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
"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
"One of the best performances"
The narrators were bang on the money with their amazing performances. I read the book years ago an I was looking for a refresh before seeing the movie. It brought back all the amazing ideas and sublime writing of Orson Scott Card and even enhanced the experience. Its a must listen to book.
"Fantastic story with taste of cold war age"
Genetic manipulation lead human offspring to become more alien in nature - that advantage help them understand their enemy - alien race - but usual human manipulation lead o extermination aliens rather than dialogue over differences.
Again human arrogance take lead.
Final battle - epic turn in action - yet shock of extermination a whole spice what looks like game.
Perfect and full of emotions performance of Rudnicki and Ellison add another layer of expression to the story - somehow crossing world of books toward movie.
Perfect story for long flight or journey.
"One the greatest sci-fis of all time"
I would strongly recommend this to a friend as it has always been one of my favourite books, and the audiobook version is very well read indeed.
The analytical aspects of the writing remind me of Piers Anthony, but the stroy has always struck me as utterly original.
Great character differentiation, good diction and good speed of narration.
Don't bother watching this film, the book is better
"Great story from an alternative timeline"
Great story line from what is now and alternative timeline, the underlying story of the world and the politics relating to the early 80s really fill out the story. It would have been very easy to concentrate on the main story arc of Ender, but OSC does a great job to make this story well rounded
Hyrum Graff was a great character. The way he fights with this emotions and feels bad for the way he is treating ender and pushing him so hard makes him the stand out character in my eyes
They mixed up the book really well and made the characters come to life. Really well performed
"Not Very Good For Adult Reading"
Ah, where to begin? Well, this story kinda starts out semi-promisingly but quickly descends into boring repetitive nonsense. At around half way through the audiobook, I upped the speed to 1.5x as it was starting to drag so much.
The whole story revolves around taking certain children and sending them to battle school in order to hopefully weed out great commanders for Earth's space fleet. This is mainly achieved by playing a game of laser quest in zero gravity.
Sadly, the battle school part of the story isn't that interesting and often reminded me of that scene in Red Dwarf where Rimmer is recounting a game of Risk to Lister ("Then he threw three fours, but I rolled two fives" kind of thing). On top of that is the whole absurdity of the principal - it's like thinking that playing Super Hang-On on the Mega Drive will make you into a great motorbike racer. Except, it won't, it'll just make you good at that game.
If only the first 3/4 of the story had been condensed into the first quarter, then it may have ended up much better. The last two hours or so are okay and this part should have been expanded. I also wasn't bowled over by the narators, but they can't be blamed for such a weak story. Though I suppose the author should be given some credit for trying something a little different.
To give you an idea of the kind of sci-fi books I do like (as you may then get an idea whether you're likely to agree with my review), I love most Peter F Hamilton (Fallen Dragon, Night's Dawn Trilogy, Pandora's Star, Judas Unchained, Void Trilogy, but not the Great North Road - thought that was his weakest book) and most of what I've heard from Alastair Reynolds. I'm also liking the two spin-off series to the Lost Fleet Series and The Phoenix Conspiracy (available free from the author's website). If you dislike most of those, then you may end up liking Ender's Game.
"Took Me Right Back"
I'd put it at the top half for sure. I think the book was incredibly well done.
Ender - as always. I think it's easier for me to identify with him as I grow older because he's dealing with a changing, adult world.
I think they brought the story to life - and that's not incredibly easy when you're dealing with all the character quirks that are in this book.
I had an emotional reaction, but not laughing or crying. It's a book that deals with some very hard situations... and in those times, I find myself putting myself into Ender's shoes. So, I guess it makes me feel anxious more than anything.
"Good story, interesting concept."
It will be interesting to see how the film captures this book. Overall quite enjoyment, some good bit and an interesting plot. Overall a good yarn.
"A Game shot through with moral dilemmas"
The book ranks in the top 50%. Narrower than that would be to compare apples with oranges. I don't listen to a lot of novels, let alone SF.
I'd compare it to Dune, by Frank Herbert. Dune has nothing in it about computer games, and plenty of other SF books do, trying to make a computer game sound relevant to life and more than just empty escapism, but that's not the heart of it. Both Ender's Game and Dune are about the boy hero growing up in a weird environment with unfamiliar imperatives, developing rare but vital skills and at the same time increasing in moral stature.
Both male speakers were competent, and their voices pleasing.There was also a female narrator, not listed (unless one of the male narrators has rare skills in female impersonation) who read the scenes involving Valentine.All narrators,when reading dialogue, rarely made any change of voice to cue the listener which character was speaking. Rarely did this matter, though, because rarely did prolonged dialogue illuminate the character of the speaker(s). Usually the author was simply philosophising through their mouths. To my mind, all the Valentine vs big brother stuff could have been cut without any loss to the main story.
Do they have to lie to us, to make sure we win?
It’s a coming-of-age story — but in view of its gruesome violence, is it really young-adult literature? Would a teenager be able to identify with protagonists aged 5 to 11? Would children that young really act with the judgement and maturity you'd only expect of 30 year olds -- even under such a (one-sided) regime of forced development? Maybe it's really for old-adults who are young in parts?
The novel has some major defects like these, the plot almost coming apart in your hands. But the tale is memorable, well told, and in the end thoroughly worthwhile.
What makes it worthwhile are the towering questions about war, and conflict in general, which the author is not afraid to explore. And to do so without preaching, which is a real achievement. Questions like this...
What do you do when you discover you've killed someone, when you only meant to stop them hurting or killing you? What if your aim in life is to avoid hurting or killing anyone? Do your parents, your teachers and your government really have to lie to you, manipulate you, in order to turn you into an efficient and focussed killer? Do they have to disguise real war, indeed aggressive war, as a game, if they want to minimise the possibility you'll lose? Might both players and instructors become too interested in the Game for its own sake?
And what if you discover you've destroyed an enemy — an alien species — which it turns out wasn’t aiming to destroy you after all, even though there was never any chance of a negotiated peace? Is it possible to make amends to the vanquished? Should you even think of doing so?
Are there people who hurt and kill without giving such questions a moment’s thought? What if they plot to become world leaders -- should they be stopped in good time? Might they actually make good leaders, without ever becoming "nice people"? What if one of these psychos, these megalomaniacs, is your own brother? However can you get through childhood in the same household without him killing you?
Not only adults but very young children have to face such questions. And even in matters of life and death, the grown-ups may not come to your rescue. The author explores these knotty themes in an honest and original way. But if you're not paying attention, it's so easy to get carried away by the thrill of the Game.
Id thought of getting this book for a while but with the films release I pulled my finger out and started listening...and listening infact I was hooked. Yes its a great story and very well written but the performances are the best Ive ever heard in a audiable book.
The sequel to Forge of God...cant remember the title but this was much better, more human characters and easy to relate to them
Never listened to him before but will keep an eye out for him from now on.
Suprisingly yes, didnt cry as Im hard as nails but the ending!!!...well i wont spoil it for you but actually felt bad the the buggers!
Even if you dont like sci fi youll like this book....dont think Ill bother with the film as now way can it do this book justice.
Really enjoyed this book. The story is an interesting one, switching between the three wiggin siblings. The main story is that of Andrew, a bullied, shy but brilliant young boy who is sent off to be a soldier at the very young age to learn to fight and destroy a race of bug like aliens. The majority of the book describes his training at battle school and learning a competitive zero gravity game. Other parts of the book tell the story through his teachers eyes as well as his brother and sister who have an interesting part to play. Loved the story. Very well read and the narrator changes to focus on different characters. Highly recommended
Report Inappropriate Content