Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Don Winslow blogs online after trashing America. Against Trump

By knl9j Mar31,2024
News

In-store interview with the author of Danny Ryan’s final book in his trilogy, “City in Ruins.” “Anything will do as long as the fascist remains absent.” I get up, make movies and posts, and read the newspapers. Though I’m not Taylor Swift, I do have two million Instagram fans.”

The computer in front of Don Winslow, the cup he is holding, and the poster on the wall next to him are the three main items that are visible on the screen during this interview conducted in his California home. The first supported his career as a novelist and, in light of the state of modern politics, his activism. The second one is branded with Satriale’s butcher shop, the Sopranos, and it reminds us of his past as the writer of a trilogy on the east coast mafia in America. “Eddie would go” is written on the third. Motivated by a Hawaiian surfer who can face the biggest waves in order to test himself or save someone else, he is reminded of the fortitude that must precede and, if successful, follow every decision he makes. The burning city that launched Danny Ryan’s epic, where aspirations were consumed and now lie in ruins, is all around him. Completed. “The same wave is sucked into the ocean and brings the ashes with it,” is how it ends. Everyone can return home.

Don Winslow may be resting, but the war is not over and we cannot rest in peace. Don Winslow has worked as an actor, screenwriter, tour guide, detective, and finally a writer. His 23 novels, including The Power of the Dog, The Cartel, The Border, The King of the World, The Beasts, and The Winter of Frankie Machine, have sold millions of copies and been adapted into successful films. It started thirty years ago when he made the decision to try writing a “definitive” mafia story by reading the classics.

Did you really think you could pull it off after The Godfather and throughout the early seasons of The Sopranos?

«Consider a time when I had no doubts. And I still possess it. I doubt that I was successful. We were all under the shadow of The Godfather, an incredible novel that was before it became a beloved film trilogy. Nowadays, not many recall the impact it had—everyone read about it, everywhere in the world. Then came Goodfellas, and here’s The Sopranos as I was writing The City’s third book.”

Tradition was combined with innovation. What remained for her?

The point where classicism and I meet. You know, I wanted to finally tackle the list of books that everyone should read in their lifetime, so I took some time to do it. Things that I always put off, but I allowed myself seven years to finish them instead. I discovered the great works of Greek and Latin literature halfway through. Classic works of criminal fiction include the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, and Aeschylus’ plays. I intended to compare them to the reality I was aware of.”

as an ex-investigator?

Even as an ordinary Rhode Island resident. Most people don’t realise it, yet this is a country full of gangsters. To put it this way: I went to the movies and saw The Godfather with the kids from well-known mafiosi.”

Did they know one another?

Additionally. It had the impact of making a reality. Nobody referred to him as the “godfather” at the time. He was made by the movie. In a little sense, I have also received positive feedback from the industry.”

Did you come across them using fictitious names online?

No, I personally received them. A well-known employer once sat next to me while I was watching a baseball game in the stadium. He complemented me before getting up and leaving.”

It’s consoling, but how is this guy similar to Aeneas?

Enea was Danny Ryan’s perfect role model. She was ideal for creating a character with three incarnations. Act 1: Trojan War: In the conflict between the Irish and Italians in Providence, Aeneas and Danny are both soldiers, not leaders. Act 2: Like Danny, Enea is in exile and has fled to California with his son and ageing father. Act 3: On the beach, Aeneas constructs his empire. Danny actually travels to Las Vegas, where the possibility of doing so remained. While I did feel like I was standing on the shoulders of Virgil and Scorsese, it’s best to just learn from their mistakes. Alternatively, assassinate the Buddha you encounter on the street.”

Just that. Compared to The Border, this trilogy has less violence. Frequently, the narrative ends before the act, akin to a film fade. Was this intentional?

As an investigator, I was aware of actual incidents from which the violence at the border was derived. Here, though, I’m free to use my creativity and can restrict or omit some movements.”

[[(gele.Finegil.StandardArticle2014v1) Reimagining noir without starting a revolution: Don Winslow]]

Danny Ryan, your chosen protagonist, is marginally less evil than the villains. Is this a sign of modesty since he does it grudgingly and doesn’t want to kill or deal in drugs? A way out? Did you wish to eschew the common criticism that aspirational models are eventually established by Scarface or Don Corleone?

I’m neither a moralist nor a philosopher. I create narratives. I lead the reader into a realm that he would not venture into by himself. Narration from the subjective perspective of the character. As an investigator, I spoke with and questioned a lot of mafiosi. You may despise them and everything they stand for, but they are entitled to their own opinion, which needs to be acknowledged rather than expressed. I don’t believe that watching Marlon Brando stroke a cat on his lap makes someone become a mobster. However, there are certain drives that we can identify with.”

That notion of justice that is not ensured by the government?

“Exactly. The Godfather’s first sequence of events. The girl who was raped turns to her godfather for justice—or retaliation, depending on her perspective—after realising that he “believed in America” and feeling let down. Is he aware of the unusual and inverted scene, though? The Sopranos stars him. Tony, the main character’s psychologist, was raped. He doesn’t know, but the public does. She talks, seemingly ready to tell him at least a few times, but she doesn’t. She is aware—as are we—that Tony Soprano would exact the most brutal revenge on her if she did. And after seeing that scenario, I think we all want her to tell her—me chief among us—we beg her to do so. Everyone would want a Brando to make things right. Everybody claims to “know someone.” That quiets his noisy neighbour or gets him fined. The motto of the country is “I know someone”. But that’s not how life works; life is all frustration.”

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