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The Queen of the South | [Arturo Perez-Reverte]

The Queen of the South

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 best seller, he is one of the most admired and widely read authors in the world. And his stunning new novel is his best yet.
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Publisher's Summary

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 best seller, 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 300 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 drug 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.

The Queen of the South is translated from Spanish by Andrew Hurley.

©2002 Arturo Perez-Reverte, Translation ©2004 Andrew Hurley; (P)2004 Penguin Audio and Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A frightening, fascinating look at the international business of transporting cocaine and hashish as well as a portrait of a smart, fast, daring and lucky woman, Teresa Mendoza." (Publishers Weekly)
"A thriller with an almost meditative tone, the novel's energy comes not only from the action scenes, which are expertly delivered, but also from the monologues in which Mendoza struggles with the multiple contradictions in her life. Many Perez-Reverte readers will be...drawn in by the author's remarkable eloquence and ability to plumb the recesses of a character's psyche." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (106 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.2 (53 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (53 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
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1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Joe Edmonds, WA, USA 09-19-05
    Joe Edmonds, WA, USA 09-19-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Life of A Woman Trafficker"

    The character portrayals are rich and colorful. The action is plentiful and exciting, but the detailed descriptions of the inner workings, methods and 'protocols' of drug and contraband trafficking are truly impressive. The personalities of the main characters felt 'real' psychologically, especially Teresa, the trafficker despite herself. The story kept me involved right to the end. I need to find more by this author!

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenna Newcastle, WA, United States 10-30-11
    Glenna Newcastle, WA, United States 10-30-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Awful Job by Narrator"

    Sorry I ever listened to this in translation. The narrator was absolutely the worst. Not even close: a bracelet worn by La Reina is made of "centenarios," a centennial coin. The narrator called them "seminarios" (seminaries!) throughout. She appears to think if she gives it a bit of "flair" it will sound good. It would be laughable but for the fact I assume this person is a professional. I could have done it better in my sleep.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-07-11
    09-07-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent story unfortunate narratio"

    The story is excellent, I love this author and have read several of his books, however the narration on this particular book was beyond bad. The narrator's pronunciation of the Spanish words made it impossible for me to listen to, I wouldn't expect excellent pronunciation but this was just horrible. I never finished it, I bought the book and read it. I would not recommend the audible version.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Chesterfield, MO, USA 09-13-05
    Timothy Chesterfield, MO, USA 09-13-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Not a character worth reading about"

    I've read at least two of the author's other books, and truly enjoyed them. I expected to with this book as well, but I was disappointed. The best I can say about the main character is that she's a survivor, but at what a cost. There was nothing in her to appreciate, to admire, to make me wish I could meet or know her. Instead, she's completely amoral, never giving the least indication that she acknowledges that her business destroys lives. At the end she's alone, which is what you'd expect. Terribly, terribly depressing.
    Additionally, the book on multiple occasions goes into seemingly endless, pointless (as far as I can tell) detail about the minutia of how her drug transactions are planned and executed. Enough, already.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria Jette 01-06-15
    Maria Jette 01-06-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Monotonous, inaccurate narration"
    What disappointed you about The Queen of the South?

    A very long book, which seemed ten times its length thanks to the stultifying monotone of the narrator! It was one of the most robotic readings I've ever heard, and I listen to books continually. To add to the irritation, it's full of Spanish words, and about 40% of them were mispronounced. I cringed every time Don Epifanio's name had to be mentioned again-- epifa-NEE-o, as she interpreted it. Some repeated words got different pronunciations as she went along. Absolutely no characterization of the zillions of characters-- they might have all been the same person- with the exception of a couple of characters toward the end, who suddenly sported unplaceable accents. Just one of the worst audio experiences I've had! I would've given up after the first couple of hours, but I found the book itself unpleasant enough that I knew marooning myself in the car with it was the only chance I had of getting through it-- I was reading it for a bookclub. I do NOT recommend this performance-- and while I'm not a fan of the book, I wonder how much of my antipathy stems from the performance. If I were the author, I'd ask for it to be re-recorded with a superior narrator.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    least interesting: endless descriptions of speedboats and motors and other technical things. Perhaps it was an homage to MOBY DICK's famous pages of whaling minutiae!


    How could the performance have been better?

    I fear that reader may be a hopeless cause. That sort of monotone in an adult doesn't just go away! however, she, or a director, could've made sure they at least got all the Spanish right.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Bitter disappointment! Also, irritation at the number of hours squandered listening to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah NEVADA CITY, CA, United States 07-08-13
    sarah NEVADA CITY, CA, United States 07-08-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    3
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    Story
    "what a great book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Queen of the South to be better than the print version?

    didn't read


    What other book might you compare The Queen of the South to and why?

    don't know


    Which scene was your favorite?

    loved the whole thing


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    more or less


    Any additional comments?

    just a good story, well written. interesting, surprising, deep, real. so good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian 05-25-13
    Marian 05-25-13 Member Since 2008

    Daydreamer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my favorite from Perez-Reverte"

    As a general rule I love Arturo Perez-Reverte novels, and while I still appreciated his trademark style, and love how he describes people, places and things, I just didn't love this book. I totally get this was supposed to more of a character study than his other novels, but since action kind of hovered over the novel, part of me kept hoping it would come more frequently than it did. Maybe the more "real-life" subject matter was the issue; secret societies and sunken treasure are just more interesting to me by nature than drug cartels. It's a good story and well-narrated, but just didn't thrill me like some of his others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    REINA SANDOVAL 02-08-12
    ratings
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    7
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    Story
    "Good story - Horrible narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This was an very interesting story. However, the narrator's pronunciation of the Spanish words made it difficult to listen to, the pronunciation was horrible. I finished the book but Lina Patel was not the best choice for this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi Annapolis, MD, United States 12-14-11
    Heidi Annapolis, MD, United States 12-14-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my favorite"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    maybe. the writing was excellent but the subject would not be appealing to many of my friends.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I had trouble distinguishing between the journalist and the queen of the south. the narrator needed to change her voice more as the book went back and forth between the two characters. i would think i was listening to one person and suddenly realize that the perspective had changed and that the story was being told by the other character. I had to do some rewinding.
    Near the end of the book i discovered the journalist was a man! all along i thought it was a women. I either missed this at the beginning of the book or it was very ambiguous. I don't know if this confusion was because of the narrator or the author.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cjwheeler 12-14-08
    cjwheeler 12-14-08 Member Since 2015

    I love BOOKS and reading, listening is as good when I can't look at the book. I listen every minute driving.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not my kind of story"

    I really like Arturo Perez-Reverte's books, well some of them anyways. But not this one. Just not my kind of story.
    It's about a girl in Mexico who runs with the wrong crowd (drug dealers and trafficers) and who's boyfriend in killed. So with help she runs to Spain to get away from all that.
    In Spain she gets involved with drug dealers and trafficers and her boyfriend get killed and she works her way up to be the big boss.
    Kind of reminiscent of "Scarface" right down to the showdown with police at the end

    I thought the narration was fine and would listen to her again on some other book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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