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Speaker for the Dead [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Orson Scott Card , David Birney , Stefan Rudnicki
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (307 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 11 2005 Ender Wiggin Saga (Book 2)

The thrilling sequel to Ender’s Game and winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards—this full cast unabridged recording includes an original postscript written and recorded by author Orson Scott Card.

Three thousand years have passed since Ender Wiggin won humanity’s war with the Buggers by totally destroying them. Ender remains young, traveling the stars at the speed of relativity, but a hundred years or more might pass on Earth while he experiences a month-long voyage. In three thousand years, Ender’s books The Hive Queen and The Hegemon, written under a pseudonym, have become holy writ, while the name of Ender itself has become anathema: he is the Xenocide, the one who killed an entire race of thinking, feeling beings, killed the only other sapient race humankind had found in all the galaxy.


The only ones, that is, until the planet called Lusitania was discovered and colonized. The discovery was seen as a gift to humanity, a chance to redeem the destruction of the Buggers. This time, the Starways Congress vowed, there would be no tragic misunderstanding leading to war. But once again men die, killed by the aliens in a rite no one understands. Ender, now known only as the Speaker for the Dead, comes to Lusitania to speak for those who have died and discovers that in order to tell the truth about them, he must unravel the secrets of Lusitania.


Speaker for the Dead, the second novel in the Ender Quintet, is the winner of the 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

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Ender Wiggin, the hero and scapegoat of mass alien destruction in Ender's Game, receives a chance at redemption in this novel. Ender, who proclaimed as a mistake his success in wiping out an alien race, wins the opportunity to cope better with a second race, discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. Orson Scott Card infuses this long, ambitious tale with intellect by casting his characters in social, religious and cultural contexts. Like its predecessor, this book won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Card's novel Ender's Game introduced Ender Wiggin, a young genius who used his military prowess to all but exterminate the "buggers," the first alien race mankind had ever encountered. Wiggin then transformed himself into the "Speaker for the Dead," who claimed it had been a mistake to destroy the alien civilization. Many years later, when a new breed of intelligent life forms called the "piggies" is discovered, Wiggin takes the opportunity to atone for his earlier actions. This long, rich and ambitious novel views the interplay between the races from the differing perspectives of the colonists, ethnologists, biologists, clergy, politicians, a computer artificial intelligence, the lone surviving bugger and the piggies themselves. Card is very good at portraying his characters in these larger, social, religious and cultural contexts. It's unfortunate, then, that many of the book's mysteries and dilemmas seem created just to display Ender's supposedly godlike understanding. A fine, if overlong, novel nonetheless.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the book very captivating and would recommend it to all my friends. It follows up very nicely on Ender's Game and shows a deep concern for people and the possibility of other races.
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4.0 out of 5 stars We shall never cease from exploration Dec 17 2013
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
We shall never cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. - T. S. Eliot

We start off where the last book ended. Now Ender the writer of "The Hive Queen and the Hegemon", after traveling three thousand years of penance as a Speaker for the Dead is summoned to a planet where there is a new race and an opportunity to put things right.

Even though the author says that you can read this book as a complete story without reading the first novel it is actually part of a five book series. True the essential background will be repeated or contemplated in this volume it is still not as complete as reading the first volume.

Once again you can bypass the introduction but then you will have missed crucial information on the author and his intent. The introduction can also be used as part of a good writing course.

The first book was thinly veiled as a version of "Starship Troopers" and you can see that somewhere the author must have read some field manuals. In "Speaker for the Dead" you can see that Orson Scott Card knows his Catechism. I used to teach RCIA so he could not fake it. I also come from a strong LDS background. I suspect he spiced it up with a little "Tony Hillerman." Our main character may have changed focus a tad form the first book but people change, authors change, and we change.

The only part of the writing the did not go too smoothly was the inclusion of references to "The Tempest" it seemed a tad forced where other authors such as Dorothy Sayers for example with "stale flat and unprofitable" would not be spotted if one had not read "Hamlet" but it fits her story like a glove.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book July 20 2013
By meraxes
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book ten years ago and was definitely too young to understand any of it, so I recently reread it and realized just how good it is. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars complexe and entertaining June 5 2013
By Maurice
Format:Kindle Edition
Excellent reading. Although you do not need to have read the first book about Ender, it does help a bit to follow the intrigue why Ender is trying to keep his true identity a secret. I found that the book was very confusing at the beginning. Trying to figure out what is actually happening was a bit of a struggle. The story is definitely not like the War Games of the first book. It is a story about people and alien races and their interaction of the races and people. Throw in some time travel and its effects on the age of characters and you have an interesting plot.

As you get through half of the book you begin to realize that the author has really challenged himself in creating a plot with multiple characters, including aliens. It appears that Earth has created something of a Prime Directive like in Star Trek to restrict the people on a new planet who are studying one race. You start off with one, than two and finally you end up with three alien races involved in the story, or at least affecting Ender's challenges. As in the first book you see how creative Ender is in analyzing the people around him and figuring them out...weaknesses or strengths. It is very appropriate that he becomes a speaker for the dead. This is not an action story but you won't be disappointed with all the intrigue of a "who did it and why" story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book in a great series March 14 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My whole family has or is presently reading the Ender series. All are great! And the Bean series is even better!
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5.0 out of 5 stars More thoughtful then Ender Jan. 7 2013
By steve u
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Surprised how much I enjoyed this.

It's certainly a more cerebral story than Ender and nowhere near the action - but also more enjoyable due to the complexity of issues faced by each character.

Story mostly focuses on the politics behind a Star Trek-ish 'prime directive' regarding contact with alien species, but also delves in the subtlities that shape a human character etc.

Add to this a 'who dunnit' murder and there's lots to keep you interested.

You don't need to have read Ender to enjoy this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is no Ender's Game March 18 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ender's Game is one of my favorite books, but Orson S. Card totally missed the target when he wrote this book and went way off course. Instead of trying to continue with the Characters, Orson tried to write and invent a new science and new vocabular. Interesting work, but where are the characters from Ender's Game!! Don't waste you time, just re-read Ender's Game again and let the story end there!!!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The character Ender has grown some 20 years while the universe around him has aged 3,000 years since he fought in the Bugger War. What I loved about the first book is the strong connection of love between Ender and Valentine, which had moved me to tears. However in the second installment, this bond between brother and sister is ripped apart when Ender again decides to travel, leaving his sister behind. I couldn't stand to read the book any longer, and put it away. That bond that I looked forward to reading about was ripped apart, and I couldn't continue. It is a lousy book, which i do not recommend.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars ok but there are better uses for your time
The story contained some interesting ideas about guilt and redemption but it should have been a novella not a full book. Read more
Published 8 months ago by B. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Humanity isn't judged by biology alone
Some argue that this book was superior in all ways to Ender's Game. I agree that the story was wonderful, detailed, mysterious, and well-researched, and overall I'd say it was a... Read more
Published on Dec 31 2010 by Ria (Bibliotropic)
4.0 out of 5 stars `No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless.'
Three thousand years ago, Ender Wiggin completely destroyed the alien race known as the Buggers. Ender disappeared after and was reviled for this xenocide: the total destruction... Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2010 by Jennifer Cameron-Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
I read Ender's Game about 2 years before I picked up Speaker for the Dead. I did have to reread the last chapter of Ender's Game to refresh my mind about what had happened. Read more
Published on July 28 2009 by Daiken
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but...
This was a good book and I really enjoyed it...when I finally got into it. It took me a LONG time to get interested in the book. Read more
Published on June 4 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books Ever
SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, along with ENDER'S GAME both rate as some of the best books ever written.
I remember when I discovered SPEAKER as a freshman in high school. Read more
Published on July 15 2004 by Shon Tamblyn
5.0 out of 5 stars A different kind of sequel that you will thoroughly enjoy.
Card does not go the traditional route with sequels to books as many authors have done in the past. Speaker For The Dead is meant to be a standalone book , which means you do not... Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Travis Stein
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