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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 (311 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
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic May 28 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although wildly different from Ender's game, it manages to create a delicious symmetry between the two and by the end might very well be the better book. The characters and the philosophy get stuck in your head weeks after the final page is turned.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the translation May 17 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lost in the translation, or lack of it. Riddled with foreign language quotes and no translation. Not enjoyable. Interesting concept.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I rated it four stars compared to other book in the series such as ender's game and ender's shadow which were better. but still worth the read especially if you plan to read the rest of the serie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel April 22 2014
By carla
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
really nice sequel, I'm still considering reading the third book because I tought that this one already gives me the ending I wished to see.
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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 50 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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