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The Queen of the South

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  • Posted December 8, 2011

    A must read!

    The Queen Of The South by Teresa Mendoza isa gripping story about a girl picked up off the streets into the heart of power. She loved, lost, and the pattern repeated just when you thought she was home free. On a warm day in Sinaloa, Mexico, a cell phone rings and wakes her up from her fairytale. With the help of unlikely companions and incompassionate lovers, she makes her way to top while her world turns upside down. They got her lover, then they came after her too. The drug trade and its connections throughout Mexico, Latin America, and the Mediterranean come alive. Flashing back to her earlier life, the novel reveals Teresa as an uneducated but attractive twenty-three-year-old in Mexico, in love with Guero Davila, a Chicano pilot from San Antonio involved in shipping coca. Working through a cartel enjoying the complicity of the police, the Ministry of Defense, and even the President of the Republic, Guero is known as "the king of the short runway," a pilot able to drop from the skies, make a pickup or a connection, and be gone almost instantly. Guero had always told her, "If this [phone] ever rings, it's because I'm dead. So run. As far and as fast as you can, prietita¿And don't stop, because I won't be there anymore to help you." When she suddenly gets the call, she follows Guero's instructions to the letter, racing to deliver important papers to Don Epifanio Vargas, in exchange for her life, and running, with Vargas's help, through Mexico City into Spain. I would reccomend this amazing book to anyone who loves to read. When she suddenly gets the call, she follows Guero's instructions to the letter, racing to deliver important papers to Don Epifanio Vargas, in exchange for her life, and running, through Mexico City into Spain. The way Teresa relates to topics really engaged me and I could defiantly relate.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2012

    Amazing book!

    I decided to read this after watching the series on TV, and the book was very good! It's definitely worth reading!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    This book gets amazingly good the last 100 pages!!!

    The theme of the book centers on how the main character Teresa Mendoza must run for her life in order to survive. She must become someone new, someone who has the strength and the will to make her way to the top in a world mainly occupied by dangerous men. The story begins in the town of Cualican, state of Sinaloa, in Mexico, when Teresa receives that ominous phone call: her boyfriend Guero Davila, pilot for the drug narcos, has been killed and she had better start running of she¿ll be next. With the help of a friend Teresa ends up in Spain. Throughout the first 300 pages there is a strong sense of how Teresa manages to find the will to survive through all that¿s happened to her. It is clearly depicted how she manages to keep going even through all the pain that has entered her life and which she keeps within herself. It is unclear whether Teresa saw herself developing into many different women or just one strong woman managing to persevere with her life. In Spain Teresa rises to the top as she sets up the largest transport system of drugs in the Gibraltar Straight. As people became dependent on her, her many names included Queen of the South, La Mexicana, Queen of the Drug Trafficking Straight, and Czarina of Drugs. In other words, in a world of men Teresa became the Queen. She infiltrated society, paying people off and understanding the certain rules and codes to the entire trade which can never be conceived unless you are a part of the business. When Teresa first arrived in Spain she was the soft spoken, observant, worldly, and independent with her prim Mexican accent. As Teresa becomes stronger she looks to herself and her future as being independent and without men. After looking back on her life and past dependencies she begins not to hope, not to dream, and not to trust because it makes you vulnerable. I enjoyed this book immensely for many reasons. The book did ramble a bit for the first 300 pages but then the last 100 became significantly exciting. There was no doubt that the story was full of mystery with unimaginable twists and turns everywhere: ¿As he walked away, he added, `Then there¿s the mystery right? ... What happened at the end with O¿Farrell and with the lawyer¿. [...] `What happened with all of them¿.¿ (p.292). As you progress through the book you learn that anything is possible: ¿ `In fourteen or sixteen hours a lot of things can happen...¿ ¿ (p.416). I loved how there was a lot of foreshadowing throughout the entire book. There first few pages were definitely no disappointment: ¿[...] and the SIG-Saucer with the three clips lying there like an omen-in fact, a fatalistic acceptance-of what was going to happen that night.¿ (p.8). I liked how the book came full circle on several accounts but I also enjoyed how it was written. Much of the book is written in the third person, which is Teresa¿s story itself, but then there are parts that are told in the first person where you read about this reporter finding out the facts and interviewing people about Teresa Mendoza so that he can write a book about her life, which you ironically happen to be reading. It¿s interesting to read about how this man pieces her life together, and sometimes you find out things when he does and other times he finds out things that you already know. So all-in-all I really enjoyed this book. The major lesson in this book is that no matter what happens one can always adapt, change, or become a new person in order to survive in this world. I personally also learned that anyone, seen from a certain point of view, could be a good person. Not that I didn¿t know this before, but one can also learn that the world is a difficult place with complicated rules and it¿s sometimes easier to understand these rules, and life itself, through a book. There are thousands of books out there just waiting to be picked up, and though it may seem hard to grasp the full intended meaning of them, you can still obtain a sense that they contain an important li

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    I read Queen of the South, by Arturo Perez-Reverte, published by

    I read Queen of the South, by Arturo Perez-Reverte, published by Plume, June 2005.  The book was almost like a bunch of books all tied together.  Therefore, it had a few themes.  The themes I found throughout the book were love, crime, and mystery.  The main character in the book was named Teresa Mendoza.  There are several men involved with Teresa in the book.  That’s where the love part comes from.  She comes from a group of people who are into breaking laws and that’s where the crime part comes from.  Also, at the beginning, a notebook is introduced that Teresa was given but is forbidden from reading.  That’s where the mystery part came from.  She is a girl who has had a pretty rough past, and she is scared for the future.  She is stubborn, and once she goes through yet another tragedy, she finds herself alone in the world.  Teresa is brave, and a strong woman.  I thought the book was alright.  I liked it because it was interesting at some points and it made me want to keep reading.  However, at other times it was kind of boring.  At points it was just listing facts and descriptions of people for whole pages at a time, it made me lose interest at some times.  In this book I learned a lot about Spanish life.  I don’t know if it’s true for most Spanish people and Mexicans, but I realize that drugs are a lot more involved in these people’s lives than in most people from the United States.  I would not recommend this book for young readers under the age of 13.  This book talks about violence and I think it’s a little too mature because of the language used for children under 13.  I also think this book would be better for people who know Spanish, because it uses a lot of Spanish language mixed in with the English.

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  • Posted December 2, 2013

    The Queen of the south is an amazing attention grabbing piece wi

    The Queen of the south is an amazing attention grabbing piece with twists and turns that keep you wanting more every page. It all starts with one little phone call that sets her dreams into nightmares and leaves her with a heart wrenching loss of her one true love Guero Davila. He was "the King of the short runway" as many people knew him as and he was heavily involved with drugs specificly cocane.As her hands shake as she reads the note he gave her she makes sure to follow every detail to the last letter and makes her way out of comfort of her home in Mexico to the greatest parts of Spain in order to bring these papers to a man by the name of Don Epifano Vargas and along with the death of her loved one she finds she not only has to deal with one death she has to make sure her life does not end in the same way Gueros did.This book is deffinetly not for everyone and would only recomend this book to people who have a true love for reading and can figure out details and bigger words because the context of this book is not something younger people should unless they are up for a challenge. I liked and disliked this book for several different reasons, I like it because the idea of a mystery tied in with s sort of romeo and juliet situation is in some ways good throughout the book and also bad. I also liked the fact that they had some things you wouldn't have seen coming like one that she could be pregnant and many other things. I didn't enjoy this book because i felt like it was a bit above my head in a sense and i had to think and reread some pages because i didn't quite understand what she was trying to get across especially in the beginning when she describes this dream or idea of her lover enjoying the beach in his beach chair and also some other things such as some conversations around 466 and so forth. Now reading this i don't think i would read it again but it was something i am glad i challenged myself with and learned a few things as well like all about the drug trades in Mexico,the Mediterranean, Latin America. For Teresa Mendoza I believe that in writing she loves to connect the characters emotions with the readers feelings towards their favorite character and find those little things that impact them or they could relate to and that is another reason why i did make it through the book and still happend to enjoy most parts of it

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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    In this novel by Arturo Perez-Reverte a young woman, Teresa Mend

    In this novel by Arturo Perez-Reverte a young woman, Teresa Mendoza, is sent on the run by the death of her man. Guero was a drug trafficker/pilot and couldn’t keep his mouth shut. Eventually he was killed, as are all loud-mouths in that particular profession in Mexico. The protagonist, Teresa, is the next target despite her non-involvement in the traffic. Guero did keep a friend that could get Teresa out of Mexico and she went to him. He got her out of the dead zone and into southern Spain.

    There she got a modest job, though still on the edge of the ‘wrong’ side. She meets another man, Santiago, who also is a trafficker, but makes runs on the ocean. Teresa is thrown right back into the whole mess all over again. Love, lose, repeat. She ends up in jail for a little while, but gets her break after that. The main pieces thereafter are her struggles to rise in a dangerous world or men, drugs, and reasons to kill.

    This book is formatted in an odd fashion with some in the first person of Teresa Mendoza and other parts written through the eyes of a reporter researching her. The transitions are sloppy and there is no indication of view changes. The book is more description than plot and could be portrayed in a much shorter novel. Teresa and other important characters lacked depth and were hard to imagine as a full human being. I do not favor this style, although the descriptions were very thorough and well written. The dialogue left something to be desired, as did the plot and pacing. Overall, not my favorite book.

    I would not recommend this to anyone. There is also some mature content, not of violent nature. I love to read, but had a hard time getting through this one. I found it choppy, badly paced, and just uncomfortable to read. The story itself wasn’t horrible, but there may have been some things lost in translation. I may revisit this in it’s original language to see if it was just the translation that ruined it or if it just wasn’t the book for me.

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    Highly recommended

    Teresa Mendoza is a character that csught my attention, not only because of her personality, but, for her deliverance. A young woman who gets involve with a man who was earning a living by dealing drugs and all of a sudden she enters a universe of violence; betrayal; fear; opulence; and passionate love that marked her for ever.

    She did not know any better......she followed a dangerous path after loosing her beloved "El Huero" and she became the Queen of the South.

    There is a lot of discrimination in the book, and we get caught in the trama in which a mexican woman has to deal with life in order to survive.

    We lived her fears; cried her tears and laughed with her...

    Excellent piece of literature !! Well created characters....!!! A good book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2011


    I really recommend it book and advice you to read it but not only to read it but also to see the to series on channle 52 telemundo 10:00pm

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2010


    This book kept me running. A great storyline and a beautiful character make this book #1

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    Great read!

    The book Queen of the south by Arturo Pérez-Reverte,is the story of Teresa Mendoza and how she becomes to find herself but in a very dangerous way,the story starts shortly after she hears that her beloved Guero has been killed,and its up to Teresa to save herself which leads her to meet some very interesting characters and travel to Spain. I really liked this book because it really keeps you on the edge of your seat and if you are getting bored it picks up and the writer did an excellent job describing all the emotional problems that Teresa was suffering from.I didn't enjoy how the book would start back in the present at the beginning of chapters it made it very confusing. I learned how you can make your own future and how truely nothing is impossible and how if you think something is in you grasp you can reach it. I would highly recommend this book because it is a great read and if you enjoy dark literature then you will definately enjoy it,however i wouldn't recommend it if you don't like drug usage or reading about it.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    A writer worth reading, a window into a lifestyle...

    A window into a lifestyle is what Arturo Perez-Reverte has given us in his novel "The Queen of the South". The drama, the intricacies and suspense of the life of people involved in drug-dealings, arms-dealings, drug-fighting, corruption... love and death. The bets that a woman from a small town Mexico makes on life and death, on her chances to stay alive in circumstances that are againts her. The life that she chooses seem the inevitable result of a succession of events that leave her no choice... or does it? The only option for Theresa in this job is keeping alive and she will do whatever it takes to protect herself and the life she has achieved. For her and the people around her, attachments are to be avoided, relationships don't last --unless it is a business relationship that is profitable and has to be secured at all costs, otherwise, love in her live comes and goes, loyalties being more important than profits, and alliences with groups that survive among deathly rivalry. The enemies of her enemies are her allies....and surprises unfold that make her take drastic decisions that mark turning points in her life and no one can make it out of this lifestyle unscathed, as Theresa would soon discover.

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  • Posted December 16, 2009

    La Novela Magnifica

    The book, "Queen of the South" by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, is a "biography" of Teresa Mendoza who begins as a beautiful uneducated girl on the arm of a Mexican Drug Runner named Guero Davila. Guero is killed by his bosses and Teresa receives a phone call, in which she knows is the signal, the signal telling her to run for her life, so she flees to Spain. During her getaway, she recalls numerous things Guero has told her about this day. "In this business," Guero had said, "you've got to know how to recognize The Situation. Somebody can come over and say Buenos días. Maybe you even know him, and he'll smile at you. Easy. Smooth as butter. But you'll notice something strange, a feeling you can't quite put your finger on, like something's just this much out of place-" his fingers practically touching. "And a second later, you're a dead man.... or woman."(pg. 11) Once she reaches Spain, Teresa falls for another drug runner, in whom she insists on partnering. She then becomes and expert at piloting boats. Teresa becomes a ruthless drug runner and gains her title "Queen of the South" the leader of a drug smuggling empire.

    Teresa Mandoza's story is not told through her point of view entirely, an unnamed speaker/narrator seemingly Arturo Pérez-Reverte himself, has come to Sinaloa (Teresa's home in Mexico) to investigate and fill the unknown time space in Teresa's life. The narrator inserts himself and his conferences into the biography. Soon the fine line between fiction and fact begin to blur, in which the people he has interviewed are real people, and some of whom he dedicated this novel as well as characters included in the narrative. This adds a depth of realism to the novel, making is seemingly real to the reader.

    I liked this book, the story line kept me on edge the entire time. It was one of those hard to put down books that completely captivates you. As I continued to read, I couldn't stop and it became harder and harder to get my other work done, because all I wanted to do was read!! The beginning, instantly pulls you in with an 'off the charts' ringer of a first paragraph. "The telephone rang, and she knew she was going to die. She knew it with such certainty that she froze, the razor motionless, her hair stuck to her face by the steam from the hot water that condensed in big drops on the tile walls." (Pg. 1) Then follows with introducing the reason for Teresa's horror, why the phone rang. "If this thing ever rings, it's because I (Guero) am dead. So run. As far and as fast as you can, prietita- my little dark skinned one. And don't stop, because I won't be there anymore to help you." (Pg. 2) The book continues to get more exciting and there are little mysteries along the way hidden in the story. The book continues to pull you in further till the very end, it is a charismatic thriller that I would recommend to anyone. A truly remarkable read.

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  • Posted January 4, 2009

    The Queen of the South

    I thought overall this book was very good. The first hundred pages were a bit slow but after that it became very interesting and suspensful. I like Arturo's style of writing, it seemed to take on journalistic attributes. Also he was very vivid with his description of events. It made me feel like i was right there watching what was happening. I would reccommend this book to everyone over the age of 15. It had some mature content that would be innapropriet for small children. I really enjoyed this book and im sure you would too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2008

    Great Read!

    The Queen of the South is a really good book, but the beginning was really slow and kind of boring. Although when you get to like the middle/end it's really fast-paced and exciting. The book begins when the women named Theresa Mendoza gets a call. Now the call is no normal phone call and she knows this. Theresa lives with her boyfriend Guero Davila, who works for a big drug dealer. Guero flies his Cessna plane filled with drugs around to different areas in Mexico and other country¿s in the area. Guero told Theresa that there would some day be a call like this one saying that he is dead and that Theresa would have to run as far away as she can and to start fresh there. And if she doesn't run she will be caught and killed to. This one phone call basically changes her whole life in some ways good and in other ways that could possibly put her in danger. My favorite part of this book is when Theresa asks Guero's friend Don Epifanio Vargas for help and he gave her some money and then got her a flight to Spain were he had some friends who would take her in. ' I can loan you the car with a driver you can trust...I can do that, and have him drive you to Mexico City. Straight to the airport, and there you catch the first plain out.' said Don Epifanios. In Spain, Theresa was doing well in Spain until she fell for this guy was just as dangerous to be around as Guero was, which was a good decision. By the end of the book, Theresa becomes this powerful woman called the Queen of the South but I won¿t tell you why. This book could definitely teach you something about the way you live your life. You can either live your life very cautiously or you can live it like Theresa and be on the run because the people you loved were into some things that were very bad. In the end I allover liked this book because it really was interesting on how she handled herself in some of the worse possible situations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Rising to the top of the Drug World

    I recently read this book. I am not usually a reader of this type of book, I prefer sci-fi usually but I did find this book very interesting and well written. Arturo P&#277 rez-Reverte does a great job in illustrating a world with drugs and violence. The main character of this book is Teresa Mendoza who is the girlfriend of a drug transporter name Guero who flew planes for narco and was killed when it was found out that he was making drug deals on the side. Guero is killed and the people who kill him go after Teresa Mendoza who must survive in a world of corrupt police and drug dealers. She has to flee where she was from and she begins to make a new life for herself and gets involved in. She has to rise to the top and becomes a very successful drug transporter in several different continents. The book starts off with the phone call saying her boyfriend is dead. ¿The telephone rang, and she knew she was going to die¿. Teresa had to run after the phone call and flee. She had to begin a new life and in that life she had to adapt. The story is told in the perspective of Teresa Mendoza as she works her way through the story and an a researcher who is trying to find out information on Teresa Mendoza. The researcher goes around asking important people who know information about Teresa and the character tie in with the people she met. I liked this book because it was well written. Also the way the story is told of how Teresa Mendoza starts off as a no one with little skills and has to adapt and learn to survive in the world of drugs and eventually rises to the top. Also the way he has the researcher narrating it outside of the story lines made the book more interesting and a good read. I liked how the reporter would ask the people who had something to do with her and talk about it in the chapter they are going to be in was a nice way of foreshadowing. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes this type of book and even to thoese who don¿t normally read these kind of books because it is very interesting and though not the normal type of book I read I still enjoyed it. In reading this book I learned that people can still change and adapt to their environments.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2006

    About a woman who's INDEPENDENT and HIGHLY RESPECTED because she EARNED HER OWN WAY to the top.

    One of my top three books ever! What I love about this book is that the main character is a woman of power! Unlike most thrillers where the woman is a supporting character of a man, or a woman who will give up her life's work for a man, or a woman who sleeps with any old man because she finds him 'irresistible', this book shows what a woman can do when given the opportunity. This book revolves around a woman who is INDEPENDENT and HIGHLY RESPECTED because she EARNED HER OWN WAY to the top. *Highly recommended to feminists*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2005


    This book was surprisingly good and hard to put down. It really opened up a whole new world of women in drugs and mafia in Mexico that was unknown to me. Definitely good if you want to discover an enticing and dangerous life in literature. However, prepare yourself for sure ambivalence towards the main character, I never could figure out whether I supported her or not, it kept me thinking to this day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2005

    well written but rambling

    This book was well written but the 400 pages details a story that really is not gripping and could be told in 40 pages. None of the events of the story really depend on each other and seem contrived. I would not have read this if I could do it over.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2005


    Wow! I listened to this book in my car and ended up taking detours to make my drive a bit longer. Amazingly artistic writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2005

    Don't Miss this Book!

    I could not put it down! This book has changed the way I view international travel - a great story, a wonderful storyteller!

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