Shannon (Giraffe Days)'s review of Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)
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(last edited May 12, 2008 11:25PM)
May 12, 2008 11:24PM
Blasphemy! You can't read this book and not love it... to just "like" it isn't enough! You must devote yourself to it's ideology!
I just wanted to respond to a few points you brought up, since I've read this book many times and love it completely:
-there are definitely "cardboard cutout" characters within this book, who happen to get developed into "real" characters in later sequels, but Ender isn't one of them. If you look at the core of who Ender is from the beginning of the book (a scared brainiac boy who loves his sister and fears his brother), and him at the end... very different. Not to mention more important details like psyche, relationship development, etc.
-the "naked boys" situation... I think you have to be a guy to understand that. It may sound sexist, but I think it's true: if you look at boys who grow up together in any situation of male bonding (sports, family, military, etc.) they really have no problem walking around naked in front of each other. Keep in mind the US Military, and some American colleges, where male locker-rooms are nothing but a giant communal naked space. Not to mention all the old men at gyms... Anyways, the point being that it's not pedophilia, but more like OSC referencing reality.
-your disappointment with the "twist" and lack-of-amazement: I think for this book to really touch you, you need to have gone through situations that can be related to this... not necessarily of the male persuasion, but maybe that makes a difference since 98% of the book focuses on very much "guy things"
Also, if you read other introductions or writings by OSC, he admits this book is a little childish... what can you expect from something that was partially written in his teens? To really grasp the beauty of the whole book, you should read "Ender's Shadow"- a parallel novel that follows Bean on the same timeline as "Ender's Game". It's much more mature, less "obvious", and the two books together really operate as one...alot of those plot-holes you mention get filled in nicely.
Is my love for this book/series obvious? ;-)
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
May 13, 2008 06:29AM
Yes, very obvious! :) (You should've seen the response from the friend who recommended this book to me on my blog - three times as long as yours!)
I will say, that I didn't and don't see a "creepy pedophile vibe" - the other reviewer's comment gave me pause but I think Card was mostly trying to establish the innecence of the children, to juxtapose against the brutality and violence they were being trained it.
As for Ender, he did delelop some, but he was still pretty two-dimensional. There just wasn't any depth to him.
I don't think I need to have experienced fighting aliens or anything to appreciate the story or the climax - ir that were so, no one would be able to enjoy this book! I was quite absorbed in the story and did enjoy it, I just knew he was fighting the buggers and not the computer, so that was no surprise.
There are definitely some books that are very "guy" books - like
On The Road
, which bored me about 50 pages in. Or from the beginning, rather, but that's about how far I got :) Some are alienating, in that regard. Would it surprise you to learn that I didn't care for
? For the record, as a story I liked
, much more than
, but not as much as
City of Pearl
- of even The Crystal Singer trilogy. In general, I just have too many problems with science fiction as a genre.
I really don't think I'll read anything else by Card, sorry. I'm always willing to read sci-fi and give books like this a try, but after a while they just make me angry.
May 16, 2008 06:24AM
I'm not a big sci-fi reader myself. I'm a total paranormal romance (i hate that name!) reader. However, I will say Ender's Game is one of my favorite books. I always donate that book to the B&N book drive they have for kids around Christmas because I think it's a great way for kids to get introduced to reading, if they haven't before.
That being said... Ender's Shadow IS my favorite book. I guess I didn't realize the difference in age when they were written, but that makes sense. While I read the rest of the Ender's series (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind), I would not recommend that you read them. I almost feel like they take away from what I liked about Ender's Game in the first place. But, I think anyone that has read Ender's Game should read Ender's Shadow. Amazingly good story. I feel like Bean was better developed as a character. Less "cardboard cut-out".
I have a book club and we read Ender's Game one month, and the overall vibe was they liked it. But just like you, they would probably never read OSC again. I asked one girl to try Ender's Shadow, and she has thanked me for it. And that got some of the other girls wanting to read it too.
Anyway, my point is just to say, give Ender's Shadow a try. Or at least put it on your TBR pile (which I'm sure is huge, just like the rest of us!). I don't think you'll be disappointed when you read it.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
May 19, 2008 03:19PM
Thanks for the rec Andrea. Everyone else who's a big fan of
said much the same thing, that
is their favourite. I'm definitely not ready to revisit the world any time soon, but I'll keep it in mind :)
Dec 03, 2008 08:29PM
You mentioned that you liked Card's clarity of style, how it made the book fun to read. I totally agree. That unpretentious, clear prose runs throughout all of Card's books. That is one of the main reasons why he is one of my favorite authors. By the way, he's written a lot of Fantasy too. I particularly enjoyed the Alvin Maker series. Check it out!
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Dec 05, 2008 08:43AM
Thanks for the rec Fred.
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