Friday, March 11, 2011

Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card


Another excellent entry by Orson Scott Card. He claims that this was the book he wanted to write, and Ender's Game was just the prequel he wrote in order to make this book possible. Ender's Game is a better book, but I buy that Card thought this one was more important. Indeed, it is the very "importance" of the book that keeps it from being quite on the level of its predecessor--it's too busy making a point and addressing "issues" to be a true masterpiece. Granted, it's far and away one of the best books I've read that existed primarily to discuss such "issues"--dealing with those who are "other," the definition of "human," the good inside all people, the importance of peace, the role of guilt and penance--but the issues still diminish the brilliance of the story. Card is at his best in describing Ender's with the family he befriends in the course of his work. And the biological punch line of the story is quite original and creative.

All in all, it's a great book. A tad preachy in spots, but still well worth reading.

The audiobook is a bit dodgy--they switch narrators from time to time depending on the character whose point of view is being presented, and even though the narrators themselves are quite good, sometimes the transitions are awkward, jarring, and quite distracting. You'd probably be better off reading the actual book for this one.

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