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Summary

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer-simulated war games at the Battle School; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. Ender is the result of decades of genetic experimentation, Earth's attempt to make the military genius that the planet needs in its all-out war with an alien enemy.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? The only way to find out is to throw the child into ever-harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six-years-old when his training begins. He will grow up fast.

But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

This Special 20th Anniversary Edition of the science fiction classic is now digitally remastered with a full cast production. It also contains an exclusive bonus original postscript written and recorded by the author himself, Orson Scott Card!

Browse more titles in the Ender Wiggin series.
Click here to see our top 10 Cult Classics.
©1977, 1985, 1991 Orson Scott Card (P)2002 Fantastic Audio, an imprint of Audio Literature

Critic reviews

"'Intense' is the word for Ender's Game." ( The New York Times)
"If you have not yet read Ender's Game you most definitely should: it is believed by some to be the best science fiction book ever written, and a strong contender for 'Great Book' status." ( Amazon.com)

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

You've go to read this!

You are unfamiliar with the master that is Orson Scott Card, then you must get this! It may be a science fiction type setting but the story is much more about character development. It's exciting, wonderfully paced and once you start listening you just can't stop - you care so much about Ender.

The narration is just about flawless, and the use of different narrators adds to the interest and depth.

After this one - get 'Speaker for the dead' - it's even better than 'Ender's Game', and is probably my favourite book of all time. I cannot praise these two books enough.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom
  • 13-01-09

A fantastic find!

This is the first Orson Scott Card book I have read, and I have now booked two more of the 'Ender' series in my Wish List. It was one of the most touching and memorable books I have read, and this from an author, who in my ignorance, I had always characterised as a pulp sci-fi writer. From start to finish the book captivated me with its depiction of a reluctant boy-soldier who is pushed to the limit in the military's pursuit of a worthy commander to save the human race from an imminent alien invasion. This book is introduced as an 'Audible Kids' production but do not be fooled - it is a clever, mature book for children and adults alike.

It is a science fiction book at its core, but the characters are brought to life by beautiful writing and excellent narration. You will remember Ender Wiggins and his story for a long time.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Adrian
  • Witney, OXON, United Kingdom
  • 14-02-06

Great presentation

I came to this book having already listened to Enders Shadow, a book written considerably later but occupying some of the same characters and taking place over the same period.

The book is great, worth the acclaim it rightly garnered. The presentation of the book is also fantastic, well read so you can get a feel for the characters, going quickly enough to not dawdle and remain interesting, whilst slow enough that you never miss the important parts.

I would highly reccommend it to anyone who enjoys well written, well produced and original Science Fiction.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Story!


Story – 5/5

I finally got around to this audiobook, and it was well worth the wait. Having watched and moderately enjoyed the film, I wanted to read the original source, especially as it is heralded as the best Sci-fi book of all time by so many. It didn’t disappoint either, it is certainly the best sci-fi I have read (although I haven’t read many)

The depth of character and emotion were superb, Orson Scott Card really gets us into Ender’s head. The strategies employed in the battle room and against the buggers were highly entertaining, and extremely detailed and well written, so you are able to picture exactly what is being described. The bits I enjoyed the most was the elements of the story about Ender’s siblings though, and also the inserts between chapters of the battle commanders discussing Ender’s training, which you don’t get in the film. It really helps to understand why these kids are so intelligent and how they are seen by the adults.

Are there any Negatives? I certainly couldn’t find any. I am looking forward to the next book in the series; even though I know it is completely different.


Performance – 4.5/5

Although it has multiple narrators, I can’t say it added much to the story like other full cast productions have. Each were very good in their own right, it just wouldn’t have been any worse if just 1 of them read it.

The main narrator, I think it may have been Stefan Rudnicki, was especially good, and I will keep an eye out for other audiobooks read by him.


Overall – 5/5


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Sorry I waited this long to read it

Would you listen to Ender's Game again? Why?

Yes, very enjoyable book - will try others in the series next

What did you like best about this story?

The human element, focusing on the difference betwen the three children and their interaction with each other and society.

Did Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

The reading was very believable, especially the adult charaters. Having a six year old child narrated by an adult sometimes makes you lose perspective on the fact that Ender is a child.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

A nice twist at the end, not entirely unexpected, but completed the book nicely

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Huw
  • BLACKWOOD, United Kingdom
  • 20-07-13

Loved it!

What made the experience of listening to Ender's Game the most enjoyable?

The voice work and characterisation was superb.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Ender's Game?

For me the most memorable moments were between Ender and Alai.

What about Stefan Rudnicki and Harlan Ellison ’s performance did you like?

Both actors were excellent.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I couldn't stop.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Just fantastic

I'm looking for the button to click six stars

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Stick through the first few chapters

It took me a while to get into Ender's Game. At first I disliked all of the characters because they were such cruel and boneheaded people. Not just the children but also the adults putting Ender through the training. However, as I read on, some of the characters began to reveal the good aspects of their personalities. This provided the story with a much needed break from the constant bullying and military pressure.

I really started to like this book once the war games started. I enjoyed the zero-gravity combat scenes because of the well-described strategy involved. I loved the anticipation of finding out if Ender would win or not, and how he would do it. Once I was immersed in the story, the plot did not meander. I was constantly involved in what was going on and the ending took me by surprise in a very satisfying way.

I have mixed opinions about a couple of the narrators. The narrator who voices Ender's chapters has a great reading voice, but it's too deep to impersonate children accurately. It's easy to forget you are reading about kids when 8 year old Ender sounds like a 30 year old man. Also, the woman who voices Ender's sister's chapters sounded irritatingly melodramatic with every word.

So after initially doubting my ability to enjoy this book, I pushed through the first few chapters and realized what a great story it was. The writing style was clean and simple, the story was excellent, the narrators did a good job, despite a couple of minor problems.

Overall, Ender's Game is a great book about children being trained to command sci-fi armies with a side plot of children taking over the world via internet blogs (I don't get that last part either).

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

I first read Enders Game in my teens many years ago and having watched the movie and felt thoroughly disappointed I decided to revisit the book in audio format.

The delivery and performance is fantastic - the novel flows. Getting lost in the story is easy unlike a lot of the audiobooks I've listened to.

It's such an enjoyable listed I've bought extra Audible credits to get Speaker For the Dead (with. the same production team).

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging story

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this story and finished it pretty quickly. Ender is an unusual character that you quickly become invested in and want to know how his story ends.

The multi-actor performance works well - in his postcript at the end the author says he writes from a stageplay background, so the spoken performance suits his work well.

As a tiny note, the main narrator's voice is very deep so I found it difficult to listen to on my phone using the speakers (it got lost too easily in background noise) and needed to use headphones to make it louder. Maybe I'm just getting old!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 13-06-05

The Enderverse

This is my favorite science fiction series. The characters are easy to identify with, and you will find yourself sucked into this imaginary universe, nicknamed the Enderverse by fans.

Recommended order of reading (in my opinion): Ender?s Game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind. Reading the books in this order will keep you interested and keep the story moving more naturally.

If after reading all of these wonderful books you are still itching for an Enderverse fix then read First Meetings. The list above is sorted by the Enderverse timeline. Meaning that the flow of events in the stories are uninterrupted. If you were to read the books in the order they were published, you would bounce back and forth in between time and few of the plot twists in future books would be revealed before you wanted them to be known. First Meetings, however contains short stories that occur both before and in between the list above within the Enderverse.




36 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kapila
  • 29-01-03

6 titles in the series so far

Ender's Game is one of the best sci-fi books written.
However, I'm mainly writing this review to make others
aware that there are actually 6 books (so far) in the
series:

Ender's Game
Speaker for the Dead
Xenocide
Children of the Mind

Ender's Shadow
Shadow of the Hegemon

The last two books don't actually feature Ender at all -
they're about the character of Bean and the story of
what happened on Earth after Ender's Game.

All 6 books are fantastic. I've bought them all on
audiobook, but for some reason I can only seem to
find 4 of these titles using Audible's search engine
(and "Shadow of the Hegemon" seems to have been
renamed for some reason?).

854 of 900 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wheelman
  • 31-01-03

Captivating

Based on an Audible.com recommendation I looked into obtaining Enders Game. Admittedly I was reluctant to listen to this. Primarily - I enjoy political thrillers, history and biography titles. I did not see a science fiction novel fitting in there. On reading other reviews I decided to give this a try. Was I in for a surprise. This is one of the most entertaining audiobooks I have ever listened to. Hang on, because you are in for a warp speed ride through Andrew Wiggins world. Incredibly entertaining, intellectually challenging, and very mature. Sharp dialogue, great pace, non-stop action. As with most truly great reads (listens??) you do not want it to end. Well, Enders game is part of a trilogy: Enders Shadow and Shadow of the Hedgemon. I just finished Enders Shadow, another excellent audiobook. I have purchased 'Hedgemon' but I need to catch my breath before I start it. Listen to Enders Game you will not regret it.

336 of 360 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 08-06-16

The Best Science Fiction Book Of All Time

All other Science Fiction is measured by Orson Scott Card's masterpiece. Decades before Ready Player One, we had Ender Wiggins. The plot is superior, the characters deep, the twists are pre RR Martin. Since I read this in the 80's, I have told everyone I know about it and I lost count of how many times I have read the hard copy and listened on CD and download.

Rudnicki is to Card, as Muller was to King, Porter to Mayberry and Runnette to Tufo.

142 of 157 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pat
  • 24-04-08

Nice Surprise

I have to admit, this audio book totally took me by surprise. Except for the Harry Potter books, performed by the incredible Jim Dale, Enders Game is the first audio book that I've listened to that I hadn't first read. All I can say is, WOW. The performance given during this 'reading' comes close to rivaling that of the previously mentioned Mr. Dale, in my humble opinion. It's obviously a very different kind of performance, for a very different kind of book, and that's a good thing.

As for the story, it's excellent. Recommended by my brother, I read the summery with a great deal of apprehension. A little boy, attending a 'battle school' to become the military commander that would lead Earths space fleets to victory over an alien invasion force? As I write this, it still sounds silly, and perhaps it is. But Card makes it work, and work very well. And extremely entertaining to boot. The plot and character development move along at a good click. So good in fact that I was completely engrossed within the story when plot twists materialized and was genuinely surprised. THAT'S the mark of a well written/performed book.

Overall, between Card's story telling and an excellent narration, this audio book should be towards the top of everybody's list. And not only science fiction fans, but anybody searching for a great performance of a great book.

97 of 110 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cathleen
  • 22-02-03

Just the beginning...

This book was a strange choice for me,(I didn't know Card, and rarely read Sci Fi) but I was browsing, and chanced upon it. For some unknown reason, it intrigued me, so I tried it.
It was, then, to my utter astonishment, that Ender, and his story, somehow catapaulted within me to earn a place on my list of all time favorites!(Lit major,former teacher,I've read a bunch).
The story itself is a good one, but I think that, it is its unraveling, that speaks to one's soul.

But to experience all the depth and wonder of the series, you must start here. Card himself admits, that he basically wrote this book to set the stage for the next one, which is "Speaker for the Dead"(my favorite...so far)
I encourage you, even if you don't usually read this type of book to try it.

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, waiting for audible to offer "Xenocide",(the sequel to Speaker), and hopelessly addicted to Ender's story, I wandered on to listen to the others in the series. I actually READ "Ender's Shadow", because I didn't want an abridgement (I craved every single word!). I thought that these other books would have little impact on me, since Ender's character is only a peripheral element.

Was I wrong!
In the "Shadow" series, like the peeling of an onion, Card reveals layer after layer of the characters he creates in this book, and I found myself caring as much about them as I did about Ender.

I understand that Card is in the process of writing a book about Ender's mother.(As is probably obvious, I became obsessed with Ender, and had to find out everything I possibly could.) Before I read the "Shadow" series, I thought, "Who would want to read a book about Ender's mother?" Now I know the answer: ME.
If you start with "Ender's Game",and then go on to the others in the series, I think the answer might also be YOU!

87 of 100 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dee
  • 07-08-13

Just love this story

This story is so captivating. While the narrator for Ender is great, I cannot stand the woman they chose to narrate Valentine. Sounds like the world is ending in every painful word she says.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 17-10-13

Excellent entertainment with an emotional punch

I was twenty when I first read “Ender’s Game” back in 1987. I was completely absorbed in it, turning the pages eagerly to know what would happen next and being shocked, even outraged, when I understood the sustained deceit and betrayal on which the book was based.

Twenty-six years later, I decided to listen to the audio book version. It was a delight. The narrators give it the feel of a radio play without missing a word of the original prose.
Perhaps because I knew the ending or perhaps because I am older, this time my attention was caught by the sadness of the book. Ender is almost always alone, almost always being pushed into situations where none of his options are good, and always burdened by the knowledge the choices that he takes change who he is. I was also more sympathetic to the adults who do the terrible things that shape Ender’s fate; knowing that they are terrible, necessary and unforgiveable. Ender’s assailed innocence and the compromised integrity of the adults are a lesson it what it means to be “grown up” and why children deserve to have time to be children.

The book focuses relentlessly on the violence we are willing to commit and the “sins” we are willing to live with in order to survive. It doesn’t glorify these things but it doesn’t diminish them either. It tackles what it means to be different and how often an inability to communicate turns difference into conflict.

At its heart, “Ender’s Game” tells us that all games are real, all choices matter, everything that creates an enemy has a consequence. What makes the book remarkable is that it tackles all this while doing a good job of seeing the world through the eyes of a (very bright) vulnerable, lonely, child who is equally gifted with empathy and ruthlessness.

Re-reading the book more than twenty years on adds other points of interest: Card’s imagining of the role of the web, the “desks” the children work on and the concept of war executed by tele-presence are all pleasingly accurate. This time round I was very aware that the ending of the book felt like an add-on to set up “Speaker for the Dead” – which I also read twenty-six years ago.- whereas, on the first read, I saw it as a slightly clumsy effort at redemption. The audio book includes an interview with Card, where he explains that he did indeed rewrite the ending and how that came about. I now find Card’s politics a little thin and unconvincing – too American to be truly global- but I found the way he writes Ender’s sister much more moving than before.

The movie will be out soon. I don’t have high hopes of it, although I’ll watch it all the same. In my view, the most entertaining and engaging way to experience “Ender’ Game” is to listen to this audio version. I recommend it to you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Yang
  • 15-10-13

Good balance between sci-fi and thriller

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'm not a huge fan of science fiction, but with the movie coming out soon and the positive reviews 'Ender's Game" received I decided to give it a try. The plot was fast- paced and exciting, although there were times when the story stepped a little too far into science fiction territory for me (lots of anti- gravity situations that didn't further the plot).
The writing style is quite cynical and at times very dark, and I definitely think there is some political commentary, or at the very least Card subconsciously projects his cynical views of government into the plot.
Criticisms aside, I thought the book was very thought provoking, and extremely entertaining. It's definitely worth a read!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AayRick
  • 01-01-03

Harry Potter has nothing on Ender Wiggin

Don't get me wrong. Although this is a story about a child, it's not written for children. A child might enjoy it, but it is a story about war, violence and politics. It is a classic tale of the weak overcoming extreme adversity.

Ender faces many trials during his training to become the savior of the world in a futuristic setting. He is a character I could identify with and found myself cheering him on at each challenge.

An excellent book. I can't wait to listen to the related stories to find out what happens next to Ender and what happened to his friends and family.

81 of 102 people found this review helpful