dead bugs and ham

speaker for the dead by orson scott card is a very polarizing book, as you can tell from the user reviews at amazon. i definitely come down on the side of those who see it as a vastly superior work to the first book in the series, ender’s game. but it almost isn’t fair to make the comparison, because they are really totally different flavors of book. where ender’s game is heavily action-driven, with the a thin layer of philosophical thinking bubbling on the surface, speaker for the dead is almost exactly the opposite. the cast of characters is much deeper, and more richly developed, than in the first novel, although each character does hew pretty closely to a single core characteristic.

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