I listened to The Giver because my son, a fifth grader, will be reading it in his Language Arts class. I was not expecting much, but I was completely surprised--It was captivating. Ms. Lowry has written a book that tackles the issues of diversity, responsibility, and honesty for all readers--young and old.
The setting is a socially engineered village where outward uniformity, discipline, and manners are the overriding virtues. Different colors are not visible or understood to the villagers because they underscore diversity. Although there is a stated concern for precise and polite speech, euphemisms are used abundantly by the villagers and their leaders to hide the less attractive truths of the their society. Children do not celebrate individual birthdays, but each year a proscribed set of responsibilities and privileges are granted to the children of an age group in the Ceremony. In the twelfth year, children begin their training for adult jobs selected for them by the Elders. The surface of the village is calm, but Jonas, the protagonist, has to decide if he should shatter the society perceptions by using what he has been given in his training for adulthood.
I am anticipating interesting discussions at our family dinner table when my son begins to read this book for class.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
The book was just okay in that it had promise and possessed a certain uniqueness. However, for me, it ended in a rather unsatisfying way. I wanted to know what happened to the protagonist. The book seemed for me to be the first two chapters in what could have been a much more rich, complete and satisfying book. Some have heaped great praise on this book... okay yes; great? No so much.
Being a bookseller living outside of Chicago why would I buy audible books? Because I love to listen to them when I really want to relax!
This is one of the best books I've "read," which is saying quite a bit. The plot was upon me before I realized what was happening. At first I suspected this was a strict religious group, but it became far more than that! Such a fantastic idea for a way of life is almost amusing if it weren't so serious. Their regard for human life was strange, and the world, in some countries, currently has some aspects of this book's theories. It reminded me a bit of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, except the ending, and the tension, the constant requirements to live with this group through most of the book, were far more imaginative. This was one I could hardly put down.
I liked this a great deal. It's a book I will definitely listen to again so that I can gather in more stunning detail. I have also purchased the "read it" version for the experience of ... well ... actually reading it.
The book explores coming-of-age themes in an entirely new way, such that it's actually somewhat hard to convey. Jonas is 11, almost twelve, and lives in a "perfect" utopian community where everyone is always content and safe and healthy and does their part and fulfills their roles in perfect harmony and peace.
The children all have their perfect places to fill in their perfect families and eventually come to their 12th year when the community comes together to celebrate the assignment of each child's role in the community. They are each assigned their professions on this special day and it's an exciting time for everyone. And in a very rare event, Jonah is given the assignment of "Receiver of Memories." As he begins his training, he meets the now very old man who, as the current memory keeper, now becomes "The Giver" who begins to give Jonah memories that the community doesn't want to know and doesn't want to share, but doesn't want to lose.
So, as Jonah begins to understand the true cost of a "perfect" life he is faced with some terrible decisions.
I am haunted by this book.
My sister and our three girls had a road trip and this book made it go by so quickly. We all had a great time listening, we hated stopping for gas. The girls were 9-12. It was very good.
The music kills me. It randomly comes in for a few minutes then goes away. It's it's loud and distracting. It would be a 5 out of 5 if it didn't have the music.
The story is a great beginning to the series. I read it 20 years ago and loved it then and love it now. The audiobook, though, leaves a lot to be desired.
Someone who would have personified Jonas with a less annoying and whiny personality. This isn't Jonas!
What's up with the crazy music in this audiobook? Instead of enhancing the production, it was distracting and annoying.
Read this book many years ago to my son when he was young. It is every bit as wonderful this time around as well. The themes are timeless and quite timely for us today. The brilliance of Lois' work continues in the other books in this series: Gathering Blue, Messenger and finally Son. They are well worth the read (or a listen), no matter what your age.
Escape, simplicity, morality
The moment when the receiver finds out The Giver's name.
Can't read this without reading the other three books in the series.
Loved the voice of the narrator and the story itself.
Haven't ever listened to a Lois Lowry book. But after this experience, I would flove to hear more.
The story was good, but this voice of the narrator made this book wonderful!!