Is Ender the general Earth so desperately needs? The only way to find out is to throw him into ever-harsher training at Battle School, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when his training begins. He will grow up fast.
But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. His two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Among the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
This Special 20th Anniversary Edition of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic is now digitally remastered with a full cast production. It also contains an exclusive bonus: an original postscript written and recorded by the author himself, Orson Scott Card!
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©1977, 1985, 1991 Orson Scott Card (P)2002 Fantastic Audio, an imprint of Audio Literature
"Intense' is the word for Ender's Game." (The New York Times)
Ender's Game is one of the best sci-fi books written.
However, I'm mainly writing this review to make others
aware that there are actually 6 books (so far) in the
Speaker for the Dead
Children of the Mind
Shadow of the Hegemon
The last two books don't actually feature Ender at all -
they're about the character of Bean and the story of
what happened on Earth after Ender's Game.
All 6 books are fantastic. I've bought them all on
audiobook, but for some reason I can only seem to
find 4 of these titles using Audible's search engine
(and "Shadow of the Hegemon" seems to have been
renamed for some reason?).
Based on an Audible.com recommendation I looked into obtaining Enders Game. Admittedly I was reluctant to listen to this. Primarily - I enjoy political thrillers, history and biography titles. I did not see a science fiction novel fitting in there. On reading other reviews I decided to give this a try. Was I in for a surprise. This is one of the most entertaining audiobooks I have ever listened to. Hang on, because you are in for a warp speed ride through Andrew Wiggins world. Incredibly entertaining, intellectually challenging, and very mature. Sharp dialogue, great pace, non-stop action. As with most truly great reads (listens??) you do not want it to end. Well, Enders game is part of a trilogy: Enders Shadow and Shadow of the Hedgemon. I just finished Enders Shadow, another excellent audiobook. I have purchased 'Hedgemon' but I need to catch my breath before I start it. Listen to Enders Game you will not regret it.
The more audio books I listen too, the more I wonder why I didn't start sooner. They make the ride to and from work much more tolerable.
I have to admit, this audio book totally took me by surprise. Except for the Harry Potter books, performed by the incredible Jim Dale, Enders Game is the first audio book that I've listened to that I hadn't first read. All I can say is, WOW. The performance given during this 'reading' comes close to rivaling that of the previously mentioned Mr. Dale, in my humble opinion. It's obviously a very different kind of performance, for a very different kind of book, and that's a good thing.
As for the story, it's excellent. Recommended by my brother, I read the summery with a great deal of apprehension. A little boy, attending a 'battle school' to become the military commander that would lead Earths space fleets to victory over an alien invasion force? As I write this, it still sounds silly, and perhaps it is. But Card makes it work, and work very well. And extremely entertaining to boot. The plot and character development move along at a good click. So good in fact that I was completely engrossed within the story when plot twists materialized and was genuinely surprised. THAT'S the mark of a well written/performed book.
Overall, between Card's story telling and an excellent narration, this audio book should be towards the top of everybody's list. And not only science fiction fans, but anybody searching for a great performance of a great book.
Love Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Romance books.
Wow...all I can say is wow, believe the other reviewers, you need to read this book. This one is as good as it gets for sci-fi, but I think anyone can enjoy it. It is also a great performance, a wonderful listen as well as a great story.
This book was a strange choice for me,(I didn't know Card, and rarely read Sci Fi) but I was browsing, and chanced upon it. For some unknown reason, it intrigued me, so I tried it.
It was, then, to my utter astonishment, that Ender, and his story, somehow catapaulted within me to earn a place on my list of all time favorites!(Lit major,former teacher,I've read a bunch).
The story itself is a good one, but I think that, it is its unraveling, that speaks to one's soul.
But to experience all the depth and wonder of the series, you must start here. Card himself admits, that he basically wrote this book to set the stage for the next one, which is "Speaker for the Dead"(my favorite...so far)
I encourage you, even if you don't usually read this type of book to try it.
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, waiting for audible to offer "Xenocide",(the sequel to Speaker), and hopelessly addicted to Ender's story, I wandered on to listen to the others in the series. I actually READ "Ender's Shadow", because I didn't want an abridgement (I craved every single word!). I thought that these other books would have little impact on me, since Ender's character is only a peripheral element.
Was I wrong!
In the "Shadow" series, like the peeling of an onion, Card reveals layer after layer of the characters he creates in this book, and I found myself caring as much about them as I did about Ender.
I understand that Card is in the process of writing a book about Ender's mother.(As is probably obvious, I became obsessed with Ender, and had to find out everything I possibly could.) Before I read the "Shadow" series, I thought, "Who would want to read a book about Ender's mother?" Now I know the answer: ME.
If you start with "Ender's Game",and then go on to the others in the series, I think the answer might also be YOU!
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
Do you have to listen to the audiobook of ‘Ender’s Game’ if you had listened to the audio play ‘Ender’s Game Alive’ and want to further immerse yourself in the so-called ‘Enderverse’? A lot of die-hard Ender fans seems to swear by it judging from the reviews. I disagree.
While ‘Ender’s Game’ is probably the best option for the purist, ‘Ender’s Game Alive’ gives you the whole story and more, since Orson Scott Card has seemingly incorporated some ideas from ‘Ender’s Shadow’ in the audio play. Furthermore die-hard Enderverse purists should start with ‘First Meetings: in the Enderverse’ which contains the original novelette. Personally, I prefer ‘Ender’s Game Alive’ due to the actors and the ripening of an old classic into its current form.
Yet this review is about ‘Ender’s Game’ which is itself an excellent production which also deserves five stars.
The story while along the same lines, are more inward focussed. Much is left implicit and it seems that the listener is caught up in the mind of the boy Ender Wiggin. The listener sees the world of Battle School through the eyes of Ender and your emotions are closely linked to the way he experiences things. The audiobook also provides you with more elaborate scenes especially after the great war against the ‘Buggers’ are won.
The bonus material added to the audiobook ‘Ender’s Game’ might tip the scale in buying the audiobook and not the audio play. Orson Scott Card discusses how ‘Ender’s Game’ came into being for more than half an hour. It is indeed an interesting listen which also gives you some insight on how the film came into being. In another added recording at the back of the audiobook, Card addresses young listeners/readers about the truths found in Ender’s Game and how it apply to their world. If you care for these things, the audiobook might be the best choice. If not, you are faced with a difficult decision - both ‘Ender’s Game’ (the audio book) and ‘Ender’s Game Alive’ are excellent productions that brings alive the Enderverse. Enjoy Ender’s universe, just don’t buy both versions of Ender’s Game.
Don't get me wrong. Although this is a story about a child, it's not written for children. A child might enjoy it, but it is a story about war, violence and politics. It is a classic tale of the weak overcoming extreme adversity.
Ender faces many trials during his training to become the savior of the world in a futuristic setting. He is a character I could identify with and found myself cheering him on at each challenge.
An excellent book. I can't wait to listen to the related stories to find out what happens next to Ender and what happened to his friends and family.
Paranormal-urban fantasy book lover!
I cannot believe this was written in the 80's. This book is captivating, entertaining, humorous, heart warming and emotional. I found myself wanting more, watching Ender grow up and the trials he goes through at such a young age tugged at my heart strings. I really liked the story of Peter and Valentine as well. Honestly, I'm glad they made a movie because I probably would not have picked this book up otherwise. I always read the books before a movie and I can't be sure the movie can do the book justice but I will definitely be seeing the movie.
The narration was perfect. I am a very picky listener and don't like trying new narrators because they can absolutely ruin a book. These readers did an amazing job. I never got confused on the characters and it flowed seamlessly.
Onto the next. I am a Orson Scott Card fan for life now!!!
This book is the first part of an astounding series of four books; Ender's game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind. Although interesting, deep and often fun in itself, Ender's Game serves a greater role of introducing the child Andrew Wiggan, his sister and brother Valentine and Peter, and the concept of another rational (the books use "sentient") Alien Species, known unaffectionately as "The Buggers". Ender is a sensitive but brilliant young boy whose combination of intelligence and desperateness for survival, and extraordinary empathy make him invincible in any setting, physical attack, mind games whatever. And hence set him up to be the potential saviour of the the human race in their war to the death against the Buggers. But this book is really a lot like "The Hobbit" is to "Lord of the Rings", and establishes characters who are in the later books a vehicle for astounding ideas and insights ranging across science fiction, physics, religion, psychology, romance, courage and self sacrifice. With a few small tussles between good and evil thrown in. I feel certain that in 100 yrs after their writing these books will be considered a pinnacle of a style of literary creation. Get listening ...
I enjoyed this book in college and 15 years later, I re-read it and still enjoyed it. I think the plot of brilliant children in battle school makes this book intriguing. As you're reading to find out what happens next, you're also contemplating their circumstances - "do brilliant children think like adults and so is it acceptable to treat them as such?" and "if they excel at that age in military tactics, should you be afraid of them when they get older?"
Only a small portion of the book weakened the story. There were hints of overpopulation and prohibition of religious practice. You're left wondering if the parents were allowed only one or two children... what does that mean to the protagonist (the third child). Also there were a few scenes of religious acts, such as praying, that didn't seem relevant to the story -- other than breaking the law to express a thought or an emotion to show how they felt about the protagonist??
"You've go to read this!"
You are unfamiliar with the master that is Orson Scott Card, then you must get this! It may be a science fiction type setting but the story is much more about character development. It's exciting, wonderfully paced and once you start listening you just can't stop - you care so much about Ender.
The narration is just about flawless, and the use of different narrators adds to the interest and depth.
After this one - get 'Speaker for the dead' - it's even better than 'Ender's Game', and is probably my favourite book of all time. I cannot praise these two books enough.
I came to this book having already listened to Enders Shadow, a book written considerably later but occupying some of the same characters and taking place over the same period.
The book is great, worth the acclaim it rightly garnered. The presentation of the book is also fantastic, well read so you can get a feel for the characters, going quickly enough to not dawdle and remain interesting, whilst slow enough that you never miss the important parts.
I would highly reccommend it to anyone who enjoys well written, well produced and original Science Fiction.
The voice work and characterisation was superb.
For me the most memorable moments were between Ender and Alai.
Both actors were excellent.
I couldn't stop.
"A fantastic find!"
This is the first Orson Scott Card book I have read, and I have now booked two more of the 'Ender' series in my Wish List. It was one of the most touching and memorable books I have read, and this from an author, who in my ignorance, I had always characterised as a pulp sci-fi writer. From start to finish the book captivated me with its depiction of a reluctant boy-soldier who is pushed to the limit in the military's pursuit of a worthy commander to save the human race from an imminent alien invasion. This book is introduced as an 'Audible Kids' production but do not be fooled - it is a clever, mature book for children and adults alike.
It is a science fiction book at its core, but the characters are brought to life by beautiful writing and excellent narration. You will remember Ender Wiggins and his story for a long time.
"Great performance, but deeply misogynistic book!"
I would try another book narrated by Stefan Rudniki and Harlan Ellison, but never Orson Scott Card. I wish I had researched this properly before buying - I was looking for something similar to 'Ready Player One' (which is amazing, by the way).
'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' by Neil Gaiman
Anger and sadness - the deeply misogynistic nature of the writing is very disappointing.
"Sorry I waited this long to read it"
Yes, very enjoyable book - will try others in the series next
The human element, focusing on the difference betwen the three children and their interaction with each other and society.
The reading was very believable, especially the adult charaters. Having a six year old child narrated by an adult sometimes makes you lose perspective on the fact that Ender is a child.
A nice twist at the end, not entirely unexpected, but completed the book nicely
"Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition |"
Fantastic, absorbing story. As fascinating today as when it was written 20 years ago. We listened to it on a long car journey 2 adults and a 12 year old and we all loved it. We immediately downloaded the next book in the series. The book challenges one to think about space, armies, children, relationships.
I'm looking for the button to click six stars
I would recommend this book, particularly if you have seen and liked the film. There are far more tactics involved. There are more games, deeper characters and Ender's family story is much better.
My favourite character was Bean, as it brought around a greater sense of awareness from Ender.
The Narrator gave a solid performance, drawing the correct emotions from the character as the given moments.
I raced through this book, despite having a busy schedule at the time, which is a testament to the story and the narrator.
I've listened to so many, I can't really give it a number, but pretty highly.
Ender himself, unsurprisingly. Card makes me believe that someone so young can be so educated and so wise... at least during the listen. He makes for a strong identification character, as is often the case in good SF.
No I haven't but I'd be happy to hear them narrate again - preferably in the same book, as having the change of voice worked rather well.
No, it's too long, and takes place over several years.
It's amusing how much it's dated, especially where web technology is concerned. Ender's brother and sister are basically internet trolls!
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