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Ender's Game Alive: The Full-Cast Audioplay Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the author of numerous bestselling novels and the first writer to receive both the Hugo and Nebula awards two years in a row; first for Ender s Game and then for the sequel, Speaker for the Dead. He lives with his wife and children in North Carolina.

Kirby Heyborne is an accomplished actor, musician, and comedian who has received a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narrations. He has had starring roles in over a dozen features and many short films. Kirby is also a cofounder and director of the Los Angeles-based improv comedy group The Society.

Stefan Rudnicki is an award winning audiobook narrator, director and producer. He was born in Poland and now resides in Studio City, California. He has narrated more than three hundred audiobooks and has participated in over a thousand as a writer, producer, or director. He is a recipient of multiple Audie Awards and "AudioFile" Earphones Awards as well as a Grammy Award, a Bram Stoker Award, and a Ray Bradbury Award. He received "AudioFile" s award for 2008 Best Voice in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Along with a cast of other narrators, Rudnicki has read a number of Orson Scott Card's best-selling science fiction novels. He worked extensively with many other science fiction authors, including David Weber and Ben Bova. In reviewing the twentieth anniversary edition audiobook of Card s "Ender's Game", "Publishers Weekly" stated, "Rudnicki, with his lulling, sonorous voice, does a fine job articulating Ender's inner struggle between the kind, peaceful boy he wants to be and the savage, violent actions he is frequently forced to take." Rudnicki is also a stage actor and director.

Scott Brick first began narrating audiobooks in 2000, and after recording almost 400 titles in five years, "AudioFile" magazine named Brick a Golden Voice and one of the fastest-rising stars in the audiobook galaxy. He has read a number of titles in Frank Herbert s bestselling "Dune" series, and he won the 2003 Science Fiction Audie Award for "Dune: The Butlerian Jihad". Brick has narrated for many popular authors, including Michael Pollan, Joseph Finder, Tom Clancy, and Ayn Rand. He has also won over 40 "AudioFile" Earphones Awards and the "AudioFile" award for Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense 2011. In 2007, Brick was named "Publishers Weekly" s Narrator of the Year.

Brick has performed on film, television and radio. He appeared on stage throughout the United States in productions of "Cyrano, Hamlet, Macbeth" and other plays. In addition to his acting work, Brick choreographs fight sequences, and was a combatant in films including "Romeo and Juliet", "The Fantasticks" and "Robin Hood: Men in Tights". He has also been hired by Morgan Freeman to write the screenplay adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke s "Rendezvous with Rama".

Harlan Ellison has been called one of the great living American short story writers by the "Washington Post". In a career spanning more than fifty years, he has won more awards than any other living fantasist. Ellison has written or edited one hundred fourteen books; more than seventeen hundred stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns; two dozen teleplays; and a dozen motion pictures. He has won the Hugo Award eight and a half times (shared once); the Nebula Award three times; the Bram Stoker Award, presented by the Horror Writers Association, five times (including the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996); the Edgar Allan Poe Award of the Mystery Writers of America twice; the Georges Melies Fantasy Film Award twice; and two Audie Awards (for the best in audio recordings); and he was awarded the Silver Pen for Journalism by PEN, the international writers union. He was presented with the first Living Legend Award by the International Horror Critics at the 1995 World Horror Convention. Ellison is the only author in Hollywood ever to win the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Teleplay (solo work) four times, most recently for Paladin of the Lost Hour, his "Twilight Zone" episode that was Danny Kaye s final role, in 1987. In 2006, Ellison was awarded the prestigious title of Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. "Dreams With Sharp Teeth", the documentary chronicling his life and works, was released on DVD in May 2009.

Kevin Baker is the author of one previous novel, Sometimes You See It Coming, and served as chief historical researcher for the recently published The American Century by Harold Evans. He is married and lives in New York City.

John Rubenstein won a Theater World Award, a Tony, and a Drama Desk Award for his performances in Pippin and Children of a Lesser God.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 15 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Ender
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Library edition (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480523232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480523234
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1 x 6.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,355,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 CD
I am a HUGE Ender's Game fan. I have read the book probably a dozen times in paperback, kindle and audiobook. So initially I was going to skip this because I thought it was just going to be a full cast version of the audiobook. But I got sucked in because Card wrote it as a radio drama with some different text. There is no narrator, so the only action is in dialogue, which makes for a few odd places because someone has to describe the action in dialogue form and it doesn't quite fit. (This is traditional with radio dramas, but still creates a few odd places.)

I also was put off by the voices. Because this is acted out (by voice if not visually) it really feels odd that there are no children's voices here. There are only adult voices even though most of the characters are 6 to 12 years old. I understand it is easier to get adults than kids, but it felt jarring. (Of course you get use to it and there are some excellent voice actors here.)

The final issue is that this is the adaptation. Ender's Game Alive is just over 7 hours and the unabridged audiobook is just short of 12. That is a lot of cut content and for a true fan like myself, I feel it. Maybe others would not feel the abridgement quite so much but I thought it was too much and it hurt the character development. To be fair there are some new scenes here as well. OSC thinks he may adapt some of them into a new edition of the book, but on the whole it felt like the adaptation was a little weak on character development.

On the whole I think this is a good supplement. But if you have never read Ender's game and you want an audio version you should skip this and get the unabridged 20th Anniversary Audiobook instead. This is done well, but I don't think it is as good as the full audiobook.
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Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
First, I'm not going to focus on the content of Ender's Game Alive other than to say it captures the essence of the book. So, if you don't know the book, read review/synopsis for it.

The folks at Skyboat Media have breathed new life into an old format: the radio play. Ender's Game author, Orson Scott Card, has rewritten the novel from ground up as an audio play. I've been pretty excited about this new art form (or, at least a form pushed to new levels) ever since I became aware of the project. This is a first rate audio play.

Be fully immersed. Don't go into this like it's an audio book. You'll look for the narration to tell you where you are in the story. Here, it's done with sounds and theme and dialog and a little monologue, but not straight out narration. Let me emphasize the quality of this production. One way to bring this out is how I rip and experience this. I typically listen to audio books while mobile so I rip them. I often "save space" if I own CDs of audio books, I'll rip them at 128 Kbps. After all, spoken word doesn't have the same level of complexity as a symphony. Not this production. I rendered it with a lossless codec although around 320 variable bit rate mp3 would be fine. I listened to most of it on Grado SR 80s (quite decent cans). This is an amazing experience. They use left and right channel well with a large sound stage even while being immersed in the sound. You feel as if you're in the dialog, a part of the conversation and the action.

While content is king and the best production can't make up for bad story or lousy acting, what really sets Ender's Game Alive apart is a focused script of a great story (not a slightly edited text to account for being read aloud), terrific actors and narrators and first rate production value.
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Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
Having read the novel dozens of times and listened to Stefan Rudnicki's performance on audiobook countless times as well, I can say I was quite pleased that OSC and Brilliance Audio would be bringing Ender's Game "alive" with 30 voice actors in over 100 roles. Needless to say, I picked up the MP3 CD as soon as I could.

Because MP3 CDs are not the same as typical CDs, this may or may not work in your CD player - it depends on your device. But if you have a media player (and who doesn't?), loading the MP3s into iTunes or your media player of choice is a snap on PC or Mac. The disc comes in a DVD case with a jacket, and has 21 tracks in 192 kbps, which - though compressed - sound quite clear.

Now that the meta stuff is out of the way, the actual audioplay is fascinating. Rather than a straightforward read of Ender's Game (since Rudnicki's read was so solid), the audioplay incorporates material from Card's other pieces in the Enderverse, such as some of the prequels and short stories. In some respects, the play weaves a more complicated tapestry than the novel does and gives backstory that even seasoned EG veterans might not know.

While I can't say I agree with all of the casting choices (just like in the recent movie, Ender is too old), I wouldn't say that anyone involved does a bad job. This is far and away one of the best productions of this story available (besides the novel itself). While I would certainly recommend this to fans, I would not submit this as my choice for anyone's first exposure to the story. As one might expect, the novel (and Rudnicki's read) take pride of place.

If you're a fan of the story, give this a listen. Though it does not measure up to the source material or Rudnicki's original read, it beats the movie and the graphic novels by a long shot. With its intriguing music, plausible foley work, and diverse cast, the audioplay paints a vivid picture of the scifi classic we all know and love.
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