I have to now rate this as probably my all time favorite book. I can't believe I never heard of it until I found it randomly searching for a good listen on Audible. Besides Mr. Card's excellent story and writing, this audible version also has the best narration of any I've heard. The multiple narrators provided style more attributable to a radio play than the normal "reading" style of most of the other audible books. A definite pleasure!
I can't remember when I've enjoyed a science fiction book more. The writing is great, but it's the ideas behind the writing that will keep you up at night. My only warning to readers is that you might not want to stop listening.
Although I do not like how the book tries to be a prequel for the next book in the series, which I do not plan to read or hear, it stands on its own.
The story will grip you until the buggers are vanquished and then turns back on itself in regret and setting up the next book in the series.
However, if the ending were left as the buggers as evil and human kind's xenocide as good then I think it would be all to one dimensional (akin to startroopers) a portrayal.
I think even self serving as it is, the authors attempt to turn this book into to a prequel, it serves to give further emotional dimensions to the characters.
A 5 star read/listen for sure!!
An excellent reading of a science fiction classic. The use of multiple voices and a semi-dramatic reading make this a very good listen and enhance an already good story. The story is compelling, if slightly taxing on our ability to suspend disbelief, but you start to care so much about the main character that you can overlook some of the hard to swallow parts.
I frankly, never heard of Orson Scott Card, not being a big reader of science fiction for many
decades, but he has changed my mind.
Regardless of genre, he iss, in my mind, a writer's writer! Anyone who wants to know, hear and feel what truely good writing is and especially anyone who wants to write fiction, really needs to listen to this book. There are no efforts to impress the reader with one's extensive and exhaustive vocabulary... something which only flaunts a writers ego (and strokes a reader's sense of pseudo intelligence) and adds little or nothing to any work I have ever read or listened to. There is no author ego polluting the story. It is all about plot and character development. It is the clean and transparent creation of an alternate and temporary reality... and after all, isn't that what fiction is ultimately about! There are furthermore no distractions of unnecessary diversions and dialogue (as in mr. koontz on occassion and sadly, stephen king, recently in Cell).
And most important, most books fail with dissapointing or poor endings (Mr. King's weakest point), this ending is genius. It finishes the story and leaves open the door for anticipating sequells. Whereas other's leave me feeling like i am watching black and white reruns of "to be continued next week," one leaves this book feeling like one has just completed a grand feast... full and fully satisfied.
It was with great interest as I listened to the author at the end of the book talking about why he wanted to write and how he approaches writing. His understanding of what makes bad writing and what makes good writing closely parallels the evolutions of my own thoughts on the topic... even though I am but a mere listener. The entire anniversay edition, including the author's epilogue is worthy of a segment of any advanced writer's training program. If i could give this 10 stars i wouldn't hesitate a moment to do so. Bravo! (albeit nearly 30 years late)
Orson Scott Card is an excellent writer and this rendition of the book is A grade material.
What a twisted ending!
As the first book in an epic story, it stands quite well on it's own. This is a story about treachery, survival, the will to live against all odds. You can take it at the surface if you want. But it's got layers of depth to its ideas. It presents some deep philosophical questions about the individual versus group, society and mass mind, survival of the fittest as an individual versus as a group, humans versus aliens. I beleive Card has been educated on key biological concepts by the greats like Darwin, Huxley, Gould, Dawkins and he's applied them on a biological and social level in this book. I was very pleased that this book is more than just a light hearted story. In the spirit of great science fiction, Card has successfully woven in scientific theory and concepts on many levels... the book has scientific theories applied on technological, individual and social levels. It has "what-if's" on what can be technologically. But it goes beyond and interweaves all this with a truely rolicking adventure that includes drama and a twisted surpise. Card even threw in difficult questions on what is right and wrong.... and spiced it all up with added treachery and trickery. The personalities he developes through all this are clear as a bell. After reading this book, I KNOW Peter, Valentine, Ender and even Dr. Graff. I could identify with the characters. This is a book I can relate to and one I'll be thinking about for quite a while. It's definitely on my re-read (or relisten) list for a couple of years from now.
Thank you Mr. Card for writing this. I can't wait to read more about Ender Wiggens.