The Count is remade into a Mexican woman of the 21st century, who is tied to the Mexican drug carte There are three books to be found within this book, three major storylines to follow. The Count is remade into a Mexican woman of the 21st century, who is tied to the Mexican drug cartels through her drug running pilot boyfriend.
She is set on the run for a crime she did not commit, and runs off to Spain, and we watch the relative naif follow the torturous path of Dantes, a path that is perhaps even more painful than his. It is a clever idea to cast the Count as a woman- it adds to the tale many obstacles and possibilities of obstacles that Edmund Dantes never had to face, and it complicates the progression of our main character to the triumphant protaganist that we all know is coming from the layout of the plot.
I found the adventure story aspect of the novel all excellently done- there are several high speed boat chases that have the pages turning at a velocity to match the engines of the boats, there are unexpected shoot outs, there are moments with only one way out, gambles that hold the fate the characters in the palm of their hand to heart pounding effect. Perez-Reverte has always been able to swashbuckle his way into my affections, and this piece was no exception.
And this is a rather annoying however- I do wish that he hadn't felt the need to constantly shove in our faces the fact that this was a version of The Count of Monte Cristo. He had characters refer to each other as their counterparts in the book. You couldn't trust us to figure that one out, Arturo? Come on, man. I promise you, we're smart enough for that. The book becomes a major motif, and a jumping off point for the characters to make fun of each other for how much they are into it and how delusional that is.
It was just a little too self-involved for me. It reads more like fan-fiction sometimes. It's lovely to see how giddy he is about Dumas' tale, and its life changing powers, but I wish he would just let us see it for ourselves rather than constantly insisting upon the truth of it and insisting that his characters enact his own fascination with it. It feels artificial, and sometimes a bit insulting.
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We get it. I promise. The second story contained within the book and I should probably say that there are spoilers from here on out is the story of the transformation of a woman. Teresa begins the book a girl totally dependent upon the whims of others- especially her "narco," boyfriend, Guero. She sits at home and waits for him, takes care of him, puts him first in every way.
She doesn't know much about his business, and she doesn't ask. When she is forced to go on the run after Guero is killed by his bosses for committing several indiscretions, she has to slowly learn how to become independent. Perez-Reverte is truly fascinated by the thought of a truly independent woman, you can tell. I've said time and again that he has a dark lady obsession- this book is entirely about that, in fact though at least we get to see the world from her perspective, and see why she is mysterious , but I think this is really what the obsession is.
He worships the very idea of it, though he doesn't seem to quite believe that it can be true, or that women can completely seperate from what he clearly believes are their natural womanly urges, which turned out to be a problem. While she was learning to rely on herself, use her natural gifts she's gifted with a head for numbers, for instance and her intelligence and rely on and trust no one, Perez-Reverte feels the need to frame it in terms of gender.
By the end of the novel, she has assumed the role of her narco boyfriend in her relationship with everyone she knows, and coldly addresses her business partner who is in love with her as a "nagging wife," who believes "her husband works too much and neglects her. He frequently has Teresa feel things, "in her womb," when he wants to emphasize that it is a real feeling.
No, for reals. However, that all said, I did like the attempt at rendering a woman who truly does not need anyone, and even when betrayed by people she trusts, does not descend into a weeping mess, but handles the situation. She gets herself out of the last, tense corners of the novel without one single man left to help her in any way. I really, really appreciated that. So, if the development was uneven and somewhat unbelievable, I at least was with him on his goal, and the last pages of her development.
The third thing going on here, that was absolutely ridiculous, is Perez-Reverte's various personal opinions and feelings being put on display. I found it rather embarrassing, pedantic, and offensive, by turns. First of all, let's just note that there's a lot of weird attitudes towards ethnicity in this book. Yes, part of it is that he's writing about a world where people aren't exactly PC, but some of it comes from the omniscient narrator point of view part of the story is told by a journalist trying to write a book about Teresa, part is told from her point of view. There's a really weird, somewhat twisted relationship with Mexico in the book.
Perez-Reverte seems to be arguing for the fact that Spaniards shouldn't find their culture "superior" to Mexico in any way because Spain has just as many problems which I didn't even know was a comparison that happened but okay. And yet, at the same time, he seems to be weirdly fetishizing, in a conflicted 19th century colonialist way, the Mexican ethnicity. At many points during the book characters tell Teresa that she looks best with her hair pulled back tightly and parted down the middle, "in the style of a Mexican peasant. And yet, she ends up being dressed up makeover style in a modern, more discreet European way.
Everyone, including Teresa, looks down on the "garish" way that Mexican drug cartel people dress and live The other Mexican character who is held up as an example refuses to let go of his "garish" ways, and listens to his "corridos" songs about drug cartels loudly and often. They are quoted frequently throughout the novel, seemingly as examples of poetry. It's this weird mixture of idealization and looking down his nose that I can't quite figure out. It just popped up uncomfortably often and I didn't quite get why that was there.
Anyway, this has likely gone on for long enough, but the point is- its a lovely adventure novel, and a good "coming of age," tale in its way, but not without a good deal of complication. This is my least favorite of his books, though it is still not bad or anything. Just not representative of what he is capable of. Perez-Reverte tends to do better with historical settings, or characters who look back towards the past. This looks back And his way of looking at the world, well, it's just sometimes a little jarringly old fashioned for the modern world.
View all 12 comments. Aug 20, Ana O marked it as to-read Shelves: crime. Pablo Escobar who? There's a new boss in town and her name is Teresa Mendoza. Shut up and take my money. I admit it. I'm attracted to James Valdez and all his bad boy glory. Cartels and cray-cray characters. Let's see if this is as good as the tv show.
View all 4 comments. Mar 23, will rated it it was amazing. I'm on holiday - hurrah! This means it is time to turn my attention to the very important task of learning Spanish. I made two "New Year's Resolutions". One was to learn some Spanish before the year was out, the other was to keep a running list of the books I have read on this here blog.
So, time to work on one of my resolutions. Instead of learning Spanish I have been reading! The best way to describe it is I'm on holiday - hurrah! The best way to describe it is "a page turner". On the opening page the heroine, Teresa Mendoza, receives a call on a phone, a phone that she has been told that: "If it rings start running.
And don't stop running. It is really difficult to explain how much I liked this book. It's strange, I am sat here at the computer, reading as I type and I realise that I am being slightly "flat" in my description - which isn't fair to the book because it is a fast-paced, thrilling ride. Teresa starts the book as a girlfriend of a drug runner and ends up building a huge drug-running empire. The book is written in a very clever way, the author acts as an investigative journalist, writing the "biography" of "The Queen of the South" as Mendoza becomes know.
However, the book is written in such a way that at the end I googled Teresa Mendoza because I really, really thought she was a real person. The book includes many situations, many people that have happened or existed. And by the end of the book I had become so involved with the main character that I wanted her to be real.
I wanted her to find the peace that she deserved. And yes, I realise that wanting a major drug runner to escape and live in peace is not the way I normally feel but the author makes you become invested in the characters. Hell, by the end of the book I had fallen in love with most of the drug runners and dealers and actually hated the authorities and their "witch hunts". The other wonderful thing about this book was it gave me an insight into how Mexicans think and behave.
Obviously I live with one a Mexican that is and have a small handle on her behaviour patterns but it was fascinating to discover that instead of Maria being a totally unique individual, she is also a product of her country. There was a lot of familiarity, for me, in the book. I loved this book.
Because of the world I now occupy, drugs running and dealing are part of my life background - not because I am involved but because I come across it most every day, it exists in my life - and the history of drug cartels is something that I have become interested in.
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The fact that my nickname at Maria's office is that of a famous drug dealer might have something to do with my fascination. The fact that three times a week I cross the border knowing that as I do, there is a good chance that right next to me is someone smuggling drugs interests me. This review probably doesn't do the book justice.
I really enjoyed it, would recommend it. Shelves: got-from-bookmooch. Update, May 28, I gave this one a second try, after a lapse of some seven years, only because a review of it was needed for another site where the movie and telenovela adaptations are going to be reviewed later this year. My first reading had gotten through Chapter 3; I'd quit reading because I didn't like it, but figured that if it got no worse it would be bearable to finish, so fully intended to do so this time.
The Queen of the South by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
By the time I got into Chapter 7, however, for me the cumulative "Ewww! I promised a review to the site administrator at the other site, and I'll skim the rest of the text enough to write one with an explanation of what I did ; but it's going back to the started-not-finished shelf again, this time to stay there permanently. Whether or not I actually would, I don't know --I admire strong heroines, but not villainesses, and it sounds like Perez-Riverte's title character here would be more apt to be the latter. But I told him I'd give it a try sometime later on, so I'll give her the benefit of the doubt in the meantime!
It has all the usual characteristics of the contemporary noir school which effectively reminded me of why I don't like that school in the first place :- : a general tone of moral cynicism, an unremitting emphasis on the sordid and the grungy, exploitative sexual content, and an off-putting plethora of bad language, including the f-word --which is probably highly unrealistic in the mouths of Spanish-speaking characters!
While I didn't wish Teresa any ill, and felt sorry for her in much of what she went through, her drug use and her choice of a second drug-running boyfriend, after the first one was killed the label "learning-disabled" comes to mind --though, granted, we're all slow studies at times, and we all make mistakes made her hard for me to relate to, as did a certain distancing effect just from the author's self-consciously "literary" style.
Perez-Reverte's books have gotten a lot of favorable notice in library circles, so I'm glad to have had the opportunity to investigate his work; but I wouldn't see myself reading any more of it. Modified March 14, View all 14 comments. Jan 28, Madeline rated it it was ok Shelves: no-judgements. I guess I'm glad I read this, if only to satisfy a long-burning curiosity about The Queen of the South that's been in the back of my head ever since my mom hid the book from me at age fifteen so I couldn't read the dirty parts.
And considering the book is about a woman who goes on the run after being targeted by Mexican hitmen and eventually becomes the most powerful drug lor I guess I'm glad I read this, if only to satisfy a long-burning curiosity about The Queen of the South that's been in the back of my head ever since my mom hid the book from me at age fifteen so I couldn't read the dirty parts.
And considering the book is about a woman who goes on the run after being targeted by Mexican hitmen and eventually becomes the most powerful drug lord in the Mediterranean, that's saying a lot. The story itself was really cool, and had a lot of potential - Teresa Mendoza starts out as just some low-level drug runner's girlfriend, but when he gets killed by his employers and they come after her resulting in the single best opening line of any book, ever: "The telephone rang, and she knew she was going to die" she runs to Spain, gets involved with another smuggler, goes to prison, comes out, and then begins selling and shipping cocaine all over the place.
Sex, drugs, and shooting ensues. It's good in a trashy, guilty-pleasure, living-vicariously-through-books kind of way. My problem is the format of the book - it's partially narrated by a reporter doing a story on Teresa once she's become the so-called Queen of the South, and he butts into the story every few chapters so we can watch him interviewing people Teresa interacted with during her career.
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They hint at what is about to happen next in the story, and then it happens. As far as I could tell, the reporter served absolutely no purpose as a second narrator and all of his chapters should have just been cut out completely. Also Perez-Reverte is really, really terrible at writing from a female mindset, but this review is already long enough so I won't bother getting into that rant.
View all 13 comments. Dec 07, Allison rated it liked it. This book is a book for history-lovers. Unless you truly grew up in the culture about which it is written, and know about drug runs and border crossings and vacuum-packing marijuana in bricks to stow away in speedboats, I would wager than Perez-Reverte could convince any reader that he has done his homework.
And if you did grow up in that culture, perhaps that would merely This book is a book for history-lovers. It will be interesting to see what other work Perez-Reverte will produce after this novel. View 1 comment. This was a good, solid read. It reminded me of the Godfather series that I read years ago and loved. I recommend to any readers that like Mario Puzo. I did have an issue with the way the author changed up the point of view. I would have liked if the whole story was told by Teresa Mendoza 1st person the entire time I was reading but the author switched it up.
He had the reporter 3rd person talking as well and I had to at times go back to re-read certain parts so I could keep up with who is ta This was a good, solid read. He had the reporter 3rd person talking as well and I had to at times go back to re-read certain parts so I could keep up with who is talking. I look forward to watching the spanish movie version, as well as the U.
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There are a lot of reviews available here which outline the plot, so I won't attempt to do so here, other than to say: cocaine smuggling, logistics, deals and double crossings, Moroccan hashish, fast boats, cargo ships, dirty politics, shootouts, Mexican drug cartels, the Colombians, indiscretions and revenge. Teresa Mendoza is our lead character. She starts off as a simple narco's morra , quiet and unassuming. Her boyfriend is murdered, and she is on the run. It is a high speed read, almost a gui There are a lot of reviews available here which outline the plot, so I won't attempt to do so here, other than to say: cocaine smuggling, logistics, deals and double crossings, Moroccan hashish, fast boats, cargo ships, dirty politics, shootouts, Mexican drug cartels, the Colombians, indiscretions and revenge.
It is a high speed read, almost a guilty pleasure read for me, and it was enjoyable - for the most part. There was the narration style, which was fairly annoying - half narrated by a reporter who interviews various people throughout the book. His sections set up the following sections where the action is explained from Teresa's point of view. The story rolls out in various stages, and gathers momentum until the very end, where a conclusion is met.
There are other things going on - a parallel to the Count of Monte Christo , which admittedly I have not read and therefore could not track, there is the Mexican cartels unwritten rules, there is the international smuggling, the deals the doublecrossing. View 2 comments. Oct 08, Catherine rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Drug Runners. Shelves: bookclub , This story is told in two styles; from an omniscient perspective following the main character, and from the first-person point of view of a journalist researching her story.
At first I was quite bored by the latter story. Later on, however, I began to feel like Perez-Reverte was trying to coax me into a state of mind whereby I would begin to use Teresa Mendoza's story as a truer reality. Throughout the book Teresa discovers that through books she can live more fully, and understand her life more This story is told in two styles; from an omniscient perspective following the main character, and from the first-person point of view of a journalist researching her story.
Throughout the book Teresa discovers that through books she can live more fully, and understand her life more by applying stories as filters to her own life. I began to feel that Perez-Reverte was trying to create a mindset so that I would apply Teresa's story as a filter to my own life in order to gain greater understanding from it. Maybe this is too deep, but that's what I've been getting from it. I'll go into greater depth later, but suffice it say I found a lot of truth about humanity in this story.
I very much enjoyed it, and will read more by this author. Jul 15, Kim Kaso rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-lor This is a fascinating and beautifully written book about so many things. On the surface, it is the tale of the unlikely rise of a young girl through the world of the drug trade, her survival and success. Teresa Mendoza is a superb character, and the book uses everything from The Count of Monte Cristo to the narco corridos to illustrate both her examined and unexamined life.
I c This is a fascinating and beautifully written book about so many things. I came to this book because of the excellent series on the USA Network, but after some initial similarities, the 2 stories went off in different directions. This book is a lovely example of how a great story can be told with the unlikeliest of elements, this book transcends genre.
Very highly recommended. Jan 31, Kathy rated it really liked it. The story of Teresa Mendoza "she had acquired only three certainties about human beings: that they kill, that they remember, and that they die. Because there comes a moment, she told herself, when you look ahead and see only what you've left behind--dead bodies all along the road you're walking down. Among them, your own, although you don't know it. Until you come upon it, and then you know.
Jul 19, Susan rated it it was amazing. That is, until he started skimming off the top and got himself killed. She had to flee to the back end of Spain. More drugs, organized crime, and heart break ensue. Set in the s, 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. But she herself has nothing to do with the business. She still has her little job, is young, and just having fun.
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. 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. 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. 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. It was clever. 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. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
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To view it, click here. This would make a terrific movie. As a book, however, it didn't work for me. I didn't like Teresa. Throughout the entire novel, I could not muster any sympathy or like for her. When her drug dealin, Cessna flying boyfriend is killed, Teresa runs for her life. She finds safety in Spain and what does this chica do? She finds another drug dealer boyfriend. What follows is a lot of speed boat and helicopter high speed This would make a terrific movie.
What follows is a lot of speed boat and helicopter high speed chases and some jail time. When she gets out of jail, what does this chica do? She buddies up with another chick and digs up a bunch of drugs. Back to a life of crime again. Good grief. There were parts I liked and actually rooted for Teresa but all her cocaine sniffing and bed hopping started to bug me after a while. I've been involved with Queens for 50 years but this book certainly tested my memory. Lots of good questions and great for a Queen of the South quiz night.
I really enjoyed it! On 21st March Queen of the South Football Club celebrated their 90th anniversary and it was good to see 25 former players at Palmerston Park to pay tribute. It was a great honour for me to be Chairman on such an historic occasion and it was nice to meet up again with two of my boyhood heroes, Jim Patterson and Bobby Black. I still vividly recall my first ever visit to Palmerston!
I was only 11 at the time and my granny walked me four miles from Hightae village to Lochmaben to catch the service bus to Dumfries. Eight miles and about an hour later we arrived at the park and Queens beat Partick Thistle that afternoon. I still remember that date, 28th August , and our Scottish internationalist Billy Houliston netted five goals.
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The following season Queens reached the semi-final of the Scottish Cup at Hampden, but after drawing with Glasgow Rangers, we lost the replay. Little did I realise that 58 years later I'd be back at Hampden as Chairman to watch my team play Rangers again. But this time in was in the final itself! We lost in front of 48, fans but I was very proud of the lads.
That was a tremendous game but, if I was honest, I enjoyed the victory in the semi-final against Aberdeen even better. In my younger days I was a regular Queens' supporter but as the years rolled by I had to supervise my three farms and couldn't get to Palmerston quite so much. I said 'yes' and in November I was appointed Chairman which I deemed a great honour.
Before this book went to press I was allowed a sneak preview and found it interesting reading. Some of the questions had even me baffled and I would recommend it to all Queens' fans - young and old. Chris Cowlin is currently compiling the question book due to be released in August. And he is confident there are questions in the book that will challenge even the keenest fans. But he is keeping tight-lipped about what his favourite facts are. Another is dedicated to clashes with Rangers. The book, published by goes on general release in August.
Dumfries and Galloway Standard. The perfect companion for those long trips to and from matches. A great quiz that will test even the most die hard Doonhamer. Perfect for pre-match patter or those long away day bus trips. Chris was interviewed on 'The Graeme Logan Show'.
Leith Knowledge is Power! No better way to sharpen your Doonhamers knowledge than absorbing the content of this great quiz book. Tommy Jardin, West Sound Radio A real must, not just for Doonhamers but for any football fan! It certainly had me cheating on Google!
Gavin Wallace, West Sound Radio It brought back many fond memories of days gone by. Queen of the South Football Club. Special Note: This book is also available as an ebook. Publication Date:.