Audiobook Review - House of the Scorpion (read by Robert Ramirez)

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Road to Manhood by Michiru Oshima [Fullmetal Alchemist soundtrack].


His DNA came from El Patrón, 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 a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster -- except for El Patrón. El Patrón 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 Patrón'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 Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.

This was one of the first audiobooks I really enjoyed. Robert Ramirez's voice is smooth and has an excellent pacing, but what I really loved was how well he portrayed each of the characters. True, as with many male actors, he has a bit of difficulty in portraying the female characters, but this only really showed in Maria, and considering she is a young girl through most of the book, that is something I am willing to forgive. The rest of the characters are top notch, especially Matt (the main character), Celia, Tam Lin, and the evil El Patrón. And personally, I thought it was incredible how he was able to switch from a Scottish to Hispanic accent so easily. That was one of my favorite parts of this reading.

There is another, newer version out with Raul Esperanza as the narrator. I have not heard this one, but just so you are aware, there are two. The one with Robert Ramirez is from 2003, I think.

It's 12 disks long, but worth every minute. This was possibly the first audiobook that made me realize they were really fun to listen to.

(On a fun side note, I met* Mr. Ramirez one summer while watching a Shakespeare play he was in. I saw his name in the program, thought it had to be a coincidence. Nope, it wasn't).

**"meeting" as in, I saw him on stage. :)


Tere Kirkland said...

Can't weigh in on the audiobook, but I loved this book. Seriously. The premise is amazing and the execution really lives up to expectations. Plus, the characters are so well-written I felt like I knew them.

Thanks for sharing the House of the Scorpion love!

Rebecca Gomez said...

I agree. Great book!