Charly’s review of Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Eric (new)

Eric ***More Spoilers***

1. My point was, Ender would not have killed the other kid had he not been wet. And I hope that boot camp does not predispose any sort of butt-ass-naked fighting, however interesting some people may find it.

2. There are three other books, in which his siblings... well, are main characters and the fact that they Ender's brother took his alias would lead him to become the Hegemon and rule over earth or whatever it is he wanted to do. Ender's sister becomes the most influential name in the galaxy under her alias, which ultimately affects the outcome of the series directly.

3. It is difficult to explain the logic Card uses in the book because it's been a while since I've read the searies. However, the turmoil within Ender for being used to destroy an entire race of beings (except for the Hive Queen) changed the way humans later dealt with other races and species throughout the galaxy (notably in the 2nd and 3rd books.

4. "Dimly lit" ;) I don't think you are dim-witted, I just think you missed the underlying points of this story thus rendering your observations dimly lit. I apologize if it was taken the wrong way.

message 2: by Thomas (new)

Thomas I have to admit, even as an LDS, that your review struck me as being "right on." I don't know what Card was thinking, but when it came to the reference to pubic hair, I felt that was so out of place that I lost all suspension of disbelief right then and there. I never recovered from that loss.

The last third of the book is an add-on and so out of step with the rest of the story, that Card should have gone back and completely rewritten the entire thing.

I only saw the LDS reference as being no more or less than Heinlein's own use in his future history novels. As to any kind of plug for the LDS, the book rips away any real credibility for our religion by Card's own use of naked bodies, et al.

While I didn't relate all the naked bodies to a pedophile vibe when I read it, I have to agree with you. Ender was a problem kid who didn't know his own killing side (can I call it a berserker side?). Whether Card was trying to play this up or not is questionable.

The book has to be one of the most overrated Science Fiction stories of all time. I have read some horrid SF, and some much worse, but I've never found one so disjointed or lacking depth. Card had to have written this early in his career and should have definitely told the publisher to hold for a rewrite. It might have tightened it up to the point where it would be worthy of its awards. Right now, or as I read it, I had to think that the community was really desperate for something new.

Needless to say, I did give it two stars as it isn't the worst I've read. But it is darned close.

message 3: by Charly (last edited Jan 11, 2009 10:32AM) (new)

Charly John wrote: "The naked soldiers give the camp a spartan atmosphere. Having the soldiers live naked around one another serves the purpose of undermining their erotic instincts (contrary to what we might expect)..."

Fair enough, although I suppose the infamous couples Achilles/Patroclus, Alexander/Hephaestion and the entire Sacred Band of Thebes could serve as examples of the Greeks not giving a damn about "undermining their erotic instincts" within the military. Hell, I would argue it was sometimes encouraged.

In all honesty, I kind of brought up the naked bootcamp fighting stuff as a side bar and just thought it to be little odd in a sci-fi book supposedly written for little kids. There were many reasons I hated the book. The creepiness being the least of it.

message 4: by Zoe (new)

Zoe "First of all, like even the best science fiction, the characters were one dimensional card board cut outs. This starts with the dorky, self absorbed protagonist Ender himself. I can deal with this problem if the plot is cool enough (ala Dune). Dune, too, often times dealt with children geniuses, however it was explained and made sense in the story. We have no idea why Ender and the other children (of which 99.9% were male) are so smart."

I actually liked Ender's character. I think you have to keep in mind that he's a child-- he should not expected to be extremely reflective or insightful. Also, what child isn't somewhat self absorbed? Just because he is a genius doesn't exempt him from this-- his genius lies in mathematical/strategic fields.

I think that all the children around Ender are smart because they are hand picked-- the very best. That's why the government had chips and whatnot on all the kids. Most were removed, which meant that they weren't suitable (because of intelligence and or personality/temperament) to be trained. I think most of the kids are male because girls (especially at that time) were less willing to kill in such a cold-blooded manner. Girls are, in general (not always), more ruled by their emotions, and emotions aren't something highly encouraged in space. And if this sounds like I'm stereotyping, don't think I'm sexist, I'm just providing a possible explanation for why girls and boys were viewed as distinct according to Card (30 years ago).

message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Honestly, I read Ender's Shadow before I read Ender's Game. Reading Ender's Game after made it much more amazing. For those who didn't really like Ender's Game, please, check out Ender's Shadow.

Just note that this is Science Fiction. There isn't a reason for it to be all realistic... (Note: Star Trek?)

All these kids were tested and hand picked to be the best of the best for their ages. Keep this in mind too. The scene in the bathroom is the only place they Card COULD place the boys. All their clothing and even towels were being tracked... so the only place you weren't tracked was in the shower.

message 6: by Luz (last edited Jun 23, 2009 07:15PM) (new)

Luz Do you even know when this book was written????? This book was written in 1985. There was not so much technology as there is today. Think of the creativity the author had and alot of it came true for this generation of time.

message 7: by Kay Dee (new)

Kay Dee i just read it because i had to wait on my requested books to read from the library and it is famous and on the children's assigned/recommend reading list in my are.

i gave it a good rating cuz it was a pretty good sci-fi tale. but i do not think it is a child's book, teenagers yes like 15 and up but younger i don't think so. i really would not want kids to think they could actually go to war with their video games for real. it is bad enough they play war games.

i was disturbed by the main characters- the Wiggins children being the heroes and the villains. i mean they were all kinda sociopaths weren't they? and the adults were just awful to the wigginsand the other children in battle school by creating these little monsters. exigencies of war is the excuse they gave.

and yeah i did get a creepy feel, not the naked bodies though it was the cruel game with the giant and how so many of these young geniuses they created just wanted to kill anyone who was better then them, mainly Ender. i found it very disheartening because i never once forgot that these were children under the age of 15.

maybe it reminded a bit of the child solider in Africa, forced to become something not natural for a child. what it does to a mind is one thing, their souls have got to be even more damaged.

i wonder why it is on the recommend list for children under the age of 15. i do not wonder why it is considered a sci-fi masterpiece. i have discovered that critics/award panels and the common folk rarely agree on what is a good book/movie/song/film/etc. all one has to do is consider the fact that common romance novels are now considered classics like jane austen and the brontes. good lil stories and all, but really just a romance novel. they were the nora roberts of their day.

Stupidpeopleareannoying quigley I really am disapointed that you feel this way about this novel. This only supports my hypothesis of the fact that adults loose their imagination. This clearly is an example of it. Even in Ender's Game they make a point to clarify that having a child be the one to defeat the formics was the only way to go. Adults could not perform the task the way children could; their lack of imagination is what was the key factor. Reality sets in on adults and thinking outside of the box or taking risks just isn't an option.(btw, Ender was NOT okay with earsing an entire species. You might have forgotten that HE DIDN'T KNOW THE GAME WAS REAL. He had a breakdown right after he realized it was real, that was his first way of coping with what he did. He got very ill and slept throught the entire war on Earth.) This book was the story of a billiant boy; his journey of going through a hell of a lot with what the I.F. was doing and how he handled it. It's a lot deeper than you are making it out to be. It wasn't suposed to tell you exactly how everything else worked, that's what the sequal series are for(if you have read them, then you obviously would be having this simple opinion). I personally appreciated the fact that OSC really keyed in on what Ender thought and his mind process through his actions were instead of going off into detail about all the technological challanges and every single question that could pop up. I think you have forgotten that this IS a Science-Fiction novel. That means everything doesn't have to make perfect sense, it's a whole new world where anything is possible. That is the whole fun part about reading; going somewhere else, far from reality. And you, my friend, have taken the fun right out of reading by having your thoughts process like that. REALLY? I think some of your comments about this book are just, well ignorant. CREEPY? It's called description. You took that portion in the completely wrong way. And for "Why are they so smart?" HA, UMMMMM, well let's see. Why was Einstien so smart? They just are! They get something called genes from there parents and it makes up something called their DNA, and that DNA decides alll things about them; their hair, eyes, AND BRAIN! I thinks its kind of an obvious answer, but it's whatever. (But for Bean, he isn't really human. He was part of an illegal human testing system, yet managed to escape, and that's how he got so smart. )This book is for people who are a lot more open minded than you. You are only reading the words on the page and not seeing the meaning, the message, the code; you aren't getting what OSC is putting out there. It's the lesson of never backing down and to never give up. Ender's character is one I will always adore. I am and will always be strongly in love with Ender and the entire series; I can only hope others won't follow your path of dull thinking.

Spider the Doof Warrior Thing is I think I loved Ender's Game a lot more when I read it in 2001.
Now that I've read the series over and over, and the Bean series I realize that it's not as good as I thought it was.
I think OSC seriously watered down his rather classic Sci Fi writing these later books in the series and just changing all of the stuff which made it good.
I'm beginning to think critics of the series have a point.
Especially considering how terrible Ender in Exile was.
it's as if he can't just end the series neatly. He has to ruin it with nagging, and lecturing, turning it into pure right wing propaganda. I do not want to read propaganda.

Spider the Doof Warrior Dude, is it seriously necessary to use such rude language?
Which is a bit ironic considering that Orson Scott Card is a Mormon and Mormons tend to frown on bad language, but it's not just that. It's not necessary to insult someone because they don't agree with your view of the book...

message 11: by Josey (new)

Josey Card is so over rated.

message 12: by Sofie (new)

Sofie Løvstakken I'm sorry that some people don't like Ender's Game, because I think it is a great book. I think the important thing with Ender's Game, is to just read it as a good story, and try to understand Ender and his struggle to live a life he didn't choose for himself, and to be the all alone. But of course, not everyone loves the same books, and Ender's game, and all of OSC books really, are a bitt special.

No matter, Orson Scott card is an amazing writer, you can say what you want about what he writes, but there is nothing to pick on when you look at how he writes.

message 13: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin Smith I think you underestimate what children can and can't handle. There are many gifted children that I've worked with who love this book- absolutely love it. They can relate well to many things about the kids in these books, especially to Ender and to the way he thinks. I think Card's done a brilliant job of speaking to Kids around Ender's age, who feel misunderstood by adults, and who actually surpass most of the adults around them intellectually. Vinny, a boy I know with a high IQ, who's very misunderstood by the adults around him, loves this book, as well as the book Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer. The kids in these books are smarter than the adults around them. They feel misunderstood and alone. But they use their minds and abilities for good. To me this is positive. That's the great thing about books, they can be used to read about new worlds, experiences we could not have otherwise had, and people we could not have otherwise met. We are able to place ourselves into the story, and sometimes, we're able to truly relate to the characters.

I don't think you have to be a gifted child to appreciate this book, but I do think it holds some merit in regards to connecting with gifted kids. OSC has said in the past that there's a large group of people who despise his book and they're very vocal about it. Many of these are concerned parents and teachers with a similar reaction to yours, who don't think kids can handle what's written, or hate the way the kids in the books are portrayed. To me this is an overreaction.

I also think you're making too big a deal about the naked thing. There's a good reason for it being there, explained by others in detail before me so I won't repeat what's been said. You're entitled to you're opinion.

message 14: by Elias (new)

Elias I think they are just seing this in a immature way...uhave to look deeper into the text instead of focusing on the childish things u could think about.

message 15: by Elias (new)

Elias i liked the book i thought it was a situation u had to wrap yoour mind around. the kind of book where, every time u read it u find something u didnt see before.

message 16: by Kyle (new)

Kyle Oh man. You used some pretty big words in that review. You must be super duper smart.

message 17: by Tom (new)

Tom "cryptic latter-day saints plug"?! Let me guess--you're a "Christian." Your complete ignorance gives you away.

message 18: by Ravenclaw26 (new)

Ravenclaw26 Pedophilic vibe? I don't think so. The nudity was neccessary, as explained by the commentors before me. I'd also like to add that the fact Ender was naked allowed Bonzo to show his Spanish honor. Plus, where else were the bullies supposed to catch Ender alone? The mess hall? The hallway? A teacher could find them if they cornered him in the hallway. The barracks? I believe only Dragon army is allowed in there. I you think about it, the bathroom was the perfect place for the fight. I didn't really notice the nudity all that much, especially all this pubic hair stuff you're talking about. I'm rather disturbed by the parts that you remember.

message 19: by William (new)

William Hegedus This is one of the best books I have ever read and the fact that you so passionately trash it is support to the obvious reality that you were close minded to the book. You seem to only pick out negative things, which, in fact, aren't really negative points in the book, your closeminded-ness manipulated the words of the book to make them appear to be horrid. While, in reality, if you would've even SLIGHTLY considered that the future is indefinite and everything in this book could very well happen, you could have enjoyed the book for the author's point of view upon what the future could hold.

message 20: by Ben (last edited Oct 04, 2010 10:29AM) (new)

Ben  Davis Kaitlin wrote: "I think you underestimate what children can and can't handle. There are many gifted children that I've worked with who love this book- absolutely love it. They can relate well to many things about ..."

A child is a child what does it matter if they are "gifted"? This is not a book I want my children or my students reading. Checkout John Kessel's "Creating the Innocent Killer". It's the most insight Ender review I've read

message 21: by Ben (last edited Oct 04, 2010 10:33AM) (new)

Ben  Davis Ravenclaw26 wrote: "Pedophilic vibe? I don't think so. The nudity was neccessary, as explained by the commentors before me. I'd also like to add that the fact Ender was naked allowed Bonzo to show his Spanish honor. P..."

Necessary if the thing your remember most about basic training is checking out your shipmates (I was in the Navy) junk. And how do you explain the naked chick? Wouldn't those genius warrior boys have figured out how to have their way with her? Fans of the book should give up trying to defend it with logic because pulp fiction (and for all you knuckleheads out there I refer to the genre not to the movie) has nothing to do with logic.

message 22: by Peter (new)

Peter The entire series is a styled ethical evolution of humans. He started selfish and with a berserker side as someone mentioned before but if you read the rest of the series (particularly Children of the Mind) it throws light on many of the eccentric bits of Ender's Game.

message 23: by Stephie (new)

Stephie After finding out that Orson Scott Card is a fundamentalist Christian who opposes things like gay marriage, I decided I could never read anything of his. So I like your review. Orson Scott Card is a moron.

message 24: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin Kimberle wrote: "i just read it because i had to wait on my requested books to read from the library and it is famous and on the children's assigned/recommend reading list in my are.

i gave it a good rating cuz i..."

Ok, I agree, this isn't a children's book but saying that any kid/teenager under the age of 15 shouldn't read this book is being ageist. I am 14 right now and read the book for the first time a year and a half ago. I loved the book and realize that Ender is not a one- dimensional character as many of you seem to think. I can see how Ender is dislikable and his entire family seems like sociopaths, but all three characters achieve much more depth and personality in the later books of the quartet. Also, most good books have unlikeable characters. When have you ever read a book with a character you 100% agree with?

If you hated the first book, that;s great for you, but if you're only saying you hate the book because it had naked kids, i encourage you to go back and re-read it with a more open mind. Although the first book is a nice action sci-fi novel, the 2nd through 4th books start to uncover ethical questions that make you look (and the characters) look deep inside themselves to decide what is right versus what is easier.

message 25: by Dave (new)

Dave Stephie wrote: "After finding out that Orson Scott Card is a fundamentalist Christian who opposes things like gay marriage, I decided I could never read anything of his. So I like your review. Orson Scott Card is ..."

Personally I think that you are a stupid person with your head up your ass if you dislike something just because you don't like the person. That would be equal to me saying I hate hamburgers because I'm afraid of cows, sounds stupid doesn't it?

message 26: by Dave (new)

Dave Tom wrote: ""cryptic latter-day saints plug"?! Let me guess--you're a "Christian." Your complete ignorance gives you away."

Don't you dare say things like that, who cares what his religious views are? We are talking about a book, a great book at that, not trying to insult each other until we get what we want, that is called politics, are any of you politicians? No...? Didn't think so.

Spider the Doof Warrior Dude, there's no need to call someone stupid.
Let's say if a writer was extremely racist. Would you really want to read his stuff? I've kind of given up on reading Card as I just cannot take his inaccurate and rather rude point of view when it comes to gays.
Also the fact that he's spending tons of money to push against gay marriage rather than the things that REALLY hurt families is also very rankling.

message 28: by Rosalind (last edited Dec 29, 2010 03:43PM) (new)

Rosalind I hated the science fiction genre until I read this book when I was 12 back in 2002. It really opened my eyes to a different world of possibilities. I think adults lose their creativity, and just criticize what they aren't comfortable with.. Stop trying to analyze the writing and just enjoy the story, okay? It's made for 10 year olds so try to experience it like one.

message 29: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Redfern Summer wrote: ""First of all, like even the best science fiction, the characters were one dimensional card board cut outs. This starts with the dorky, self absorbed protagonist Ender himself. I can deal with this..."

Your points about the intelligence of the kids are correct. If the writer of this review had have read the book properly he would have seen this explanation by the author. he also accounted for the reason so many of the kids who were is space were girls

message 30: by Christine (new)

Christine Ward Thank you, thank you!! I completely agree with everything you wrote - the crappy characters, the terrible, terrible dialogue, and especially the pedophilic vibe!
I've never hated a book quite as much as I hate this one. Glad to know there's someone else who took a pass on the Kool-Aid.

message 31: by Xdyj (new)

Xdyj Firstly this book was written in 1980s so it's excusable to be a bit "dated" or naive in its geopolitical setting, and I do agree with a previous comment that Ender and his siblings are metaphors of different aspects of human nature. As to the "strangeness" of children, I think it can be explained by the specific social environment in which they grow up, which is mentioned but not completely described in this book. And personally I don't think their Machiavellianism is too unrealistic because I had seen quite a bit politics when I was in elementary school. I can't recognize much religious or other right-winged propaganda here. In general I do agree that there are some plot holes in this book but I still think it worth reading.

message 32: by Mary (new)

Mary FINALLY SOMEONE CAN AGREE WITH ME!!! our group in school read it and i almost threw the book at the wall. i have nothing agains scy fy, actually i love some scy fy but this book had no...feel to it...kind of monotone type feelings. and i just dont recommend it unless you are a HUGE scy fy nerd loving person

message 33: by Nuri (new)

Nuri I hate this book too :)

message 34: by Hawkins (new)

Hawkins From the tone of this review I only can conclude that you were too young to understand the message of the book. Try it in a couple of years and maybe you will find that all the things you pointed out as disturbing are of absolutely no value. They are ambient, and they are needed to create a contrast to the main idea, which only unfolded on the last pages of the book.

message 35: by Russell (new)

Russell Ender's Game is not horrible. I think what many of us object to is how high it rates on lists of great Science Fiction. It just is not that good. When ever there is a call for the general public to rate great Sci-Fi books, Scientologists will get the word out to vote in-mass so that L. Ron Hubbards works are rated among the greatest - and as any discerning reader (who has read a lot of Sci-Fi) can tell you, they are not that great. After reading Ender's Game and expecting it to rate among the best - how could I not be disapointed and imagine something not quite right was going on with that voting.

message 36: by Jon (new)

Jon "I think Card's done a brilliant job of speaking to Kids around Ender's age, who feel misunderstood by adults, and who actually surpass most of the adults around them intellectually." abso-freaking-lutely. i knew quite a few young kids like ender, growing up. dealt with the same burden of being smart, but also emotionally immature.

message 37: by Russell (new)

Russell It is common for kids around Ender's age to think they are smarter then their parents and teachers - that does not make it true. Card is just pandering to that mind-set as do many Hollywood movies marketed to adolescents.

Mark Twain: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

message 38: by Jon (new)

Jon hahaa! funny quote. that being said, there really are, on planet earth, children who have a higher IQ then their parents.

doesn't mean they're more mature. in fact, they need quite a bit of guidance. kinda the point in this book, of what happens, when you're mega-smart but still emotionally a child.

message 39: by Colin (new)

Colin Ender's game is an amazing book that you have no right to discredit. the nudity is a side note. how many six-seven-eight year old kids do you see becoming uncomfortable with nudity in front of others. especially since their whole lives most of them have had the government monitoring them EVERYWHERE. this book has deeper meanings and nuances that i doubt you could understand. it is a book that requires open-mindedness and an I.Q. of +100 at least. to really love the book you must be someone who does not hate everything out of their comfort zone. i would rank ender's game as one of the top ten books I have ever read. right after HARRY POTTER.

message 40: by Jon (last edited Apr 01, 2011 03:32PM) (new)

Jon how many six-seven-eight year old kids do you see becoming uncomfortable with nudity in front of othe..." make a very good point here. as a father of 4 children, 3 of which are an age that are completely unashamed of their nudity (<=10)--this is sooo true, and a detail i've missed, and something that makes me appreciate the narrative even more, as i do feel that the author is trying to give a sense of the age of the kids (something that i had from time to time, had a hard time grasping).

message 41: by Maxine (new)

Maxine Card takes about 15 to 20 minutes in the audio book to explain the logic behind his story. And about the upcoming movie based on his book. Very interesting.

message 42: by Savion (new)

Savion Hey Charly..

You have no idea what this books about do you?

message 43: by Maggie (new)

Maggie OMG... I can't believe you said the pedophile comment. I THOUGHT THE SAME!! I wrote something in my quick review today.

message 44: by Em (new)

Em I have to agree with you Charlie! This book was just....a little felt unorganized to me. I didn't really like the plot, and I see what you said about the Warsaw Pact! CLEAR rip off! This book just isn't for me.

The Man In The Hat While I don't think the book is great - I gave it 3 stars - I do think some of your criticisms are unfounded and unfair.
Firstly, I don't agree that the end has a "New Age" feel to it at all. To me, the last half dozen or so pages of the book were actually the most interesting as Ender tried to come to terms with the idea that maybe his victims were innocent after all. Should one mistake really condemn an entire species to annihilation at the hands of a manipulated 11 year old?
Secondly, as others have pointed out, the book was published in 1985 during the Cold War. It's not exactly unreasonable for such a book to have Russia as a powerful evil political force. Orwell wasn't the first to do it and Card wasn't the last. You might as well condemn a book written in 1942 for having the Germans as villains. All works are a product of their times - even the future set ones.
Thirdly, nudity is just nudity. A boy in a shower isn't automatically a sexual thing.

message 46: by Paul (new)

Paul Great review - I couldn't agree more. Reflects badly on the whole sci-fi genre if the geeks collectively hold this up as one of the best.

message 47: by Neal (new)

Neal I thought it was entertaining enough, but not amazing. This book most definitely has a weird cult vibe surrounding it.

message 48: by Sirreadsalot (new)

Sirreadsalot Jeez, harsh. This book is old, so yeah it's dated. And Ender isn't a dork, these are very small children. And it explained that there were injections done on the mother during birth to help aid the children's intelligence, if I remember correctly (been a while). You have to read this first book and the others to understand the series, that's why it has a cult following. If you have a problem with complex plots, go read Dick & Jane.

message 49: by Stevieb (new)

Stevieb I only read this novel about a month ago. Whilst reading it I was thinking how the hell did this win the Hugo?! As I continued I found it disturbing me more and more. I wouldn't let a 10 year old near it to read. I can't put my finger on why it disturbed but I didn't come away with a good feeling when finished

message 50: by Ovidiu (new)

Ovidiu Where is the dislike button?...i can only like what he(meaning you not Card) wrote?

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