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Author Topic: just read Speaker for the Dead
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I just finished reading Speaker for the Dead. It was excellent! There are a lot of really great things about the book, but one thing that struck me was how strong the messages of truth, loyalty, and love were. By seeing how Ender dealt directly yet compassionately with the pain of those around him, and brought them the truth no matter how hard it was to swallow, without really counting the cost and risk to himself, I feel like I've gotten to know a truly heroic figure. In my own life (and I'm not saying my situation's anywhere near as dramatic as Ender's!) it makes me think that in my relationships with relatives, my friends, and the surrounding community, I could do more to appreciate them, try to understand their stories, and take the risk of being more open myself.

So that's my first strong reaction after finishing it. I'm sure that in the days to come I'll continue ruminating more about various parts of it. I can tell this is one of those books that will really stick in my head!

And since I'm alone in the house and yet feel an urge to put these thoughts into words, I figure I'll share them with the "Hatrack" people [Smile]

But while I'm here... in the introduction to this book, Mr. Card says (among other things) that he came up with the idea of a speaker for the dead from dissatisfaction with the way funerals edit the lives of the dead, and that he has "written of this at greater length elsewhere". Does anyone happen to know where that "elsewhere" might be? Perhaps essays somewhere on hatrack? I'm curious.

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Orson Scott Card
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I wish I could help, but I don't remember now.
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Member # 7652

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I envy you Dav. Though reading those books again and again are great, you just can't beat the first time.
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Oh! OSC, its time for a landmark!
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In the audiobook version of Speaker he goes into this in detail in an Author's Afterward. He speaks of an experience he had in Brazil where this woman had been married to a real loser- cheating, etc. She stayed with him, though. And when he died, she spoke about him at the funeral so lovingly and how great he was. And yet he had been so vile. OSC's comment was that she had found a way (perhaps subconsciously) to get her revenge and have the marriage she had wanted, by editing her memories of him until it was exactly that way.

OSC also commented on Stalin or Hitler and how that had been children once who had a mother or father who loved them. And they *were* human. So why did they do what they do? What was the self story they told that justified it to themselves?

It was all very interesting and OSC himself read it.

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After finding out the audiobook version had an author's afterward I went on audible.com to see if they have it. Looking at the reviews, I was shocked at how many people despised the book, simply because it was so different from Ender's Game. I wonder why that is... Maybe audiobook listeners are, on average, more casual "readers" and just want the exciting stuff, not the deep-thinking stuff?

Dav, I had the same strong reaction to it when I first read it, and I'm happy to say that some ten years later I still haven't found another book that I'd rate as highly.

On a side note, does anyone know if the audible.com version contains the author's afterward?

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