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)
I love this book. From it, we can better understand why it is so important that we know and remember even the simplest things in life.
Characters: Jonas, the main character, is wonderfully developed. His mother was probably the least interesting. Good cast overall.
Scene: Lowry creates a seemingly normal scene that gets more intriguing and more central to the story as the story unfolds. As the story continues, the scene becomes anything but normal.
Plot: A bit unsteady throughout the first half of the book, the plot strengthens in the second half. Still, the plots climax and ultimate resolution are just a little too ideal. For a book that goes to such great lengths to expose such an important lesson, I wanted to see the incarnation and resolution of that lesson be much, much more.
Theme: The theme single-handedly carries this book. The lesson to be learned from Lowry is the basis of this story's renown, and I am sure this book will be used for this lesson many more times to come.
Overall: The weakness of the plot is carries by every other aspect of this book. Unless you need books with incredibly strong plots, I'd highly recommend this book.
Nobel Prize winner "The Giver", was like that book they make you read in high school that you dread to actually read. It was my english class read. I flipped through it and did my homework trying to skip as much as could and still pass the class; but towards the end of the class I got hooked into it. There are ideas, questions, and answers in this book that just fascinated me as a teenager. Things I sorta flew by trying to do my homework that made me think everytime.
Now, I am a pretty intuitive, highly artistic mind, and once I discovered the real heart behind "The Giver" I swear it was like a door opened to me. I loved every second of it. I remember finishing a chapter and walking around school looking at the other students, teachers, and their responsibilites in a total different light. It was almost as if I was part of a society much like the one in this book where we all wait to know what we are supposed to do, and if you don't keep up you're "released" ... But as the book suggests, and I found out as I grew, being released from the machine might not be all that terrible in the end.
I alarmingly recommend this amazing read for kids and adults alike. I have wondered for ages why are there film versions of "Spiderman", "Jerry Springer", and "The Devil Wears Prada" and not one of this book... Makes one wonder where priorities and film industry goals lie. Anyhow! Listen to this! Will make feel free!
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 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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