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Speaker for the Dead Audiobook

Speaker for the Dead

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Publisher's Summary

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth. Orson Scott Card infuses this tale with intellect by casting his characters in social, religious, and cultural contexts.

This, the author's definitive edition of the sequel to Ender's Game, also includes an original postscript written and recorded by the author himself, Orson Scott Card!.

Browse more titles in the Ender Wiggin series.

©1986, 1990 Orson Scott Card; (P)2002 Fantastic Audio, an Imprint of Audio Literature

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novel, 1987
  • Nebula Award Winner, Best Novel, 1986

"The most powerful work Card has produced. Speaker not only completes Ender's Game, it transcends it." (Fantasy Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (11590 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joe Sacramento, CA, USA 06-13-05
    Joe Sacramento, CA, USA 06-13-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Enderverse"

    This is my favorite science fiction series. The characters are easy to identify with, and you will find yourself sucked into this imaginary universe, nicknamed the Enderverse by fans.

    Recommended order of reading (in my opinion): Ender?s Game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind. Reading the books in this order will keep you interested and keep the story moving more naturally.

    If after reading all of these wonderful books you are still itching for an Enderverse fix then read First Meetings. The list above is sorted by the Enderverse timeline. Meaning that the flow of events in the stories are uninterrupted. If you were to read the books in the order they were published, you would bounce back and forth in between time and few of the plot twists in future books would be revealed before you wanted them to be known. First Meetings, however contains short stories that occur both before and in between the list above within the Enderverse.

    121 of 122 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. T. Mitchum KC 01-07-09
    J. T. Mitchum KC 01-07-09 Listener Since 2007

    J.T.

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    "As implied by title: Not Ender's Game"

    I enjoyed this book, but I enjoyed it because I did not expect Ender's Game proper.

    There was a lot about Ender's Game I enjoyed, but I can sub-categorize all my favorite parts into two important distinctions. Military strategy and group leadership versus interpersonal development and politics.

    If you really only enjoyed the military portions of Ender's Game, then you may consider leaving Speaker of the Dead out. Scott Card wrote Ender's Game so he could write Speaker for the Dead. The way he writes the characters in Speaker for the Dead I have found to be a reliable measure for his other books in the Enderverse.

    Reading about waging a war is awesome because of the absolution both sides of a war feel, a solidarity under one banner, so to speak. At the end of war, we have fractured absolution and limited solidarity -- complex topics to say the least.

    Speaker for the dead is about this post-war universe. The threads of religion and science woven throughout the personalities is beautifully done in a way that should be neutral enough to spawn debate, but with the author's beliefs only somewhat veiled. Reading a book like this often makes me feel we are more predictable in groups than we are when left to our private choices.

    This book gives weight to the phrase "where there is a will, there is a way." Of course -- not all wills are good ones ...

    28 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Oliver Indiana 11-29-12
    J. Oliver Indiana 11-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great story, poor narration"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Use consistent narration. Using several different people that change the emotional delivery and even the gender of the voice is distracting and annoying. Plus, the woman sounds like she should be reading smut, not sci-fi.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki ?

    These weren't the only narrators. I would have stuck with them.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Fabel Lancaster, PA, United States 04-24-13
    Scott Fabel Lancaster, PA, United States 04-24-13 Member Since 2010

    I'm a corporate training consultant and adjunct professor who loves to read! I'm always looking for the next big thing.

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    "Great story, but the performance was dreadful"

    After having read "Ender's Game," I was eager to read "Speaker for the Dead." I was definitely not disappointed. According to interviews with the author, Orson Scott Card, "Speaker for the Dead" was the original book that he wanted to write. He wrote "Ender's Game" as a kind of introduction to "Speaker for the Dead." Although "Ender's Game" has become far more well-known and more popular than "Speaker for the Dead," I can see why this was the story that the author really wanted to write. The story is much richer and deeper. I feel as if it's written for a more mature audience, and its themes reflect that maturity. Don't get me wrong. I loved "Ender's Game," yet I think I enjoyed "Speaker for the Dead" just as much--only for different reasons.

    Let me get the bad news out of the way. The audio recording of this book was terrible. I don't want to say that the actual performance of the narrators was bad because it really wasn't. The problem was that there were just too many narrators, and they were used inconsistently throughout the book. At times, there were shifts from one narrator to another mid-paragraph, and it didn't seem to be done for any reason. I certainly don't want to say that this lessened the story in any way. After all, it's the same story whether listening to one narrator or 50. Even so, the shifting back and forth was distracting. As if that weren't bad enough, there was also periodic background music that was played during the performance. Again, this seemed to show up in random locations. There was one location in particular in which music just started playing mid-sentence and the ended in the middle of the following sentence. Usually, I expect some of that background music to signal a change in chapter, theme, or something else recognizable. That was surely not the case here. Again, it didn't lessen the story, but it was distracting. It wouldn't be such a bad thing for the story to be re-recorded without the performance issues.

    Now, on to the good news. This book takes place 3000 years after "Ender's Game"; however, thanks to space travel at relativistic speeds, both Ender and Valentine are still alive--and in their 30s! In many ways, this book picks up not long after "Ender's Game" concludes. Ender has now become the Speaker for the Dead. After the events that occurred earlier in his life (in "Ender's Game"), he decides to dedicate himself to speaking the death of other people. Perhaps he sees this as atonement for his earlier life. In this book, humans have discovered a new, alien life form, the Pequeninos (also known as "piggies"), on the planet Lusitania. A death occurs on this planet, and Ender is called to speak the death.

    This book is far more philosophical than "Ender's Game." The Speaker for the Dead does not deliver a traditional eulogy for those who have died. Instead, he speaks the truth. This concept resonated strongly with me because I think a lot of people don't get to have the truth spoken at their funerals. While this idea of speaking for the dead is a central theme of the book, there are many others. For example, the interactions between the humans and the piggies is extraordinary. It frames the way in which we, as humans, look at anything or anyone who is different from us, as something that needs to be either protected or changed. We seem to think that we are the most evolved species and, subsequently, the most intelligent. Although the book doesn't necessarily contradict this belief, it does make the reader question it. Finally, I want to also mention that the Catholic Church is alive and well in the far-off future. There were very interesting discussions of religious themes throughout the book. The Catholic Church has a prominent role on Lusitania, and it must somehow align its teachings with the new reality of an alien life form.

    Overall, this was an enjoyable read. It still exists in the same general universe as "Ender's Game," yet it is its own story. The more mature philosophical themes make this a great book for older readers, but it's still science fiction. This seems to be a great combination, and I look forward to reading other books in the Ender series.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danathar 06-19-09
    Danathar 06-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book, really don't like the female reading"

    Just like Ender's game this is a great book. Harder to get through though. Card spends more time on character development than really needed. The woman who does a good bit of the reading is a bit too melodramatic for my ears.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua N. Mitchell Denver, CO USA 04-13-06
    Joshua N. Mitchell Denver, CO USA 04-13-06 Member Since 2009
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    "Good story, okay narration"

    First, this isn't Ender's Game. It's an entirely different kind of story, so if you're looking for the pseudo-military sci-fi action of Ender's Game, you will be disappointed. That said, this is one of Card's better works, with rich, interesting characters and a fascinating (if slower-moving) plot.

    The multi-person reading is not very well done, however. At best, it's distracting; at worst, obnoxious--one of the female readers, in particular, has a habit of reading every sentence as though it's the saddest and most important thing ever written. The book's main narrator is (fortunately) quite good.

    Overall, recommended.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-08-03 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Listen to the Speaker"

    <U>Speaker for the Dead</U> is a terrific sequel to <U>Ender's Game</U>. Where <U>Ender's Game</U> was exciting and suspenseful science fiction, <U>Speaker for the Dead</U> is like Ender himself, all grown up. Where Ender was a brilliant child reacting to the pressures and problems of the IF, Andrew Wiggin, the Speaker for the Dead, brings wisdom and maturity to the character we all came to love in <U>Ender's Game</U>.

    Terrificly narrated by Stefan Rudnicki and the rest of the awesome Fantistic Audio players, I highly recommend this book. The Afterword by the author is also helpful in putting the first two books of series in perspective.

    Orson Scott Card has created a terrific universe with his <B><U>Ender Wiggin</U></B> series. I am proud to say that I discovered it here on audible.com and look forward to listening to some of the later books in the series soon.

    30 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 02-13-08
    Jan 02-13-08
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    "The Anti-Ender's Game"

    I picked this book because I had very much enjoyed Ender's Game and "Speaker" is the continuation of the story. However, it is also completely different in speed and style. While "Ender's Game" is mostly science fiction of the technical kind (spaceships, battles, etc.) and moves along well most of the time, "Speaker" is a tedious, slow-as-molasses study of religion, family relationships, childhood neuroses, and endlessly repeated sermons on tolerance. The passages in Portuguese, on the Catholic teachings, and others are tedious and boring.
    You may end up liking "Speaker", but it won't be for the same reasons you may like "Ender's Game". Be forewarned.

    44 of 53 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Kindler 02-27-16
    The Kindler 02-27-16 Member Since 2014

    Science, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Military History, Thrillers, Great Courses, Horror, and anything with a good story. Please forgive errors.

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    "Brilliant"
    Any additional comments?

    There is a lot of controversy around Card but he still writes really interesting books that require the reader to think about the implications of each action and reaction. It is a wonderful masterpiece and deserves the reader to think critically about the ideas of Card.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathleen upper darby, PA, United States 01-19-03
    Cathleen upper darby, PA, United States 01-19-03 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing!!!!"

    As much as I enjoyed Ender's Game, I loved this book more. I liked the action of Ender's Game, but it was the inner conflicts and thoughts of his character that I really enjoyed. (Card made me really care about Ender and what happened to him.) It is just this kind of intimacy that I think is the core of this book. It has such emotional intensity with a transcendant spirituality,that made me want to "inhale" this book. I found myself just sitting in my car long after I had reached my destination just to complete another chapter. This book grabbed me and flung me on the roller coaster of its message, and I didn't want to ever get off.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
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  • V. S.
    6/23/05
    Overall
    "Probably my favourite book ever"

    This audio book amazed me. It follows on from Enders Game but is a vast departure from that story in both style and content. Listening to this book is like meditation - it's so deep and moving, and yet never boring. Pure Bliss! Wonderful narration. The first ever audio book to make me cry.

    So good that I wish I had never heard it, so that I could discover it for the first time again.

    One of Audible's gems.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Danamic
    Prestatyn, Wales
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A different follow on from Ender's Game"

    Some may not like it... but I do.

    The book becomes a philosophical debate about the inward struggles that we face when confronting things we cannot understand.

    Would I listen to it again? Probably not...

    Will I listen to the next book in the series? Already have.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • iplayedthatgame
    uk
    4/16/11
    Overall
    "my favourite book"

    This story takes ender and follows him into his adult life , it shows how the battle school and descisions he made while there affected his adult life , showing for me that osc has a real understanding and empathy for his character and not just writing another story because the first book did well.
    This really comes across with the relationship ender has with his sister with jane and the familly he befriends, also with the comunity he affects just by being there.
    As this is the second book in the series you may feel that you need to read the first and you should because it is an excellent book but the refferences in this book explain themselves so you can read it as a book and not feel left out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jane
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    10/30/07
    Overall
    "Painfully slow"

    I really don't like flatly contradicting other reviewers, and someone else has said this is their favourite book ever. However, personally I disliked it and, after several hours of hoping it would improve, eventually moved onto something else without finishing it. Part of the problem was that, although I had read and enjoyed Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, there were clearly some books that I'd missed out of the series which meant that there were some big leaps in understanding this (I've noticed this elsewhere on Audible with series: absolutely no attempt is made to help the reader work out which order to listen in, and sometimes the reviews are actively quite misleading).
    However, I also found the plot painfully slow and the female half of the narrating team had me grinding my teeth at the way she was determined to wring every ounce of slow pathos out of the story.
    So this might be the best book ever or it might be one you'll never finish. Personally, I would recommend making sure that you're listening to the series in the right order and also listening to the start of the narration to see if it seems like your cup of tea.

    8 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • MR G H TYLER
    8/13/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very very special book"

    Quite different from Enders Game. Full of intriguing mystery to be solved, in new worlds. Full of need and hope, the astonishing power of reaching an understanding and empathy. This story is enticing on multiple levels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan Wooster
    6/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cracking follow on"

    Loved this, was a great follow on from ender's game and in my opinion the better book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • JayDee
    Scotland
    3/29/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Do not proceed."
    Would you try another book written by Orson Scott Card or narrated by David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki ?

    No - I absolutely loved Ender's game, but this book is so vastly different from the first, I regret buying it


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    No - this book is so vastly different from Enders game - it's more like a spin off rather than a follow up


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    Telford, United Kingdom
    11/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very different, but still enjoyable enough"


    Story – 4/5

    I must admit, this is not my usual type of story to listen to/read. I knew it was going to be different to Ender’s game, but apart from using the Wiggin family again, there is absolutely no similarity – so it was even more different than I had anticipated. This is more about the psychology, philosophy and ethics surrounding the colonisation of other planets.

    It had good characterisation, and I was very intrigued about the alien species being studied. I will probably never read this story again, but I am glad that I did, and found it easy to listen to. I didn’t 100% buy into the human analysis that Ender’s character was performing, but I am laid back enough to see it as fiction and enjoy the rest of it.

    If you are looking for a sci-fi with action, strategy and coming of age characters like the last book, this is definitely not the one for you, but if you are open minded and enjoy hearing others philosophising, definitely give it a shot.


    Performance – 4.5/5

    Again, this book had the same multiple narrators as Ender’s Game, and again, I can’t say it added much to the story like other full cast productions have. Not bad in any way, just not any better than single narrator audios.

    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 – 4/5

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sabreen
    10/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Now I have to finish the whole Enderverse. It's getting better and better with every book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • alexstone
    7/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    I loved this book, it kept me guessing from start to finish! I highly recommend it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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