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
"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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
In the middle
No other book but the movie Pleasantville came to mind
The performance was adequate in comparison to the story itself. Odd stops in the middle of sentences. The music was really bad!
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.
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.
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