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The House of the Scorpion Hardcover – Sep 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (Sept. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689852223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689852220
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 726 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #156,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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In the beginning there were thirty-six of them, thirty-six droplets of life so tiny that Eduardo could see them only under a microscope. Read the first page
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By Rose TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 9 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I almost didn't read this book. It has an ugly title with an uglier cover, but I read the synopsis and was intrigued.

The story takes place in the future when cloning technology has been perfected. The world described is not what I think of as futuristic though. There is abundant pollution, the drug trade is thriving and the rich prey on the poor. It's like now but worse. The protagonist is Matt, whom we meet when he is just a small boy. He is a clone of an incredibly wealthy and powerful drug lord, although he doesn't learn this fact until he is around six years old. Clones are despised in this world. Thought of as livestock, mostly for the fact that their brains are altered to keep them in a zombie-like state. They are around only for the spare parts they can provide to their owners. This doesn't happen to Matt. He is allowed to really live even if it's not supposed to be for long.

It's certainly a book for discussion. There are many topics that would be cause for arguments - religion, drugs, cloning, slavery. The author provides both sides of the argument in many cases. It's written quite well and I found it hard to put down. I might have to get the next book in the series soon. I really liked Matt and I'm interested in finding out if he's able to turn things around in his little part of the world.
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Format: Paperback
By now most of have either read I, Robot the book written by Isaac Asimov or have seen the movie which was made a few years back starring Will Smith. That was one of a series of books which explored the ethics of intelligent creatures being created by humankind to serve as their tools. It harked back to an even earlier dilemma of using human slaves to do our bidding.
Nancy Farmer has written a book which addresses our current desires to live longer by harvesting organs from people who have died in order to prolong our own lives. It's a slippery slope and a huge moral concern. Are we just human meat and thus parts to be harvested? And should we strive to live longer than the parts we are born with are able to last? Today we have the ability to create clones in Petri dishes and implant them into any animal or human to gestate and be born, but should we?
The House of the Scorpion is written from the viewpoint of a boy who is the clone of a man who was 140 years old at the time of his birth. Although he knows from early on that he is a clone and is thus ostracized by human society, he believes that because he is being educated and did not have his mind altered at birth, there has to be a higher purpose for him than as a spare parts factory for El Patron.
This book is written in a fast paced easy to read style which grips you from the beginning and makes you want to see if he can escape his fate and if he does, how will he use his life. Will he be a copy of the selfish. dictator El Patron? Or can he become his own person and develop his own conscience and morals? The imagined world of the future is a not so fantastic take on what may be the ultimate fate of North America.
Well written and a great read.
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By "suddke" on June 10 2004
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book over and over again and not getting the least bit bored, I realized that this was my favorite book ever. The sad thing is, I don't even own it. Once again...all hail Nancy Farmer.
Books I reccomend:
The Ear The Eye and The Arm
Halo: The Fall of Reach
VISIT NFSUCLAN.CJB.NET!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tess Lenon on Dec 13 2005
Format: Paperback
Nancy Farmer, the author of "House of the Scorpion", was born in 1941 and is a three time Newbury Award winner. Some of her other famous works are "The Sea of Trolls", "A Girl Named Disaster" and "The Ear, the Eye and the Arm". She currently lives in Menlo Park, California along with her family. Farmer grew up in same sweltering, desert plains the novel is set in, giving her a sense of comfort and originality, which reflects into the novel. The time the story is set in is not stated, but it is clearly a science fiction novel. Technology is used very casually, but pales to our level of technology showing that the society of has been advanced for an extremely long time.
Matt is a normal boy, he likes the same things as every typical boy his age, but he has felt branded all his life for being a clone. His predecessor, Matteo Alacran, is a man who is only out to benefit himself. He grants Matt everything he wants trying to make up for the bad childhood he once had. Matteo Alacran or El Patron, as he is also called, is often related to a pale, blood-sucking vampire, a description of which he in fact proud of. Matt only has a handful of true friend's but they are with him through thick and thin. There is Celia, the kind Spanish woman who raised Matt from an infant; she shares a special bond with Matt that nobody can break. She calls him "Me Vida" which means 'my world' in Spanish. Tam Lin and Maria are two other supporting characters and extensions of Matt's makeshift family tree. Tam Lin is Matt's bodyguard and never leaves his side. Although cold towards Matt at first he eventually becomes a close companion, teaching him all he needs to know on survival and friendship.
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