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Speaker for the Dead

(Ender's Saga #2)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  205,411 ratings  ·  7,351 reviews
Now available in mass market, the revised, definitive edition of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic. In this second book in the saga set 3,000 years after the terrible war, Ender Wiggin is reviled by history as the Xenocide--the destroyer of the alien Buggers. Now, Ender tells the true story of the war and seeks to stop history from repeating itself. ...

In the after
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Paperback, Author's definitive edition, 382 pages
Published August 15th 1994 by Tor Books (first published March 1986)
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Jack Reickel "Actual sequel" is definitely the wrong title for it, as it's more of a market-driven bridge between Ender's Game and its actual sequel Speaker for…more"Actual sequel" is definitely the wrong title for it, as it's more of a market-driven bridge between Ender's Game and its actual sequel Speaker for the Dead. In fact, Card said that he felt Ender's Game as the necessary prequel for the much stronger story of Speaker.

Ender in Exile came much later, from the demands of consumers more than the desire of the author.

That said, it has a couple of decent Ender moments. I certainly prefer it to Xenocide, but I prefer eating broken shards of glass to Xenocide as well, so that doesn't say much.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ameena Zaman
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Community Reviews

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4.06  · 
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 ·  205,411 ratings  ·  7,351 reviews


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Stephen
One of my ALL Time Favorites. I loved Ender's Game, but I think that this novel surpasses it on just about every level. Writing, emotional resonance, characterization and depth. This novel is a much more "adult" read than Ender's Game. It impacted me greatly and I found that it stayed with me long after I finished reading it.

6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

Winner: Hugo Award Best Novel.
Winner: Nebula Award Best Novel.
Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
Nominee: Cam
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J.G. Keely
May 26, 2007 rated it did not like it
While Ender's Game is a solid piece of modern sci fi, the sequel falls all too short. 'Speaker' is preachy and allegorical, and the characters often devolve into simple mouthpieces for the author's opinions, which are numerous, long, and not particularly original.

While I do respect that every author has his own point of view, and that one should be able to glean some understanding from their books, such a heavy-handed case detracts from the story and characters as a whole. The suspension of disb
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Lacey Louwagie
Jul 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: sociology / anthropology types
Orson Scott Card has said that Speaker for the Dead is the book he always "meant to write" and that the only reason he wrote Ender's Game was as a "prequel," so he felt a little baffled when Ender's Game ended up becoming his most famous and most read work. After reading Speaker for the Dead, I understand where he's coming from. The complexity of issues tackled in Speaker for the Dead are much deeper than those in Ender; likewise, the cultures and worlds explored through Speaker are much more in ...more
Clouds

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became
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Lyn
Jul 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ian McKellon, Ellen DeGeneres, Nathan Lane, Jim Parsons and Samuel Delany sit in a trendy coffee house in Chelsea and discuss Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel Speaker for the Dead.

Ian: Let me begin our book club meeting with a very special thank you to our very gracious host, thank you Andre, as always your staff have been kind and hospitable and have once again made us all feel at home.

[all thank the host and servers]

Ian: Alright, so … Speaker for the Dead, Card’s sequel to his fine novel Ender's
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Doc Opp
Apr 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
When I first read this book I was in middle school and I hated it. It was such a disappointment as a follow up to the brilliance of Ender's Game. I re-read it when in grad school, and it was an entirely different experience.

The book has elements of mystery, religion/mysticism, anthropology (albeit fictional anthropology), philosophy, politics, and intrigue. But its got a very slow start, and there isn't much in the way of action - its all about two cultures trying to understand each other. Its
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Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So great to revisit one of my absolute favorite novels of all time!

Back when I first read this, Andrew Wiggin immediately jumped into my heart to become my ultimate role-model, my hero, and the idealized version of myself. Ender's Game had him go through some horrific things and really set the stage for the man he was later to become, but it is the full-grown man that really pulls on my heartstrings.

No. He wasn't truly at fault for wiping out the Formics. That can be laid at other's feet.

But h
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Will M.
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, books-i-own, 2014
Card claims that this is his masterpiece. He said that he only wrote Ender's Game so that he could write this. It's such a shame though that Ender's Game became such a hit, and Speaker for the Dead became its shadow.

Before I start with the serious part of the review, let me start with something that I can't seem to erase from my mind while reading this. The new alien species are called piggies. Piggies. The thing running inside my head was



and it stayed like that till the end. I'm not proud of i
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Brian
Jul 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Masochists
Shelves: r_fiction
Calling this book the sequel to Ender's Game is like calling Mary Poppins the sequel to Star Wars. It's boring, overly observational, and totally unrelated in style and setting to Ender's Game.
Tony
Jun 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: you
My favorite book of all time, if only because it brings back sentimental memories. More than simply a sci-fi page turner, it deals with non-trivial matters such as guilt and love. In a whole different league than the rest of the Ender series, not to mention the rest of Scott Card's works. A must read for anyone who was ever interested in sci-fi.
Britney
Dec 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
UGGHHH! I figured since some of my all-time favorite books are Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, that Speaker for the Dead - another installment of Ender's life - was going knock my socks off too...I was SO disappointed. This book won the Hugo and Nebula awards - and one critic even said this was Card's best work. I have to assume that they weren't reading the same novel I was. They just couldn't have been. It was awful. This book was such a let down, I wish I never would have read it. It complet ...more
Carolyn
May 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I can understand why this book might not enthrall all of its readers but for me, it was brilliant. The anthropological framework certainly entertained me and the deeper themes hooked me.
The concept of a Speaker for the Dead and the healing properties of truth make the book a self-searching read. Perhaps the book does not glorify the catholic concept of confession, but it certainly values repentance and forgiveness while acknowledging the absurdity of the act of forgiveness. Above all, it reminds
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Dave
Time to Meet A New Species

Speaker For the Dead is a magnificent epic work full of surprises. It joins as well as echoes the great science fiction works such as More Than Human, The Dune Trilogy, and Stranger in a Strange Land. But, make no mistake about it, Speaker is a bold original work that stands on its own. Originally conceived before Ender’s Game at least in idea form, it is a sequel to Ender’s Game but has as little in common with the world of Ender’s Game as a player piano has with a one
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Wes Morgan
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book was a very pleasant surprise. Absolutely one of the finest works of fiction I've ever read. It's unfortunate that it's technically science fiction because that stigma will cause many to dismiss it out of hand. That would be a big mistake, as this is a great novel regardless of genre.

Speaker for the Dead is a sequel to Card's best-known work, Ender's Game. I read that first and enjoyed it, but it is The Hobbit to Speaker's Lord of the Rings. It helps you understand the characters a
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Kerry
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fromthelibrary, scifi
Blah. After Ender's Game, I was all excited to read this one, and it . . . was pretty boring. It wasn't TERRIBLE -- I finished it, but it was mostly boring.

The only really interesting things about it were a) biological concepts that are totally different from what we have here on earth, which, after watching a lot of "forehead aliens" on Star Trek is a nice change, and b) the impact of the whole you-don't-age-when-you're-travelling-close-to-the-speed-of-light thing (i.e. relativity and whatnot.)
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Spider the Doof Warrior
May 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-hate-this-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apatt
Aug 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Ender's Game is one of those rare sf classics that are placed in the top 5 of most "All-time best sf books", I have seen it occupy the pole position in a few such lists. Such accolade is not undeserved as Ender's Game is a great book, and one of the best military sf novels ever published, alas military sf has never been my favorite sf sub genre so Speaker for the Dead is much more to my taste. What makes this book very special are the existential and philosophical issues raised by this book. I a
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Stuart
Apr 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Speaker for the Dead: Way too much talk about morality, guilt, and redemption through the truth, at the expense of plot and narrative

Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead really opened my mind to the wonders of the SF genre back in junior high. Ender’s Game was a gripping coming-of-age military SF adventure about child genius Ender Wiggin, which raised serious questions about training children for military combat, and whether genocide can ever be justified, even in self-defense of humanity.

Synop
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Davie
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: finished
Made me question what I thought I liked about Ender's Game. Like a Dan Brown book, it manipulates you into reading onwards in order to find out what the hell was going on in the first chapters -- even as you suspect more and more strongly that it's not going to be worth it in the end. Hokey space soap opera.
Trish
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book picks up 3000 planetary years after the first one. I say planetary because when you hop along on space ships like Ender has, it’s been only 22 years.
Yup, Ender is 35 but humanity has spread over 100 planets and 3000 years, making his deeds legend. Some herald him for being humanity’s savior but even more despise him for killing off a species.
And he’s still looking for what to do with the queen egg he has been given at the end of the previous book to atone for his involvement in the xen
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Craig
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this one in a rush thirty-some years ago so I'd have it finished before our book club met to discuss it, and now have revisited it via audio. I'm glad I did; I didn't appreciate nearly enough that first time around. It's a sequel to Ender's Game, but I'd say upon reflection that Ender's Game serves more as an introduction to this, the main feature. It continues from that story, but adds so much more in exploration of religion and responsibility in relationships and depth of culture that i ...more
Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019
I never expected Ender's Game to be so damn engrossing when I finally got around it last January. I certainly wasn't expecting I would even read anything written by Orson Scott Card ever, considering his homophobic stance which had personally offended me. However, I wasn't quick to dismiss his literary contributions to the science fiction genre, so I put aside my negative bias and bought the Ender Quartet series.

And I'm glad I gave myself the chance to do that because I can honestly say that tw
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aPriL does feral sometimes
'Speaker for the Dead' is a grown ups' book, a literary science fiction that has a lot of Big Questions, and by the end Ender answers the best he can by his understanding of what's needed.

Perhaps this novel, book two in the Ender series, may not satisfy those who want a comic book hero. Ender is the kind of hero that has more living man as part of his character than a storybook person. He wants to be a husband, father, and someone who is building a home, not a military genius, not an adventurer
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W.C.
Aug 18, 2007 added it
Card is wrong when he tells his readers that Speaker is a better book than Ender's Game. He says young readers don't like it as well because it doesn't feature kids. I don't like it as well as Ender's game because while Ender's game is a psychological epic, with all the heartfelt intensity of a writer's first real story, Speaker reads to me like just another science fiction novel. Some aliens, a superintelligent virus; snooooozer. Well depicted snoozer, but still. Ender spends his whole life in ...more
Leighton
Jul 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
What's a hero to do once he's accomplished his heroic deed? Ender doesn't quite know--and unfortunately, Card doesn't quite seem to know either. Ender decays into something of a pathetic and self-pitying figure who wanders about uttering platitudes and aphorisms. It's Card at his preachiest, and thus at his worst.
Mike
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Mike by: aggie_mike2003@yahoo.com
Shelves: scifi, xcharity-2012
5 Star all-time favorite best book. I have no idea why this second reading of Speaker for the Dead was so moving. My previous rating of 3 Stars is now incomprehensible to me. I am not a very emotional person and I have seldom been moved to laughter, tears, heartache or sheer joy while reading but this book did all that. I was mesmerized by the story of Ender, the colonists of Lusitania, the pequininos, Jane, Novinha and the Hive Queen. So very different from Ender's Game and, yet, so perfect a s ...more
Laure
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very good science-fiction book. I could not put it down for a while! I wanted to know of course what the 'Little Ones' 's secret was, but there is more than that in the book. There is an attempt to give a spiritual dimension to the story. However, the conflict resolution feels a bit too pat for me. The Utopian reality that the characters all embrace at the end of the book seems forced. A good ending is not always what is needed. I would have liked to see a more nuanced reality emerging from th ...more
Joey
May 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I mean, its interesting how he sets up his plots with time : Characters use light speed to bump around, and while for people on planets time ages 50 years, the people on the ship don't age more then a couple of days. THIS I like.

But I'm sick of his subtle racism; I'm a bit sick of how Card pretends to be able to view people like an open book - his characters can PREDICT exactly how other characters will act, due to their personality type etc.

And we'll see if the plot has a pay-off, Its just a bi
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Arielle
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books in a long time! Ender’s Game was an enjoyable sci-fi read, but Speaker for the Dead was a much more interesting book with complex characters and relationships. Yes, it’s still sci-fi, but it’s about so much more: family, love, guilt, empathy, forgiveness, responsibility, religious freedom, politics, understanding other cultures. I read some reviews that criticized the book for being allegorical, but this is one of the main reasons why I liked it. Highly recommend!
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
Waaay different than the first book, but very, very good in its own way. Ender's Game is a tightly written, perfectly turned out story from top to finish, whereas Speaker for the Dead is more philosophical and makes you think.
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15,676 followers
Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
...more

Other books in the series

Ender's Saga (4 books)
  • Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)
  • Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3)
  • Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #4)
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.” 691 likes
“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one's life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.” 636 likes
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