Speaker For The Dead – Orson Scott Card

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Hey! You! Yeah you, sitting at your computer screen staring blankly at this blog post thinking; “should I even bother to read this? I mean, it’s over a hundred words. And it’s not like I know the person writing about it. I do enough of this reading stuff for school/work, do I really want to spend my down time reading other people’s blog posts?” Well no, you probably don’t. You should probably just move on and use your time for productive things. But you’ve already committed to 87 words, so you might as well finish.

On that note, here we go!

I first read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card at the suggestion of my friend Alex. I loved it, but wasn’t completely sure if I was going to read Speaker for the Dead and continue to invest myself in another super long series. However, my best buddy Tom tole me “Linds, this book will change your life.” Tom doesn’t get into books, he just isn’t like me in that way, so I knew I had to take him seriously. That’s how I ended up with Speaker for the Dead in my bookcase.

I picked Speaker for the Dead up off my bookcase one day before I left for school because I needed to something to read on the bus. So I started it that morning, had to put it down when I got to school, read in between my classes, and read on the bus to work after school. However, I happened to get on the wrong bus by accident (same route number, different destination) on the way to work and because I was so invested in this book, I didn’t notice until about five stops after the first irregular turn. Which meant I had to walk back to the main road, then to the closest stop on the right route, and wait for the next bus to come so that I could get to work. The things I do for reading. Or maybe the things reading does to me. Maybe both. Either way, my friends at work laughed at me when I explained to them why I rolled in almost late and freezing. (Thanks guys, love you too. Remind me to push you into the pool next time I see you.)

Anyway, Tom ended up being right. Speaker for the Dead really did change my life. The biological concepts involved were completely fascinating to me, the life cycle of the piggies especially. The way they value their mothers and fathers, and the sacrifices they make for the young are just beautiful. I should clarify that I’m a biology and psychology major, so if the biology wasn’t fascinating to me I would be seriously reevaluating several life choices.

As always, Ender’s prose is at the same time poetic and concise, descriptive and to the point. Honestly, I strive to be more like Ender. I know he is a fictional character, but he is insightful, perceptive, and compassionate. He loves those around him without expecting love in return, and understands that deep down there is at least one redeeming quality in everyone.

“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one’s life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.”

“When you really know somebody you can’t hate them. Or maybe it’s just that you can’t really know them until you stop hating them.”

I just adore him. The other piece of Ender that really stands out to me is the way he loves Novinha’s kids. Unconditionally, without questions or enticement. He takes them in without being asked, which I suppose is a bit of an issue, but they come to appreciate it. He is the father they always wanted and were never given, the father they deserved. He taught them how to be a family, how to love each other and their parents. This is a HUGE SPOILER!!!! but when Ender sends Miro out to meet Valentine, he essentially says to her “treat him like my son”. When I read this I just melted.

The other biggest heart wrenching plot line for me was Ender and Jane’s relationship. For so long, Ender had been Jane’s everything, and then he SPOILER!!! turned her off! Let me tell you, I was quite unimpressed. I understand the necessity, and I love that Ender sends Jane to Miro in his time of need, but it was heart breaking to read never-the-less.

Now that I’ve let go of all my Ender related feelings, I should warn you about the sudden influx of posts that will be coming your way. It’s almost exam time, which means procrastination central and me doing anything I can to avoid studying. So expect lots of rambling and rants about books!

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Speaker For The Dead – Orson Scott Card

  1. It’s phenomenal, I’d definitely recommend it!

  2. We love Orson Scott Card – may have to add this one to the TBR list!!

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