Do you ever read the notes that authors write in their books? Like the one that sometimes is at the beginning of the book, or at the very end? I never do. But after today, I always will.
I know I’ve mentioned my favourite book before – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. I’ve read it at least 10 times, and have recommended it to at least 20 people over the years. I really love this book. A couple of weeks ago I decided to get it out on audio from the library. I’d never read it that way, and figured it would be a neat experience. Boy, was it an experience! Out of the three different copies my library had, I magically chose the 20th Anniversary edition. I didn’t think anything of it being “special” until I got almost halfway through the story.
This edition was done in such a neat way. There was a whole cast of readers, including Card himself! The readers were awesome, truly awesome, and made me connect with the characters in a way I had never done before. The last few times hubs and I have had to drive somewhere, I’ve driven us so that we could keep listening to the book. There were quite a few times that I just was so overwhelmed that I stopped the disc and said “This book is just so good”. I was tickled with delight when my husband did the exact same thing on one of our driving expeditions. Anyways, we both really enjoyed it. Here is a review of it if I haven’t convinced you enough.
Yesterday afternoon I was nearing the end of the last disc while driving home from lunch with some girlfriends. It was pouring rain, and I had the FULLEST bladder that I have ever had. So bad that I couldn’t even take the time to pull into the driveway. I seriously parked my car in front of our house and ran into the powder room. Anyways, this has nothing to do with the disc – just a funny story.
So I’m listening to the last words of the book, tearing up as usual because it’s just that good and just when I get to the point that the music starts and the disc stops – it doesn’t. It kept going and all of a sudden, Orson Scott Card was talking to me! For real! It was like he was sitting there telling ME about writing Ender’s Game, his journey – start to finish. I spent almost an hour listening to him tell the story, one that began with an idea, leading to a short story, and years later ending in a novel. I was spellbound listening to his history of the book. He also talked about the ups and downs of trying to make it into a movie. You see, everyone who reads this book, will inevitably exclaim “That would make such a good movie!” Well…it’s definitely been in the plans, but it’s just never worked out. As Orson explains, not only does the book start with a 6 year old boy genius, but the magic of the story is what happens in Ender’s head. You just can’t capture that on film, not well at least.
Then at the very end of his story, Orson explained that we, the audience, have just listened to his book the way he always intended. His words were written to be read aloud, and if the movie never gets made, this audio book is the best that he could have ever planned.
So for years I’ve been waiting, hoping, that one day there would be a big blockbuster movie to bring this book to life. Now, after hearing what Orson had to say, and his high praise for this audio version, I don’t feel that I’ll ever need that movie. I’d be happy to see it, but I feel complete with just this one audio.
I realize I talk about books a lot, so if you don’t like em, I’m sorry! But today I’m just so happy because of this book, and so happy that I got to hear the author’s note.