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GIRL TROUBLE: The True Saga of Superstar Gloria Trevi, Her Svengali, and the Teenage Sex Cult That Stunned the World

Christopher McDougall, Author . HarperCollins/Rayo $24.95 (278p) ISBN 978-0-06-053662-6

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. Agent, Dan Mandel. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/20/2004
Release date: 11/01/2004
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Paperback - 278 pages - 978-0-06-081909-5
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