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Ender's Game Audiobook

Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - One of our most highly-rated books of all-time, Ender’s Game isn’t just a sci-fi novel for kids. From an early age, Ender must tackle the adult concepts of leadership, independence and self-reliance, abstract thinking, and accountability. It helps that he’s a genetically engineered super-genius, but still, that’s a lot to ask a kid to handle. The multi-cast narration adds layers of texture to the diverse characters throughout. —Chris

Publisher's Summary

Now a Major Motion Picture. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

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!

Browse more titles in the Ender Wiggin series.

©1977, 1985, 1991 Orson Scott Card (P)2002 Fantastic Audio, an imprint of Audio Literature

What the Critics Say

  • Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 1985

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 1986

"Intense' is the word for Ender's Game." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (28471 )
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  •  
    Lisa United States 11-18-13
    Lisa United States 11-18-13 Member Since 2014

    Paranormal-urban fantasy book lover!

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    "Simply Brilliant!"

    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!!!

    HAPPY LISTENING!

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 06-26-11
    Sher from Provo Utah 06-26-11 Member Since 2015

    Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.

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    "Can't Wait for the Movie"

    This book has sat on my shelf since the days when I taught reading to 6th and 7th graders. I never got around to reading it then, but recently decided I was ready to take it on, especially since I could listen to it. I'm not the world's biggest sci-fi fan, but occasionally I really like to read it. This is a book easily understood and followed, unlike a lot of sci-fi, which may be why I don't often read it. Having to learn a whole new existence is hard work. I enjoyed this story a lot. I saw a lot of symbolism in it which always makes a book interesting to me. I could empathize with Ender right from the very start, and he became, if not dear to me, at least someone I could care about. It is great to read a book by a fellow Utahn, especially someone like Orson Scott Card who has made it big time with his writing. I'm not sure if I will read/listen to another book in this series, but I am not discounting it.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 10-20-13
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 10-20-13 Member Since 2008

    Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fan

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    "Join the war against the Buggers!"

    Ender's Game is considered a classic Sci Fi novel and after listening to this 20th anniversary version I can see why. There are plenty of concepts here to take issue with but I was so quickly sucked into the story of Ender Wiggen that I just went with the flow and didn't get caught up in the things that didn't make much sense.

    Twice before the human race has faced extinction at the hands of the Buggers, an alien race that ruthlessly attacks without communicating in any way, and many feel the 3rd war is imminent. It is within this context that we learn about the battle school set up by the "IF" to train children to become commanders of the human fleet. With the 3rd war almost upon us, humanity is running out of time to prepare. The powers that be will cut any corner and take any risk they deem necessary to get ready because if they fail there will be no humans left to condemn their actions as immoral.

    The children that enter battle school are heralded as heroes as they essentially forfeit their childhood (and lives) to be tools of the military. Ender Wiggen is one such child and the centerpiece of the story. Due to population issues, couples in this future are expected to be "compliant" and have no more than 2 children. As a "third" child Ender's life is forfeit to the military to be used as they see fit. He is monitored and manipulated from the moment of his birth which was permitted only because of the potential shown by his siblings.

    We come to know many of the ways that Ender is being manipulated, but not all of them. This knowledge puts us in a morally ambiguous position when judging his actions. Is Ender truly responsible for his actions or is he a victim of circumstance? Should he resist this pre-ordained path and perhaps forsake mankind to the Buggers or suck it up and do when is needed of him?

    I recommend you give it a listen and draw your own conclusions about Ender Wiggen.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Lansing, MI, United States 06-06-13
    Brian Lansing, MI, United States 06-06-13 Member Since 2016

    I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.

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    "A Classic"
    What made the experience of listening to Ender's Game the most enjoyable?

    Stefan Rudnicki - Nuff said! Of course the story was great also.


    What did you like best about this story?

    OSC did a masterful job and you really come to care about Ender. The relationship building (and strains) were spectacular.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The ending was perfect. I didn't see it coming and it did not disappoint.


    Any additional comments?

    I was amazed at the technology foreshadowing and how spot-on he was. Original written in 1977 as a short and then expended into a novel in 1985, it is cool reading about the "net" and the "desks" which of course sound a lot like the Internet and iPads. The Internet didn't really become anywhere mainstream until around 1994.

    In general the story was great. I can't believe I never read it back in the 80's - I would have been in High School. But now I did and it was great. I highly recommend this audio version. Stefan Rudnicki did a great job as always! Harlan Ellison did as well and towards the end they even did some parts together with her as Valentine and him as Ender.

    Now I can't wait for the movie!

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris - Audible Newark, NJ, United States 04-17-12
    Chris - Audible Newark, NJ, United States 04-17-12 Member Since 2011

    I'm an Audible editor, and I think this quote sums it up: "A voice is such a deep, personal reflection of character." - Daniel Day-Lewis

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    "Just okay, I guess"

    I can’t muster up too much positive or negative emotion towards Ender’s Game. It was good in parts. It was not-as-good in other parts. There were exciting parts, and there were boring parts. It’s so well-reviewed on Audible and had been recommended to me by several friends that I figured it must be great. But it never got there for me.

    It was an interesting concept, and Ender is an interesting character, but he is constantly beaten down, emotionally, from all angles. I started to feel bad for the kid. Then he fulfills his purpose (rather abruptly, I would say), and then it gets weird, and I ended the book confused. This won’t dissuade me from future sci-fi books, but this isn’t one of my top picks.

    20 of 29 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 06-17-14
    AudioAddict 06-17-14

    I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!

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    "Worth all the hype!"

    STORY (futuristic sci-fi) - Ender's Game is an award-winning book and the basis for a blockbuster movie starring Harrison Ford. Earth needs a hero to protect against potential invaders from another planet (the Buggers). Ender is among a group of genius children who leave their families to attend Battle School, where they will be trained to command Earth's fleet and, hopefully, save the human race from extinction. The training is primarily through battle games the children play in a zero gravity room and with battle simulators. Ender immediately stands out as Earth's greatest hope for salvation, and this book is basically about his arduous journey through Battle School.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a unique story that is never dull. The ending is great and will catch you totally by surprise!

    PERFORMANCE - There are three narrators, two male and one female. It's refreshing to have the distinction between characters, but their voices are way too mature to pass as children. IMHO, the performance is good enough, but not great. I've also listened to the four free chapters of Ender's Game Alive, which I think is perhaps slightly better, but it's a close call.

    OVERALL - I'd recommend this story for everyone - adult, children, guys, girls. There's some fights among the children which are semi-violent, but no sex or cursing. This is a series so the ending is left slightly open, but this book can definitely stand on its own.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Albany, NY, United States 04-06-14
    Lee Albany, NY, United States 04-06-14 Member Since 2011
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    "beware of listening with 8-10 year olds"

    I found this classified in the 8-11 year old suggestions. I listened to a few hours with my 9 year old grandson, and had to turn it off. It is very violent and disturbing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Murphy 10-17-13
    Mike Murphy 10-17-13

    Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.

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    "Excellent entertainment with an emotional punch"

    I was twenty when I first read “Ender’s Game” back in 1987. I was completely absorbed in it, turning the pages eagerly to know what would happen next and being shocked, even outraged, when I understood the sustained deceit and betrayal on which the book was based.

    Twenty-six years later, I decided to listen to the audio book version. It was a delight. The narrators give it the feel of a radio play without missing a word of the original prose.
    Perhaps because I knew the ending or perhaps because I am older, this time my attention was caught by the sadness of the book. Ender is almost always alone, almost always being pushed into situations where none of his options are good, and always burdened by the knowledge the choices that he takes change who he is. I was also more sympathetic to the adults who do the terrible things that shape Ender’s fate; knowing that they are terrible, necessary and unforgiveable. Ender’s assailed innocence and the compromised integrity of the adults are a lesson it what it means to be “grown up” and why children deserve to have time to be children.

    The book focuses relentlessly on the violence we are willing to commit and the “sins” we are willing to live with in order to survive. It doesn’t glorify these things but it doesn’t diminish them either. It tackles what it means to be different and how often an inability to communicate turns difference into conflict.

    At its heart, “Ender’s Game” tells us that all games are real, all choices matter, everything that creates an enemy has a consequence. What makes the book remarkable is that it tackles all this while doing a good job of seeing the world through the eyes of a (very bright) vulnerable, lonely, child who is equally gifted with empathy and ruthlessness.

    Re-reading the book more than twenty years on adds other points of interest: Card’s imagining of the role of the web, the “desks” the children work on and the concept of war executed by tele-presence are all pleasingly accurate. This time round I was very aware that the ending of the book felt like an add-on to set up “Speaker for the Dead” – which I also read twenty-six years ago.- whereas, on the first read, I saw it as a slightly clumsy effort at redemption. The audio book includes an interview with Card, where he explains that he did indeed rewrite the ending and how that came about. I now find Card’s politics a little thin and unconvincing – too American to be truly global- but I found the way he writes Ender’s sister much more moving than before.

    The movie will be out soon. I don’t have high hopes of it, although I’ll watch it all the same. In my view, the most entertaining and engaging way to experience “Ender’ Game” is to listen to this audio version. I recommend it to you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yang TORRANCE, CA, United States 10-15-13
    Yang TORRANCE, CA, United States 10-15-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Good balance between sci-fi and thriller"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'm not a huge fan of science fiction, but with the movie coming out soon and the positive reviews 'Ender's Game" received I decided to give it a try. The plot was fast- paced and exciting, although there were times when the story stepped a little too far into science fiction territory for me (lots of anti- gravity situations that didn't further the plot).
    The writing style is quite cynical and at times very dark, and I definitely think there is some political commentary, or at the very least Card subconsciously projects his cynical views of government into the plot.
    Criticisms aside, I thought the book was very thought provoking, and extremely entertaining. It's definitely worth a read!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Phillipston, MA, United States 02-04-13
    David Phillipston, MA, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2011
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    "I guess it is time to admit (to myself) - I am not"

    the greatest fan of Mr. Card. I have listened to two of his books now and read one a long time ago. I think I find them a bit too 1960s SciFi in that the story is imaginative but a little two dimensional in plot and character. My tastes have moved on to more sophisticated stories, plots, and authors: Patrick Rothfus, George R.R. Martin, Stephen Donaldston (his "Chronicles") and the like. I was not bored and never once thought I wouldn't finish the book - just that while it was good Sci-Fi it is not great literature. I don't mind a good read. For example as a recent read: "The Help" was a great read. I wouldn't class it as great Lit, but it was a wonderful experience.

    Just ignore this review if you also loved "Hunger Games," a book that stretched out a marvelous one-novel story into a weak trilogy. More Rothfus please!

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
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  • Tim
    Mallow, Ireland
    7/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Classic"
    If you could sum up Ender's Game in three words, what would they be?

    Tough, unapologetic, glorious.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ender's Game?

    The meeting between Ender and his sister after he has returned to Earth from the Battle School is a very memorable moment and gives great insight into how the mind of Ender has been shaped and warped by the trials that have been forced upon him.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This was not a book I wanted to listen to all in one sitting but the pacing is very well crafted and it was always exciting.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Robyn
    Sedgefield, South Africa
    2/24/12
    Overall
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • keith
    7/2/16
    Overall
    Story
    "vere good"

    i really injoyed this book and are looking forward to reading the next book in the sage. but not sure were to start

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    Wadebridge, United Kingdom
    5/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exciting, surprising and definitely worth a listen"
    Would you listen to Ender's Game again? Why?

    Within the story are ideas that are worth more consideration and are food for thought.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ender's Game?

    The realization that Enders was merely a child.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The passages of Enders exploring his notions of fairness and the contradictions of what life was demanding of him.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The book left me thinking about the potentials we are exploring in 'reality' now and how authors play a part in seeding ideas for the future.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    4/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Masterful in every respect"

    Couldn't stop listening. The book is what it is, you can read reviews of it anywhere else as it spawn innumerable reviews over decades of its existence. I will just say that the definitive edition makes the book read and sound very contemporary.
    As for the audible review, it is technically impeccable, voice performance of all narrators are top notch and the switch between different narrators adds depth and breadth.
    The extra features and author's postscript are welcome bonuses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sophie C Butcher
    3/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Addictive"

    Brilliant and so cleverly conceived. The characters are likeable and believable. The story line feels frighteningly possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Mogster
    London
    3/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Highly recommended"
    Where does Ender's Game rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was the first audiobook that I listened to and I immediately moved onto Speaker of the dead. This is a clever and interesting book which you can imagine having detailed discussions about. It is not surprising that this is an award winning book as is its sequel.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ender is conflicted which makes his character interesting however most of the characters have depth.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    The narrator is good and reads the sequel.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me want to encourage people to read so I could discuss the ideas


    Any additional comments?

    Great book for young teenage boys however I am a far from young and a woman but really enjoyed the writing and the content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Suzanne Fox
    2/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    I struggled to engage with the story and didn't much care about the protagonists. I did notice that despite its age it didn't feel dated at all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Verner
    Camberley, United Kingdom
    2/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Never quite sure it will end a you expected."
    What did you like most about Ender's Game?

    The view from the main character was engrossing. You are drawn into his story and want him to succeed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Well written and little extraneous content.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    As described in the author's tail piece it was written for audio performance. I does indeed fit the format well.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Children are the last line of defense against alien invasion.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Graham Carruthers
    South Africa
    11/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply excellent!"

    One of the best novels I have listened to. superbly written, and very well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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