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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 (99 )
5 star
 (42)
4 star
 (30)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
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1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.2 (47 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.8 (48 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
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3 star
 (7)
2 star
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1 star
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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 2010
    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 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    20
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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
    ratings
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    14
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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
  •  
    sarah NEVADA CITY, CA, United States 07-08-13
    sarah NEVADA CITY, CA, United States 07-08-13 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    "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 El Cajon, CA, United States 05-25-13
    Marian El Cajon, CA, United States 05-25-13 Member Since 2008

    Daydreamer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
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    5
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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 LA QUINTA, CA United States 02-08-12
    REINA SANDOVAL LA QUINTA, CA United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    7
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    Performance
    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 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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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 2005

    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
  •  
    01-06-06
    01-06-06 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    53
    4
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    "Finally, a good story about a woman"

    Maybe it's my luck in book choosing, but I seem to run into female characters that while not straight-laced, always seem to give in to a love interest somewhere during their career path. They the female protagonist gets sidetracked and changes her plan. Teresa Mendoza does no such thing. She loves, but keeps her goals close to the chest. She is tough, smart and lucky. Mendoza probably didn't ask for the life she lead, but she is dealing with the paths she has chosen by herself, step by step. The characters were likable, though too many for me to keep up with sometimes. While the swear words were plentiful, they were mostly left in Spanish (if you are sensitive to language). Long but good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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