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Selena: como la flor Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1997

4.5 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The 1995 murder of 23-year-old singer Selena has had a continuing impact, especially on the Hispanic community. Patoski, a senior editor at Texas Monthly, seems well acquainted with the world of Tejano music and the part Selena played in it, and his biography is more objective than other works on Selena. Though neither Selena's enigmatic father nor her other family members cooperated with Patoski, many others in the Tejano music world did. Patoski weaves Selena's story into the broader context of the music business and the changing bicultural scene of which she was a part, making this the best biography available of the singer. Highly recommended for popular music collections and for libraries serving Mexican American communities. Libraries interested in providing something on Selena in Spanish may be interested in Himilce Novas and Rosemary Silva's bilingual Remembering Selena (St. Martin's, 1995), a well-illustrated but highly subjective treatment for a less scholarly audience.
-?James E. Ross, WLN, Seattle, Wash.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Joe Nick Patoski has been writing about music and Austin for more than forty years. He has authored books on Stevie Ray Vaughan, Selena, Willie Nelson, and the Dallas Cowboys; is directing a film on Doug Sahm; and hosts the weekly Texas Music Hour of Power radio show.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425171248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425171240
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #429,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although it's an unauthorized biography, "Selena: Como La Flor" remains the definitive book about the life and death of Selena. Patoski does a good job of explaining the history and development of Tejano, or Tex-Mex, music prior to Selena y los Dinos' arrival on the scene. Patoski also covers in detail, much of what the 1997 film bio skipped over: primarily the decade between Selena's beginnings as a regional performer, and her signing with EMI Latin/Capitol Records.
Patoski also covers the rather strange goings-on during the final months of Selena's life: her relationship to her fan club president and murderer Yolanda Salvidar; her possible infatuation with a doctor in Mexico; and the possibility that Selena may have been ready to ditch her singing career to persue her interest in selling fashion.
Of course, Selena's murder and Yolanda's trial are also dealt with in the book, but it was the events immediately preceeding her death that intrigued me the most. It's clear from "Como la Flor" that, unlike the movie, everything wasn't coming up roses for Selena near the end of her life. Although Patoski gives a balanced portrayal of Selena's father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., it's pretty clear that Mr. Quintanilla figuratively sacrificed his daughter to fuel his own stiffled musical ambitions.
As other reviewers have already mentioned, Mr. Patowski has done an excellent job of researching the slain singer's life. There are comments from many past associates of Selena in the book, and raises interesting questions of what directions Ms. Quintanilla's life may have taken if she hadn't died.
If your only source of information about Selena is the Jennifer Lopez film, you owe it to yourself to read "Como la Flor," because this book is far more interesting. (In case you're wondering, I think JLo doesn't hold a candle to Selena in terms of singing!)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first became a fan of Selena's when she was killed. I was, at that time, 15 years old. I have been extremely interested in anything I could find about her since then. I got Dreaming Of You for Christmas that year and constantly listened to it. She just totally changed my life. Ever since then i'd done everything I could to find out as much as I could about her, and after a while I thought I knew pretty much everything there was to know about her. She lived a life I only could have dreamt about. But when I bought this book and read it, I realized I knew practically nothing about her. It really touched me how down-to-earth she really was. She never let fame get to her head like a lot of celebrities do. For that I honor her. She was a real inspiration to other latinas out there. Viviras Selena! We always have and always will love you.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was sceptical about buying this book at first, considering that isn't an official biography. But, I must say I WASN'T dissapointed. It was wonderful. It was well written, well organized, and gave Selena the credit as a singer and human being that she deserveed. My only vice about it is that is makes her father seem like a controlling freak, when the only thing he was ever guilty of is loving his daughter. Other than that, this book is most definitely worth the money. If you love Selena, you'll love this Book! :)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I was disappointed. It appears that most of the material the writer used were notes and articles based on other people's research, based on the notes and references toward the end of the book. He seemed to want to talk more about the history of Tejano music than of Selena. Most of the book had nothing to do with Selena's life and I got the impression that he looked down on Chris Perez, because he was the one fortunate enough to have Selena's love.

this book is no biography, as the writer didn't reference or consult with any apparent family members.
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By A Customer on December 16, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree with Time Magazine's comment that it is very well-written. We have been reading it in my high school ESL class made up of Mexican students.
As their teacher, I have found it to be an interesting exposition of Latino and music culture in the U.S.
It is about much more than just a singer. It is an educational, fascinating read.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As a huge Selena fan, I couldn't wait to read this book. It started out really well and I enjoyed reading about Abrahams past and Selena's time as a child but I found one thing in the book that I know for certain isn't true which led me to doubt other facts about the rest of the book. Chris and Selena eloped on their own terms, even Chris himself has made that very clear in his own book. In "Como La Flor", it states that once Abraham fired Chris from the group, Selena was so torn up and depressed that he told her as long as she and Chris married and lived next door, they could be together. Wrong. Selena and Chris went and obtained a marriage license at the courthouse and eloped that way without her father's consent. Abraham was indeed furious but even Chris says that after his initial anger, he calmed down and was old fashioned enough to respect their marriage and accept it. All-in-all though I really enjoyed this book. Some parts that weren't about Selena bored me a bit but there's many things I read that I didn't know about her which I loved. If you're a fan of Selena, it is definitely worth reading!
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