Honestly, after reading this, I can't believe this book was anywhere near as good as it was. In fact, it was down right awesome.
Savages is a tremendous novel. It was my first exposure to Winslow and I immediately fell for his razor sharp prose. It's just so.. cool. Is that word OK to use or does it make me look uninspired and boring? I don't care. Whatever. That being said, I didn't know what to expect with this prequel. Could this be something Winslow wrote to capitalize on the motion picture adaptation of Savages or did he really have something interesting to say here?
Turns out Winslow had a lot to tell us and at no point did it feel unnecessary.
Traveling back into Southern California during the drug trade in the 1960s, Winslow plants the seeds for the conflict that arises roughly 40 years later following Ben and Chon's entry into growing and selling of some pretty exceptional pot.
He adds depth to the characters we met in Savages. He adds a history and an origin to the friendship - the almost brotherly bond - between Ben and Chon that only makes you appreciate these guys even more. He even lets you in on the ties between Chon and "O" (Ophelia) - with sexy results.
Overall, I was blown away. Not sure I've ever enjoyed a prequel as much in any form. Do yourself a favor and pick this up. Well, if you've read Savages. Go read Savages and then read this. Actually, it is a prequel so you could probably read this first. No, read Savages first.