Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

A 6-year-old wunderkind enters Battle School to train to defeat the aggressive, invading Buggers.

This was actually my first foray into audiobooks on the iPod. I am a huge fan of podcasts, but had yet to tackle a book during the time I spend pushing my stroller and nursing Superfast Toddler to sleep. I figured Ender’s Game was a good entrĂ©e, since I have read it before and it wasn’t terribly long, only 11 hours. Since it only took me 2 or 3 hours to actually read the thing, the inefficiency sort of bothered me at first, but I got into it really quickly.

What amazes me about Ender’s Game is how skillfully Card pulls off such an absurd premise. Ender and his cohorts are children who are capable of tremendous feats of military strategy and intellect. It’s impossible to picture–yet it totally works. Even more remarkable is how he maintains sympathy for Ender, who could’ve been totally insufferable in his excellence and achievement. Ender never fails, but you don’t hate him, because Card gets into his alienation and fears so deeply. All told, it’s a fine book for newcomers to science fiction, and definitely held up to a second read.

4 thoughts on “Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card”

  1. I found Enders Game a really good book – much more engrossing than other Card books.

    One thing I noticed was the egalitarian values – the lack of gender or ethnic bias. And maybe the astonishing degree that Card holds children and youth to the same standards, within their training level, as adults for honor and accomplishment.

    I didn’t find the range of accomplishment, from the run-of-the-mill followers to the leaders, to be outside what might be expected. College programming courses quoted an expected 5 to 1 ratio between the best and worst assignments for efficiency and elegance. The Enders Game war games standings followed a pattern that might have come from summer softball with a precocious new team.

    The stresses and interactions will be understandable to those that have been to summer camp or boot camp. This is a dark story, amazingly well told. And worth re-reading. I look forward to the audio book.


  2. I think one reason the book works (for me anyway!) is that I never felt like a kid, when I was one. Not that I felt “grown up”, but that I was the same person I am now, and I always thought I was making as much sense as anyone else. I read Ender’s Game when I was still quite young, and I think the fact that all the grown-ups take the kids seriously was appealing to me. I hated it so much when people would dismiss me because I was young.

  3. I didn’t really mention the quality of the audiobook–the narrators do a great job with everything but the Battle School slang. The guy who read Ender’s chapters sounded kind of stupid–he couldn’t pull it off. They had a woman reading Valentine’s chapters, another guy reading Bean’s chapters, and 2 different guys doing the dialogue between Graf & the other guy.

  4. Ender’s Game is my all-time favorite of Card’s books. I felt like he really wrote the way children think and talk very well- even in such a far-fetched situation. Sympathetic is right- I felt so bad for Ender.

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