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)
Say something about yourself!
I seem to have gotten this book by mistake. That is, I never would have ordered it if I had known what it is about. So, what is it about? Seemingly the author does not want us to know. However our main character is selected in future world as a "receiver." He proceeds to be trained by an old "receiver" who apparently knows everything, presumably about pain and choice. Both of these are now gone from society. I must say, this selection was mostly a waste of my time.
I thought the story was well told (targeting an adolescent audience), thought provoking, and moving. It wasn't earth-shattering, being similar to a lot of dystopian-future stories like this one, but I think Lowry included enough creative flair to make it something uniquely her own. I'm glad there are 3 other books in this quartet. I will likely read them all one day. Or listen to them, as long as they have a different narrator.
Not likely. It took me about 45 minutes of listening to figure out what that sound was, every 3 or 4 sentences, like someone swallowing compulsively. Then I figured out it was Ron Rifkin swallowing compulsively every 3 or 4 sentences. After that, I couldn't hear much else besides that. It's like a crying child in a supermarket. Until you notice it, it's just a noise in the background, but once you hear it, you can't stop hearing it. Really, couldn't a tech savvy producer have edited out all of that extra noise from the final cut?
The musical soundtrack they played constantly through the narration was almost more jarring than Rifkin's constant swallowing. I don't need music to tell me "this is an important part of the story" because I'm listening to the story, have an adult brain, and can figure that out for myself, thank you. Double whammy against whatever producer decided to include the music AND Rifkin's mouth noises. (Unless the intent was to use loud music to cover the noisiest and grossest of Rifkin's sloshing, in which case, I retract the above and say, Kudos!)
I read this book when I was in elementary school and I got the audiobook to listen to with my niece. I loved this book when I was little and I was hoping that she would to.
In retrospect, I wish I had just given her the book because I felt the narration lacked something. I remember being very moved by the book and I didn't get that feeling from this. It might have been a combination of the Rifkin's narration and the weird musical interludes.
The Giver is best left to hard copy if you truly want to savor this classic story.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
The Giver hints at some of the themes explored by Brave New World and 1984, but unlike either of those iconic works, The Giver doesn't seem to have a clear thesis.
The mechanics of the dystopia are never explained... how did it come to be? What is the point of keeper of memories? What is the goal of the society? What's outside of it?
The Giver ends on an ambiguous, surrealistic note, and for the first time the prose turn poetic. These are not complements. Instead of an ending that fits the style and theme of the story, Lois Lowry made a cowardly, lazy exit from the plot.
The best thing I can say about this book is that it was short.
I had higher expectations. Perhaps too high. I hated the ending. Just seemed too simplistic, too predictable. I ended it feeling cheated a bit.
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.
I'm a big audible fan.
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.
I liked Ron Rifkin as The Giver but not as Jonas, a little too whiny at times with his voice.
The book was amazing at bringing you along for the ride, the most sad part was Jonas seeing what the 'release' was. Really good character development and would recommend to anyone. As with others, the cheesy music was really bad and sometimes made it tough to hear the story.
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