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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
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.
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.
I listened to The Giver because my son, a fifth grader, will be reading it in his Language Arts class. I was not expecting much, but I was completely surprised--It was captivating. Ms. Lowry has written a book that tackles the issues of diversity, responsibility, and honesty for all readers--young and old.
The setting is a socially engineered village where outward uniformity, discipline, and manners are the overriding virtues. Different colors are not visible or understood to the villagers because they underscore diversity. Although there is a stated concern for precise and polite speech, euphemisms are used abundantly by the villagers and their leaders to hide the less attractive truths of the their society. Children do not celebrate individual birthdays, but each year a proscribed set of responsibilities and privileges are granted to the children of an age group in the Ceremony. In the twelfth year, children begin their training for adult jobs selected for them by the Elders. The surface of the village is calm, but Jonas, the protagonist, has to decide if he should shatter the society perceptions by using what he has been given in his training for adulthood.
I am anticipating interesting discussions at our family dinner table when my son begins to read this book for class.
Being a bookseller living outside of Chicago why would I buy audible books? Because I love to listen to them when I really want to relax!
This is one of the best books I've "read," which is saying quite a bit. The plot was upon me before I realized what was happening. At first I suspected this was a strict religious group, but it became far more than that! Such a fantastic idea for a way of life is almost amusing if it weren't so serious. Their regard for human life was strange, and the world, in some countries, currently has some aspects of this book's theories. It reminded me a bit of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, except the ending, and the tension, the constant requirements to live with this group through most of the book, were far more imaginative. This was one I could hardly put down.
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