'Speaker for the Dead' is just about as good as storytelling gets. If Shakespeare had written scifi then he would have told a story like this.
If 'Ender's Game' is a coming of age story then "Speaker" is a redemption story. At this time in my life I relate more to the redemption story.
'Ender's Game' needed to keep the Buggers at a distance in order to setup plausibility that the very self aware Wiggin could justify xenocide. However 'Speaker' was much more satisfying in its portrait of the alien species known as Piggies.
When it comes to the audiobook performance this cast does a top notch job of bringing the characters to life with drama and humor.
I've read the book before but struggled with it because it is so different from its predecessor, but ultimately I enjoyed it. I decided to try it again in audiobook format to see the story from another perspective. I enjoyed the story better the second time since I missed some of the nuance in reading it.
The narration style was a bit odd to me. I enjoyed hearing different narrators voice the different characters, but some were better than others. Additionally there were times that dramatic music played behind the narration. I think it was supposed to highlight the tension or importance of the scene, but it felt out of place due to its sudden appearance and abrupt end. There was also a chapter that started with a female narrarator voicing male and female dialog, then halfway through switched to the female voicing the female's dialog and a male voicing the male's dialog then towards the end the male narrarator voiced the female and male dialog.
Still it's a great book and an enjoyable listening experience.
Simple: just use one narrator. That's it. Easy. If the voice actor can do different voices for each character: fantastic. If not, no problem, just have a solid, expressive reading in a single voice.
I should point out here that there was a big cast of voice actors in this recording, probably half a dozen. What I can't understand is why they didn't have each actor do a different character (or set of characters if the actor can do different voices/accents). Instead, most of the time it would be a single actor reading continuously, playing the narrator and all of the characters, sometimes with slight voice modulations to differentiate the sex of the character. Then it would jarringly switch to a different actor, still acting all of the characters and the narrator. Very odd. Then sometimes, there would be dialogue between two different actors. It's almost as though they didn't (or only rarely) have the budget to have more than one voice actor in the studio at a time. Which is fine: refer to my suggestion in the paragraph above.
Also, there was absolutely no need for the spacey/synthy sci-fi crescendos that I'm guessing were meant to punctuate particularly poignant paragraphs. They didn't succeed. They were just distracting.
Story-wise, Speaker for the Dead is a Science Fiction novel with a strong lean towards biology/genetics/evolution and also a good deal of theology/morality/philosophy in it. I really don't know another book to compare it to. If anyone else does know of more biology sci-fi I'd live to hear it.
Doesn't matter, they were both ok I think. Most of the narrators were good on their own. It just would have been much better to pick only one and go with it. See above for further explanation.
This book makes me curious about the world and the universe, occasional a little frustrated and overall confused that this book, with all of its pretty bang on (although, obviously, fictional) genetics/biology and evolutionary references, was written by a fundamentalist...? Anyway, I may be misunderstanding Orson Scott Card, or Fundamental Christianity, or quite possibly both, but regardless, this story is awesome.
But the recording was not good.
I read enders game and enjoyed the development of the book
Speaker of the dead took me for a loop I couldn't find out how this book would go every page that would pass always surprised on it
Unlike Enders game I discovered that my prediction was right this book my prediction all wrong
I love how Scott-Cards' mind works & how he presents his concepts & beliefs in his literature.
I have saved, copied & pasted paragraphs out of his books that touch on subjects I totally relate too. Scott-Card is a very conscience being who gives great life lessons through his literary works.
Thank you Scott-Card, keep it coming!
I read Enders Game it was good. Kept me interested enough to get this book! Absolutely love it! I have never read Sc Fy before these books, can't wait to listen to the 3rd book!!