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The Giver | [Lois Lowry]

The Giver

December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.
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Publisher's Summary

December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve-year-old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man, the man called only the Giver, he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

Told with deceptive simplicity, this is the provocative story of a boy who experiences something incredible and undertakes something impossible. In the telling it questions every value we have taken for granted and reexamines our most deeply held beliefs.

©1993 Lois Lowry; (P)1993 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, An Imprint Of Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

  • Newbery Medal Winner, 1994

"A powerful and provocative novel." (The New York Times)
"Lowry is once again in top form...unwinding a tale fit for the most adventurous readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"The author makes real abstract concepts, such as the meaning of a life in which there are virtually no choices to be made and no experiences with deep feelings. This tightly plotted story and its believable characters will stay with readers for a long time." (School Library Journal)
"This is a compelling prospect for family listening...[Ron] Rifkin's juxtaposition of the young boy and the old Giver has tremendous effect." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (3346 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.2 (2502 )
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Story
4.1 (2460 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Dan 08-26-14
    Dan 08-26-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, but poor production"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer MESA, AZ, United States 08-22-14
    Amazon Customer MESA, AZ, United States 08-22-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    116
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story, Music is Distracting"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    No


    What aspect of Ron Rifkin’s performance would you have changed?

    I found it interesting how he receives the memories.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    I hated when music played at random times during the story. It was distracting and took away from the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MIKE WISEMAN 08-21-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Should of passed on this one"
    Would you try another book from Lois Lowry and/or Ron Rifkin?

    Most likely not


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Different narrator. Narration was horrible with the music


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ron Rifkin’s performances?

    no


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Completely disappointed. Horrible narration and book seemed to end just as it may have gotten decent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    she 08-20-14
    she 08-20-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I don't need music with my books."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cristina Reyes 08-19-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rereading this book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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,


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer San Jose, Ca 08-19-14
    Amazon Customer San Jose, Ca 08-19-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Short story with life lessons"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I loved this book, was a great listen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Asher, the main character was my favorite moving from young and naive to mature and brave.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacey Jackson Mississippi 08-19-14
    Stacey Jackson Mississippi 08-19-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "DO NOT PURCHASE AUDIO BOOK!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    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!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Very original story. Kind of short. I wish there had been more detail. However, the book is written for young people.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ron Rifkin’s performances?

    NO!


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The story itself is worth reading, just not on audio!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 08-17-14
    Stephen 08-17-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    39
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "The Giver - The Nanny Society to Extremes"

    Story: I got the book since I was going to see the movie. I found the book much more interesting since the movie did not make it clear the impact of the Giver / Receiver's function in the society; that they took away the bad memories and held them. I am interested to see how the other books will work out.

    Reader: The reader was excellent and I saw no flaws.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    August LA VERGNE, TN, United States 08-15-14
    August LA VERGNE, TN, United States 08-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    34
    20
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    0
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    Story
    "Possibly the Most Poignant Book I'll Read All Year"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I don't know if words can really capture my reaction, at least not in the short time frame I have to craft this response. I won't say I was appalled, because I saw the main event that caused a reaction in me coming. But it was Jonas's Father's last words to a certain unnamed character that really sealed the response for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to this in anticipation of the movie version coming out soon. I wanted to see the movie, but I did want to actually experience the book first. I have a feeling I made the right choice.

    I can be very shut off and detach myself from a lot... I really resonated and understood the community Jonas has grown up in... that made this very personal for me. Please, let this book affect you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen Chicago, IL, United States 08-15-14
    Eileen Chicago, IL, United States 08-15-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    26
    12
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Not just for kids"
    Where does The Giver rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the middle


    What other book might you compare The Giver to and why?

    No other book but the movie Pleasantville came to mind


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was adequate in comparison to the story itself. Odd stops in the middle of sentences. The music was really bad!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I knew that Jonas would have to take Gabrielle with him once he realized he was going to be released. His love for the child was touching.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book because I had purchased it for my 12 yr old grandson last year and wanted to be able to discuss it with him. Overall I enjoyed The Giver and would recommend it to adults.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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