The Giver

The Giver

Audiobook CD - 2001
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Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns twelve he is singled out to receive special training from the Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.
Publisher: [United States] : Random House, Inc., Listening Library, 2001
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780807262030
Branch Call Number: J UCD FICTION LOWRY
Characteristics: 4 sound discs (288 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Additional Contributors: Rifkin, Ron

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d
dwlueth
Jul 17, 2017

I enjoyed this is audio book very much. Very thought provoking and I would have loved for it to be longer to go into more details. Especially towards the end of the book.

I am docking one star for the audio recording itself. It played music in the background at odd times which I found distracting.

k
KathyJulian
Jul 12, 2016

I was thrilled with this book-- one of the best I've read in a few years. My children and I (ages 9-13) all enjoyed it, and were able to discuss such things as the risks and benefits of choices, and what the world would be like without the highs and lows of our world. Excellent presentation, and well-written, as Lois Lowry's books generally are.

j
Julia_Lit_Teacher
Jul 01, 2016

Wow! What an incredible book! Explores the consequences of eliminating risk from the world. No emotion means no love, no concern for the weak. No war or hunger, but also no color, no beauty, no music. My whole family was so captivated that our long drive through Nebraska just melted away.

j
joetafoya1951
Sep 08, 2015

It was a good book and lets you realize how a society can push it's populace down in the name of equality for all. It doesn't happen often but this time I believe I may have enjoyed the movie made from the book better than the book itself. Usually the book is always better than the movie made from it. Good read though, enjoy.

t
TJ_77
Jul 19, 2015

I liked the book, but there according was annoying as there were extra and unexplained sounds and music that detracted from my listening.

a
artemishi
Jun 14, 2015

The Giver is a book I hear a lot of people fondly recalling from their childhood, so I wanted to check it out.
You know what books I fondly recall from my childhood? A Wrinkle in Time. The Xanth series. The Dark is Rising series.
This book? I'm glad I didn't read back then.
Because it's not just simplistic (ok, appropriate for middle grade, I understand) but completely underdeveloped *and* heavy handed in messaging.

SPOILERS AHEAD! (sorry, I can't review this without giving a few away)

This book spends the most effort setting up a utopian world that's governed by rules and entirely revolves on the fact that nobody remembers anything outside of their life experience (and they aren't allowed to read books, so no absorbing through empathy).

Although the only two characters with any time spent on them (The Giver and Jonas) exist within this world, their sole motivation to break it wide open is never explained. Generations of Givers have struggled with the obvious moral implications of their passive acceptance of the system (which they're pretty much at the top of...I mean, if anyone is the Big Bad here, it's the Giver, and there's only one of him) but somehow the existence of Jonas pushes the current Giver over the edge. And yet, the story doesn't touch at all on the Giver's choice, only on Jonas' narrative (which is also pretty simplistic: instead of asking internal questions, he whines, constantly).

It sets up a plot and then changes it retroactively and, in my opinion, clumsily, which diffuses the tension instead of building it up. It also breaks complex moral choices with a lot of consequences into an issue of infanticide, thus allowing Jonas to be the Hero Who Never Thinks About What He's Doing. And thus, the hero whose actions are going to cause a lot more pain and suffering than he's "saving" Gabe from.

And then....it ends. I was waiting for Jonas to grow as a character (somehow. anyhow. Please!) and suddenly he's biking toward a town with Christmas lights (to the book's credit, I didn't see the super Christian allegory until that random moment) and The End.

WHAT?! What did I just read, here?? It's not a dystopian, it's not a coming of age, it's not a journey adventure (or at least, not a very compelling one). There's absolutely no conclusion to be had, and because there's no character development driving the plot, I have zero motivation to pick up book two.

To no one's surprise, I don't recommend this. Have your kids read Gregor and the Overland series (which is entertaining, emotional, AND well written) instead.

(and also, the narrator does a horrible job, sounding like he's talking to a three year old. And the musical interludes inserted when we're meant to be feeling something was driving me nuts!)

l
LindaDeeBaker
May 31, 2015

My second time through was a trip worth taking, but I still wish I knew whether Jonas and Gabe found sanctuary. Obviously that's not the point of the book...guess I'll have to dig a bit at what Lois Lowry may have said...but the optimist in me loves happy endings.
(15 minutes later) There are other books in the series, hoorah! Plus, Ms. Lowry said in an interview at Goodreads that the boys do arrive at a village. Whew. Now, to order the next book in the series.

n
nilalogan
Jul 23, 2014

Kept me at the edge of my seat till the end.

s
Sarah00416
Jul 20, 2014

Good book, best ending I've ever read, though.

((Warning the audiobook reader is horrible and has an accent that sounds like an American mocking a Brit.))

r
rabbit14
Jun 23, 2014

A great fantasy book for any age. Can't wait to to see the movie!

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HilarySquires
Jul 03, 2013

HilarySquires thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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