This book is likely my all-time favorite book I have ever read. It was first read to me as a child, and since then I have read it a good dozen times. This audio version was not a disappointment at all. I liked the narration, and the story itself still gives me goose bumps each time I listen. A terrific story for all ages, though there is a bit of violence and language, but noting as bad as a PG-13 rated movie. I can’t rave enough over this book, so I shall leave it at that, totally worth the credit!!!
Drama teacher and Sci-Fi/Fantasy fan
Unfortunately, I came to Orson Scott Card as a young man in my twenties. I wish Ender had been given to me as a 7th grader. So, as a 7th grade teacher, I began teaching this novel to my gifted class.
First, a note on narration. The chapters begin with a "cast" of speakers, but once the reader begins, the only complaint I have is there was a slight sarcastic tone to his voice. At times the reader used very little emotion. That said, the narration is not bad at all, it just takes some getting used to.
Ender is a complex CHILD, and I stress the word child because it is so easy to forget that you are reading about a pre-pubescent boy. His brother and sister, Peter and Valentine, are also very well characterized with plenty of "literary" stuff that you can deconstruct about each of them. At first the adults come across as manipulative, but some of them redeem themselves through the book. The plot is well paced, enjoyable on a surface level, but what makes the plot so good is that a reader can dig DEEP into implications regarding the Buggers and interstellar war. So the book becomes less about a boy becoming soldier and more about a government using children for its own purposes. Likewise, the poignancy of the ending could be lost on younger readers.
This is a book that needs to be introduced at a young age and then read again as an adult.
Well, what can I say that hasn't been said? If you can get over 6 year olds who talk like they're 30 this is a really great book. It's narrarated very well, but more importantly, it's written in a way that lends itself to being read aloud.
Just from looking at the title the book did not seem interesting at all. I promised my students that I would read the book and share my discovery with them. First, I read numerous reviews and became discouraged. One reader mentioned something about sexual abuse and naked boys. I don't know what he was reading, all I know is that it wasn't Ender's Game. There is one scene in the book where a Ender was taking a shower after war games. His team had won the games where the odds were against him. Ender and his team had to battle to military teams at once. While he was in the shower a boy who led another team comes in to fight him. Ender beats the boy and leaves him bleeding on the floor in the shower. The only part I didn't like is how the children were taken from their parents as toddlers. The military wanted to see if they would be intelligent enough to fight against the Buggers. If they were rejected, they were returned to their parents to live a normal life. If they were considered a genius, they were sent to military school to be trained to fight in the war against the Buggers.
This was a fantastic story. Really well read by a few different narrators.
The man who was acting out most of the kids didn't speak a lot like kid which I found hard.
Loved it but quite a dark story line.
Say something about yourself!
I must admit, listening to this book was long overdue. Somehow, though the years, I have put off reading, or in this case listening to, this book. It is a masterpiece. I wholeheartedly recommend this to any and all. Even though it is a sci-fi piece, it will be enjoyed by readers of all types. It interlaces the age old comming of age story with aspects which will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this work is that most of it occures in the mind of Ender; the hero of the story. Don't put it off as I did...read it now.
Now the question is what order to read the books in. The author, Orson Scott Card recommends reading in the same order he wrote them in.
The Ender books:
Speaker for the Dead, by far my favorite and could be read and enjoyed without reading any of the others – these next three books happen two thousand of years after all Ender and all the Bean books.
Children of the Mind
The Bean series
Shadow of the Hegemon
Shadow of the Giant
A War of Gifts – not part of Ender or Bean series story line. Christmas in Battle school where one of the children solders gives presents. If you loved the dynamics of battle school in Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow this is a good read.
Ender in Exile – Takes place within the latter part of Ender’s Game to fill in between xxx and xxx, I don’t want to toss in a spoiler. It also encompasses all 4 Bean Shadow books.
First Meetings: In the Enderverse – 4 short stories including the original short story Ender’s list, a couple back stories on his Parents and one more short about black mail.
If you wanted to read by time line start with Ender’s Game then the 4 Bean Shadow books. Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide & Children of the Mind could be last. It is worth noting that they are very different form the other books; Battle School is vague memory, grown up ender is no longer the child hero.
All the books have excellent production and are well read by a full cast.
One more thing about Ender’s Game; the first time I listened I thought that the book was really over and the author was just filling in time for the last hour. Boy was I wrong and I ruined it for my self. It was only after I started Speaker for the Dead did I realize what Card did at the end.
I do not believe the series is finished. Hopefully there will be another book that takes place after Children of the Mind.
Another reviewer was offended by the nudity in this book. Umm...what? There was mention of nudity but nothing even remotely sexual or offensive or even worth mentioning. I read this story when I was a teenager and loved it then. I have to agree with OSC that listening to it was even better. Do yourself a favor. If you haven't read any of this author's books, start with this one. It's worth the credit.
I was thoroughly engaged in this story from the beginning. The character development and story line are excellent. This is truly a great read that you don't want to miss. I highly recommend this to anyone that has not already read or heard it!