I consider myself on the liberal side of political ideology, but this was WAY too much unsubstatiated liberal ranting for me. It started off interesting with a look at Vonnegut's personal history and unconventional road to writing, but after that it went downhill as it turned into a rant about why Vonnegut thinks the United States is a terrible country. I'm not easily offended, but I was at least substantially bothered by the implications that Christians only act benevolently because they think they will be rewarded in the afterlife and by the explicit equating of Christians with white supremists. Being a Christian, I found it particularly offensive and was irritated by his complete lack of understanding (or deliberate misrepresentation) of the subject he was disparaging. I felt he approached other subjects in the same way, by oversimplifying them and then offering unsupported criticism in a "witty" manner. I think the style could have been interesting if I took everything he said for granted (in this case, I think I would need to be much more liberal), but as it is, I was simply not amused and the sarcasm dripping from the narrator's voice was grating on me by the time I decided to stop listening, which was about 30 minutes or so from the end. I do not recommend the book.
I try not to be a prude, but this series has been ridiculous in its detailed and gratuitous description of sexual acts. They come from no where and add almost nothing to the story. I finally got fed up in this story after a detailed narrative of a whore giving oral sex to one of the lords. In these parts its like a bad romance novel without the creativity in naming the male sexual organ. If you're into this sort of thing or at least not sensitive to it, I recommend this book because the characters and story are very compelling (i probably would have given it 5 stars)... I just think it needs some sort of a warning. I would be horrified if I bought this for my children and as it is I'm debating whether to finish it.
This is a great addition to the Ender books and I highly recommend it if you have enjoyed the other Ender books. The narrator and audio quality seemed identical to the other Ender books. I highly suggest finishing the Shadow series (starting with Ender's Shadow and ending with Shadow of the Giant, I think) before reading this. It isn't required to understand Ender in Exile, but this book would contain some spoilers and some of the impact of significant minor characters would be lost without having finished the Shadow series as this functions partially as a conclusion to the series. At an absolute minimum, I would suggest reading Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow first.
I highly recommend the whole series. The audio quality is great and the the narrators use entertaining voices for the different characters. Plus, it's cool to hear famous people like Kenneth Branaugh and Patrick Stewart reading. All the narrators in the series do a great job.
If you're a Christian, I also recommend reading some of C.S. Lewis's theology before reading the series because you see many of his theological ideas surface throughout the series and I think it adds richness to the experience.
If you're not a Christian, I still think the books are enormously entertaining and I remember enjoying them as a child before I knew that C.S. Lewis was a Christian and long before I was a Christian myself.
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