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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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