Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: Ender's Game

   Not being a fan of science fiction, I have long avoided reading Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card's well-known and well-loved take on the culture of war, childhood,  and the modern war machine. But after watching both my boys rip through the pages with glee, I decided to set aside my prejudices and give it a try.
   Excellent book, I must say. Just goes to show, sometimes it is good to step outside your comfort zone; you might be pleasantly surprised. Ender's Game was a brilliantly crafted, scathing critique of the  military industrial complex. The idea of young children being trained, brutally and intensely, to live, work, and fight for the "machine" of governance is not new, but Card adds in the unique stellar landscape, where children play the roles of both good and evil, isolated, for the most part,  from adult supervision, though it is understood that the over arching mechanism is still adult-managed and manipulated.
   I found this book to be a fascinating study of the human psyche, and  how a child's role in the world can be entirely manipulated by the adults who pull the strings. It was disturbing in parts, mostly when Ender, the very image of goodness and humanity, found himself participating in brutal practices, unable to stop. There is a primitive quality in all of us, it seems, and it only takes authority to bring it out.
   I highly recommend this book... enjoy!

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