Speaker for the Dead

Discuss the April 2013 book of the month "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
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Shil
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Speaker for the Dead

Post by Shil » 07 Jan 2014, 10:44

If you just finished reading the first book in this series and are expecting another book packed with high intensity action, you are going to be disappointed. I came into this with similar expectations and found the initial chapters to be slightly awkward and far fetched for my taste. However, the story picks up in the chapters 4-5 and I found myself really enjoying the book. It has strong but conflicted main characters who struggle with situations of personal and social dilemma. It shows that love can be grey and varied. There is a certain complexity to this book which makes Ender's Game more childish.

It left me almost believing in this whole new way of perceiving the universe. After the thrill and drama of Ender's game, this book has a contrastingly philosophical undertone. Although not everyone's cup of tea, it is surprisingly refreshing for the open minded reader.

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Post by kengeeb » 08 Jan 2014, 09:02

I wasn't initially interested in Ender's Game. However, after reading your post, I think I'll check the series out. Thanks.

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Post by samuyama » 02 Mar 2014, 08:45

True what you say about Speaker for the Dead. It was a phenomenal book, but you can't expect a bunch of genius kids to go around blowing things up. Currently on Xenocide, which goes even deeper into those meaning of life kinds of questions.

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Post by thankyou » 12 Mar 2014, 02:12

I will be reading this book soon.

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Post by Little House » 16 May 2014, 13:07

I rank Ender's game as one of my all time favorites, but Speaker for the Dead only qualifies as a good book for me. As the series goes on, Orson Scott Card goes deeper into meaning of life questions than I wanted to go. I never finished the series. I have started reading more of the Shadow series, and while it does deal with some deep questions, it seems less philosophical overall.

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Post by fitzthegreat » 04 Jun 2014, 12:21

This book is insanely good. I loved every aspect of it. I love the concept of having a "Speaker". I think that Card speaks (no pun intended) truthfully to the fact that funerals have become huge in their mourning (which is expected in reality) but he gets something right I think. A life should be examined and told after it is complete, we focus on how this person is gone from the earth, whereas Card focuses on what they did on this earth. A truly brilliant philosophical stance on afterlife as well as death. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in science fiction.

-- 04 Jun 2014, 13:21 --

This book is insanely good. I loved every aspect of it. I love the concept of having a "Speaker". I think that Card speaks (no pun intended) truthfully to the fact that funerals have become huge in their mourning (which is expected in reality) but he gets something right I think. A life should be examined and told after it is complete, we focus on how this person is gone from the earth, whereas Card focuses on what they did on this earth. A truly brilliant philosophical stance on afterlife as well as death. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in science fiction.

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Post by NanoWasabi » 25 Aug 2014, 10:31

I read this book about three years ago, and I remember almost nothing except that I was disappointed about a lot of things. Mostly I didn't like how the story was so sad, but maybe returning to the series and reading it all the way through would be a good idea. Or I could just read Bean's story...

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Post by nannyluvscmu » 17 Sep 2014, 21:28

I really liked this book and its moral dilemma. I liked how it described how Ender was able to process the xenocide and how he tried to keep it from happening again. It was really long and there wasn't much action, but it was a good story.

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Post by wapeeler » 23 Nov 2014, 07:58

If you read the forward of Speaker for the Dead (I know, I know a bit nerdy on my part) Card talks about his journey to Speaker. As a young writer he wanted to write that story, before Ender existed, before he would have played a role on Lusitania. When he drafted up the idea his editor told him it was beyond his ability. Eventually he saw Ender's game as a solution to writing SftD. He then turned the short story of Ender into Ender's game and now into the Ender quartet. To me as a writer who has scraped things because they were not lining up this is interesting and in some ways comforting.

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Post by Little House » 25 Nov 2014, 14:39

NanoWasabi wrote:I read this book about three years ago, and I remember almost nothing except that I was disappointed about a lot of things. Mostly I didn't like how the story was so sad, but maybe returning to the series and reading it all the way through would be a good idea. Or I could just read Bean's story...
I too felt this way about Speaker. I never did finish the quartet. But Ender's Shadow is more like Ender's game. The other books in the Shadow series are a bit more philosophical but Ender's Shadow takes place at the same time and uses the same characters as Ender's game, but told from a different perspective. You should definitely try Ender's Shadow.

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Post by melbuhtoast » 30 Jan 2015, 09:43

I haven't read this book yet, but I am really interested in reading it. I've heard the same about Speaker - that it is sad, less exciting, etc. - but I'm keeping it on my "to read" list in any case!

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Post by ejcogan » 19 Feb 2015, 23:34

I personally haven't read this book yet. My daughter did and said it was very good. On a scale of 1 to 5 she gave it a 4. At some point I will read it, it's on my TBR list, but since finding this site I have so, so many books lined up already. I like all the comments so it will probably be sooner rather than later.
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Post by Scorsee » 19 Mar 2015, 20:36

The first time I read Speaker for the Dead I had a hard time getting through it. But the second time I ate it up. I love the philosophical implications of the plot and seeing Ender in such a different light is intriguing. I loved the entire series...but I think I have a slight preference for the Shadow series and Bean's perspective. I also find Petra to be an intriguing character.
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Post by Krizelle101 » 10 May 2015, 10:47

This sequel to Ender's Game is more on the philosophical side of things. It gave the impression that not everyone sees or understand things in the same way. Things that are considered killing to us may be seen as the opposite to others. I also loved this book despite being different fromthe first one. It just captured my interest. The author made me understand what was going on inside Andrew Wiggins head and why he did the things that he did.

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Post by dhaller » 31 Jul 2015, 20:23

Ender's Game can function as a children's book. The rest of Ender's quartet cannot.

Basically, there's the Ender Quartet and the Shadows Quartet (Bean's Quartet). Ender's Shadow and its sequels, set during the war on Earth after Ender beats the formics, follows Bean as he helps Peter Wiggin conquer the planet. It reads much closer to Ender's Game in terms of action and straightforward militaristic themes.

Ender's Quartet is a much more character-driven story about the man Ender became after the war. It's much more speculative science fiction than military science fiction, and should be read as such.

Personally, I love both series.

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