With Undertones Of Vampires, Frankenstein, Dragons Hoards, And Killing Fields, Matt S Story Turns Out To Be An Inspiring Tale Of Friendship, Survival, Hope, And Transcendence A Must Read For Teenage Fantasy FansAt His Coming Of Age Party, Matteo Alacr N Asks El Patr N S Bodyguard, How Old Am I I Know I Don T Have A Birthday Like Humans, But I Was Born You Were Harvested, Tam Lin Reminds Him You Were Grown In That Poor Cow For Nine Months And Then You Were Cut Out Of Her To Most People Around Him, Matt Is Not A Boy, But A Beast A Room Full Of Chicken Litter With Roaches For Friends And Old Chicken Bones For Toys Is Considered Good Enough For Him But For El Patr N, Lord Of A Country Called Opium A Strip Of Poppy Fields Lying Between The US And What Was Once Called Mexico Matt Is A Guarantee Of Eternal Life El Patr N Loves Matt As He Loves Himself For Matt Is Himself They Share Identical DNA This book is great because 1 It is a young adult book about, I kid you not, every social policy and ism you can think of drugs, slavery, cloning, classism, socialism, EVERYTHING2 I read all 400 or something pages in a day3 The story is really unique and I wasn t really sure what was going to happenAnyways, it is basically the story of the clone of the biggest drug lord in a country solely made up of drug farms A few people on the book s goodreads page mentioned that the writing was not amazing but, to tell the truth, I never really noticed And I read A lot Some of the female characters are a little bit annoying but that won t stop me from recommending this book to most of my reader friends. This book has been on my goodreads shelf since pretty much the beginning of time so why on earth have I been wasting my time with every other poorly constructed dystopian world instead of reading this I have absolutely no excuse I own a copy, it s won practically every award going, and all my reviewer friends have been constantly singing its praises Perhaps I am wayinfluenced by title and cover than I like to admit though there s nothing actually wrong with either, I still feel like this doesn t scream at me awesome dystopian setting interesting questions about what it means to be human It s good Really good If you liked Unwind, then you should also like this.I loved the setting Mexico and it was obvious to me that the author was very familiar with Mexican culture and legends, she incorporates a lot of this into the story I suppose one of the quickest ways to mess up your novel is to write about places and things you don t have a clue about, but I still really wishauthors would try to use different settings There s a whole world out there that I m not in a position to explore right now so I like to pretend I m there by visiting other countries in books Plus, is it that hard to do a little research on a country s culture, traditions and legends etc In The House of the Scorpion we are immediately introduced to a boy called Matt who is a clone that was grown in a cow and harvested The man who shares his DNA is El Patron, the extremely rich head of a huge opium empire and a man with the power to deliver to himself a longer than usual life with the help of clones Matt s relationship with El Patron is conflicted On one hand, Matt knows he is evil and corrupt he plants chips in people s heads to make them obey his orders without question but Matt also knows that El Patron is himself They are both intelligent and talented individuals, Matt acknowledges multiple times how alike the two people are But Matt is treated by others as an animal, they do not see how anything grown in a cow can be human and some of the treatment he endured really pissed me off, never mind the fact that his genetic make up is identical to El Patron s.Matt questions himself and the world around him throughout the book He finds it hard to believe that El Patron could possibly mean him harm because how could you harm yourself It s also a look at what makes someone human and how easy it is for people to dehumanize and convince themselves that a person is nothingthan an animal The House of the Scorpion, in my opinion, could only be improved by removing that chunk of story after view spoiler Matt escapes hide spoiler This is one of the almost perfect books written for young adults It is an exciting story that will keep you turning the pages, but it also makes you think about the world we live in It is a Newbery and Printz honor book and winner of the National Book Award.In the House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer tells the story of Matt, the clone of 142 year old El Patron, dictator of Opium, a country between the United States and Aztlan In Opium, clones have one purpose, to extend the lives of those whose DNA they possess by providing them with a source for spare parts The brains of most other clones are destroyed at birth, but Matt s is left intact on the orders of El Patron At the beginning of the novel, Matt knows none of these things He is cared for in isolation by El Patron s cook, Celia, who loves him He only becomes aware that he is different from other people when he becomes a resident at El Patron s estate where he is viewed not as a human, but as an unclean animal without a soul Matt is educated and lives in luxury, but is looked on with disgust by most of the estate s inhabitants The exceptions are Celia, El Patron s bodyguard Tam Lin, and Maria, one of the children who discovered him These three people see the humanity in him and teach him to be a good person.Farmer does a masterful job of creating the world that Matt lives in from the cloning technology to the old fashioned ways on the estate which is designed to replicate the Mexico of El Patron s youth over 100 years ago El Patron has made his fortune capturing Mexicans attempting to cross the border into the United States and using them to grow opium To ensure that they don t escape, implants in their brains make them completely devoid of free will to the extent that they will not eat or drink without being told to do so The threat of being turned in to one of these eejits is sufficient to allow El Patron to control others The reader s interest is sustained by discovering along with Matt and from his point of view, the workings Opium, his purpose in life, and his ultimate fate With the help of Celia and Tam Lin, he escapes to Aztlan where he is no longer treated as subhuman, but is captured and forced to labor with other orphans under the control of guards called keepers who relentlessly practice behavioral control methods to keep the young workers at the plankton factory in line This is a coming of age story with a difference.House of the Scorpion is a chilling story because Farmer portrays a world that just may be possible Cloning is already a reality There are people in today s world just as invisible to the larger society as the orphans Child slavery exists Environmental degradation is occurring Matt s escape from his future as a clone gives that reader hope that good will prevail in this world as well. A really hit and miss book, with some terrific ideas and terrible plotting.The main character, Matt, is a clone of the world s biggest drug kingpin, the 140 year old El Patron Matt lives in El Patron s sprawling estate and is hated by most of the residents there, aside from his care taker Celia and El Patron himself, who is raising Matt for his own sinister reasons Soon, these reasons are revealed and Matt s only hope is to escape.This felt like it should have been at least twice as long The author, Nancy Farmer has developed an intriguing world, extrapolating from the US and Mexico s current problems with drugs, illegal immigration, and pollution, and also addresses ethical and legal issues around cloning However, as compelling as this world is, it never feels real or adequately developed, and she has a ridiculous habit of explaining important aspects of how the world she has created operates at just the time they become pertinent to the plot The characters are a mixed bag as well they re likable and believable except when they re not, and turn from fully realized creations to cardboard cut outs whenever they have to do something that advances the story.This isn t to say that I didn t like the book, necessarily It was a great coming of age story, and I think that young teenagers will really enjoy the characters and the action This book also won a whole mess of awards, which admittedly may color my reaction to it I just wish thattime had been spent developing the characters, the world, and the mess of ideas that were introduced.
Nancy was born in 1941 in Phoenix and grew up in a hotel on the Arizona Mexico border where she worked the switchboard at the age of nine She also found time to hang out in the old state prison and the hobo jungle along the banks of the Colorado River She attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, earning her BA in 1963 Instead of taking a regular job, she joined the Peace Corps and was sent to
- 380 pages
- The House of the Scorpion
- Nancy Farmer
- 27 March 2017 Nancy Farmer