View Full Version : The house of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
05-07-2010, 04:22 PM
Well, since I'm freshly returned to the site, I thought I'd do a book review about one of my best reads of 2010 thus far. The blurb at the back of the book is as follows:
Matteo Alacran was not born. He was harvested. His DNA came from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium -- a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri-dish. then he was placed in the womb of the cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to foetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster -- except El Patron loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.
As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patron's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacran Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.
This book caught my eye because of its deep red cover with a grainy picture of a scorpion on it, not to mention that it had one gold and two silver book awards printed on it. I wouldn't say that the science behind the plot is absolutely accurate, but accepting that and moving on, I found the characters to be very engaging and well-characterised. Matt, the main protagonist, for one, is realistically depicted from childhood to adolescence. There is an innocence about him that is immediately endearing, but as the story progresses and he begins to understand the truths about his own existence, it is almost sad to see this innocence being gradually eroded. Many important lessons Matt learns are through simple stories and analogies told to him by the other characters he interacts with, and the way he references them to suit certain situations can be hilarious at times, but serve to emphasise the ignorance of his age, making him entirely believable. I will not spoil the story by revealing his fate, but suffice to say it was a very entertaining read.
05-21-2010, 10:44 PM
I loved this book when I read it in seventh(?) grade. I can't remember all that happened, but I do remember that I absolutely loved it and devoured it. The plot was intriguing to me, and it made me quite sad at times because his obvious difference from the others around him. There were parts in it that surprised me, and then there were parts in it that, as I said before, made me quite sad. Altogether, I remember it as captivating and certainly one I would want to read again in the near future. >.> <.<
05-27-2010, 03:01 AM
I love this book! I remember reading it for a book competition (don't ask) around 7th grade, and I still love reading it. The plot is really interesting and it's not dumbed down to fit the target age group.
03-01-2011, 03:02 AM
Funny how no one here remembers specific plot points. Same as everyone else, I get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about this book. There's an appropriate touch of insanity, torture, and heartbreak. Also, The romance made sense to me, which is saying a lot. In fact, I used to say the book changed my life.
06-01-2011, 03:26 PM
I loved this book too. The biginning (in the big house) was soo sad. so was the ending. One of the best books out there because of the science that's both complex enough to seem real but is explained well enough so that even people like me understand it. :)
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.