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'm not planning to listen to this again. I've read the book before and like the story very much, but it was interrupted by strange music at inopportune moments. A great book, but not a very good listening experience.
I would recommend they read the actual book and skip the audio version. The story is okay, but the quality of the audiobook is not.
Rosemary. She was very brave and noble and I like the mystery behind her past.
Many of the sentences trailed off rather than ending strong and clear. He also made noises with his mouth. I assume this happens often with actors, but that stuff is usually edited out.
I guess I could see it. I am not invested enough to guess the cast though.
The background music was HORRIBLE! They blasted you out with tacky synth music for EVERY SINGLE significant moment! It took me out of the moment because I was rolling my eyes.
I had read this book as a teenager. I thought I would enjoy it on audio. However, the narration is poor. The whiny voice of Jonas was totally grating and the the narrator did not even bother to read with the inflection when the tone of voice was described with adjectives. Even more annoying, possibly, was the music. I don't even know how I got through this one...if it weren't for my nostalgia, I wouldn't have.
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!)
The Giver is a great introduction to utopian novels. It was very interesting listening to the book with my 10 and 11 year olds. Their innocence saw the ending in a completly different way then I did. We had some wonderful family discussions about what a perfect world is or should be. As a family we highly recommend this book for its entertainment value and the discussions it will prompt.
Although this is a young adult book, I think it will appeal to any age group and it has lots of layers of thought-provoking debate entwined in a simple story. This reminded me of Orwell's "1984" as it takes place in the future in a watchful society. It is a strange society in which diversity and individualism are not tolerated and everyone lives according to their function in society - perhaps happy - but blissfully unaware of pain and love. You follow the story of Jonas who is a remarkable 11 year-old boy who carries much weight and insight of the community on his shoulders. I definitely recommend this book as it left me haunted and yearning to discuss it with someone else.
This is a great book about going to extremes on many different levels. Like Ender's game and Snow Crash, the youth of today have much to teach us about how to live. This book is simply written with observations about society and the implications of our choices and desires for a perfection. Any age will love this book. My 5th grade little sister recommeded this to me, and I have completed graduate school. I have recommeded this book to my friends of all ages.
Say something about yourself!
I had really high hopes for this book. I am a big fan of YA Dystopian novels, and I'd heard this book was really one of the important ones in the genre.
I felt like the beginning of this book was really good, I liked where it was going, it had an interesting setting...but about 3/4 through it felt like the author gave up and just wanted it to end. It left way too many loose ends, and just sort of ended.
I wasn't a huge fan of the narrator, but he did not bother me.
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.
My fifth grader and I both loved this story. I couldn't wait until bedtime to listen--we listened in the car on errands, while cooking and folding laundry. Many times we paused it to talk about what we thought would happen next. There is so much to think about and talk about.
Essentially, the story is about a dystopian community in the Earth's future. The lives of the people in the community are strictly controlled in every aspect. This makes everyone equal to each other, makes life stress-free, and gives all an important role. The story is told from the point of view of an eleven-year-old boy. When he turns twelve he is given the role of "receiver", or keeper of the community's memories. He gradually realizes what the community has given up in order to create such an ordered, peaceful, and equal society. It becomes too much to bear, and he has to take individual action.
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