More on reading (was Re: DWJ's answers: Harry Potter)

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Sat Sep 1 15:32:15 EDT 2001


On Sat, 1 Sep 2001 09:45:40 -0400, Rebecca Ganetzky wrote:

>>>Carl Sagan's Contact
>>
>>Have you seen the movie?  Which do you think is better?
>
>I have seen the movie, and it's my favorite movie.  It completely leaves
>out really important chunks of the book, but manages to make itself a full
>storyline anyway.  The book stil has a superior grasp on the science.

Sounds like a good choice.  I like Sagan's nonfiction as well--really
enjoyed the essay collection _The Demon-Haunted World_.  But I'm a hardened
cynic, which helps.  :)
>>
>>I'm glad I finally read _Ender's Shadow_ and _Shadow of the Hegemon_.  Liked
>>the second one better, probably because I liked the new direction he was
>>going in.  One of the things I like about Card is that he does a lot of
>>research about things and sometimes includes a bibliography.  Reading
>>_Pastwatch_ was enhanced by then reading the source material on Mesoamerican
>>cultures.  After reading _Hegemon_ I wanted to read more about Thailand.
>>Very cool.
>
>I've heard really bad things, so I haven't read Card beyond speaker for the
>Dead.  ender's Shadow, I was told, debases Ender and goes against premises
>set forth in Ender's Game...other opinions?

It depends on how you look at it.  Because _Ender's Shadow_ is told from
Bean's point of view, and because Card uses a very limited third-person POV,
events that happened in _Ender's Game_ get reinterpreted through Bean's
eyes.  If you really liked Ender, Bean's attitude makes him seem not at all
the person you thought he was.  But Card does very little alteration to the
original events of _Ender's Game_.  There's only one scene (that I can think
of) which is truly rewritten, and it's a scene that in _Ender's Game_ was
also from Bean's point of view, so in _Ender's Shadow_ Bean is thinking
different things than he was in the first.  Other than that, the differences
are all laid to the events being filtered through a different head.

I liked _Ender's Shadow_ very well.  It was uncomfortable reading because I
didn't want to see Ender the way Bean did.  But I don't think Card cheated.
Given all that, the other reason I liked _Shadow of the Hegemon_ was that it
*was* independent of Ender.  _Ender's Shadow_ was limited by the need to
stick to the original events.  With _Hegemon_ Card could take the loose
framework of history he'd alluded to in _Ender's Game_ and really build on
it.  I'm looking forward to learning more about Bean, now that he really
isn't in Ender's Shadow any more.

As to the later Ender books...it depends on what you think Card is doing,
what you think he should have done, and how much you're willing to put up
with.  I liked _Xenocide._  I don't remember _Children of the Mind_ very
well.  I'd suggest at least trying _Xenocide_ for the first couple of
chapters, and see what you think.  Remember, you can always throw it away
and read something else.  ;)

Melissa Proffitt
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