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Girl Trouble: The True Saga of Superstar Gloria Trevi and the Secret Teenage Sex Cult That Stunned the World Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks (November 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006081909X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060819095
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1985, 15-year-old Gloria Trevi lucked into the final spot in a girl group created by Mexico's hottest young producer, Sergio Andrade. Boquitas Pintadas ("Little Painted Mouths") broke up shortly thereafter, but three years later, after a scandalous television performance, Trevi's self-financed solo album struck gold. McDougall's carefully researched but meandering book follows the charismatic singer's dizzying ascension to stardom and, more interestingly, recounts the fall from grace that landed her in Brazilian prison a decade later. Andrade's evil manipulation and pedophilia are at the heart of this sordid tale, but Trevi's role as a recruiter of adolescent girls for his talent school makes it a real-life horror story. Girls as young as 13 were starved, beaten and forced to have sex with Andrade while their "classmates" watched. Many became pregnant when Andrade's preferred method of contraception—Coca-Cola douches—failed. Naturally, this is difficult material to stomach, but McDougall's rendering is unnecessarily lurid. His description of a scene in Trevi's third movie sums up his book's central theme: "Sergio is shitting on everyone he controls and everyone who tries to control him—and Gloria is suspended in his ordure like a fly in amber." In the end, it's difficult to separate the talented storyteller from his appalling story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Mexican superstar Gloria Trevi was iconic in Latin America but a cipher in the U.S. until she and her Svengali, Sergio Andrade, were charged with running a kind of school of prostitution. Now, amid a blossoming scandal full of underage sex, brainwashing, and torture, she's on the threshold of the kind of worldwide recognition that singing never brought her. Of course, she wasn't just a singer. Calendars showing off her fresh-faced, frisky sexuality festooned walls all over Mexico and Central and South America. Then allegations that the very young girls Trevi and Andrade were grooming for pop stardom were being abused sexually and otherwise drove the two underground. McDougall tells this delightfully salacious story in appropriate tones but with Trevi awaiting arraignment in Mexico and Andrade fighting extradition can offer no cathartic resolution. Still, there are more than enough fascinating, politely depraved twists here to please true-crime and pop-culture mavens alike. [Editor's note: As this issue went to press, Trevi was acquitted.] Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By angelina, true-crime queen on September 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the most sensational true-crime books I have ever read, and one reason I loved it is because it's not sensationalized. Christopher McDougall makes Gloria Trevi appear so true to life, and then peels back the layers of her on-stage persona to reveal the troubled, scary, cunning woman beneath. His characterization of the arch mastermind, Sergio Andrade, is amazing: you can't believe that a guy like that could rise to such power and remain free for so long, yet McDougall does a masterful job of showing exactly how Andrade DID get away with his secret girl-group sex cult for so long. If you're looking for a window into the dark corners of show business, sexual perversion or the perversions of wealth and power, this is it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Miami books on September 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"That's where Christopher McDougall, who covered Trevi's story for The New York Times, picks up. Pretending to be an old music-industry pal of Andrade's, McDougall got into the famously fearsome Brazilian Papuda Correctional Facility to interview him. (McDougall speaks fluent Spanish and Portuguese.) He also finagled his way into Gloria's cell, where she promised him the truth: "I am who I tell you I am."

In unraveling the mystery, McDougall also got close to Aline Hernandez, who was a skinny 13-year-old when Gloria plucked her from a crowd for admission to the school. Aline alleged that Sergio made her strip for her "audition," later raped her, forced her into group sex, beat her with electrical cords and, when she was 15, married her. (She was the fourth Mrs. Sergio Andrade, and not the youngest.)

So what's the weirdest thing about this story? Too close to call.

"Girl Trouble" was plucked from the headlines, but has a longer shelf life ahead of it - for one thing, Trevi's comeback album just went platinum. Beyond that, McDougall gives the book a powerful resonance by finding the larger cultural context of this singularly bizarre tale."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. R. Watson on November 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read this book in two sittings instead of one only because I had to go to work. McDougall skillfully weaves a tale that quickly engulfs the reader. I have to admire the way one is led from sympathy for Sergio and Gloria to revulsion and a thirst for justice. This book demands an epilogue.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Terry M. Callen on November 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Page-turner. Couldn't put it down! Christopher McDougall lays bare every lurid detail.

I've seen intrigued by this case since I saw it featured on "Dateline" in early 2001.

I became convinced as I read further into the book that Gloria Trevi, too, was a victim of Andrade's abuse and insatiable need for control, but that does not excuse her part in the sickening affair.

Trevi is no feminist icon - not by a long shot.

Sergio Andrade is a pathetic, disgusting excuse for a human being. He wasn't man enough to deal with adult women so he took advantage of 12 and 13 year olds - CHILDREN.

In September, Ms. Trevi was freed "for lack of evidence" and she is back in demand. Interesting to see if she can make up for the lost time - and if she will try to cross over to English-speaking American audiences. With the oppressive turn this country has taken of late, I don't think her antics will play well in the States.

Andrade will still be tried for his crimes. I hope he gets precisely what he deserves.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Karen Svea Johnson on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I started into this book, and then read the author bio to see if this was some vanity or self-published project. Instead, this guy has been published by heavy hitters like Esquire! And I drudge away at my hourly writing job...

How can a book about a sex scandal be so uninvolving and...blah? Sure, it's well researched--in fact, it's more like other people's thoughts simply cobbled together--but where the spark, the grace that you expect when you shell out $25 bucks for a book? Nonfiction doesn't mean styleless!!

I finished it, but it was a chore...
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