Read Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera Online


In the court of the King, everyone knows their place. But as the Artist wins hearts and egos with his ballads, uncomfortable truths emerge that shake the Kingdom to its core.Part surreal fable and part crime romance, Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera questions the price of keeping your integrity in a world ruled by patronage and power.Described as ‘Mexico’s greatest novelist’,In the court of the King, everyone knows their place. But as the Artist wins hearts and egos with his ballads, uncomfortable truths emerge that shake the Kingdom to its core.Part surreal fable and part crime romance, Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera questions the price of keeping your integrity in a world ruled by patronage and power.Described as ‘Mexico’s greatest novelist’, Yuri Herrera has followed up The Transmigration of Bodies and Signs Preceding the End of the World with an extraordinary story about passion and violence, about the vital role of the Artist in our society, and about the strangeness of our world.Translated by Lisa Dillman...

Title : Kingdom Cons
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781925603019
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 112 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Kingdom Cons Reviews

  • Teresa
    2019-04-28 13:41

    3.5 starsBefore Herrera started writing this debut novel (it’s the one most recently translated), he made a list of ‘overused’ words (such as “drugs” and “borders”) he wouldn’t use. His self-imposed ban goes a long way toward creating universality and freshness in what feels to me more than the fable it’s been called. The original title, Trabajos del reino, translates literally into English as “Jobs of the Kingdom”. The English title used seems genius, also evoking, at least to me, the phrase “Kingdom Come” (from the New Testament’s “Lord’s Prayer”).This is the story of a young man named Lobo who is deemed the Artist, a composer and singer of corridos (folk ballads), in the service of the King (a drug lord). By this act, Señor (God or Jesus would be called El Señor) rescues Lobo from homelessness and its attendant poverty. Everyone in the King’s ‘palace’ is known by a label, not a name, and this kind of dehumanization perhaps goes hand-in-hand with casual violence. As the story progressed, I detected dark Shakespearean strains, especially with the court-like machinations of the Heir and the Witch (Lady Macbeth?). Near the end, a love story felt tacked-on and superfluous, but that was minor.More than anything, and understandably for a first work, this is the story of a young man (in danger of being ‘brainwashed’) awakening to books, to words, to language, to its use as a tool for others and then, ultimately, for himself, as his eyes are gradually opened. Herrera’s own concise yet poetic language is, as usual, his strength. The story could also be read as the writer’s manifesto: the importance and necessity of art in a culture that wants to control and demean it: a timeless topic.

  • Christopher
    2019-05-21 17:36

    “Part surreal fable, part crime romance” (blurb)That’s accurate. Read this in 2hrs: it’s sparse and just over a hundred pages. It was enjoyable, but lacked the disorientation and demanding-ness that I’ve grown to crave in a novel (this should be considered a novella).The good:Prose has an oracular quality that is almost always fabulist and yet certain stylistic touches, abruptly remind you that this is a gritty side of Mexico. Also, the text reads so fast, it’s easy to overlook that you need to close-read in order to figure out motivations and sometimes just to even understand what’s happening. In the end, I think this is not the best entry-point for this author, though I haven’t yet read Signs Preceding... and Transmigration of Bodies. I’m guessing that if I shared any life experience with the subject matter I would feel differently. I guess that’s a sort of confession. Gringo problems. Will read more Herrera because I get a sense for his talent from this work.

  • Guillermo Jiménez
    2019-05-19 16:45

    Un gran acierto literario. A la vez relato simbólico, a la vez una narración en prosa que colinda con el relato oral, con la poesía; para tratar a modo de cuento los episodios de horror que pueden suceder tras bambalinas en un cartel del narcotráfico.Ceñirla a describirla como narcoliteratura, sería una muy triste descripción genérica, propia de gente de miras miopes que no logran ver más allá de sus narices. Trabajos del reino es obra de un autor preocupado por la palabra exacta en el momento justo; por la musicalidad del texto, por la redondez de las formas y por un fetichismo en la yuxtaposición de los significados, ¿significados de qué? Tanto de las palabras, como de sus personajes. Esta novela logra dotar al lector de imágenes muy bien fraguadas en su imaginación; y, al menos en mi caso, de querer releer algunas partes en voz alta, cambiando la entonación, el ritmo, intentando adivinar el sentido que intentó imprimar Herrera.De las tres novelas que le he leído a Yuri Herrera (La transmigración de los cuerpos y Señales que precederán al fin del mundo, las tres en unas muy buenas ediciones de Periférica) esta es por mucho la que más me ha gustado y disfrutado.

  • Susana
    2019-05-10 10:50

    Yuri Herrera es un escritor excepcional, cada palabra, cada frase, cada giro, son mágicos, hermosos, incluso cuando cuenta una historia sórdida, sobre narco-corridos, narco tráfico, violencia entre carteles, prostitución ... amor y arte.Me fascina la manera en que logra convertir en poesía el lenguaje común, el lenguaje ordinario:"... como si se le hubiera despellejado un callo en la mirada" ó "... la acarició y la acarició como si le puliera la pena"Siempre la desesperanza de vivir en un sitio donde el único futuro es marcharse, en sus palabras:"Es como si no hubiera derecho a la belleza"

  • Text Publishing
    2019-04-28 16:26

    ‘Herrera creates a radically new language and condenses into a few pages what other authors need hundreds to convey…a surprising literary jewel.’Nation‘Yuri Herrera must be a thousand years old. He must have travelled to hell, and heaven, and back again. He must have once been a girl, an animal, a rock, a boy, and a woman. Nothing else explains the vastness of his understanding.’Valeria Luiselli‘Yuri Herrera has been described as Mexico’s greatest living novelist…Believe the hype.’Readings‘The Artist’s mission statement could speak for the whole of Mr Herrera’s daring and memorable project: “Let them be scared, let the decent take offence. Put them to shame. Why else be an artist?”’Wall Street Journal‘At one point in Kingdom ConsThe Artist boasts, “If you’re saying what happened, why bother with a song? Corridor aren’t only true; they’re also beautiful and just.” He may come to realise how his corridor can be used to other ends, but Herrera’s novels stay beautiful and just.’New Republic‘Kingdom Cons rises above a mere tale of lost innocence or a drug-land eulogy, specifically because it is the language and not the narrative that powers its subject. Herrera’s writing reinvents its own territory with simultaneous streetwise mischief and canonical splendour. At times a Renaissance quill, at other times a tattier’s needle, his syntax misbehaves masterfully, and Lisa Dillman proves herself once again exquisitely loyal to his lyrical disobedience with this translation, its prose so alive that it recalls Roland Barthes’s description of “language lined with flesh”.’New Statesman‘His [Herrera’s] books are bracingly taut, his skill with concision impressive.’National Post‘Kingdom Cons is captivating in that Yuri Herrera has seemingly wandered off into the deserts of the genre and has come out on another shore of a different planet…crime is mentioned with a side-glance, the role of power is beheld at close attention, and the language itself is short, poetic, elliptical.KQPD‘With his signature palpable lucidity of the uncanny he [Herrera] blends crime romance with elements of surreal fable.’Better Read Than Dead‘I would really recommend reading this author, he’s fantastic.’Radio NZ‘Kingdom Cons is another great novel from a writer at the top of his game, and is a must read for any fans of Latin American or world literature.’AU Review‘Herrera’s fable dives into the murky role of art in a fiefdom marked by endemic violence and the ruthless pursuit of power. It presents Mexican cartel culture through an almost surreal blend of medieval romance and hardboiled noir, and will rivet and disturb a broad readership, from crime fiction fans to lovers of Latin American literature.’Sydney Morning Herald‘[Yuri Herrera’s novellas] constitute one of the most astonishing bodies of work to have made it into English from any other language in the last couple of decades.’ Asymptote‘A liminal story that is all at once a gritty exploration of Mexican gang life and a poetic examination of the human spirit.’Otago Daily Times‘Although this novella is set in contemporary Mexico, you could be forgiven for thinking Kingdom Cons was a fable from some ancient time. All the ingredients are there: a kingdom with a ruthless ruler…the bowing and scraping courtiers…the gossip and political intrigues…Mexican-born Yuri Herrera is a master of spare, wise-cracking lingo with a hint of the surreal. Well worth reading.’North and South

  • Francisco H. González
    2019-05-07 13:29

    ¿Es la novela de Yuri Herrera una de las mejores que se publicaron en México en 2004?. No lo sé, lo que sí puedo afirmar es que Trabajos del Reino me ha encantado. A Yuri lo descubrí hace meses con "La Transmigración de los cuerpos", después seguí con "Señales que precederán al fin del mundo" y acabo con la novela que Yuri publicó en 2004 en México y en 2008 en España, Trabajos del Reino. Las tres novelas que hasta la fecha ha publicado Yuri las ha editado la Editorial Periférica. Y los libros son una cucada. Este último es tamaño bolsillo y resulta ideal para llevártelo encima y sacártelo en esos ratos en los que no tienes nada mejor que hacer que leer.Las novelas de Yuri son cuentos con aliento poético (aliento que en manos de otros muchos escritores menos dotados devendría en halitosis) o a mí así se me antojan. En esta ocasión el protagonista es un joven que da de bruces con un mafioso local, a quien le hace gracia la forma que este tiene de cantar y le ofrece trabajar para él en la Corte, porque el mafioso es el Rey y todos los que danzan y viven a su costa, son la Corte.Hace siglos la gente se dejaba la vida para entrar a trabajar en la Corte (Cervantes sin ir más lejos) y poder vivir plácidamente cerca del bienestar que generaban las Monarquías y la vida en el Palacio. Ahora la gente no es tan ambiciosa y con tener una plaza fija de funcionario se conforma.El cantante y compositor de corridos es el Artista y una vez en Corte conocerá al Orfebre, al Médico, al Heredero, a la Niña, a la Bruja, al Periodista, el Gringo, el Gerente, etc. De una manera muy sutil a través de los ojos del Artista seremos testigos de ese mundo, de la vida en el palacio, donde no faltan las intrigas y conjuras, las cuchilladas traperas, las venganzas, el mancillamiento y el deshonor. Y para aliviar el dolor nada como el amor balsámico, en cuyo lomo viaja la esperanza.Y como no todo es mirar y solazarse, el día a lleva abocará al Artista al punto de no retorno, donde el posicionamiento o algo tan simple como pensar por uno mismo, dibujará una mira telescópica en la testa de improvisado pensador.Yuri logra algo mágico y consiste en que lo que lees te parece de primera mano, un buen puñado de palabras, frases, párrafos a estrenar, que un servidor rumia con deleite a los márgenes de lo trillado, de lo manoseado, por tanto escritores.Hay muchas razones para leer a Yuri, pero esta me parece fundamental. Donde otros aburren y estiran los clichés y las frases hechas hasta el aburrimiento, Yuri ofrece unos textos ofrecidos para ser (re)leídos con otros ojos.

  • Bob Lopez
    2019-05-13 13:40

    Bummed about this one. After his previous books, I was pretty amped to read this book. It's about a King and the people in his retinue, but mostly it's about the Artist--a singer/songwriter who writes corridos as ballads for the King. Interesting that no one has a real name but go by their title, King, Artist, Traitor, etc. The book was just as taut and fast-paced as his previous books, but...I dunno...the flair(?) wasn't there, seemed a little forced at times. Great, fun premise though, I just wish it had more oomph.

  • Daniel Sevitt
    2019-05-22 17:23

    Possibly my first ever Mexican writer. This was longlisted for the Tournament of Books, so I picked it up, but at 103 pages it was hardly around long enough to leave a lasting impression. Some nice courtly intrigue and a light, accessible translation, but all too brief for my tastes.

  • jeremy
    2019-05-06 10:22

    he also learned the following truths: life is a matter of time and hardship. there is a god who says deal with it, cause this is the way it is. and perhaps the most important: steer clear of a man about to vomit.kingdom cons (trabajos del reino), the third of yuri herrera's novels to appear in english translation (after the best translated book award-winning signs preceding the end of the world and the transmigration of bodies), is, like the two books before it, ominously colored by an ever-impending menace. the final installment in herrera's self-described 'loose' trilogy (though the first of the three published originally), kingdom cons is the best of the bunch. an allegorical take on art, power, love, loyalty, and violence (and narcocorridos, too), herrera's short but sturdy novella offers nothing extraneous. adeptly melding atmosphere and action, kingdom cons is further proof that herrera is among the vanguard of an impressive array of mexican writers consistently publishing some of today's most exciting's as if there is no right to beauty, he thought, and thought that the city ought to be set alight from its foundations, because in each and every place where life sprouted up through the cracks, it was immediately abused.*translated from the spanish by lisa dillman (herrera's signs and transmigration, andrés barba, eduardo halfon, et al.)

  • Matthew
    2019-05-17 14:48

    A gritty and artfully constructed fable about art, love and loyalty. Lots of engaging concepts packed into this slender book. I'll be reading this author again.

  • Juan
    2019-05-08 13:26

    La vida bajo la protección de un capo vista con los ojos de un músico callejero vuelto escritor de narcocorridos puede parecer un cuento de hadas. Bajo esa premisa Herrera recrea la historia como una fábula en la que los personajes detentan nombres alegóricos como el Traidor, la Cualquiera, el Rey o el Heredero. El libro está escrito con esa poesía callejera propia de los narcocorridos y desde un punto de vista diminuto que permite generar suspenso y llenar el texto de revelaciones paulatinas, a pesar de que se lee en una sentada. Así se ve la vida desde dentro del palacio de un capo, no muy diferente a como se veía desde dentro del palacio de un rey. Un gran primera novela, a la cual, siendo parte del género de la narco novela, no le teía fé cuando la empecé. Me alegró mucho que no corroborara mis prejuicios.

  • Giuseppe
    2019-04-25 17:45

    Una piccola perla. Herrera è bravissimo ad aprire e chiudere il cerchio in questa "favola nera". Un po' romanzo di formazione, un po' racconto pulp, la storia dell'Artista passa dalla fascinazione alla redenzione. Breve e sorprendente.

  • julieta
    2019-04-30 14:26

    Buenísimo primer libro de Yuri Herrera, cuenta una fábula de violencia y abandono, de traiciones y muerte, pero siempre como si estuviera cantando. Su uso del lenguaje es extraño, porque parece ser cotidiano y fronterizo, pero a la vez lo hace poesía. Muy recomendable.

  • Rafa
    2019-04-27 10:38

    Narcocorrido a la manera de Shakespeare.

  • Nuria Castaño monllor
    2019-05-09 15:21

    3,5 en realidad. Formalmente no tiene pegas. Demasiado corto para más valoración

  • Lina
    2019-05-10 16:34

    Förra gången jag läste något av Yuri Herrera stod en taxi nedanför lägenhetshuset och väntade. Jag skulle ta flyget till Tokyo och vägrade ha med en bok som jag bara hade 10 sidor kvar på. Hetsläste därför de sista sidorna av Transmigration of bodies ståendes samtidigt som jag försökte få på mig skorna. Idag läste jag ut Kingdom Cons under något mindre stressiga förutsättningar. Det är en slags fabel om integritet, om hur mycket man är beredd att offra av sig själv för att få ta del av andras makt och rikedomar. Jag beundrar Herrera enormt för hans vishet, det känns som att hela världshistorien ryms inom honom. Jag föredrog dock Transmigration of bodies, miljöerna var tydligare beskrivna och intrigerna starkare.

  • Steffi
    2019-04-29 13:22

    Follow-up read to my recent trip to Mexico. Yuri Herrera is, apparently, one of the most important contemporary Mexican writers. The ultra short novel 'Kingdom Cons' (English translation 2017, original Travajos del Reino 2008) reads at times like a parable (but without any clear moralistic message) or an incredibly poetic tale set in the most realist and fucked up north Mexico druglord setting. If you're looking for unique contemporary literature beyond the US/Western mainstream, then that's a great pick. I can only imagine how great this must be in Spanish.

  • Laura
    2019-05-06 09:21

    Brilliant exploration of the relationship between art & power, poetic and compelling and unforgettable! Read it at once!

  • atwiglikeme
    2019-05-20 11:32

    Tri priče koje se čitaju kao pjesma.

  • Ingrid Joselyne
    2019-05-06 09:21

    Entre el 3,5 y el 4.

  • anya ventura
    2019-04-29 12:46

    My review here:

  • Marc Nash
    2019-05-07 09:39

    Imagine Franz Kafka's "The Castle" transported to Narco-Mexico/Colombia. Medellin or Cali as castle-based kingdoms. here we are led by an auto-didact minstrel, who smuggles his way into the castle and then becomes a Narccorridor extolling the characters and deeds of the drug kingpins. The function of the king's jester, taking and keeping the pulse of the kingdom. But as an auto-didact he doesn't always know the full story.Wonderfully rendered, a super read.

  • Guillermojimenezespneo
    2019-05-07 14:28

    Vaya con los narcos. Producen fascinación aunque sean de los antisociales más cabrones, más sanguinarios y más hijos de peña nieto que hayan dado estas tierras. Herederos de aztecas y mayas sin la pátina sagrada ni las guerras floridas y mortales con sus resultantes sacrificios, producidas por estas subculturas, con su belicismo frontal pleno de testosterona, saña y fiereza. La mayoría cobardes, tan miedosos que pocas veces se enfrentan a campo abierto, mimetizándose enmedio de la población civil. Esta noveleta trata de sumergirse en ese submundo y el pequeño y malogrado esfuerzo, aunque entretenido, no es suficientemente convincente. Son más verosímiles el Cochiloco y el Gómez Cruz como Capo que estos apenas delineados personajes que no personas. Hay algo de insuficiencia en la sumersión en el mal, esa banalidad tan brillantemente descrita en Bolaño y su Estrella distante. No es suficiente la desatinada descripción del cantor de las hazañas narcas, esa pretenciosa poetización o seudolirismo de las gestas criminales. Quizá lo poco densa, acaso el haberla leído después de la Transmigración, dieron como resultado cierta pereza, cierto desinterés, vamos, la hora o dos que le dediqué a su lectura y su subsecuente reflexión me dejaron casi desdeñosamente frito. Lo poco que tengo que decir casi lo he agotado. Ahí se verá.

  • Dario Malic
    2019-05-12 15:26

    Balade o teškim vremenima zapravo su skup tri kratka romana koja govore o raznim licima i naličjima Meksika. Kroz pomalo fantastične priče pratimo likove bez imena kako slijede zacrtane niti svojih života ili im se pak pokušavaju oduprijeti. Putevi ih vode među zaraćene obitelji, kroz vile narkosa, pa čak i preko neprelaznih granica, da bi na kraju uvidjeli da se predmet njihove potrage u potpunosti promijenio dok je ona trajala. Herrerini likovi, čija bezimenost nas bez problema uvlači u njihovu kožu, ostaju praznih ruku, ali ne i bez nade jer, šta god da nam se desilo, dovoljno je da preživimo i pred nama se otvaraju nove mogućnosti. Jasno je vidljivo da ove kratke priče govore o meksičkoj stvarnosti i problemima, no kao i svaka dobra balada one su istodobno i univerzalne te nam svima omogućuju da se u njima pronađemo, koliko god to možda ne bi htjeli.

  • Gael
    2019-04-27 12:22

    En México todos quieren hablar del narco. Las películas, las telenovelas, los periódicos, las canciones, y por supuesto, las obras literarias. Entonces, lo realmente original está en el "cómo" y no en el "qué" y esta novela de Herrera sorprende por su originalidad. Es impresionante su uso del lenguaje coloquial (bato, curado) en capítulos escritos como poesía. Y no sorprenden tanto por la idea como por el resultado: funcionan magníficamente. El final es devastador, y como el resto de la novela, hermoso.

  • Jeanne
    2019-05-15 14:36

    Beautifully atmospheric. While I don't think any of Yuri Herrera's works will top Signs Preceding the End of the World this one comes close, and I look forward to future translations of his work.

  • Sebastian Uribe
    2019-04-30 13:38

    Las relaciones entre el poder y el arte en el siglo XXI. Las desventuras de un cantante de corridos dentro de un cártel mexicano. Una relación de amor en las sombras. Admiración, traición y muerte. Todo narrado con una MAGISTRAL prosa. Yuri Herrera debe figurar como uno de los mejores escritores mexicanos de la actualidad

  • Iván
    2019-04-28 12:21

    Mejor 3 1/2Es una de esas novelas en las que el estilo y la voz narrativa lo son todo. Es muy alegórico, como una fábula o tele novela, y el mundo de los narcocorridos más interesante no podría ser. Sin embargo, la suma de sus partes no alcanzan verdaderas alturas.

  • Eric Uribares
    2019-04-29 09:39

    no eѕ la мejor, qυιzá por ѕer la prιмera, pero eѕ вυena, ya perғιla υn eѕтιlo propιo ѕυѕтenтado por υn oído ғιno y υn lengυaje renovado.

  • Ally
    2019-05-17 12:36

    Yuri Herrera's latest book published in English, KINGDOM CONS, surrounds a poor, young, orphan name Lobo ("wolf" in Spanish) who becomes patronized by the temperamental and vitriolic don (referred to as "King") of a powerful organized crime family. He first impresses the King when Lobo performs for him and his entourage at a local bar. Lobo so desperately wants to have his "big break", and so his songs are in deference to the King's great strength and wealth. The King is taken with Lobo's ability to combine stories and everyday conversations, as well as phrases feeding into his own ego, and transform them into songs. Lobo is then brought into the King's compound, and surrounded by luxury and dotage. As soon as he enters the King's compound, his identity changes. He is no longer Lobo, but becomes "the Artist". Now a part of the entourage, intended only to flatter and promote the King, the Artist is expected to leave his morals, conceptions, and sense of self at the door. He is given one of the King's prostitutes as a companion, but is enamored another woman who is called "the commoner" by everyone in the King's compound. The commoner and her mother play a vital role in keeping the King in power, and it is their influence on the Artist that begins to form some fissures in his good opinion of the King and his kingdom.The reader follows along as the Artist interacts with other characters, with names like the Jeweler, the Heir, and the Doctor, and begins to piece together how they play their roles in this world. Eventually, the Artist begins to doubt the King, and wonder whether his glory as a singer is worth the sacrifices that he is expected to make. He weighs the role of art, and whether his integrity is something he is willing to discard to maintain his privileged position. The Artist has to make a choice, and the consequences are far-reaching for not only him, but everyone in the kingdom.KINGDOM CONS is an allegorical tale about institutional corruption, the lengths some people will go to ingratiate themselves to those in power, and the role of art in confronting those societal evils. The title appears in one of the Artist's revelations about the true nature of the kingdom - how this manufactured reality and beauty is in actuality a swindle, with a high price to pay for those who live it. It's truly a brilliant novel, written in the same precise and beautiful prose as Yuri Herrera's other works, and translated painstakingly by Lisa Dillman. Highly recommended!