Tatiana's Reviews > Ender's Game

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
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Nov 05, 10

bookshelves: nebula, hugo, 2010, sci-fi, why-the-hype
Recommended to Tatiana by: thousands of the book's fans
Read from November 01 to 03, 2010

Hmmm, I find it hard to understand the level of following this particular book gets.

Ender's Game is the type of sci-fi that doesn't interest me much. 225 pages about a boy playing video games, battling in zero gravity, and learning about how military works? I can work up some interest for these things, but there has to be some characters I care about. However, how exactly am I supposed to find compassion for a boy who goes from one task to another never failing and always being the best at EVERYTHING, and not because he works hard to achieve his greatness, but because he was genetically engineered to be the best? Where is the conflict and character growth here I wonder? And then the kids. I wish even one of the characters actually acted like a kid, or a human being at least. I personally only saw cardboard in every direction.

I suppose there are some interesting ideas about military training, manipulation, and leadership, but I admit, I mostly found myself bored to death by numerous battles, which I couldn't visualize, and it's-so-hard-to-be-the-bestest-ever-genius whining.

Listening to the author's speech at the end of my audio book didn't endear me to him personally either. He is just not a very sophisticated person, but he surely knows his audience of prepubescent boys and gamers well. Plus I have very little respect for writers who create not because they have something important to say about our society and human condition, but because they are paid 5 cents per word to do it.

I think I will stick with Ursula K. Le Guin for now, whenever I am in a mood for some alien action, and resign myself to the fact that Ender's Game's cult classic status is something I will never be able to understand.

P.S. I did have a blast reading reviews about the author's obsession with naked, soap-lathered little boys. How they came up with this pedohomoerotic BS, I have no idea. Did we read the same book?

P.P.S. I also had a blast reading Card's raging homophobic "essays."
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Reading Progress

11/02/2010 page 3
33.0% 3 comments
11/03/2010 page 7
78.0% "Can't wait for it to be over..." 3 comments
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 59) (59 new)


Crystal I hope you like this one!


message 2: by Megan (new)

Megan this one's a favorite of mine -- really hope you like it!


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather Yes!


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) i am a bit annoyed with OSC. I say, don't read the Bean books unless you like being lectured about marriage and babies.


Tatiana Honestly, I don't see myself reading any other books by him. I've heard too much bad stuff about him to become his fan.


message 6: by jo (last edited Nov 03, 2010 01:33PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

jo mo Why do you force yourself to read it, if you don't want to read it? (Assuming you're not actually required to read it for <school/work/whatever>)


Tatiana This book has been on my TBR forever and I actually did want to read it because almost everyone I know loved it and it got numerous awards. This is turning out to be not as good as I thought it would be.


message 8: by AH (new) - added it

AH I also have it on my to-read list. I even bought the book, but I have the same reservations as Tatiana does about the book. In the meantime, way better books have been available to me, so I'm reading them.

I would like to see what all the fuss was about.


message 9: by Tatiana (last edited Nov 03, 2010 05:53PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tatiana This is certainly a "cult classic," many people love it, it's just not my cup of tea I guess.


Angie 2 stars huh? I liked it a lot, but not enough to go into the series. My husband read the whole series!


message 11: by AH (new) - added it

AH Maybe it appeals to men more than women?


Kirsten I adored Enders Game when I read it years ago.


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) Not really, I loved this book when I first read it. I read nearly the whole series. But I think subsequent re-reads of the original series and reading the Bean series ruined this book. Which is why I took away some stars. Also, just because folks are Japanese it doesn't mean they won't eat fried fish.
That's just one of the MILDER problems I have with OSC. Do not get me started on his whole possessing characters and nagging the reader about marriage and babies every five seconds and going on and on about heterosexual marriage every 3 words.


Kat Kennedy I loved this book when I first read it as a 13 year old and I still enjoy it though not nearly as much. I fully sympathize with your review! Good job!

And the homoerotic bs? OSC is a homophobe apparently! Whoda thunk it?


Tatiana So, he is a boy lover who pretends to be a homophobe? Is that the idea? I am not familiar with OSC' reputation very much.


Kat Kennedy Her very much is an outspoken homophobe, as well as being Mormon which is why people make fun of the soaped up boys in Ender's Game.

See?


Tatiana OK. Got it. I think.


message 18: by Mara (new)

Mara I abandoned this one early on, mainly because I'm not that interested in six-year-old sociopaths.


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) You probably are better off avoiding OSC. Don't even get me started on his columns. My stomach lining would feel so much better if I had never read those rude screeds. The homophobic gay marriage will tear society apart and make it horrible articles were bad enough, but to be so rude about JK Rowling... GAH!I wish I had a lazar to remove his stories from my head. Especially Ender in Exile and that book where a dude who is gay marries a woman because somehow being gay means you are not in the web of life.


message 20: by AH (new) - added it

AH *moves Ender's Game to bottom of the to-read list*

Hmmm... Interesting conversation. I guess I'm not in that much of a hurry to read this book. I'll get to it eventually.


message 21: by Tatiana (last edited Nov 05, 2010 06:44AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Tatiana Huh? He is that outspoken about it? Now he is writing sci-fi for religious gay-haters exclusively?

And he actually said something bad JKR? That is unforgivable in my book!


message 22: by AH (new) - added it

AH What did he say about JKR? That woman is responsible for a whole lot of kids reading. In my books, that is phenomenal.


Wicked Incognito Now I thought he defended JKR against all those Christian HP haters. I did read one of his articles once that defended the HP books as not being anti-Christian, or Christian at all. But I haven't read anything else of his (except Ender's Game--which I did like sort of).


Bark's Book Nonsense I'm with you, I listened to this on audio and found it excruciatingly dull.


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) He got mad at JK Rowling for outing Dumbledore. Now, I was at the event when she did this. She was answering a girl's question about whether or not Dumbledore had ever found love. She said she thought of Dumbledore as gay. So then you get a bunch of angry screeds from OSC about how self serving she is while he's talking about that whole suing this dude who wanted to publish his website as a book thing.
First of all, he was being a jerk. Neil Gaiman managed to disagree without being rude about it. I can see why such a law suit would come about, but bringing up the Dumbledore thing had nothing to do with that at all. He was just wailing on her about being self serving for outing a character she knows everything about!
Dude annoys the crap out of me literally. ARG! There was no reason to hate on JK Rowling just because one of her characters is gay!
Also, gay people are NOT going to destroy civilization.
Also he is on the board of NOM. Dude's been annoying me for YEARS.

Though, he does have this scene in Lost Boys that makes me cry like the sentimental girly girl I am... It's stuff like that that keeps me from totally hating him.


Wicked Incognito Now Aw, yeah that does suck. I didn't realize he was such a homophobe. I definitely wouldn't have read his book had I known.


Tatiana I think this article of his pretty much says it all about him:

http://www.nauvoo.com/library/card-hy...


Wicked Incognito Now Oh yeesh: "One thing is certain: one cannot serve two masters. And when one's life is given over to one community that demands utter allegiance, it cannot be given to another. The LDS church is one such community. The homosexual community seems to be another. And when I read the statements of those who claim to be both LDS and homosexual, trying to persuade the former community to cease making their membership contingent upon abandoning the latter, I wonder if they realize that the price of such "tolerance" would be, in the long run, the destruction of the Church." Really? So one can't be anything other than LDS? Can one be a member of the writing community? Can one be part of the community of fatherhood? Of motherhood? Of womanhood? etc? No? Can you be a Girl Scout and LDS? Honestly. I don't get this justification for hating on gays. It seems at this point that the haters are just reaching. You can't be part of two communities. Lame!


Wicked Incognito Now Incidentally, that all I read. I didn't get any further, but that just speaks to the extent to which he lost my faith as a reader early on. I'm done. He's irrational.


Tatiana Such close-mindedness is very off-putting. I also couldn't stomach to read the entire thing, but this piece caught my eye.

Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.

The goal of the polity is not to put homosexuals in jail. The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly, so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity's ability to provide rules for safe, stable, dependable marriage and family relationships.



message 31: by Anila (last edited Nov 05, 2010 07:21PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anila I have to comment something about the book real quick- though I should add that yes, OSC is a vitriolic pest a lot of the time- but if I remember rightly, Ender's Game was expanded from the original novella because he wanted to write the sequel, Speaker For The Dead, without cramming in a lot of filler in the beginning. In my opinion, though I'm one of the 'cult', so to speak, Speaker is by far the better book, and if you were going to go farther with his writing that would be my reccomendation. That or one of his short story collections. There are some powerful works of sheer imagination there.

Apologies for all the commas.


Chichipio "The goal of the polity is not to put homosexuals in jail. The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly, so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity's ability to provide rules for safe, stable, dependable marriage and family relationships."

I think this sums up the guy's personality perfectly. Appearances are everything for him. He's so in the closet. That's what he's saying: Don't do it or, if you do it, hide it so well that nobody knows about it.

Newsflash, Mr. Hater, nobody doing their own thing and being happy about it spends so much time thinking (more like bitching and whining) about what others do, they're too busy enjoying themselves. Only those who wish they could be doing something and for whatever reason--external or self-imposed--can't, engage in this behavior.

I was itching for some sci-fi to balance all the UF and this book seemed to be a favorite, so I added it. Maybe someday I'll get around to read it, but certainly not anytime soon. I just couldn't separate my opinion of the author from the content of the book and I'll probably end up jumping at shadows.

Sometimes I just hate knowing so much about a writer. Life was so easy in 1995 when you just could pick up any book and the writer's name was just a couple of printed words on a page without any substance behind them.


Wicked Incognito Now That's true. But then you had to rely on the bookcover or word of mouth to get new recs. The internet has opened me up to so many books I never would've read without the blog world and sites like GR.


Chichipio April wrote: "That's true. But then you had to rely on the bookcover or word of mouth to get new recs. The internet has opened me up to so many books I never would've read without the blog world and sites like..."

yeah, I know, I was exaggerating. The pros completely outweigh the cons in this case. This is just a little downside of the issue. It's just hard having to face that some writers that back then were these unknowable beings are just your garden variety creep with a side order of bigotry for good measure. But yes, it's a small price to pay for all the other awesome writers that can be discovered with just a couple of clicks.


Tatiana It's hard for me to separate the author's books and his/her personal views. I can sometimes overlook someone's craziness, but only even if I really love the writing. I didn't love Ender's Game and now, after knowing so much about Card, I do not want to give him another chance.


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) Yeah, you're better off, believe me. I wish I had avoided reading a lot of those books as they gave me terrible stomach aches.
Don't even get me started on his sexism. URG. I think this is why I should read more Neil Gaiman and JK Rowling and stuff I enjoy.


Tatiana You should check out Ursula K. Le Guin's books if you haven't already.


message 38: by Scribble (last edited Nov 07, 2010 09:17AM) (new)

Scribble Orca Tatiana wrote: "And he actually said something bad about JKR? That is unforgivable in my book!"

Thank you for wading through the misery and reading this book in order to save the rest of us. Your comment, however, is what condemns him, rightly or otherwise. Long live JKR. And JRRT.


message 39: by Cory (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cory The first time I read this, I was ten. I was blown away. The next time I read it, I was 14. Meh. Now, I can't re-read it without rolling my eyes. I don't like OSC--he is a huge jerk--, but he is a decent writer.

Ender's Shadow is much better than this, as is Rachel and Leah: Women of Genesis. How I dislike Card, but he can write. I would just avoid anything written after Ender, like Speaker for the Dead, Genocide, Shadow of the Giant: they're all boring and revolve around Ender being god/christ/savior/buddha/etc.

His book, Magic Street, is pretty decent. I believe Card had help from Neal Shusterman when he was writing that, and when he was writing Ender's Shadow. But for the love of god, do not read any of the Ender sequels except for Ender's Shadow. You'll put yourself to sleep.

Although he's a jerk, I try to look past that. After all, JKR has said some things I don't agree with either.


Tatiana I have to say, Cory, I think I am done with Card. I might be able to overlook the fact that he is such a narrow-minded jerk, but his best work - Ender's Game - didn't impress me enough to even bother with his other books. I'd rather read something that I might like.


message 41: by Cory (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cory Tatiana wrote: "I have to say, Cory, I think I am done with Card. I might be able to overlook the fact that he is such a narrow-minded jerk, but his best work - Ender's Game - didn't impress me enoug..."

I understand, although I don't think Ender's Game is his best. I'd say 3rd best. But I definitely think that there are better authors out there.


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) I'm annoyed with him for ruining the Ender series in the first place. He ret-conned it, added all of that stupid morality nagging that I hate so much. He fills his books with rants about monogamy and marriage and babies the way LKH fills her books with endless sex scenes.
Plus he's not very nice when it comes to gay people.
Which bothers me.


message 43: by Cory (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cory Synesthesia wrote: "I'm annoyed with him for ruining the Ender series in the first place. He ret-conned it, added all of that stupid morality nagging that I hate so much. He fills his books with rants about monogamy a..."

I would feel ashamed reading the Anita Blake series in front of my mother.


Synesthesia (SPIDERS!) I do not read them in front of her as she doesn't live with me.
She would be scandalized by my tattoos and the Satanicness that is Harry Potter.

But, yeah, the later AB books are very, very, very smutty.


message 45: by Ruth (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ruth Wah you didn't put it as a review marked with spoilers and I'm currently in the process of reading this book and now I just found out something I wasn't supposed to :(


Tatiana I don't believe there are any spoilers in my review.


Kat Kennedy There are absolutely no spoilers in this review.


SubterraneanCatalyst There aren't any spoilers in this review :)
I have this as a favorite book of mine and it will stay that way...but I first read this when I was 10 and I either loved a book or hated it. At that age I was already a seasoned sci fi reader but I wasn't a very critical one. Enders game just appealed to the sci fi kid in me and in fact Ender being ultra genius perfect made him a hero and amazing in my little kid mind. But, I can accept, that if I read this book today, it might make me reconsider completely my childhood love lol.
As an adult, OSC's views are just too toxic for me to support him in any way. I am giving my son my own paperback copy to read and I will never purchase anything by OSC.
@ Wicked Incognito..the LDS diatribe and "two masters" thing cracks me up. Guess Romney can't be a president then. LOL.


message 49: by Ruth (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ruth How did I miss the the part in the book where it's revealed that Ender is genetically engineered? That explains a lot. There's no way some six year old could be that... extraordinary.


Tatiana Ruth wrote: "How did I miss the the part in the book where it's revealed that Ender is genetically engineered? That explains a lot. There's no way some six year old could be that... extraordinary."

Wasn't it mentioned at the very beginning?


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