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)
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!!!
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Stefan Rudnicki - Nuff said! Of course the story was great also.
OSC did a masterful job and you really come to care about Ender. The relationship building (and strains) were spectacular.
The ending was perfect. I didn't see it coming and it did not disappoint.
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!
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
All other Science Fiction is measured by Orson Scott Card's masterpiece. Decades before Ready Player One, we had Ender Wiggins. The plot is superior, the characters deep, the twists are pre RR Martin. Since I read this in the 80's, I have told everyone I know about it and I lost count of how many times I have read the hard copy and listened on CD and download.
Rudnicki is to Card, as Muller was to King, Porter to Mayberry and Runnette to Tufo.
Science, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Military History, Thrillers, Great Courses, Horror, and anything with a good story. Please forgive errors.
I have read this a number of time over the past 15 years and I think that it is excellent every time. Great narrators and the plot is amazing. It gets you thinking.
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!
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.
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.
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
Story – 5/5
I finally got around to this audiobook, and it was well worth the wait. Having watched and moderately enjoyed the film, I wanted to read the original source, especially as it is heralded as the best Sci-fi book of all time by so many. It didn’t disappoint either, it is certainly the best sci-fi I have read (although I haven’t read many)
The depth of character and emotion were superb, Orson Scott Card really gets us into Ender’s head. The strategies employed in the battle room and against the buggers were highly entertaining, and extremely detailed and well written, so you are able to picture exactly what is being described. The bits I enjoyed the most was the elements of the story about Ender’s siblings though, and also the inserts between chapters of the battle commanders discussing Ender’s training, which you don’t get in the film. It really helps to understand why these kids are so intelligent and how they are seen by the adults.
Are there any Negatives? I certainly couldn’t find any. I am looking forward to the next book in the series; even though I know it is completely different.
Performance – 4.5/5
Although it has multiple narrators, I can’t say it added much to the story like other full cast productions have. Each were very good in their own right, it just wouldn’t have been any worse if just 1 of them read it.
The main narrator, I think it may have been Stefan Rudnicki, was especially good, and I will keep an eye out for other audiobooks read by him.
Overall – 5/5
"Stick through the first few chapters"
It took me a while to get into Ender's Game. At first I disliked all of the characters because they were such cruel and boneheaded people. Not just the children but also the adults putting Ender through the training. However, as I read on, some of the characters began to reveal the good aspects of their personalities. This provided the story with a much needed break from the constant bullying and military pressure.
I really started to like this book once the war games started. I enjoyed the zero-gravity combat scenes because of the well-described strategy involved. I loved the anticipation of finding out if Ender would win or not, and how he would do it. Once I was immersed in the story, the plot did not meander. I was constantly involved in what was going on and the ending took me by surprise in a very satisfying way.
I have mixed opinions about a couple of the narrators. The narrator who voices Ender's chapters has a great reading voice, but it's too deep to impersonate children accurately. It's easy to forget you are reading about kids when 8 year old Ender sounds like a 30 year old man. Also, the woman who voices Ender's sister's chapters sounded irritatingly melodramatic with every word.
So after initially doubting my ability to enjoy this book, I pushed through the first few chapters and realized what a great story it was. The writing style was clean and simple, the story was excellent, the narrators did a good job, despite a couple of minor problems.
Overall, Ender's Game is a great book about children being trained to command sci-fi armies with a side plot of children taking over the world via internet blogs (I don't get that last part either).
"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
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.
I'm looking for the button to click six stars
I first read Enders Game in my teens many years ago and having watched the movie and felt thoroughly disappointed I decided to revisit the book in audio format.
The delivery and performance is fantastic - the novel flows. Getting lost in the story is easy unlike a lot of the audiobooks I've listened to.
It's such an enjoyable listed I've bought extra Audible credits to get Speaker For the Dead (with. the same production team).
I enjoyed this story and finished it pretty quickly. Ender is an unusual character that you quickly become invested in and want to know how his story ends.
The multi-actor performance works well - in his postcript at the end the author says he writes from a stageplay background, so the spoken performance suits his work well.
As a tiny note, the main narrator's voice is very deep so I found it difficult to listen to on my phone using the speakers (it got lost too easily in background noise) and needed to use headphones to make it louder. Maybe I'm just getting old!
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