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The genre is very common in Mexico and also in Colombia. What they do not say is that basically the book is a love story, a love story where the beloved girl friendzones the intended lover boy, who not only accepts it but lives happy with that for a long time.
Otherwise the book seemed pretty good, is well written and in a not boring style, and it makes you pass the pages without realizing it. Although the narco is at the heart of the narrative, the narcos the hard of the hard as they say in the novel are not presented directly, in fact they only appear briefly, unnamed, just for once.
What we see is their workers, those who do the errands, those who put the chest, the assassins, the sicarios. And spoilers they are the ones who die, because in this novel the poor who take the narco as an escape route to their poverty, die, while the rich who take the narco only as a diversion, live.
It is not a question to justifying that a person has the right to get out of poverty through drug trafficking, but perhaps it would have been good to present a less class-oriented vision of life. On the other hand the narrator admits that he only got to know those poor and dangerous parts of the city because of Rosario, in the same way that he gets to know his own dark side for her.
In that sense, Rosario works as the vehicle through which the rich child completes his knowledge of real life. On the other hand Rosario do has a description: dark, beautiful I think that in the series they whitened her a little , but always through the eyes of the narrator in love, who supports her portrait in the few things that Rosario told her about herself. Then, our knowledge of her is limited, even biased I would say, but that has been the choice of the writer and well, in a certain sense it works, because it adds with the aura of mystery that the novel gives to its main character.
So, to finish, although I have my criticisms on the book, I think that in general it is worth reading it - it is not very long btw, and it is a good approximation to the contemporary Colombian novel. Bueno, es novela. Lo que vemos es a sus obreros, los que hacen los mandados, los que ponen el pecho, los sicarios. Es un recurso interesante, pues permite visualizar la ciudad y acomodar lo que uno lee a la experiencia propia.