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Speaker for the Dead | [Orson Scott Card]

Speaker for the Dead

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.
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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

4.3 (9535 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Todd Madison, WI, USA 01-12-03
    Todd Madison, WI, USA 01-12-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
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    "A brilliant book"

    I listened to Enders Game and really loved it. Orson Scott Card is a fabulous writer. So when it came time to download a new book, I got Speaker for the Dead. And again I loved the book.

    The author manages to create a completely new society and social structure of another species on a far away world. The interaction between the humans and this other species makes you question your own assumptions about people of other cultures. How much of our current world tension is a result of true incompatibility and how much is due to just misunderstanding the other culture?

    So the book has that whole deep "hmmm" thing going on and it's just entertaining. It's got enough mystery to keep you guessing about how situations will turn out. A sentient computer "program" named Jane adds another element of interest.

    As with Enders Game, this audiobook used multiple narrators. They all did an excellent job with the exception of a way overly dramatic female. I found I couldn't wait 'til we moved on to another narrator. Sorry lady. Turn down the acting knob a little. Even with Little Miss Drama, this book is well worth listening to.

    28 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Foster-Turner Harrow, Greater London, UK 01-10-07
    Helen Foster-Turner Harrow, Greater London, UK 01-10-07 Member Since 2012

    I've been into epic fantasy, sci-fi and everything in between since I first read The Lord of the Rings. I also love detective novels.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "I loved it, you may or may not"

    I felt as though this was a book I should have read years ago and regretted that I did not.

    Like many others who have reviewed this book, I also enjoyed Enders Game but took up Speaker for the Dead with no preconceived ideas. The first part of this novel is rightly spent setting up the rest and, since the story that follows is based on the characters experiences and the emotions that arise because of them, they form the important foundation for the rest of the novel. In other words it contextualises it.

    If you want another Enders Game, then it is not the same. It is richer, deeper and slower to build. It requires a reader with empathy, a little patience and an open mind.

    I will not nitpick the science but it was written a while ago and our collective understanding and expectations have changed in the interim. I do believe, however, that eventually technological development will plateau as we discover all the technology that will serve us and it will remain somewhat similar until something changes to cause the next great cycle of advancement.

    It touched me and it made me think which is all I can ask of any book.

    6 of 7 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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 11-28-13
    Jacobus Johannesburg, South Africa 11-28-13 Member Since 2013

    When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A fugitive finds a resting place"

    According to Orson Scott Card "Ender's Game" is actually the introduction to the much deeper story you will find in "Speaker for the Dead." I am not sure if I agree with this statement. However, I do find the idea of someone speaking the truth about a dead person on or after his funeral very appealing, maybe because I am myself a minister of religion and has buried a lot of people. The basic premise of Card's story is that the truth brings in some or other way healing.

    In "Speaker for the Dead" you will meet Ender thousands of years after his great victory over the "Buggers" on his way to the only planet with a different intelligent life form instead of humans in the universe. After the "Piggies" killed one of the members of the human community that has settled on the planet, a call is made by a bitter woman to come and speak the dead person's death. Andrew Wiggins as a Speaker for the Dead responds to the call leaving his sister behind for the first time.

    What will the butcher of the "Buggers" find? Meet Ender far off in the future - a changed man - in a new role. The book comes highly recommended. I completely understand why it has won the Nebula award on its hey day.

    Like usual David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki does an excellent job with the narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    valerie 10-30-11
    valerie 10-30-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very good read"

    This is the follow up story to Ender's Game, though if you were expecting anything remotely like EG you won't find it - try Ender's Shadow instead (also an excellent book). Speaker for the Dead is a very solid and interesting story in its own terms, and it raises fascinating questions such as the value of a life, community responsibility for the behaviour of its members, protection vs self-determination and many others. I found it gripping when I read it in hardcopy many years ago, and the audio version was worth a listen. The multiple narrators works quite well, for if one voice grates a little (and one of them did) you know they will soon be replaced by another. My only criticism, if it is one, is that I was not convinced by the speed of the plot line: the Speaker for the Dead found out everything he needed to know and developed deep relationships with humans and aliens within a few weeks. Otherwise a very good read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clark Ashland, OR, United States 09-03-11
    Clark Ashland, OR, United States 09-03-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Would have been 1/2 hour shorter if..."

    the female narrator didn't have to intone every word. Ruins it for me. Makes the characters sound pretentious.

    Card is a great writer.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Martinez St. Louis, MO 02-09-07
    Chris Martinez St. Louis, MO 02-09-07 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good story!"

    This takes place after Ender's Game and begins a sort of different type of story. Ender's Game is more action based, and the rest of the series has more geo-political and sociological themed. I'd recommend giving this a listen, but if you find it a little too thoughtful for you, you may want to skip directly to the Shadow series - those follow Bean, and are written more similarly to EG.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 10-17-05
    Jason 10-17-05 Member Since 2015
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    "Worthy successor"

    I actually liked this a bit more than Ender's Game (which I thought was also great). The story has matured along with Ender's Character. However, this book will be disappointing if you are not prepared to consider it the first of a trilogy. The two following books are excellent as well.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erynn Seattle, WA, USA 08-06-03
    Erynn Seattle, WA, USA 08-06-03 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where Ender's Game leaves off..."

    This book follows perfectly the first book, 'Ender's Game.' The same cast from Fantastic Audio is back to do another great job.
    'Speaker..' doesn't have the action that 'Ender's Game' did, but instead focuses more on the political and psychological side of trying to start again on a new planet, and making first contact with an alien species. Orson Scott Card excels again at creating the most interesting characters possible and taking you deep into their psyche. If you liked Ender's Game, you will like where this story takes you.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela North Hollywood, CA, USA 12-08-03
    Pamela North Hollywood, CA, USA 12-08-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ummm...."

    I gave a rave review to Ender's Game. I eagerly bought this audiobook as well, expecting a continuation of the well-written and engrossing story. I have removed it from my mp3 player and will not be giving it another chance. 'Boring' is the most applicable word I can use in regards to this book. I couldn't get my mind to focus on what the narrators were saying, because the actual story itself was just so uninteresting, with drawn out dialogs and dull situations.

    Part of the reason this story failed for me is because the characters that I cared about from the first story aren't in it (and if they were, I couldn't bear to trudge that far into the narrative to find them). Also, the narrators themselves don't help. They are monotonous and dry. One lady, the one who did the sister in the first book, is almost unbearable. I lived through her intonations in the first book and came to associate her voice with the sister. It's unsettling to hear her voice now associated with another character, read in the same unpleasant monotone.

    It almost pains me to give a bad review to the author who so thrilled me with Ender's Game. But I just couldn't finish this book. Overall, it was just disappointing.

    14 of 19 people found this review helpful
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  • Gustav
    London, United Kingdom
    6/17/12
    Overall
    "Changes the gears for the series (still great!)"

    I love this whole series. The second book is as always wonderfully narrated. This book is quite different from the first, and that is a good thing. The author isn't being lazy and looking at the same questions over and over again. This, as it happens, is true for most of his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Piano man 2007
    Europe
    8/12/11
    Overall
    "Too much christianity for me !"


    The book has its good and bad side. I like the detailed characters, altough the whole story is interwoven with religious stuff, sin, christianity, self-pity ... Can you image planets being colonized thousands of years from now with bishops as a main function in society ? I sure can't and I sure not hope so, just too far fetched...

    I looked him up on wiki after hearing the book that's when I found out his story are interwoven with his mormone religion...

    The book won a hugo award, main reason I wanted to hear it. But my guess is is that America gave this man an award because christianity is 30% of the SF story...

    3 stars for the characters & plot, -2 for religous crap ...

    All in all worth hearing though

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • John
    DublinIreland
    2/5/11
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Excellent book, fantastic narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Derry M.
    5/30/10
    Overall
    "Speaker for the Dead"

    I really liked this book. It follows on from Ender's Game and brings the listener on to the next stage of the principal character's life/development. I wasn't much into science fiction. Then I read Ender's Game and next Speaker for the Dead. I must say I am now a convert. Both these books were great. Great stories, well developed characters, appropriatley paced. I read other reviews after reading these books and now I feel I may have started at the pinnacle and may have let myself in for a lot of disappointment going forward. I would strongly suggest that one reads Ender's Game before Speaker for the Dead. They both stand well alone but it certainly will add to your enjoyment should you read in sequence.
    All in all I would highly recommend this book. Having not read a lot of science fiction this book and it's prequel will make me seek out more from this genre. I would highly recommend this book and the audiobook experience enhanced it even more. The production values of the audio are also very good. The timely usage of background music adds an other world atmosphere and the reader's voice is easy to listen to while retaining one's attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    3/17/09
    Overall
    "Story-telling at its best"

    Story-telling at its best. I thoroughly enjoyed Ender's Game and this is a brilliant but very different sequel. Do not expect a continuation of the same themes as EG; Ender has matured both as the written character and as the man, and he is now seeking redemption for his xenocide. Beautiful storytelling by OSC and the excellent narrators - If you enjoy Sci-Fi or are hooked by the original Ender book, you will not be dissapointed.

    0 of 0 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.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful

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