The House of the Scorpion Prime – Batdongsanhoian.co
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. One of the best young adult novels I ve ever read. 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 that time had been spent developing the characters, the world, and the mess of ideas that were introduced. The House of the Scorpion is really unlike any YA middle grade book I ve ever read It s extremely philosophical and thought provoking, covering topics of the soul, identity, and human rights in a very intriguing way.It takes place in some distant future where there is a land between the U.S and Mexico that grows poppies for opium The main character Matt is a clone of the leader of the nation named El Patron El Patron seems kind and generous, giving his clone an education and privileges that other clones are not usually afforded But as Matt gets older he begins to learn about his life and his country s history that conflicts with what he has been told.It s a tale of coming of age set against a survival dystopian storyline with really complex material I would be wary of giving this book to young readers, as it can be a bit graphic at times and deals with some sensitive issues But I can imagine reading this book in middle school and having really great discussions surrounding it.Apparently there is a sequel that I was told you don t have to read to get the whole story, but I m very curious to see what happens next So I plan on picking that one up eventually.For fans of The Chaos Walking Trilogy and other dystopian sci fi survival stories, this is a really great read, and I would recommend it. I HATED IT, and hated it on so many levels I truly do not know where to begin.First of all, I will acknowledge one aspect of the story that I found positive This is the story of Matt, a clone Matt is raised in a shack on the opium plantation of drug lord, El Patron He is El Patron s clone, grown for the purpose of being spare body parts for El Patron In this world the near future , clones are considered property, livestock The embroyos are implanted in cows, so the people of this world have come to the conclusion that anything born from cows is not human After they are born, their brains are purposely damaged so that the people can further consider these clones as beasts instead of human abominations of nature This campaign of dehumanization has resonance throughout history The Jews, the enslaved Africans in America, any person of possible Arab descent today.all of these races have undergone a campaign of dehumanization Those in power subtly manipulated the general population until that population was able to excuse widespread cruelty in their own minds We always look at those historical periods with disgust and wonder how anyone could ever accept that level of cruelty, and yet it happens over and over again throughout history.A few reasons why I did NOT like this novel 1 The author cannot seem to find her main point or theme If her theme is the importance of individuality, I think she fails The book ends with something that complete negates a theme that highlights the importance of individuality so it can t be that.2 The author s knowledge of cloning is all wrong She attempts to sway her audience against the entire IDEA without fully understanding the concept Clones would not be exact copies of their DNA donors Environment is almost as largely responsible for who we are as our DNA is At one point, I think she is going to explore this knowledge further, but I ended up being convinced that she just doesn t KNOW that even PHYSICAL traits are affected by environmental factors Fingerprints are even affected by the force and pressure of things happening in the womb Identical twins have the same DNA, and yet they are not identical The same basic principles apply to clones So, the thing that happens at the endimpossible 3 The plot is all over the place It has no direction.4 The characterizations are flat The emotions are hollow The reader has no background for anyone, or sense of setting.5 The author breaks the cardinal rule of writing Show Don t tell She tells and tells and tells, but never SHOWS us anything For instance, we are TOLD that the character of Steven is okay He s apparently the one character in this drug lord s family that is not evil Yet, we are not SHOWN this Why is Steven okay How does Matt know this Then, when Steven betrays Matt, are we supposed to be appalled We have no emotional attachment to Steven Why did we think he WOULDN T betray Matt 6 Like I said, there is no continuity No over arching theme After leaving the compound, Matt goes to another country Once there it seems that this story is devolving into a diatribe on socialism Which, irritated me INCREDIBLY I couldn t be sick of this evils of socialism storyline However, at least going on about socialism was giving this novel a POINT YET, it didn t commit to the evil socialism theme It turned out that the government was something else entirely So, I don t know what that bit about the socialist orphanage was It was completely out of place.Then.the story devolved further.and went a place that left me completely flummoxed and angry that I wasted my time with this horrible written dreck Matt at one point says I was, quite literally, the underdog Oh really Ms Author Was he LITERALLY an underdog Not figuratively.Ultimately, I am most angry that this type of fiction is winning awards That our children are assigned badly written propaganda to read in high school English instead of quality literature. As seen on The ReadventurerFlannery made me do it and I am pleased that she did I have no idea why I ve been avoiding The House of the Scorpion for so long Just look at its accolades National Book Award Winner, Printz Honoree, Newbery Honoree It practically has my name written on it.But, is The House of the Scorpion worth such an overwhelming acclaim though I d say, its first 215 pages and the last 20 are ebook edition.The first two thirds of the book are riveting This story is not just a clone story For some reason, the majority of stories about clones focus on exactly the same things Yes, it is horrifying in how it examines the familiar debate about a clone s humanity and soulless ful ness Matt is a clone and is defined by people around him as livestock, a source of body parts, and not a human being How can he be human if he was grown in and harvested from a cow Nancy Farmer takes Matt s character on a journey of self discovery and self awareness that allows him to accept that he is not what he is told he is, that he is as much of a human being as any person around him It is a compelling journey, even though its sentiment isn t particularly new to me I ve read Never Let Me Go and watched The Island.But, thankfully, there is to distinguish The House of the Scorpion from similar stories.First, the novel is set in Mexico well, a future version of it This country s life is written richly and authentically and never feels like just an exotic backdrop I am no expert on Mexican culture though, so I might have felt that in awe of it as portrayed in The House of the Scorpion because of the narrator of the audio, who infused Mexican flavor into the story most organically.Second, this is a story of a drug lord and his enslaved family El Patr n feels he is owed a few generations worth of life, and he will stop at nothing to get what he thinks he is entitled to Cloning is a part of his plan for immortality It s in Matt s relationship with his master and owner where the story shines the most How would a clone feel about the person who is identical to him, the source of his life Would he be able to hate him, essentially hating himself If a clone s genetic make up is similar to that of a ruthless criminal, does it mean that this clone is destined to follow the same path and become the same vicious person Or is there a way to break away from the prototype And how would a master feel about his own clone Would it be possible for him to treat this younger version of himself as an organ bank, or there exists a connection that is closer than even that between a father and a child These questions had my brain working, and this part of the book was 5 star material for me.But then came the escape part, in the last third of the book, and I found myself struggling with it I was bored, I didn t feel like those pages 3 months of Matt s life worth connected well thematically with the overreaching story arc, I didn t think they were necessary, I didn t think that a whole set of new characters including villains needed to be introduced so late in the story, and I surely didn t think that anti socialist rants needed to come into play How did they relate to Matt s journey I thought, those pages only occupied time with no real bearing on the rest of the novel To me, those 80 pages could have been completely cut out.Thankfully, the ending did save The House of the Scorpion It happens so infrequently in books, but it did bring the story full circle to El Patr n, and it was satisfying But that big chunk of the novel, unfortunately, made me much less willing to recommend it, even though during the first part of the book I kept thinking this novel would be a great fit for fans of Unwind I might reread The House of the Scorpion in future, but I ll be sure to skip over a big part of it. 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 DUMBEST BOOK EVER Recommended to me by my teenaged son, the book had a promising start and an interesting middle, but it all kind of fell apart towards the end and finished with a very unsatisfying ending I liked the ideas presented about prejudice and predetermination vs self determination, and about the relative values of evil The book is chock full of evil doers, some of whom are despicable, some of whom are loved, and one, the most interesting character of them all, Tam Lin, who is a compelling mixture of sin and repentance, loyalty and betrayal, an evil doer who also manages to be a good man.It felt like after presenting all her ideas and laying out the moral dilemmas, the author kind of ran out of steam and dashed off an ending that, I suppose, she figured would tie up all the loose ends, but really leaves just about everything hanging.For instance, in a workhouse orphanage setting that makes the Dickens orphans look positively privileged at least they get genuine gruel , we are let to believe that all abuses will be corrected once one of the orphans manages to get word out that they are being mistreated I guess the world would be a much better place than is portrayed in this book or in reality, for that matter if that was all it took to overcome evil and corruption. 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.