My review headline pretty much sums it up. The narrator over dramatizes every other sentence and has a number of long, unnecessary pauses. This doesn't add to the story. Instead, I found it annoying and the narrator comes off as patronizing. Yes, it's a book for young adults, but young adults are not morons and can easily grasp the meaning of what is going on in the story without having to go at a snail's pace. Bummer because I thought the story was quite good.
Up there with "Wonder" and "Fault in our Stars" and brilliantly read by Ron RIfkin!
The gentleness and complete innocence of Jonas' character
The next books in the series do not appeal to me as much as this book!
Go away, I'm playing make believe.
I grew up reading this book. It greatly contributed to my love of literature. It was banned in many schools for the scenes involving euthenasia, sexual urges, and questioning authority (that's the kicker!) The reader did a fine job, especially with the female characters. However as many have already stated, the strange music detracted from it. Maybe that was more in the style when the audiobook was made to have music weave in and out, but it is a HUGE distraction from an otherwise wonderful listen. I love The Giver. And when they re-make the movie in twenty years to fix the garbage they made, I'll be first in line.
The Giver is a good dystopian novel that is aimed for a 10 year-old audience. It's a wholesome story, but the young target audience does mean that much of the plot is simplistic, linear, and predictable.
That said, I have to complain about the book's production. I had hoped other reviewers were just being picky when they brought up issues with the recording, but no, they were spot on:
- Rifkin, the reader, makes a lot of noises, such as loud breaths and smacking his lips. I suspect that most other narrators make these noises too, but they are usually edited out. No one bothered to edit them here
- At very strange and inopportune times, they will turn on background music. Sometimes this even happens in the middle of a chapter. It's usually really bad music, and it is played so loudly that it can almost drown out Rifkin's voice. I pictured a producer-in-training who got carried away with the sound board
- Rifkin's character voices are a bit irritating. Much of the dialogue in the book involves children, so Rifkin, who is presumably a grown man, was stuck doing his best to come up with many different small children's voices. The results were not pretty.
Conclusion: I could tolerate bad production and poor voice acting for 5 hours if the story were good enough, which in this case, I think that it was. I'm just thankful it wasn't longer.
I found it interesting how he receives the memories.
I hated when music played at random times during the story. It was distracting and took away from the story.
Most likely not
Different narrator. Narration was horrible with the music
Completely disappointed. Horrible narration and book seemed to end just as it may have gotten decent.
The story line is great. Love the book. But much like many others have commented I, too, found myself distracted by all the crazy noises the guy's mouth makes. HOWEVER, that distraction pales in comparison to the annoying music that pops up sporadically and plays over the narration. I understand, heartfelt scene, dramatic effect, blah blah blah...but it was a bit much for me. Seems like they're trying to help engage the listener(s) to the scene but, for me at least, they managed to do the complete opposite.
I have actually recommended this book to my sister. She listened to it and loved it. I read this book back in high school. The movie for this book just came out last week so I decided to listen to it and then go watch the movie. I really like how this book describes our way of living. It made me appreciate life a little bit more. It also reminded me of the awful thing in life too such as war, starvation, and poverty. This is a wonderful book. Everyone should read it at least once,
I loved this book, was a great listen.
Asher, the main character was my favorite moving from young and naive to mature and brave.
The story is great and I look forward to seeing the movie. But the audio is awful! Please stop adding music to these recordings! Especially cheesy, synthesizer music at awkward times. Takes away from the story. The reading itself is not great either. I had to turn it off!
Very original story. Kind of short. I wish there had been more detail. However, the book is written for young people.
The story itself is worth reading, just not on audio!