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The House of the Scorpion | [Nancy Farmer]

The House of the Scorpion

When El Patrón dies at the age of 146,14-year-old Matt escapes Opium with the help of Celia and Tam Lin, his devoted bodyguard who wants to right his own wrongs. After a near misadventure in his escape, Matt makes his way back home and begins to rid the country of its evils.
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Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Young People's Literature, 2002

Matt is a clone of El Patrón, a powerful drug lord of the land of Opium, which is located between the United States and Mexico. For six years, he has lived in a tiny cottage in the poppy fields with Celia, a kind and deeply religious servant woman who is charged with his care and safety. He knows little about his existence until he is discovered by a group of children playing in the fields and wonders why he isn't like them. Though Matt has been spared the fate of most clones, who have their intelligence destroyed at birth, the evil inhabitants of El Patrón's empire consider him a "beast" and an "eejit."

When El Patrón dies at the age of 146,14-year-old Matt escapes Opium with the help of Celia and Tam Lin, his devoted bodyguard who wants to right his own wrongs. After a near misadventure in his escape, Matt makes his way back home and begins to rid the country of its evils.

©2004 Nancy Farmer; (P)2008 Simon and Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (222 )
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4.0 (139 )
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4.1 (138 )
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  •  
    Allison Kensington, NH, United States 04-21-10
    Allison Kensington, NH, United States 04-21-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Don't let the back dissuade you!"

    I was definitely not expecting to enjoy this book. The description was all about drug lords and clones and such, totally not my cup of tea. I was pleasantly surprised! This is a strange but interesting book about a boy coming of age. He is shunned by most of the people around him and treated like an animal because he is the clone of a very affluent and influential man (who just happens to be a drug lord). You'll be entranced once you start reading this futuristic book.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Austin, TX, United States 10-28-10
    Sherry Austin, TX, United States 10-28-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Best YA novel I've read in years"

    Go forward in time, a century or two, to a drug corridor that divides the US from Mexico, a center of narcotics production that supplies the world with narcotics. The most powerful of the drug lords is determined never to die so he relies on clones, fully conscious ones, to be there for him when the time comes. And the latest clone should ultimately end up like all the others, but this boy acquires, almost by accident, something the others never had, the love of the domestics charged with keeping him fed and unhurt.

    This is a marvelous work, read brilliantly by Raul Esparza (his reading of Under the Dome is also a must-listen). Farmer has thought through every detail of this story, and wisely leavened what would would be a despairing and mournful vision of the future with the undying fact of human love and inter-dependence. My teen got me to read this and it's the best thing she's done for me all year.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Sheffield Village, OH, United States 02-15-10
    Patricia Sheffield Village, OH, United States 02-15-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Very good listen"

    This book was pretty good. The only drawback was that the locations all seemed to have similar names. This made it harder to follow the story sometimes.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy ELON, NC, United States 12-21-10
    Cindy ELON, NC, United States 12-21-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surprise to enjoy it so much!"

    I am a forty-something science teacher who listened to this book on advice of some of my students. Enjoyed the plot, and enjoyed even more seeing what my brighter students are reading and how it relates to science. Many of the ideas have been said before, but not directly to this generation in this way. The story is a great distraction from everyday life, though the ending is fairly abrupt and too 'pat' for the intense plot that precedes it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aksblizzard 08-25-10
    aksblizzard 08-25-10 Listener Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "House of the Scorpion-Excellent Read!"

    My students loved listening to this audiobook as they followed along. Narrator does an excellent job or reading with prosody.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mila piedmont , CA, USA 12-06-12
    Mila piedmont , CA, USA 12-06-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ambitious, complex, and satisfying"
    Where does The House of the Scorpion rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a superb young adult novel that is a fun read for adult adults too. The narrator is wonderful, not surprising I guess since he is a Tony Award nominee. I was fully absorbed in this novel from the beginning. The dystopian world is fresh, and as the plot unfolds, new dimensions reveal themselves. I highly recommend this book!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Alexandria, Virginia, United States 11-22-12
    Amazon Customer Alexandria, Virginia, United States 11-22-12 Member Since 2011

    Concientious Consumer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredibly imaginative"
    If you could sum up The House of the Scorpion in three words, what would they be?

    Creative Futuristic


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where the boys were thrown into the bone pit was so well described that I felt I was there with them. I was holding my breath during the entire scene.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I couldn't put the book down. Unlike most books, there was no way of knowing where the story was going next. From the very beginning, the reader is being pulled along wondering what is going on and where is it leading.


    Any additional comments?

    Nancy Farmer has an incredible imagination, and I look forward to reading more of her books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-05-10
    08-05-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Great Book"

    I've read this book multiple times and listened to it many times also. It is a very good read and also enjoyable to listen. I would suggest this book to everyone; it has a great story and is very interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Gray Los Angeles, CA 07-18-14
    C. Gray Los Angeles, CA 07-18-14 Member Since 2014

    LA resident

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
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    "Perfect for that long car trip."
    Where does The House of the Scorpion rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the first ones I've listen to off of Audible, and it was quite good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This definitely had some unique ideas about humanity and cloning, drugs, family, segregation, and all that other good social commentary that makes sci-if so much fun to read.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Some of the character differentiation could've been a little stronger. But overall not bad.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I chose to read this book on a very long car trip between California and Texas, and back again. It was the most perfect place to be listening to this book. Since it was set in the very location I was driving through. Wonderful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 07-09-14
    Ryan 07-09-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Just like I remember it"
    Would you listen to The House of the Scorpion again? Why?

    I read It back in high school and it was such a good book that years later I wanted to read it again but since I work all the time it's hard to just sit down and read. Now I have audio books and its awsome


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably Matt since the story is about him, but I think that they need to write a book about el patron


    Which character – as performed by Raul Esparza – was your favorite?

    Did a excellent job on all of them


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Alot but I'm not gonna spoil it for people


    Any additional comments?

    Good book excellent read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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