Lies About Books: Ender’s Game

For those who are confused, last month I started a monthly feature here on Factually Deficient wherein I review a book I like with information that is totally untrue! Before I dive into that, I’d like to discuss another limitation on my reviewing pool that occurred to me: popularity. While I would love to be able to recommend the most obscure books that I like as much as the better-known ones, the fact is that a joke isn’t funny without context; people won’t enjoy lies about a book, generally speaking, unless they know what the book is actually about. In practical terms, this means that I can only review books that

  1. are wildly popular and well-known;
  2. have movies based on them, thus nudging them into category 1;
  3. have very clear and informative websites; or
  4. have detailed and informative Wikipedia or TV Tropes pages

If anybody can come up with alternate solutions to this problem, I would love to hear them. In the meantime, I would like to tell you about Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card.

Ender’s Game is not the story of a young boy nicknamed Ender who buys an old, beaten-up copy of Monopoly at a garage sale, and takes it home. He badgers his older sister and brother to play it with him incessantly– though he always loses against them– and when they refuse, he plays with it on his own, pitting two pieces against each other.

One day, though, playing alone with the box, Ender discovers a false bottom, containing another pair of dice, and a set of instructions with some unique house rules added in pen in an unfamiliar handwriting. Suddenly, whenever Ender plays this game, he wins. What secrets does his game hold?

Ender’s Game was a classic of its genre long before there was a movie made of it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys capitalism, board games, or space ships.

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