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message 1: by Jamie (JK), Houdini Mod (last edited Aug 30, 2010 08:31AM) (new)

Jamie (JK) (eimajtl) | 703 comments Mod
September's Book of the Month is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card! This here is the place to discuss it without regard to spoilers.


Book: Ender's Game (Ender Saga #1)
Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: SciFi
Nominator: Keith
Month: September 2010
BotM Number: 2

message 2: by Glodson, MIA Mod (new)

Glodson | 235 comments Mod
Ha, another one I've read.

But it is a good book.

message 3: by Jamie (JK), Houdini Mod (last edited Aug 30, 2010 09:23AM) (new)

Jamie (JK) (eimajtl) | 703 comments Mod
Yeah, I was a bit bummed it was something I've already read again, but it is a good book. I think it should make for some good discussions though on ethics and morality - especially the ending.

I was gonna put up something to start thinking about like I did with the spoiler free thread, but I'm not sure what I'd ask... or if I want to ask it this soon. Any ideas for discussion starters in this thread?

message 4: by Keith (new)

Keith (oafaye) | 60 comments Ha! I am undefeated in book suggestion!

message 5: by Jamie (JK), Houdini Mod (new)

Jamie (JK) (eimajtl) | 703 comments Mod
If it happens in November as well, the club is going to be "Keith's Book Club" for a month. :D

message 6: by Dian, Crazy Nooooob Mod! :D (new)

Dian | 440 comments Mod
I'm actually kinda happy its a book I've read a lot and know well. Mainly cause I have atleast two new books that are being released this month that I've been waiting on for forever. So now I can enjoy my new books and still participate easily with the discussions this month. Plus I just reread enders game this week for fun.

message 7: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
JK wrote: "If it happens in November as well, the club is going to be "Keith's Book Club" for a month. :D"

If it's another book I hate in November, I'm gonna give up on book club. lol. no, really

message 8: by Dian, Crazy Nooooob Mod! :D (new)

Dian | 440 comments Mod
Well really its just bad luck on your part the last two months. I'm sure next month there is a chance that you will like the book. There will be plenty of times that there are books each of us will dislike.

message 9: by Apollo (last edited Aug 31, 2010 09:12PM) (new)

Apollo Frimel | 63 comments So what was it you disliked about this book Diva? I can see moral issues maybe. Having a 5 year old kill another child(or how old was he when he killed the kid in the school earth based school not space army general captain school?)

I saw the ending coming but at the same time I was still kinda shocked by it. Did you guys get the edition with the racial slurs or the clean edition?

message 10: by Dian, Crazy Nooooob Mod! :D (new)

Dian | 440 comments Mod
There is a clean edition? The only racial part I remember is when Ender and Alia are harassing each other. But that was a minor thing that I never really thought about.

Oh and he was 6 when he killed Stillson the bully from school. And which part shocked you? That he found the queen egg, that he planned to find a planet to hatch it on, or the fact that the burgers really did dissect his mind.

message 11: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
ApolloDavid wrote: "So what was it you disliked about this book Diva? "
Honestly I didn't finish it. The book reads like a children's book. If you want I can tell you what I figured was going to happen. lol.

message 12: by Apollo (new)

Apollo Frimel | 63 comments @ Dian yeah there is a version where they edit out that part I don't know why but people are sensitive like that. I guess it wasn't the ending ending but the fact that the entire war game towards the end was actual battles and that he destroyed the bugger homeworld

@Diva How far did you get? It did start out kinda childish I guess but it gets more mature after he starts battle school. But yeah what did you think would happen?

message 13: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
I don't recall it's been years but here it goes,
What I predicted would happen...
Will Ender be selected? of course or there would be no story.
Ender gets selected, goes to become fighter/soldier- learns battle stuff and life lessons, other kids will dislike him but he will manage to make a few friends. He will do well at becoming what they want him to become & win the war. Somehow they will discover the war was because of a misunderstanding of each others culture &/or populace, blah, blah. ;)
Moral of story: Don't judge w/out all the facts or Never judge a book by it's cover.
Am I close?

message 14: by Keith (new)

Keith (oafaye) | 60 comments DuctTapeDiva wrote: Am I close?
Not even remotely

message 15: by Apollo (new)

Apollo Frimel | 63 comments Yeah think a lot less everything works out and more hatred abuse and genocide.

message 16: by Dian, Crazy Nooooob Mod! :D (new)

Dian | 440 comments Mod
Genocide, mental abuse, murder plots, and basically seeing how far the can torment Ender before he breaks. At the end he even leaves the world he helped settle cause he wasn't almost happy and he couldn't handle it. He didn't know how to be happy. It was kinda sad and distressing if you actually like the characters

message 17: by Dian, Crazy Nooooob Mod! :D (new)

Dian | 440 comments Mod
@ apollodavid yeah I was taken a bit back that he was leading the real battles. I knew it was coming but the whole destroying the planet was a shock. What shocked me was that he actually killed those kids, that was a lil deep thinking of a kid killing another kid.

message 18: by Andra (new)

Andra | 75 comments I think Ender/Andrew is one of the most sympathetic characters I've had a chance to get attached to.

It's amazing how much kids know without you telling them anything. And even though they're supposed to be such child geniuses I think the adults forget too often that they're just children.

Plus the ending where he finds his magical land from the computer and finally the queen promises him some redemption for the unintended genocide.

That's the one thing that bothered me, that Ender tried so hard to be considerate, but in the end every time he tried so hard he ended up killing the kids or the planet etc. But I just felt for him because he was always set up for it. I don't think he was like his brother at all.

Anyway....now that's off my chest. Hai! heh

message 19: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (last edited Sep 02, 2010 12:23AM) (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
Keith wrote: "DuctTapeDiva wrote: Am I close?
Not even remotely"

Keith wrote: "DuctTapeDiva wrote: Am I close?
Not even remotely"

Oddly when I asked Abbi is I was close, she said I was suprisingly close. So if your comment was an attempt to get me to read it, try harder. ;)
Actually, Spring insists I'd like the book that it wasn't a bad book just bad timing when I attempted to read it before. So I am considering it, a little.

message 20: by Dian, Crazy Nooooob Mod! :D (new)

Dian | 440 comments Mod
Did you dislike it cause it was from a child's perspective, or did it just seem immature writing? If the second you have to take into consideration that Card was about 16 or so when he started writing Enders Game, I don't know how old he was when it got published, but he was rather young.

message 21: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
It reads like it's meant for children. I honestly gave the copy I had to Abbi when she was ten years old. She loved it, still has it actually. Eragon & those were written by a teen as well for children so it does happen just not real often that I am aware of. lol.

message 22: by Apollo (new)

Apollo Frimel | 63 comments Eragon was a decent book. The film was absolutely dreadful.

message 23: by Dian, Crazy Nooooob Mod! :D (new)

Dian | 440 comments Mod
I've never been able to get into Eragon, I read the majority of the book and still haven been able to finish the book

message 24: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (last edited Sep 04, 2010 04:43PM) (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
ApolloDavid wrote: "Eragon was a decent book. The film was absolutely dreadful."

Oh I never read the book nor saw the movie but I did buy the books for my son T2 as they came out. He loved them.
The point was that sometimes age isn't a factor in publishing.

message 25: by Alexander (new)

Alexander (alexanderon) DuctTapeDiva wrote: "Moral of story: Don't judge w/out all the facts or Never judge a book by it's cover. Am I close? "

Not exactly. Ender's Game is a novel primarily about military brainwashing and the desensitizing of violence in warfare. Ender was so heavily dissociated from reality throughout his entire training that he no longer knew the ramifications of his actions, committing actions someone so kind as Ender would never even begin to fathom.

The military in the book adopts the theory that desensitizing violence makes better fighters because they are not aware of the weight and consequences of their battles. It's easy to kill a human being when you don't know you did. And even before the final exam, Ender was becoming increasingly distant from reality. He feared his violence against Bonzo but didn't really know exactly what he did--he feared what he thought he was becoming. And before he even realizes it, he's half-altered into an automaton, unthinking and broken. Broken to the point where he kills an entire race without even knowing it.

Card holds a very negative opinion of technology as a whole throughout the novel, and identifies that as a human race, as we advance, we become increasingly desensitized and more ... ruthless? You have such a kind-hearted boy like Ender being turned into a genocidal machine by ample doses of dissociation and video games. Card believes there is a very rooted sense of mutuality and kindness that human beings can achieve, but with desensitizing violence we become more prone to maim and kill. With technology, war just becomes easy. Killing becomes easy. And we become less in-tune with what we should be.

As human beings we used to fight face to face on the battlefield. Now we bomb them in their homes from a computer screen.

As you read the book keep these things churning through your mind. Think about Ender and Peter: their differences, their weaknesses, their strengths. And keep this in mind when you come across the online debates between Demosthenes (my bad if I spelled that wrong) and Locke--how easy it is for them to advocate violence from behind a moniker.

I might be doing an awful job explaining that but it's been a long, mind-altering weekend and I'm awfully scatterbrained at the moment.

message 26: by Alexander (new)

Alexander (alexanderon) DuctTapeDiva wrote: "Oddly when I asked Abbi is I was close, she said I was suprisingly close."

...You said she was ten when she read it, right?

message 27: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (last edited Sep 06, 2010 09:55PM) (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
No, I said I gave the book to her when she was ten(three years ago), she has read it more than once and quite recently actually. She's young not stupid.

message 28: by Alexander (new)

Alexander (alexanderon) I never once presumed to think that your daughter is stupid--simply that she is not a literary major.

I said what I did not out of spite but instead to tell you the story has much more maturity to it than you originally believed. Give it another try. The book's a modern classic and rightly so.

message 29: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
She's not my daughter. Actually I did mainly because a Crohn's flare up gave me time for reading. It does follow that very basic outline. I wasn't wrong on that. It is a children's book as well. Quite well done for a children's book, but still a children's book. I found it boring but not as dreadful as the last B.O.T.M.

message 30: by Alexander (new)

Alexander (alexanderon) Tell you what: it's whatever you want it to be.

message 31: by Glodson, MIA Mod (new)

Glodson | 235 comments Mod
Alexander wrote: "I might be doing an awful job explaining that but it's been a long, mind-altering weekend and I'm awfully scatterbrained at the moment."

I think you did a good job nailing it down. It has been over a decade since I last read it, but I really enjoyed the book. But I haven't revisited it, as it is bleak.

Even from the beginning, there is a undercurrent of a dark future. Ender himself is a Third, if I remember right. Which is a third child, which the government only permits under certain circumstances. If he shows promise, he's taken by the government. In essence, if his parents want to keep him, they have to hope that he is a failure in the eyes of the government. Worse, there's a sense of eugenics involved, as his parents are permitted to have him because of the intellectual promise of his siblings. If I recall correctly, it was their temperament that made them ineligible for use by the military.

Then the plot also subverts the whole "evil alien attacking" idea. Yes, the buggers did invade our space first, but there's a notion that because of the major differences in our respective psychologies and physiologies as species, the buggers didn't realize how terrifying their first contact was. Worse, as there was no way for meaningful communication, both sides immediately attack. Once the buggers realized a war was on, with no means to stop it, they pulled back. If I recall correctly. It was the humans that went on the offensive, with no quarter given.

Even the very idea of dressing actual battles as a simulation, and training exercise, is sickening. It isn't until it is all over that Ender realizes that he has been commanding living, breathing men. He's sacrificed them for tactical reasons, not considering how many lives he is throwing away. I recall that has he is reaching is breaking point, he recklessly lets a squad of fighters die. This infuriates his mentor, I can't remember the name, which Ender doesn't see as a big deal since they are just pixels and data to him.

Really, Ender is psychologically tortured as a part of his training. Then, after they win, he is told the truth, which is devastating to him. To learn, in one moment, that he's sent hundreds, if not thousands, to their deaths is hard enough. Worse, he knows that it was his command that eradicated an entire species. Sure, no reasonable person who knew all the facts could consider him culpable, but he still bares the burden of guilt.

Which is part of why they didn't tell him. Because no person could do it like a machine, like he did. This is why he is manipulated and emotionally tortured.

Really, the people running the show were complete bastards.

message 32: by Punkyplatypus (new)

Punkyplatypus | 25 comments ....just finished it...

....i'm still processing how i feel about the book, but overall i enjoyed it....until the end that is (personally, i would have squashed that bugger queen sonovabitch)....at least this book has sequels that are already out, but how the story was going i don't think i want to see what's supposed to happen next....

...this book reminded me of a clockwork orange....they both share elements of all of humanity being corrupt; an extremely controlling government; corrupted innocent children who are geared towards violence, controlled via technology & psychology, and being praised for the ends despite the means; being forced against one's nature; friend one day, foe the next; playing with the line between love and hate; etc etc....

.....not much else i can think of.......'cept maybe how ali & ender had man crushes on each other was funny....i half expected them to go gay for each other at the end...

message 33: by Jamie (JK), Houdini Mod (new)

Jamie (JK) (eimajtl) | 703 comments Mod
You have no idea where the story will go with this series - the next book, well, not Ender in Exile - the one after that, is so completely different from the first book. Ender's Game is really a prequel in a lot of ways to the rest of the series it's that different.

Interesting connection to A Clockwork Orange too.

message 34: by Punkyplatypus (new)

Punkyplatypus | 25 comments ....maybe i'll check them out <_<....

message 35: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (last edited Sep 08, 2010 03:14AM) (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
Alexander wrote: "Tell you what: it's whatever you want it to be."

Now this I find funny. Pouting are we? Just because I don't share your world view? You don't share my opinion, so what?
Are we argueing as to if it's a childrens's novel? Amazon agrees with me on that, it's listed in the children's section.

message 36: by Alexander (last edited Sep 10, 2010 09:33AM) (new)

Alexander (alexanderon) Hahaha, pouting?

You were flat out wrong on your analysis and your boorish adherence to it borders the zealous. You're free to continue believing whatever you want to. I have better things to do with my time than argue about the category of a novel when you didn't even catch the significant themes of the novel.

So yeah. It's whatever you want it to be. Meaning, I'm moving on. Continue shouting on your soapbox, but make sure to angle it at a wall. Until you stop the abrasive tone of your posts I really don't feel like talking to you.

message 37: by Alexander (new)

Alexander (alexanderon) Punkyplatypus wrote: ".....not much else i can think of.......'cept maybe how ali & ender had man crushes on each other was funny....i half expected them to go gay for each other at the end... "

Interesting you hold that perception. Card is actually a raging homophobe.

message 38: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
I did read it & it did follow that basic outline. Was there also more to the story? yes, there was but it still didn't interest me in the least bit. I did say it was well written for it's genre. Fine don't talk to me anymore. Oh yeah, feel free to think whatever you want about the book but oddly enough that doesn't make you any more correct than I am.

message 39: by Alexander (new)

Alexander (alexanderon) You say "it reads like it's meant for children."

In what way?

message 40: by Jingai (new)

Jingai | 56 comments I've gotten through the fourth chapter, and have two observations; the first, it is a very fast read, second,
I keep expecting Keenan Ivory Wayans to pop up in my
den window and exclaim "Message!".

Bonus points if you get that reference.

message 41: by Jamie (JK), Houdini Mod (new)

Jamie (JK) (eimajtl) | 703 comments Mod
Jingai! Good to see you discussing the book.

Sadly, I do not get the reference.

message 42: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
Alexander wrote: "You say "it reads like it's meant for children."

In what way?"

That would be by structure and phrasing. So I suppose I mean the content.

Did you forget you're not talking to me?

message 43: by Katt_goddess (new)

Katt_goddess | 267 comments Heh, I finished reading this one ages ago but have been a little on the lazy side of actually reporting in. :D

I would say that this book really wasn't all that bad. So a slight change in my feelings about the author. Not going to run out and get the next book in the series anytime soon type of change but I'm slightly less 'f this, it's Gundam'. Makes me wonder if my uncle got me that particular book because he thought I'd already have all the others in the series though.

message 44: by Hornshire (new)

Hornshire | 6 comments Overall, I liked it. It was a decent read, albeit a fast one... I just picked it up yesterday for the first time. The phrasing wasn't at all complicated, but I didn't find it boring. The language was good, there were actually two or three words I didn't recognize, and not because they were made up as part of the setting. I think the majority of the plot was basic and predictable, but it was a good telling, where the finer details were neither too mysterious nor too blatant. Its technique is good, but I think it does a much better job content-wise.

Things I didn't like:
Mostly, I feel it moves way too fast at the end; from the point when he wins the war on, there aren't enough details. I don't think anything really important was left out, and adding more may have made it boring, but how it is just seems too rushed for me. One thing in particular that I feel should be elaborated on is how the Queen was able to read Ender. I get why... but the how still eludes me.
I felt it was rather obvious that the buggers were of a single consciousness. This made it weird when Mazer said he was laughed at for proposing the idea.
I also find it really hard to believe how incredulous everyone is when Ender "wins" the game against two teams. Maybe I've played too many RTS games, but it just doesn't make sense that nobody ever thought to just make it through the enemy door without trying to take them all out first. Much in the same way, I really find it hard to believe that no one ever killed the giant before in the video game. Maybe I'm a little biased because I really hate the idea of limiting yourself to only two options, but I don't buy that Ender was the only one to get to Fairyland.
I think there was more build up needed with the Peter/Val/Locke/Demo side story, or at the very least, it needed to be distributed more evenly throughout the main storyline. I also think there wasn't enough description of how the Hegemon, Strategos, Polemarch, etc. works. I realize it isn't important, but for how often they're mentioned it mostly just brings up questions.

Things I liked a lot:
The part where Ender is told that the simulations are real- I admit, I did not see that coming. It made perfect sense, but it was still a bit of a shock.
A line by Mazer about happiness being second to survival: "Humanity does not ask us to be happy. It merely asks us to be brilliant on its behalf. Survival first, then happiness as we can manage it." It appeals to the cynic in me.
The scene where Dink drifts after practice. I just like the image; it's quite serene. I don't quite understand why he feels that makes him crazy.

Random Thoughts:
During some of Ender's key battles there are contrasting mentalities. In his fight with Stilson and Bonzo, he has the mindset 'I have to win once and for all, so I don't have to fight this battle ever again.' And that seems to be the mentality Graff wants him to have. However, his game against two teams, and his "Final Exam" he basically thinks 'Fuck it, I don't care what happens, I'm going to win by having fun.' Granted, the results are what they wanted, but the process seems completely backward to what they were trying to teach him.

There are frequent parts of the book that touch on the questionability of reality. The many, many charades Graff uses to shape Ender, the simulations being real, the way Ender's life is echoed in the video game and later the game being echoed in his life, and how Peter and Val hide behind screen names (an aspect all of us can have some appreciation for).

Something I noticed reading through this book was how relatable the main character was, despite him being special, unique, the savior of the world... all things I am not. Well, maybe somewhat the first two, but not to the extent that he is supposed to be. I guess when you remember that he is only a young child that sort of makes a difference. There are other books where this has been the case, and I kind of wonder if it would be more effective to have main characters be less special, or more distant from the reader. I guess people would be less interested if the character's thoughts made no sense to them... but at the same time, I don't really like the idea of a having a character that we are told is awesome, but when you contrast him with an average joe isn't so different...

One of the ideas I kind of attached to is Graff's perception that the best way to make Ender strong is through trials; growth is proportionate to strife. Up to a point, at least. That sort of made me like his character, and I'm glad he wasn't found guilty.

message 45: by Jamie (JK), Houdini Mod (new)

Jamie (JK) (eimajtl) | 703 comments Mod
I believe it's in Xenocide (Ender Saga #3) they explain how the buggers communicated... either that one or Speaker for the Dead (Ender Saga #2). They also explain how they were able to find Ender and communicate with him.

message 46: by Mary (last edited Sep 18, 2010 12:06AM) (new)

Mary (med401) | 234 comments I'd like to bring up the idea of Ender as an abused child. He's physically and emotionally abused, terrorized really, by Peter from the time he's born. As a result of this he fears and hates Peter but he also feels something else. He wants Peter to love him. He wants Peter to approve of him and for them to be able to live in the same house, for Peter not to hate him any more.

I think the military is fully aware of this dynamic, encourages it, and expands upon it. Doesn't Graff take full advantage of Ender's coping skills he learned as a child who always had to be on the look out for an attack? A child who had to learn to distance his emotions in order to survive his home? Then he's taken away to battle school where the abuse continues, it's just for the greater good. But Ender knows how to cope with it, he has his early training to build on. Peter taught him well. Or warped him throughly. However you'd like to look at it.

And isn't Peter a product of the breeding program to start with? Somewhere in Ender's brilliant mind it all has to connect. The manipulations that have brought about the circumstances of his life. Now the people who bred his crazy brother and threw him away have total control of Ender. What a life to look forward to. Life as another one of their bred to order experiments.

Maybe the best support of my idea of the concept of how a abused child reacts to the world being utilized is towards the end of the book when we learn how much Ender wants Graff, Mazer, and even after all this time Peter, to love him. Even after Graff and Mazer have isolated him, pushed him to a breakdown, and withheld any traces of affection. It's a reaction that rings true for that situation.

I know this isn't really well supported, thought out, or written out for that matter. I just wanted to get the idea out here for discussion if anyone's interested.

message 47: by Alexander (last edited Sep 26, 2010 02:51AM) (new)

Alexander (alexanderon) DuctTapeDiva wrote: That would be by structure and phrasing. So I suppose I mean the content."

"Structure," "phrasing," and "content" are very different concepts, though. Could you be less ambiguous? And maybe provide an example?

You can have a writer like Hemingway with a very basic and elementary writing style but have a thematic structure similar to an iceberg with most of its underlying meaning between the lines.

Not that I suggest that Card is as talented of a writer, but you get the idea. Also, I guess I did forget that. But it's likely because I never said that, as I stated I didn't feel like talking to you, not that I wouldn't. My opinion hasn't really changed, and when you end posts off with such antagonism, I tend to not lean in any positive favor.

message 48: by Nora aka Diva, The Diva Mod (new)

Nora aka Diva (DuctTapeDiva) | 391 comments Mod
The structure of the story & phrasing make up the content. I'd have to ask for the book back to give page numbers but they way different size text is used to differentiate from when the adults are discussing things and when it's back to the child's perspective. The humor within, very juevinile. Fart jokes? ohhkay.
I have read seven books since finishing Ender's game and honestly I didn't care to memorize any of it, sorry.
Yes, I know my spelling is typically horrid so don't bother pointing it out. I don't intend to be antagonstic, I realize that perhaps I seem that way. Perhaps its just another example of me being a clinical narcissist, I Really don't care what anyone else thinks or feels. I'm working on that but it doesn't come naturally to me, I don't expect you to care, I wouldn't.

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