Ian Fleming Silver Dagger Winner 2015/16

I can't believe that this site has not published the winner of this most prestigious award.
Anyway I'm delighted to announce that Don Winslow's 'Cartel' has won and rightly so. It's one of the best novels I've ever read and is certainly in my life time 'Top Ten'.
One word of caution, if you are going to read it and you damn well should, make sure you read the prequel, 'The Power Of The Dog' first. Both are equally good and are indicative of the type of novels Fleming would have written had he been with us today.
The shortlist this year was unusually strong with Mick Herron's 'Real Tigers' in the running. Frankly, in any other year, he would have got it. Herron's 'Slough House' series is just fabulous and he's the definitely the new Deighton. That said 'Cartel' was just unbeatable so congratulations to Don Winslow for opening our eyes and taking us on the journey.

Comments

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ https://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 16,317
    Thank you for bringing this interesting news to our attention, @PussyNoMore.

    All of the current focus on Bond 25 news elsewhere on the site has sadly obscured interesting literary Bond news like this so kudos for making us aware of it. It sounds to me that these novels are must-reads. We may have a future Bond continuation author on our hands too!
  • Posts: 5,767
    I don´t mind Don Winslow receiving the award. Few people use words to such a poetically fiery effect as Winslow does. However, either I´m still too young (at 45) to appreciate it, or The Cartel is a good example of the power of marketing.

    I read Bobby Z, California Fire and Life, The Power of the Dog, Frankie Machine, Savages, and Kings of Cool. All were different, all showed a writer on fire. Even though I´m not too fond of Winslow´s penchant for pornography, which seems to get at least one scene in each of his books.

    The Power of the Dog is the Mexican Drug Cartel saga to end all Mexican Drug Cartel sagas, full of memorable characters and insane action, embedded in a constantly developing plot, that keeps you riveted and clear-minded all the time despite a number of sub-plots and time jumps. On top of it, it feels extremely well researched, so that you feel you read a true story with altered names.

    The Cartel is written completely differently in the sense that it gives the impression of a big soap opera. Were TPOTD drives the story along and excites with action, TC goes sideways and expands personal relationships horizontally in a seemingly endless manner. It made me sleepy and bored.
  • boldfinger wrote: »
    I don´t mind Don Winslow receiving the award. Few people use words to such a poetically fiery effect as Winslow does. However, either I´m still too young (at 45) to appreciate it, or The Cartel is a good example of the power of marketing.

    I read Bobby Z, California Fire and Life, The Power of the Dog, Frankie Machine, Savages, and Kings of Cool. All were different, all showed a writer on fire. Even though I´m not too fond of Winslow´s penchant for pornography, which seems to get at least one scene in each of his books.

    The Power of the Dog is the Mexican Drug Cartel saga to end all Mexican Drug Cartel sagas, full of memorable characters and insane action, embedded in a constantly developing plot, that keeps you riveted and clear-minded all the time despite a number of sub-plots and time jumps. On top of it, it feels extremely well researched, so that you feel you read a true story with altered names.

    The Cartel is written completely differently in the sense that it gives the impression of a big soap opera. Were TPOTD drives the story along and excites with action, TC goes sideways and expands personal relationships horizontally in a seemingly endless manner. It made me sleepy and bored.

    A great intervention from boldfinger.
    The only other Winslow novel I've read is 'Sartori' which is a prequel to 'Shibumi' the iconic 1970s spy classic written by Trevanian (a pseudonym of Rodney Williams Whitaker) so I can't comment on his other works although I've become such a Winslow fan his whole catalogue is on my to read list.
    Regarding 'Sartori,' I found to be very good and I wonder if it inspired Horowitz to go the prequel route for his new Bond novel ?
    One thing I can't agree with is boldfinger's assertion that 'Cartel' is in any way inferior to 'The Power Of The Dog'. Personally I found them to very even and equal works. What is true is that if you read 'TPOTD' first and you should, 'Cartel' doesn't have the same shock value because you know what you are in for.
  • edited October 2016 Posts: 5,767
    @PussyNoMore, if you love TPOTD and TC, you´re going to be in heaven with most of the rest of Winslows novels. If you don´t mind shorter novels, that is ;-).
    Re TC having less shock value: I don´t insist at all on shock value, I just found it boring. Kings of Cool for example is a prequel to Savages, has a lot of time jumps (while Savages is pretty straight-ahead) and not a lot of action, yet I didn´t feel bored at all, and it has nothing to do with the novel being shorter than TC.
    Anyhow, you´re in for a number of treats if you enjoyed Winslow so far :-).
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