From the unique combination of the timelessness of an old and seemingly forgotten world deftly mixed with the futuristic reality of a brave new world comes a chilling tale of ethics and mortality that is thought provoking and macabre, and yet strangly fascinating...Is this the way of the future? Matt is six years old when he discovers that he is ...
From the unique combination of the timelessness of an old and seemingly forgotten world deftly mixed with the futuristic reality of a brave new world comes a chilling tale of ethics and mortality that is thought provoking and macabre, and yet strangly fascinating...Is this the way of the future? Matt is six years old when he discovers that he is different from other children, from other people. To most people Matt isn't a boy, but a beast, dirty and disgusting. But to El Patron, lord of a country called Opium, Matt is the guarantee of eternal life. El Patron loves Matt as he loves himself - for Matt is himself. They share the same DNA. As Matt struggles to understand his existence and what that existence trully means, he is threatened by a host of sinister and manipulating characters, from El Patron's power-hungry family to the brain-deadened eejits and mindless slaves that toil Opium's poppy fields. Surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards, Matt longs for escape. But even escape is no guarantee of freedom because Matt is marked but his difference in ways that he doesn't even suspect.
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futuristic...with cloning as the "norm" for rich people...poor people as always the peasants....the dilema comes from the clone's point of view...wonderful book,,,unusually dark and realistic for a young adults book...but thought provoking all-the-same....April M
Sep 23, 2009
I loved The House of the Scorpion. It is science fiction that reads like an adventure story, with edge-of-your-seat plot twists and captivating suspense. Farmer does an excellent job of creating vibrant, believable characters and showing both the good and bad traits of each one. I devoured every chapter, and I loved the twist at the end.
Feb 21, 2009
House of Scorpion - STING ME!
Wow! What an adventure(s)! Nancy Farmer is brilliant in exposing controversial issues in a colorful, very alive, action packed novel. Written for a young teen audience... well maybe. Adults of any age will be captivated.
Topics exposed include; cloning, racism, prejudice, drug abuse, and government mind control. The characters are so real they seem to walk off the page.
Oct 31, 2007
A terrific book for all ages!
I read this book years ago and I'm still reading it. The story line is riveting; you can't put it down. It's also unexpected, and some parts may really surprise you. Even though it's about a young boy, the issues it explores make it really interesting. This book is set in the future, and the author has an interesting idea of how the world would be like. It's not like Brave New World or 1984 that are a bit 'extreme', it's more realistic. The boy, Matteo Alacran, is a very unique protagonist. He's a clone, for starters, and he lives in a country that's actually ruled by a drug lord, which is present-day Mexico. The book forces you to wonder about the morality of cloning people, and once we clone them, what do we do with them? What is the purpose of a clone? The author makes other predictions about the future world, such as Nigeria being No.1 because of its diamonds. Anyway, this book is really cool and will make you think about it long after you read it. I always tell the story orally to people who I know can't be bothered to read it, and they're always mesmerized! The author's style is really good too. It's impossible to describe this book as 'boring'.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-07-08 Farmer's (A Girl Named Disaster; The Ear, the Eye and the Arm) novel may be futuristic, but it hits close to home, raising questions of what it means to be human, what is the value of life, and what are the responsibilities of a society. Readers will be hooked from the first page, in which a scientist brings to life one of 36 tiny cells, frozen more than 100 years ago. The result is the protagonist at the novel's center, Matt a clone of El Patron, a powerful drug lord, born Matteo Alacr n to a poor family in a small village in Mexico. El Patro n is ruler of Opium, a country that lies between the United States and Aztl n, formerly Mexico; its vast poppy fields are tended by eejits, human beings who attempted to flee Aztl n, programmed by a computer chip implanted in their brains. With smooth pacing that steadily gathers momentum, Farmer traces Matt's growing awareness of what being a clone of one of the most powerful and feared men on earth entails. Through the kindness of the only two adults who treat Matt like a human Celia, the cook and Matt's guardian in early childhood, and Tam Lin, El Patron's bodyguard Matt experiences firsthand the evils at work in Opium, and the corruptive power of greed ("When he was young, he made a choice, like a tree does when it decides to grow one way or the other... most of his branches are twisted," Tam Lin tells Matt). The author strikes a masterful balance between Matt's idealism and his intelligence. The novel's close may be rushed, and Tam Lin's fate may be confusing to readers, but Farmer grippingly demonstrates that there are no easy answers. The questions she raises will haunt readers long after the final page. Ages 11-14. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2004-05-17 In our Best Books citation, PW wrote, "In this eerily realistic depiction of society 100 years hence, the wealthy class harvests the organs of clones to prolong their lives. Farmer explores vital and soul-searching questions about what it means to be human." Ages 11-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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