Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
Although I really enjoyed this performance, I would only recommend it to those who have read or heard the original Ender's Game novel. liked it, and remember it. This version follows the basic plot fairly closely, but this is very much like listening to a long movie audio track - it's the story told with only dialog and sound effects. What you don't get it is OSC's wonderful prose with the symbolism woven through and the descriptions of the children, the battle school, the contests, etc. If you have read/heard the book and remember most of it, your brain will easily fill in the missing descriptions, but it wouldn't be as much fun without knowing the original story first. The original Ender's Game novel was entertaining and both poignant and thought-provoking. This Audioplay version is mostly entertaining - not as touching or provocative - but nothing wrong with that and I certainly don't regret the listen.
As expected, the audio for this version is first-rate - nicely produced, great narrators, and good quality sound throughout. I had only one issue. Most of the children's voices are done by young adults and they sound alright for boys and girls who are 10 or 12 or older. However many of the children in the book are only 8 and Ender is only 6 when the story begins and 11 at the end, yet in this Audioplay he sounds like he is at least a young teen throughout. It is hard to grasp the trauma done to that child when he doesn't sound like the really little kid he was in the story. Independent of how brilliant a child might be, a 6 year old will never sound like a teenager. The part of Bean is read by a women and she didn't sound quite right to me either.
Minor issue with the casting was not enough to interfere with my real enjoyment of the Audioplay. Recommended to all Ender fans.
I am musician and mom of several little musicians. Love good narrators. Love good stories. Love Audible.
First place, if we're just talking about audioPLAYS (like Zorro and the recent Gaiman). It's the most sophisticated audioplay style drama I have heard. The length (7 hours!!) itself puts it in a whole other category from basic radio drama, the sound effects and the rock solid performances make it a new kinda audio high for me. I love the fact that the author wrote this himself. It's different from the book cause the book is very internal, while this is very EXTERNAL. And yet, it retains the intimacy of the story; it's like you're a fly on the wall, eavesdropping on the whole story.
They were all very solid. Of the adults, Col. Graff was the best (he was the original Ender on the audiobooks I think). Ender (Kirby?) showed astonishing range; made me cry. Valentine was very moving, too. The villains were delightfully evil: Peter and Bonzo. My kids loved the villains. I loved the new British lady character. No one has mentioned the sound effects, which are AMAZING. OMG. When that door to the Battle Room opens, and you can actually FEEL the space. (Grammy winnerJanis Ian's Valentine theme is haunting, and all the music is very moving (not that synthesized stuff.) I looked up John Rubinstein (I'm a music teacher) who did the score; he's the son of freakin' ARTHUR Rubinstein!! BTW, I downloaded this at top quality, and on headphones, the sound is stunning. We have a family date night tonight to start listening to it together as a family, episode by episode. Popcorn and Ender!
Yes, yes, yes, as others have said, there are adults and women playing kids. But I suspect Card's writing is too sophisticated to find a dozen little kids to play them. Unlike other reviewers, I had no problem with women/adult voices. I thought they sounded wonderful. Like a musical ensemble; sort of Greek chorus mode. I thought the accents were well done, especially Alai and the head honcho East Indian Admiral. Can you imagine a bunch of real 12 year olds bungling Card's amazing dialogue? Please. And it's not like Bart Simpson acting, because that's a super hyped cartoon fake voice. This is drama. Plus, how do we know what kids will sound like in the future? I felt this was story-telling at it's best. It was awesome. YMMV.
And now, for something completely different.
Don't expect this to be the book. Don't expect it to be the original audiobook (I loved and still love the original audiobooks, too). Purists may have problems with this version. I foresee that there will be mega review "trolls" who hate it. I say, throw out all the 5 stars (like mine) and throw out all the one stars, and consider this audioplay as a nice solid 4 star. And don't compare it to anything else you've ever heard. It's a different animal. And a very sleek and sexy one. When's the next one??? ;0)
This version has been edited from the original version and become more streamlined with some of the finer details cut. I am sure that some of the purist will be disappointed with the edits and cuts but overall I still found the book to be enjoyable. It was like listening to an old time radio broadcast of a play being performed.
This is a classic by Orson Scott Card and is the first book in the Enders series. This was originally written as a standalone book but the author has gone back to expanded the universe. So if you enjoyed this one and would like to see what happens next there are several more books to follow this one. In Ender's Game humanity finds itself at war with space aliens that are basically giant bugs. I found myself forgetting at times how young the "soldiers" were. When Ender starts at the War School he is only 6 years old, but Ender and the other soldiers there are unlike any child you know. They are all genus children being trained to command an Army against hostile bugs. If you haven't read this one yet I would definitely pick this one up. Plus Hollywood is making a movie based on this book and is coming out soon.
I would jump at another Full Cast Recording, it was a stellar job in bringing the book to life as well as the welcome addition of a few sound effects that enhanced the experience. Orson Card has a very specific voice, and when he brings his style to a genre, you're either a fan, or not so much.
Stefan Rudnicki has always sounded like a congested rabbi when he reads a book, but I will say I very much enjoyed him as part of a cast. Well done!
Card added a few things here and there to "make this the best version of the book". As a book, I encourage people to read the kindle version first. As an e-book, please believe me that there is a reason it will give you a better experience than a hard copy. It also reads better in people's heads as they are exposed to these brilliant children and their oddly inconsistent dialogue. They are children, so there are the usual fart jokes, as well as geniuses, so their thought process is agreeable. I think Card did a disservice by holding a reader's hand a little too much and spelling things out in a key conversation between Ender and a teacher. In what was originally a beautiful twist and roller coaster type climax, his additions completely neutered the wow factor and limped across the finish line. I would not return to this book for fun, and I can only really recommend the sections of battle school and command school, the ending, at least in this version, I can almost skip entirely. Kindle this book first!
If you have never listened to the unabridged "Ender's Game" or read the original book, then you may find this version interesting and entertaining. However, it seems that this version is aimed at bridging the gap between the book and the movie. I haven't seen the movie, so it is speculation on my part, but this book sounds like a movie script based on the original "Ender's Game".
I really liked "Ender's Game", however I am not an Orson Scott Card fanboy. I listened to this dramatization hoping for a quick refresh on the story before the movie comes out. I was disappointed. It wasn't so bad I couldn't finish it, and if I had never heard/read "Ender's Game", I might have liked it more. I have also listened to "Ender's Shadow" (an excellent book), and "Shadow of the Hegemon" (very slow and tedious). "Ender's Game Alive" is the least of the three.
The performances were weak. They sounded superficial. The script was a poor adaptation. The characters were unconvincing and the exposition was contrived e.g. when the battle school instructors watch videos of battles and describe the action to one another. It is dialogue substituting for narration.
It was fast paced, and more or less kept my attention.
I would not recommend this book if you read/listened to "Ender's Game" unless you thought it was much too long and involved. If you want a short, simple version with mediocre voice acting then go ahead. Otherwise, use your credits for something else.
Very well done. Takes audio books to a new level.
Essentially the same story as the novel but different in several interesting ways also. Bean is almost not in it and little of Ender's shadow. What is in it is a cleaned up, shorter more action adventure version of Ender's Game. I'm a fan, five star's from me.
I'll keep this short and to the point.
This new dramatic audio rendition of Ender's Game is one of many audio versions of this classic scifi novel. In fact, there's already a another dramatic rendition. Multiple voices. A bit of music.
So, is this a good audio buy?
It depends on if you plan to see the movie.
If you plan to go see the movie, and haven't read the series? NO. Listen to the FULL NON-DRAMATIC version first, as this is somewhat abbreviated, misses the nuances of the author's writing, which add SO MUCH to the experience. THEN go see the movie, Very few movies can do full justice to a great novel. And Ender's Game is fantastic. However good the movie is, the dry version will be a better listening experience.
So, full dry audiobook, then the movie.
If you don't plan to listen to the full dry audiobook version, and want to go see the movie, then I recommend the movie first, and THEN you can decide which flavor you want. Dry versus dramatic with multiple voice actors.
This is very good, but at the end of the day, it's Ender's Game on training wheels.
The choice is yours.
Better production values. I thought I was getting an audio drama, but this was more of a multi-voiced performance with little to no sound effects or music. Really dry and bland.
It'd have to be from a different production company.
Pretty much all of it, recasting it and putting in a movie soundtrack.
Yawn! I couldn't even finish it. 30 minutes tops was what I endured.
Find more reviews at AudioDramaReviews(dot)com
Ender’s Game Alive has a wonderful cast, powerful sound effects, and a story that has stood the test of time. Just like the novel changed science fiction, this adaptation does the same for audio drama. It says “this isn’t a worn out medium and here’s proof.” This version was my first experience of the story, having never read the book, and I enjoyed the story.
The opening scene was hard to get through because of the dialogue that was written on the page and I’ve heard the same complaint from people who’ve read the book that the opening was hard to get through. From what I understand, the book starts off with dialogue with no context. It’s essentially two people talking in a white room. Audio Dramas use dialogue all the time as do movies. It’s kind of their thing. I wasn’t sure of the first scenes purpose other than to inform the reader that in this society, having a third child is illegal and how Ender was allowed to be born, despite that law.
The ending felt a bit rushed, at least in the way it was presented, but I can see how it could’ve worked well in a book. The big twist ending was foreshadowed a few scenes before the reveal actually happened and the foreshadowing was like a hit to the head with a hammer. There wasn’t enough time to collect and process the information.
Having watched the movie, I have to say I like this interpretation of Colonel Graff better than Harrison’s Ford’s portrayal. In the movie, he didn’t have a lot of depth. In Ender’s Game Alive, you understand his motivation much more clearly. Those scenes with him and the psychologist were some of the more interesting bits of the story. I felt like Graff cared for Ender like his own son. The entire cast did a great job. Even though these characters were supposed to be kids, I was never knocked out of the story—even in the beginning.
Overall this production is fantastic and there was never a dull moment where I wanted to turn it off. It was more like I had to do it.
I generally don't like knowing about authors, musicians, and artists because they can only complicate the art itself. Orson Scott Card's anti-civil rights agenda made me want to dislike this book or find the seeds of his bigotry within the pages. And perhaps with a more thoughtful read it is there, but that was not my experience reading Ender's Game. It is a good, perhaps great book. Even knowing the plot beats ahead of time (I had previously read the graphic adaptation) I found this book to have great inertia. The manipulations and training provide interesting pseudo-psychology and military tactics. The biology of the enemy is very creatively explored and the treatment of time and space is carefully handled and makes this book borderline "hard sci-fi". Of course is does use Ursula K. LeGuin's "ansible" (a device for faster-than-light communication), but that has practically become sci-fi cannon at this point. I was particularly pleased how well he balanced their genius and the fact that these are children. The characters are the foundation of this story, which is rare in sci-fi and what makes this a classic.