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The Queen of the South by Arturo…
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The Queen of the South (original 2002; edition 2004)

by Arturo Perez-Reverte

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1,621404,473 (3.75)92
Member:Groznny
Title:The Queen of the South
Authors:Arturo Perez-Reverte
Info:Putnam Adult (2004), Hardcover, 438 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Queen of the South by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (2002)

  1. 21
    The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père (lilisin)
    lilisin: "Queen of the South" is a modern retake on "The Count". Not my favorite read but you can definitely see the parallels.
  2. 00
    At the Devil's Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel by William C. Rempel (srdr)
    srdr: For readers looking for a non-fiction title on the same topic, this one has even more suspense.
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English (35)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Arturo Perez-Reverte has a reputation for writing superior literary thrillers, and The Queen of the South is a fine example of this. As translated by Andrew Hurley, this is an ambitious, wordy and fascinating story about one woman’s rise through the drug smuggling world. The point of view switches between the Queen of the South, Teresa Mendoza and an anonymous writer who is researching material on her life in order to write a book.

The book opens with a bang as Teresa Mendoza, learns of the death of her boyfriend who delivers shipments of drugs across the border. He has warned her that there could come a time when she has to drop everything and run, and this was that time. She starts to build a new life for herself in southern Spain but gets involved with another drug runner and soon finds herself accompanying him on his trips across the Strait of Gibraltar. The boyfriend is eventually set up as a patsy and he is killed. She is captured and goes to prison. While in prison she meets a woman who not only teaches her everything to survive prison, they also form a partnership and are able to recover a huge shipment of cocaine. Using this to build her power base, she soon is controlling much of the drugs that are moved between Morocco and Spain for eventual distribution throughout Europe. But coming full circle she eventually runs afoul of the Mexican drug cartels once again.

Lies, deception, violence, treachery and corruption are the frame upon which the life of Teresa Mendoza is based on. The story of how a small time narco’s girlfriend became the rich and powerful Queen of the South was quite the read. The book has been meticulously researched and at times there is simply too much information being laid out. I also had some difficulties with both too many characters to keep track of, and a lack of character definition. However, the story was so interesting that I was able to overlook these flaws and simply enjoy the book. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | May 20, 2016 |
Quite a departure for Perez-Reverte (not an art-mystery or an historical swashbuckler) - but possibly his most heavy-hitting work to date. After the first couple of chapters, my first thought was, 'this is just like a Quentin Tarantino film!' However, the book as a whole is much more insightful and thoughtful - if just as violent.
This story of the rise of a female drug-runner, told both from her perspective and that of an investigative journalist writing a book of her life, may show the author's past as a war journalist. One comes away from this book feeling that you truly know the milieu, the danger, the people and the motivations... and that likely a lot of the book is fact.
Pulls no punches.. and while a lot of it is exciting and suspenseful, it is also tense, disturbing, and often sad.
One of the best parts of reading is that it can truly open windows into other cultures, other perspectives - this book definitely succeeded in doing that for me. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Exciting world of Mexican drug lords and the story of how one woman survived her lover's death. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Teresa Mendoza was once attached to a talented drug smuggler in Mexico. That is, until he started skimming off the top and got himself killed. She had to flee to the back end of Spain. But her story doesn’t settle down into a quiet life there. More drugs, organized crime, and heart break ensue.

Set in the 1980s, this is a sweeping story about endurance. Teresa was born into a world where there are few paths out of poverty. When fortune gave her a chance, she took it, though it eventually cost her dearly. Teresa was a fascinating character. She starts off relatively innocent. She’s not above doing a little weed now and then or getting drunk or having sex with her drug smuggling boyfriend. But she herself has nothing to do with the business. She still has her little job, is young, and just having fun. But once he’s killed and the narcos come after her (because they not only take out the man, but also his woman) she can either lay down and die, or pick up that handgun and even the playing field.

She makes it to Spain partly because she is smart and lies low but also because a friend owed her now dead man a favor. There she works at a seedy bar and has sworn off the drug smuggling life completely. That is until a Gaucho shows up and makes her heart flutter. Once again, she is pulled back into that world. However, this time she refuses to be an ignorant hanger-on. She makes it her business.

Every step she takes, she gets tougher. She’s really very practical about it all by the end, like nearly all the emotions have been wrung out of her through the years. It is an amazingly well done story arc. I so enjoyed watching her transformation. Her time in prison was especially interesting because it was filled with inner reflection and a sad humor, and books.

So obviously I am in love with Teresa Mendoza. Let’s talk about everything else. The plot, the pacing, the side characters, the sex – they too are also very well done. I loved all the Spanish and Mexican vocabulary and cultural references tossed in. I was never too sure where the plot was going, but I was thoroughly entertained and totally engrossed in finding out what would happen next.

The tale is told in two voices: Teresa’s and a reporter who is tracing her life for an in-depth biography. So sometimes we know that Teresa must have made it through some pinch because the reporter is talking to her or someone else about the incident in the past. Using the reporter character allowed us readers to see sides of Teresa or the collateral damage of her work that we wouldn’t see through Teresa’s eyes. It was clever. This was a very satisfying book and I look forward to enjoying more of Perez-Reverte’s works.

Narration: Lina Patel was the perfect voice for Teresa. She has a beautiful Mexican accent and I loved her fluid pronunciation of all the Spanish words, including the long strings of insults. She had distinct voices for male and female side characters as well. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Jul 19, 2015 |
I picked up this book on a whim. I've previously read the first Captain Alatriste novel and The Club Dumas, and loved them both, so I was confident that I'd enjoy Perez-Reverte's work in a more contemporary setting. The Queen of the South is a novel about the rise and fall of a female nacrotrafficante and her journey from Sinaloa to Gibraltar & Spanish North Africa and finally back to Sinaloa.

The book had all the things I've come to love about Perez-Reverte's work: a fictionalized journalistic style, solidly written action with clearly drawn characters, and swashbuckling heros described with philosophical and literary allusions.

What I didn't expect (although I should have after the Club Dumas) was that the Queen of the South is a loving homage to The Count of Monte Christo. Perez-Reverte did not just copy the plot arc of Dumas Pere's classic. He wrote a love story to it. Each character is drawn with painstaking strokes to capture something essential about the archetype without slavishly copying or over-simplifying.

What Perez-Reverte does extraordinarily well is to choose his parallels so that they highlight central human characters and flaws that tie the 19th century romance with contemporary happenings. He also builds emotional weight slowly and without sentimentality or hyperbole. This allows him to pre-weight a scene with emotional impact and then deliver a terse, journalistic paragraph that merely states facts and yet breaks this readers' heart. ( )
  nnschiller | Sep 18, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arturo Pérez-Reverteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pérez-Reverte, Arturomain authorall editionsconfirmed
Borges, Antonio FernandoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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O telefone tocou e ela compreendeu que iam matá-la.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452286549, Paperback)

Few authors inspire the kind of passion that Arturo Pérez-Reverte does. Reviewers, readers, and booksellers alike have embraced his fiction as the perfect blend of suspense and literary ambition. A global bestseller, he is one of the most admired and widely read authors in the world. And his stunning new novel is his best yet.

A remarkable tale, The Queen of the South spans continents, from the dusty streets of Mexico to the sparkling waters off the coast of Morocco, to Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar. A sweeping story set to the irresistible beat of the drug smugglers' ballads, it encompasses sensuality and cruelty, love and betrayal, as its heroine's story unfolds.

Teresa Mendoza's boyfriend is a drug smuggler who the narcos of Sinaloa, Mexico, call "the king of the short runway," because he can get a plane full of coke off the ground in three hundred yards. But in a ruthless business, life can be short, and Teresa even has a special cell phone that Guero gave her along with a dark warning. If that phone rings, it means he's dead, and she'd better run, because they're coming for her next.

Then the call comes.

In order to survive, she will have to say goodbye to the old Teresa, an innocent girl who once entrusted her life to a pinche narco smuggler. She will have to find inside herself a woman who is tough enough to inhabit a world as ugly and dangerous as that of the narcos-a woman she never before knew existed. Indeed, the woman who emerges will surprise even those who know her legend, that of the Queen of the South.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:17 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Cuando descubre que su novio G?uero, un traficante de drogas mexicano, ha sido asesinado por sus rivales y que es el proximo objetivo, Teresa Mendoza debe renunciar a su vida anterior y convertirse en un miembro de un mundo oscuro y mortal para sobrevivir.… (more)

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