The House of the Scorpion

  • by Nancy Farmer
  • Narrated by Raul Esparza
  • 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Allison

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.
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- Sherry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-23-2009
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio