Don Winslow

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Don Winslow at the Leipzig Book Fair 2016
Don Winslow (2015)

Don Winslow (born October 31, 1953 in New York City ) is an American writer , who is particularly known for his crime novels and their film adaptations.


Don Winslow was born in New York, but grew up in Perryville on the Rhode Island coast . His father was a corporal in the United States Navy and his mother a librarian. His grandmother worked first for the populist politician Huey Pierce Long and then for the mobster Carlos Marcello , to whose house in Algiers ( New Orleans ) Winslow was invited several times.

He studied African history at the University of Nebraska . In the late 1970s he moved back to New York, working in cinemas, as a private detective , and safari leader in Kenya and China until he took up another degree, this time in military history . In the late 1980s he wrote his first novel about the private detective Neal Carey, which was followed by four more. In the mid-1990s, he moved to California with his wife Jean and their son Thomas , where they live on a farm in Julian .

With the novel The Death and Life of Bobby Z (1997; Eng. The Resurrection of Bobby Z, 1997) Winslow had a first great success. His masterpiece is the monumental novel The Power of the Dog (2005; days of the dead , 2010) about the drug war in Mexico , for which he researched for six years.

When the Oliver Stone film adaptation of Savages , for which he wrote the screenplay , came into American cinemas in July 2012 , he finally rose to the league of the great American crime writers. At the same time, his new novel The Kings of Cool (2012; dt. Kings of Cool, 2012), the prequel to Savages, was published . It tells the origin of the uncompromising love triangle between Ben, Chon and Ophelia against the background of a cross-generational struggle for dope , the beach and ultimately all of California.

Winslow felt compelled to write a sequel to Days of the Dead . He dedicated this documentary novel Das Kartell , which was also published in German in 2015 , to three dozen murdered journalists.

Winslow sees himself as a crime writer who wants to entertain, not a politician. Nonetheless, in interviews he expresses very specific views on current political problems. He is of the opinion that the so-called Mexican drug problem is a problem of the uncontrollable border between Mexico and California , the world's largest supermarket for cocaine, where marijuana users only drink fair-trade coffee and at the same time do not worry about the origin of their coffee drugs consumed. He spoke to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in favor of “legalizing all drugs immediately” because “a large part of the crime and corruption worldwide is caused by this unbelievable amount of money that is generated in the drug trade”.


The Neal Carey range

  1. 1991 A Cool Breeze on the Underground
    • A cold breath in the underground, German by Ulrich Anders; Munich / Zurich: Piper 1997, ISBN 3-492-21895-4 .
    • New translation: London Undercover, German by Conny Lösch; Berlin: Suhrkamp 2015. ISBN 978-3-518-46580-6 .
  2. 1992 The Trail to Buddha's Mirror
    • The light in Buddha's mirror, German by Ulrich Anders; Munich / Zurich: Piper 1997, ISBN 3-492-21979-9 .
    • New translation: China Girl, German by Conny Lösch; Berlin: Suhrkamp 2015. ISBN 978-3-518-46581-3 .
  3. 1993 Way Down on the High Lonely
    • The snake valley, German by Ulrich Anders; Munich / Zurich: Piper 1998, ISBN 3-492-22073-8 .
    • New translation: Way Down on the High Lonely, German by Conny Lösch; Berlin: Suhrkamp 2016. ISBN 978-3-518-46582-0
  4. 1994 A Long Walk Up the Water Slide
  5. 1996 While Drowning in the Desert

The cartel saga

Other novels


  • 2001/2002 two episodes of the US television series UC: Undercover
  • 2002 Full Ride (together with George Mills / director: Mark Hoeger )
  • 2006 the episode David and Goliath of the US television series Close to Home
  • 2012 Savages (with Shane Salerno and Oliver Stone )

Audio books


  • with Peter Maslowski : Looking for a Hero: Staff Sergeant Joe Ronnie Hooper and the Vietnam War , University of Nebraska Press 2004


Film adaptations

Web links

Individual evidence

  2. crime writer Don Winslow about sex, drugs and Oliver Stone , Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin 37/2012, accessed September 17, 2012
  3. ^ A b Lars Reichardt: Don Winslow on violence , interview, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung , May 30, 2015, p. 38
  4. "Corruption is part of the system"