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)
I certainly ended up loving the boy "Ender" but felt that the story was a bit depressing. What Ender had to endure goes on too long and his daily life is too detailed. Like another reviewer said, I think if there had been more character development I would have liked it more. It also reminds me of how we often use our children without their consent.
This should be required reading in AP English courses, if Asimov and Bradbury fit in, so does Card! I will re-read and re-listen for your years to come. This goes for the entire series. Card is awesome and the readers are very very good!
This is a wonderful book. Although it has all the elements of "hard" sci-fi (aliens, space battles and doomsday devices), the plot is almost entirely driven by the challenges faced by the battle school children, their families, and even the adults who manipulate the children.
Furthermore, the narration is unbelievably good. Several readers are used, but it avoids the "radio play" sound by having all scenes written from each character's point of view read by a certain reader. (Except for the debates that begin each chapter, which are read as a dialogue by two readers.) This gives it nice clarity and continuity.
I've downloaded about 30 titles from Audible, and this one is my favorite, in part because I love this book, but especially because the narration was so well done.
This story is very well read by multiple actors that do a great job! The story itself is sci-fi perfection. It ranks (to me) next to Stranger in a Strange Land for originality and believability.
Please forgive my less than stellar opinion of this book. I'm not going to write a synopsis of this book as you can read that elsewhere. Rather, I want to justify why I'm only giving this book 2 stars.
1) There is an astonishing lack of conflict in this story, and conflict is, after all, the essence of story. In Ender's Game, the character Ender never once -- NEVER -- fails at anything he does or encounters. There is not a single space battle (simulation) where Ender gets his butt handed to him. Similarly, there is not a single fight (real life, we want to kick your ass because we hate you, Ender) that Ender ever loses or, for that matter, where he even gets hurt.
How is it possible to tell a story and build to a satisfying conclusion, if the main character never fails to achieve his goal? Moreover, what sort of emotional investment is required for we as readers to put into this character if we know that he simply will not fail?
This is not "Story."
2) The narration of this book -- with the exception of the character Valentine -- is top notch. Perhaps some of the best narration I've experienced in an audiobook.
And some of the worst. Whoever it is that is narrating Valentine's POV, should be removed from the profession immediately. This sort of languorous, wistful-sigh tone that she adopts when speaking Valentine's dialog, is atrocious. Not terrible at first, but as the audiobook moves along, I began to hate the character simply because I couldn't stand the narrator.
I know this review goes against what most people feel about this book. And who the hell am I to speak negatively about a classic such as this. While the premise is interesting, it left me feeling so oddly dissatisfied.
Why root for Ender's success when it becomes obvious that he cannot -- will not -- fail?
Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.
I chose this book based on its rave reviews. I was deeply disappointed: the plot is sophomoric, the prose is too. All told, the book has nothing going for it, just a second-rate sci fi novel.
Orson Scott Card can weave a tale about the power of youth much the same way as King and Spielberg can. The world that Scott creates is very well planned out. Ender and his friends show that age does not mean maturity as they are able to encounter all the challenges thrown at them.
Why this book is so highly praised is beyond me. Supposedly one of the best science fiction books ever? Really?
As I write this review the movie based on this novel is due out soon. I can actually envision it being a decent movie, but to me it was a boring read. I struggled to get through it. The characters were interesting enough, but the story was hard to follow and lacked continuity. The battle simulation scenes, of which there were many, were tedious and boring.
The narrator was decent enough but even he could not bring life to this book for me.
I admit I am not a huge SciFi fan, but to rate this as one of the best makes me wonder what I must have missed.
"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.
"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
"Terrific story, but 1 of the 3 readers is awful"
I loved this story, and for most of it I couldn't wait to hear what was going to happen next. For some reason, the story doesn't end when you would expect, but drifts on for a chapter or two, with a very different tone. I presume we'll see why in the following books in the series. Although this is scifi, it is really simply an adventure story set in the future: the science is neither central nor addressed in any detail.
This audiobook had three readers who take it in turn. Two are OK; unfortunately, the third, Gabrielle de Cuir, is absolutely awful - all inappropriate whingeing and pathetic and resigned, completely inappropriate for the characters - and irritating to listen to.
I nevertheless recommend this audiobook for anyone who, like me, enjoys good straightforward adventure stories of characters struggling on in the face of adversity, and using tactics, strategies and tricks to overcome the obstacles in their path.
"Harry Potter in space"
I really enjoyed this book, and i got hooked into it very quickly. While i enjoyed the middle part and build up to the climax alot, the ending was a little weak. It tries to build up to the next book in the series, Speaker of the dead. But i feel from the ending in book 1 that the theme and content will be quite different.
While i could enjoy the partly supernatural strategic powers of Ender in the book, towards the end it got a little out of hand with all of his friends sharing in the 10-12 year old awesomeness vs. adults, and i thought some of it as rather outright silly. Over the top is the correct term i presume.
"Great story not sure about narrator."
I loved the attachment to Ender and following his path. Found it a little confusing at first, the inflection of the narrator didn't help.
The way Orson Scott Card describes his characters and draws you into their world, so you really want to know what happens. Even though the story is out of our world of course, the writer still takes you with his characters and you really care about them.
He read ok, but not great. If he had more inflection in his tone, or changed his voice a little when different people were speaking that would help. But he kept it the same no matter who was speaking and whatever manner or person or situation.
Definitely. Great story. The narrator didn't suit me, but might be fine for others.
Would recommend this read!
"Great story that has a deep, complex under belly"
It's a great story of how a boy over comes adversity on his own but gains the respect of those around him. You also feel so much for the Ender's character and many battles, real and mental, that he continually and relentlessly has to fight.
The final battle scene
I read this book when I was in my 20's and it's still a great story the second time around not that I am in my 40's
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