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)
With many dear friends who worship this book, I really, really wanted to like it. I'm not a sci-fi newbie, having read virtually everything by Bradbury, Asimov, Henry Cutter, and many others. Orson Card writes a very pedestrian novel here, with yet-another Messianic "The ONE" (a la Star Wars, the Matrix, the Wizard of OZ, Bible) thread about THE BOY (a heavily misogynistic tale) who will save mankind. The "this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you" style of Officer Training that 6-year old Ender Wiggin is put into would make an excellent model for suicide bomber camps everywhere. In fact, I'll bet it does!
Peter, the character who embodies pure evil, is as beguiling as Eddy Haskell from "Leave it to Beaver", but while the Cleavers could see straight through Eddy from the start, NO ADULT, but only Peter's young sister, can see him for what he is. Of course she is powerless to stop him, or resist him.
Everyone asked me to reflect on the "twist" in the story at the end. When I finally choked this whole thing down, I was bewildered. TWIST? Have you people ever read *any*thing else? Yes, it takes a tad bit unexpected turn at the end, and I'm told that I REALLY REALLY should try the more-sophisticated sequel. That's okay. I still have plenty of other things to read and *enjoy*.
I had so high expectations on this audio book. I wanted a good science fiction book to listen to. I chose this because of it's very high rating. The book is well written, but what this book is about is how an entire society can use children to be their puppets. To train children, Ender is 6 years old when drafted into the military, to be murderous soldiers. I am appalled that this is classified to be a children's book where children are used and forced to kill other children by the adults. The story itself is engaging if you don't think about that the main characters are children. I don't care how smart they are or high IQ they have. I cringe every time the characters' age is mentioned. The future certainly is extremely depressing from the point of view of Card. How children can find this entertaining is beyond me. This book should not be listened (or read) by any child, in my opinion. The child would likely become very depressed if he/she identified with any of the main characters. One is trained to kill anybody that bullies him, another is driven to kill anybody that defeats him in a game and yet another one that plans to take of the world and turn it into a fascistic society. How depressing.
The production of the audio book, on the other hand, is excellent from start to finish. The narrators are engaging and interesting to listen to, especially the narrator that tells Valentine's, Ender's sister, story.
It has been some time since I have 'read' a book that has made me physically smile, chuckle, and get goose bumps. This book reminds me that with a good imaganation, a good story can be told.
Orson Scott Card is firmly one of the 10 greatest Sci-FI authors that has ever lived and everyone of the Ender series books are just masterpieces worth being read and in this case listened too repeatedly.
If you are looking for a great audio books to listen too this should be in your top 15 for Sci-Fi. If you have never had the pleasure of experiencing Ender's universe you have my sympathies for your loss and jealously as you get to experience it unfold for the first time. ENJOY!!!!
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.
I like to read and listen to Science, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Military, History, and Thillers.
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 really liked the character of Ender and what he went through - and I liked comparing what the author thought would be in the future vs what is - the nets vs Facebook. I did not like the sexism or the anti semitism in the book. And the ending kind of blows.
I thought the most interesting thing was how the author had taken the idea of video games and made it real - way before video games were real. You could almost feel what it was like to be weightless too in the descriptions of their zero gravity games.
I thought all the readers did a good job - being a child's voice (though frankly the characters were not really children) and adult
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
I will take a different approach with this review and include some reasons why people who have seen the movie should check out the book as well. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is a book I have read and listened to many times. This work by Orson Scott Card is the crowning achievement of his career and I am glad that he finally agreed to bring this book to a movie format. If you have not seen the movie yet and want a review of the book by itself, skip the next paragraph.
While the movie release was done well in the given time allotment, I believe that it is still worth checking out the book itself; the real genius. In the book we get a better look at the family of Ender Wiggin and see their effects on Ender. His brother and sister are equal to Enders genius and play a role shaping society. There is a larger focus at the battle school. The overall tension is greater and we see better character development. Ender shapes the pupils around him and the reader can understand more what makes him a good military commander. The reader comes to understand just how manipulated Ender is throughout the book and can find some sympathy with his actions. Without much politics of the time explained, the ending was altered to some extent as well. Lastly, Orson Scott Card wrote a book about Bean himself that takes place from his perspective during Enders Game. If you haven't read/listened to either of these versions yet, then you are missing out on two different and complex stories.
Enders Game is about a world consumed with the fear of annihilation after an alien fleet had invaded some years ago. With similarities to starship troopers, nations have come together to provide a fleet of spaceships for the salvation of Earth. This Earth is overpopulated and there are laws that prohibit having more than two children. Only for special exceptions are "thirds" allowed to be born. Such is the case that Ender Wiggin who is marked by birth with the intent to be the savior of the planet. Ender himself is a tactical genius. He has been recruited at a young age to go to a battle school in order to train to become a commander. There are some interesting applications of futuristic technologies and include mind invasive tech, and battle room facilities in space. Children are brought together at very young ages and forced into hard realities with no privacy. They are hence analyzed and shaped into effective weapons. The story pushes at the limits of human tolerances and shows at what lengths these military leaders will go to produce a commander of battle fleet that they believe will determine the fate of human existence in the stars.
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??
Not really, Not that it isn't a fun listen once, but unless I decide to listen to the rest of the series, probably not.
Blah. The end feels rushed. Not like he tried to put too much in a small space but like there isn't enough. There are specific things i wished he had addressed as for the ending and this is my main problem with it which i will explain more on in the Additional Comments.
Ender, honestly. I just liked the way he sounded, idk any other way to explain it.
Seriously? Would 'This Is Not A Game' work?
So, i know i'm probably going to be crucified for this but, i just didn't enjoy the book as much as I had hoped.
(SPOILERS) The end was the part that fell apart for me. When Ender beat the last 'game' in Command School and Mazer Rackham said "You you just won the war!" (I'm paraphrasing) IT felt like a cop out to me. BUT hold on! Not the basic idea, more the execution. The idea is interesting and surprising. While it was surprising, it didn't feel as powerful as it should have. I really can't explain it well. To me it was just to 'BLAH'. I.. hmm, i was just to not concerned i guess.
Then the human war happened after the Bugger threat was gone, cool right?! WRONG we got to see zip of that war, we've had Bean's perspective of things and could have through some of the war, but no, all we got was Ender's rehab. Huh?
No, i know that the story was originally a Short Story and i am impressed at the way Orson Scott Card turned it into a full on novel. But the end, like I said, it felt rushed and I feel I would have enjoyed the Short Story more than the novel.
I know, I Know! Crucify, Crucify!!!! But I'm just being honest and feel this doesn't quite live up to the hype
"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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