drug trade, Art befriends the Barrera brothers. Their friendship will eventually turn into a personal vendetta of epic proportions when it is revealed that their uncle, Miguel, a member of the state police, is a drug kingpin. The cast also features an Irish hit man, a call girl, and a priest, as Winslow feverishly indicts the U.S. war on drugs, tracing flawed policies that have cost DEA agents their lives yet failed to stop the flow of drugs across the border. Intricate plotting and manic energy power this page-turner. Joanne Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The historical development of the Mafia in the US and ditto of the cartels in Mexico has no relevance to the story.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An absorbing and nuanced examination of the war between the drug cartels and the US government and its agencies that sketches its political and social underpinnings and exposes the greed, voilence and corruption that fuel it. Well drawn fictional characters that are credible, interesting and human with story lines that never lose their momentum with Winslow's entertaining and punchy writing style.
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 29 2013
Format: Paperback
“The Power of the Dog” starts in 1975 and follows the DEA’s involvement with the War on Drugs and various aspects of Operation Condor. It took the author over 6 years of writing and research before its publication. In every aspects it is evident the tremendous effort he has invested into his version of events and has provided us with a fast paced page turner that is impossible to put down.

Set on the US/Mexican border, we witness mainly through the eyes of Art Keller the beginning of his operative work with the CIA on Operation Condor and through the next 29 years as he attempts to do his job while not becoming a victim.

I was easily sucked into the whirlpool of characters in all shades of black and grey, into the corrupt agencies and the government underhand encouragement, actively financing the development of the drug cartel. This story is a tapestry of violence and depicts actual events some may remember, we are not spared the true ugliness of war, the word excruciating may be apropos during some sections. This is a dense novel, rather pessimistic but in no way does it drag. The prose is energetic, intelligent and has the right rhythm for the subject as the sprawling saga shifts points of view.

This story may not be for everyone it is nevertheless a captivating read I would recommend
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 137 reviews
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Excellent capsule history of the failed war on drugs June 6 2005
By Craig Larson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Don Winslow's latest book (after _California Fire and Life_), _The Power of the Dog_, is an epic look at the US war on drugs from its earliest beginnings to more recent times. The book is violent and thrilling and heart-breaking, as it follows a large cast of characters from the early 1970s through 2004, showing how the competing interests and agendas of various government agencies (the CIA, the DEA, etc.) get in the way of successfully combatting the problem, and often only served to make things much worse.

Art Keller, the book's protagonist, is a half-Hispanic DEA agent who grew up in the San Diego barrio and saw the effects of drugs on his friends and family firsthand. As a rookie agent, he makes the mistake of befriending Don Miguel Angel Barrera, one of the top Mexican policemen, in an effort to topple the reigning drug kingpin. Barrera proceeds to move into the subsequent power vacuum and sets up La Federaccion, a much more well-organized and deadly organization than previously existed, and run by his two nephews, the intelligent and sensitive Adan, and the flashy and violent Raul.

This sets in motion a 30-year vendetta on Keller's part, as he attempts to take down the Barreras and atone for his mistake, a vendetta that will lead to the deaths of numerous innocent parties along the way, and to Keller's estrangement from his own wife and children.

The book was a very fast-moving, though extremely violent novel. In a little over 500 pages, Winslow does an amazing job of encapsulating a lot of recent history, including the Camarena murder, the Iran-Contra scandal, and other related events, into a very readable and entertaining novel, one of the best I've read recently. If you're not too squeamish, I'd highly recommend the book.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
"A Farmer in the Fields of the Dead" Nov. 6 2005
By Gary Griffiths - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I find two varieties of five-star reads. Page-turners both, there are those that hit you like the best action movies - a quick rush, great fun while they last, a lightning shot of adrenaline - and all but forgotten a month or so down the road. And then there are the very special books that deliver all the thrills, the action, all the suspense while at the same searing an unshakable image in your soul that you know will stay with you for a very long time. Don Winslow's remarkable "Power of the Dog" is firmly in the latter camp.

Contemporary history buffs my remember US DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena who, while assigned in Mexico in 1985, was abducted, tortured, and brutally murdered by Mexican drug lords. While Winslow changes the names, the events leading to and subsequent to Camarena's murder play a central role in this epic tale of the violence, corruption, love, betrayal, and vengeance surrounding three decades worth of the trafficking of cocaine and heroine by Mexican drug cartels. So grand in scope, so exhaustively researched, and so authoritative in its delivery of the facts, and comparisons or analogies are strained. But for a starter, consider a role up of "Traffic", "The Godfather", and "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia". Winslow manages to demystify the shady politics and clandestine operations of Nicaragua and the Sandanistas and the Iran-Contra affair, the 1994 assassination of Mexican Presidential candidate Luis Colosio, NAFTA and others in enough detail to qualify as a docudrama, while the unspeakable brutality, depravity, and evil that travels alongside the drug trade is, well, plainly spoken. Winslow weaves tight story lines from Mexico's deserts and poppy fields to the Tijuana/San Diego borderland battlegrounds to New York City's Hell's Kitchen and Bensonhurst. His characters are much too real to be expected between the pages of pop fiction - all too believable in their flaws, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and failures.

In the end, it would not be giving anything away to say that the vaunted war on drugs is ultimately a war of futility. Drugs pour into the US in ever-greater quantities while drug lords get richer and the American taxpayer pours increasingly more money to fund corrupt politicians and dubious strategies. Notwithstanding, "The Power of the Dog" is a powerful and unapologetic tale of bitter fatalism, of redemption that rings ultimately hollow. If you are squeamish, or intend to keep naive delusions of our "noble" fight against drugs intact, this is probably not the book for you. But for what is bound to become a classic, plumbing the depths of evil in this dark history we'd probably all prefer to ignore, you simply must read this novel.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
(4.5) "Deliver my soul from the sword" June 14 2005
By Luan Gaines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
"El poder del perro"; The Power of the Dog. This novel delivers a healthy dose of reality, shadowing drug enforcement agencies, from the poppy fields of South America to the Mexican border. Laced with the politics of self-deception and political agendas, much goes unreported and unacknowledged as the US continues indefensible relationships with despots who perpetuate the violence of a drug-related economy.

Against this background, one figure traces the advances of the drug economy. Since Operation Condor in Sinaloa in 1975, Art Keller has been tracking the drug industry's recurring faces. A Company Man, Keller is one of the "lost, the lonely, the cultural misfits with a foot in two worlds and a place in neither, half-Anglo and Half-Mexican". North American fire power and munitions meet South American business-as-usual, a disheartening mix of military power in the hands of the politically untouchable who decimate the country's economy in pursuit of profit. Keller pursues one small corner of this world, but he does so doggedly, revealing the complicated infrastructure and government involvement along the US-Mexican border.

Keller is infected with guilt; he once was duped by the man who is now a key player, Miguel Angel Barrera. But Keller handles most of his business outside of the purview of the government agencies, a lethal alphabet soup of DEA, FBI and ATF, all committed to keeping a lid on the current problems. Art believes all Third World slums are the same, "the same mud or dust, depending on climate or season, the same smells of charcoal stoves and open sewers...malnourished kids with distended bellies and big eyes". At least in Guadalajara, the middle class softens the edge between rich and poor. Not so in the South American countries, reduced to abject poverty and a tiny percentage of ultra-rich. South America is a killing ground, where the poor are slaughtered with impunity.

Following the corruption endemic to the drug trade, from Operation Condor in Sinaloa in1975, Guadalajara in 1984, El Salvador in 1985, Mexico and NAFTA in 1992 through the late nineties, is like descending the levels of Hell, each more complicated and fraught with moral indictments, the exorbitant cost of the lesser of two evils, where moral ambiguity becomes the coin of the realm. Art Keller's personal journey, navigating this particular nightmare, illustrates how deeply flawed is the attempt to control illegal substances.

This kind of fiction serves a dual purpose: it entertains and informs. While Winslow writes a fascinating fiction of drug trafficking and those it touches so intimately, he also exposes the agencies who have failed to control the uncontrollable, yielding a massacre of thousands in the name of profit, a system of bribery and corruption so endemic that each layer only reveals another, a mix of murderers and drug lords who act with impunity to protect a way of life. In a blistering indictment of the War on Drugs, American support of Third World guerillas financed by the illegal narcotics trade and the easy greed of officials who sell their accommodation to the highest bidder, Winslow spins a powerful yarn that is both informative and disturbing: "The hardest thing in the world isn't to refrain from committing an evil, it's to stand up and stop one." Luan Gaines/2005.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
takes hold like a pit bull March 19 2007
By george - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Power of the dog grabs hold of you like a pit bull at your throat and will not let go .Well after you have read this book it lingers .News stories from the past decades fit like pieces of a puzzle. From the kidnapping and killing of a U.S DEA agent, to the shooting death of cardinal Ocampo in Mexico, to the shooting death of Mafia boss Paul Castellano.Not to mention the number of those whose lives seem go by unnoticed .The Power of the dog pulls you into a world you may rather not know of, one you will surely not forget .It is beautifully written compelling, full of insight, and it is relentless .I fear much contained within this book may not be truly fiction, but fictionalized.This book hits the spot for a page turner at 500 pages you will go through them very quickly .This book is violent, and You will feel the violence. This is not a stylized glamorous violance but true wicked and dirty. Winslow takes us someplace that will make us uncomfortable and we follow in quick step there is no let up and you are through the looking glass in no time.This is not glamour but grit and grit stays with you for a while it gets into all kinds of places .For the genre this may be the best book of its kind I have ever read.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Winslow at His Best! Jan. 4 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don Winslow has been my favorite fiction author since I began reading as an adult (i.e., not assigned), and he has not disappointed me with this book. Unlike The Death and Life of Bobby Z. and California Fire & Life, The Power of the Dog takes a little more than the first five pages to pull a reader in, but it has wonderul character development, intensity that kept me turning pages, and one of the most brutal chapters of fiction I have ever read.

The story follows the career of DEA Agent and former CIA operative in Vietnam Art Keller. Keller's career with the DEA was made by a Mexican police officer, Tio Barrea, who later became a drug kingpin in Mexico, thanks largely and unknowingly to Keller eliminating his competition through his work with the DEA. When Kelly discovers how Tio has manipulated their relationship, he dedicates the rest of his career to bringing Tio down, at a huge cost to his personal and professional lives, and to the lives of those around him.


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