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Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet) Mass Market Paperback – August 15, 1994
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A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.
THE ENDER UNIVERSE
Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.
Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
The First Formic War Series: One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. These are the stories of the First Formic War.
The Authorized Ender Companion: A complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things, and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe.
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Top Customer Reviews
I doubt that anyone will be able to read Ender's Game and stop there. You want more. Speaker for the Dead is where you have to go. I find it extremely hard to consider this a sequel, because never have I seen an author switch his style this drastically within one series. Card forces you to accept all of his changes, but those who adapt to this book are highly rewarded! I found myself involved with Card's characters quite alarmingly, and touched by his themes on so many levels.
One thing that really impressed me- Card takes our first intelligent contact with aliens and compares it with 16th century European explorers encountering the natives of South America. It shows the barriers of language, technology, religion, and misunderstandings -as well as mankind's need to control or dominate any new race it meets. This book is like a history lesson that teaches us not to make the same mistakes when we reach this point of our future. Very interesting.
There is no doubt I will be continuing this series.
This book is in all ways, barring one, superior.
This book reminds me of Ursula LeGuin at her best, and I do not invoke her name lightly. She is one of the few sci-fi authors who understands something of anthropology and, more importantly, the human condition. Card in this one books has levelled with her.
Ender is a far richer and deeper character in this book than he was in Ender's Game. Here he is having to live with his own guilt and the positive and negative aspects of his own legend. He has inspired a cult of sorts, the Speakers of the Dead, people who speak not well of the dead, but realistically. How does one live with such a legacy?
The Piggies are intrinsicly fascinating. They are not small humans. They are not just randomly acting individuals. They act in a consistent, rational manner -- once you know all the peices of the puzzle. Most of these peices are not revealed except with time. Jane is also fascinating. "She" acts in a logical manner as well, but again it is not a HUMAN manner. The Hive Queen is very real and, again, not human. There is a delicate balance inherent in this book.
This book is far superior to Ender's Game, a book which is one of those rare sci-fi novels that I have read twice. It speaks to the core of humanity within us all, it speaks to our fears, our dreams, our hatreds, our prejudices, our nobility, our failings, and our longings. It is not a shoot-em-up. This book is literature, not science fiction. It may be read again with profit. It is not a book about plot and action (thank all the powers!).Read more ›
There are so many good things about this book. Card has a talent for writing deep, real characters that I've never seen in sci-fi and seldom in any modern literature. He is a master storyteller, and this book is wonderfully paced -- you will continually be twisting your brain trying to uncover what is up with the pequeninos before the scientists do.
But most of all, this book is a eloquent manifesto of humanism. As Speaker for the Dead, it is our hero Ender's lifelong task to understand people and tell the truth about them -- a truth that will reveal their good, bad, and ugly, but most importantly, their inherent worth and um, goodness. This truth-seeking carries from the individual to the entire races, as Card (and Ender) examine how we relate to those we don't understand, even those we can't understand.
So what is it? It's a page-turner, crazy idea-filled(as all sci-fi should be) thrilling, thoughtful, powerful, funny, poignant novel. It is an excellent piece of writing that I would love to see taught in high school classrooms.
My only problems with it are that terrible cover(who designed these covers? They have nothing to do with the story -- not even the tone of the story) and the sometimes indecipherable use of portuguese. But those are both minor.
"We know you now. That makes all the difference, doesn't it? Even Quim doesn't hate you now. When you really know somebody, you can't hate them.Read more ›
Speaker for the Dead works for me in its treatment of two major issues. The first of these, expressed through the interaction (and its disastrous results) between the piggies and the humans, has to do with cultural relationships and the arrogant assumptions often made by the dominant culture. The humans function at a level of cultural blindness hard to understand through most of the novel, and that blindness has tragic consequences.
The second issue I love in this book is the concept of the Speaker for the Dead, the role that Ender Wiggin has taken on in his adulthood. A Speaker's job consists of traveling to places he is called to "speak" the life of someone who has died. These itinerant Speakers come to the person's life completely objectively, and thus they are able to speak the truth about that person--good and bad. The speaker helps the community deal with the person's death by allowing them to see that person completely; all the person's facets, foibles, and fortes are displayed. I found myself thinking that if mopre people read this book, we might have a whole new funereal ritual to deal with.
In short, while of a completely different tone than Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead brings up some important issues, and it is well worth the time spent in reading it. Invest several days in this book; it deserves them.
--Prudence Plunkett (Prudence_Plunkett@breadnet.middlebury.edu)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everyone needs to read this book, and it is written in a way that you don't need to read any previous bookPublished 2 days ago by Kindle Customer
If you loved the tone excitement and setting of Ender's Game, you"Lloyd be disappointed by this. It has very few tie ins to the previous book really, and feels entirely... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Sean Martin
Great book. Almost as a standalone series however. Anyone who is expecting a book similar to Ender's Game will be dissapointed. Very philosophical and character development based.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Nice concepts to meditate upon and apply toward ones' day-to-day interactions with othersPublished 8 days ago by Billie