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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 (3489 )
5 star
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4.2 (2624 )
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4.1 (2582 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Timothy 08-28-14
    Timothy 08-28-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    51
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Where is the ending?"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    [POSSIBLE VAGUE SPOILER IF YOU'RE SENSITIVE]




    This is a book that builds up to a great and mysterious revelation that never happens.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Not unless they changed the ending a lot.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 06-07-13
    Anne 06-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    240
    ratings
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    149
    109
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Oh my."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethan ROCHESTER, NY, United States 05-03-13
    Ethan ROCHESTER, NY, United States 05-03-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Great story but the music is very distracting!"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luanne Central Florida 04-20-13
    Luanne Central Florida 04-20-13 Member Since 2012

    Wannabemuse

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    27
    1
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    "Skip the audiobook and read the print version!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    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.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ron Rifkin?

    Someone who would have personified Jonas with a less annoying and whiny personality. This isn't Jonas!


    Any additional comments?

    What's up with the crazy music in this audiobook? Instead of enhancing the production, it was distracting and annoying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Thornton, CO, United States 12-27-12
    Donna Thornton, CO, United States 12-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
    3
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story that unfolds before your eyes"
    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I liked Ron Rifkin as The Giver but not as Jonas, a little too whiny at times with his voice.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria USAF Academy, CO, United States 11-27-12
    Maria USAF Academy, CO, United States 11-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    4
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good Book - O.K. Performance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes - it is a very original plot with thought-provoking ideas. It's a book that you would want to read over again and despite the parts I didn't enjoy about the audiobook, it was overall still a good performance.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    There is music that is added to reading of the book that can be detracting and it seems very out of place. For me this was the most annoying part of the audiobook. Another minor thing is that there are sometimes pauses longer than normal between chapters that could have been easily cut out.I wasn't a fan of the narrators voice- it was a bit whiny and the different character voices were irritating at times.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meredith Upland, India 11-05-12
    Meredith Upland, India 11-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
    1
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    "Completely in love with this book."
    What did you love best about The Giver?

    It just amazes me that authors can have this sort of creativity inside of them. The book was extremely entertaining, but also thought provoking. A classic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Probably Gabriel. He represents the community's disregard (and ignorance thereof) for life. They truly know nothing. He represented what was wrong with the community, and was also the face of the things that are worth sacrifice.


    What about Ron Rifkin’s performance did you like?

    I thought he animated the characters really well, and in a way that differentiated them from one another. He did, however, have some annoying swallowing and lip smacking sounds... I can imagine I would, too, if I were to read a book for hours.


    Any additional comments?

    The music was reallllly chessy and unnecessary. It sounds like something I made in my music theory class in high school, except with even more digital instruments. Boooo.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Clipper Phoenix, AZ 08-31-10
    M. Clipper Phoenix, AZ 08-31-10 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    77
    15
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    2
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    Overall
    "Pleasantly surprised"

    My wife has been using this book in her 8th grade language arts curriculum for several years now, but I only recently decided to give it a listen. I wasn't expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. For a book that's intended to be read by young adults, it deals with some fairly mature topics but does so as eloquently as possible. Overall, I thought the story was extremely interesting, but it left too many unanswered questions in my opinion. I would have thought this was an abridged version, because I felt this story could have gone much more in depth regarding the giving and receiving, as well as the history of the community. I also would have preferred a less ambiguous ending, but I guess that's part of what makes this book great for classroom discussion and interpretation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole toledo, OH, USA 09-18-08
    Carole toledo, OH, USA 09-18-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    9
    5
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    1
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    Overall
    "Big disappointment"

    This book had the potential of being something really great. The writing is excellent and the premise had countless possibilities, but the author doesn't explore the multitude of scenarios possible in the utopian world she has created, especially after the main character chooses to live outside the "community" - think of the stories that could have been told of the remaining members and how they coped after his "release." The ending was flat. After giving us such great descriptions of life and characters in this new community, she leaves us to use our own imaginations to complete the story. I think the exploration of characters response to the story was missed. I felt cheated and unresolved after listening to it. The narrator is good and does a pleasant job of characteizations - easy to listen to. I also agree that some of the subject matter would be inappropriate or difficult for the less than mature child. I cannot recommend this book.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-28-11
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 08-28-11 Member Since 2015

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4192
    ratings
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    213
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    2287
    12
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    "Hard to believe the great reviews"

    The book was just okay in that it had promise and possessed a certain uniqueness. However, for me, it ended in a rather unsatisfying way. I wanted to know what happened to the protagonist. The book seemed for me to be the first two chapters in what could have been a much more rich, complete and satisfying book. Some have heaped great praise on this book... okay yes; great? No so much.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
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