In an allegory, characters are often straight forward with little depth to them. That is the way Christian is in this timeless tale from John Bunyan, originally published in 1678. Nevertheless, he does grow and change as he advances in his journey toward the Celestial City. I really loved this story, and I think I liked the second half, the story of Christian's wife, Christiana, and her own journey with their four sons, even better than the first. This book is easy to understand and has many lessons for life contained in it, and presented in a way that won't be soon forgotten. I will read and listen to it agina.
If you are old enough to remember the movie "M*A*S*H", then you will recognize that "M*A*S*H" was obviously based on this book. A "Catch 22" is a conundrum, a problem that when solved creates another problem that when solved takes you back to the first problem. There is no way out of it. This book is full of Catch 22s. It is very funny, but also very crude in many places. If you remember "MASH," that fact doesn't need to be explained. I think basically what it's all about is poking fun at the seriousness of war and of the military, things that aren't inherently funny, but that sometimes need to be made fun of so that those intimately involved with it can survive . . . or try to survive. That is the basis of this book.
I remember way back in the '70s when "MASH" was on TV as a series. A neighbor came over and asked my husband if he had been in the service. Because of a high school injury, my husband's draft status was the coveted 4F - undraftable, but we had seen every episode of "MASH" at least once. So our neighbor went on to tell us that being in the army was just like "MASH." He laughed so hard at it - even harder than we did, and we thought it was pretty funny. Of course, this book has its serious moments and its moral lesson to draw, and those are really what make it worth reading. This book is not for the faint of heart, and because of that I can't recommend it to everyone. Read the reviews and the summary. You'll know if it is for you.
Jay O. Sanders does an outstanding job of narrating this book. He sounds a whole lot like Peter Schikele, though, and I almost expected him to start talking about PDQ Bach. hahaha Just a little musical observation.
This book has sat on my shelf since the days when I taught reading to 6th and 7th graders. I never got around to reading it then, but recently decided I was ready to take it on, especially since I could listen to it. I'm not the world's biggest sci-fi fan, but occasionally I really like to read it. This is a book easily understood and followed, unlike a lot of sci-fi, which may be why I don't often read it. Having to learn a whole new existence is hard work. I enjoyed this story a lot. I saw a lot of symbolism in it which always makes a book interesting to me. I could empathize with Ender right from the very start, and he became, if not dear to me, at least someone I could care about. It is great to read a book by a fellow Utahn, especially someone like Orson Scott Card who has made it big time with his writing. I'm not sure if I will read/listen to another book in this series, but I am not discounting it.