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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

"This is a compelling prospect for family listening. Initially Rifkin's voice seems too regional to portray the characters of this utopian/dystopian world, but he convincingly conveys the anticipation of the coming-of-age ceremony of Jonas and his friends. As the meaning of Jonas’ selection as “Receiver of Memory” unfolds, Rifkin’s characterizations become more powerful. Although the story drives the presentation, Rifkin’s juxtaposition of the young boy and the old Giver has tremendous effect. His voice for the Giver becomes increasingly weary and strained while Jonas' gains strength. Sharing this audiobook in a family or a classroom offers a valuable opportunity to respond to and discuss Lowry’s moving novel." (AudioFile magazine)

"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

What listeners say about The Giver

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The musical interludes ruined the book

Love the story, but the narrator is only so-so. The worst part of this audiobook is the musical segments they randomly inserted overtop of the reading. It's so distracting and adds nothing to the story. This would be 1000 times better if the music clips were removed.

5 people found this helpful

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Pretty Good

The book itself was quite good. For those of you saying the ending was a let down I understand but there are three more books after The Giver that explain the rest of the story. The narrator was quite good and easy to follow but the music was unnecessary and distracting. It was my second time reading this and it really hit different.

2 people found this helpful

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Music

This audiobook contains small amounts of music. The music is low quality and feels out of place.

2 people found this helpful

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pas bon

musique dérangeante au début de chaque chapitre , histoire plein de potentiel avec une fin bof...

2 people found this helpful

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Thought-provoking

I've loved this book since I was a kid. There's something very captivating about the world-building, the gentle crescendo, the deliberate and intentional word choice, given more light by the main character's own attention to precision of language. With each description, I can feel the writer's true meaning. She is truly a master at painting a mental picture, whether of terrible grief and misery or the profound delights of life. By opening up the world to Jonas in this gradual manner, we are able to see all the beautiful things in our own world that we take for granted every day, like music, colour, and the beauty of variety. The freedom of choices. Reading The Giver always reminds me that there is so much joy to be obtained in this world, and that the pain of everything else can be borne so much easier if we are all bearing it together. It speaks of the blessing of unity, of love, of the terrible, wonderful depths of human emotion.
In my opinion, The Giver is a masterpiece. Concise, razor-sharp, and full of depth and meaning. It is not overbearing in its length. It tells you what you need to know, and leaves you wanting.
The narrator was very good, with the kind of precise speech one would want from a book of this nature. The only thing I didn't like was the music constantly interrupting his narration. I was drawn in enough by his fantastic performance.
A book that makes you reflect and be grateful. A masterwork to be sure.

1 person found this helpful

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good until the end

The end was such a let down. Just felt like it ended out nowhere. The rest of the story was great though!

1 person found this helpful

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great

it appears on many book lists. I was expecting a lot and boy did it deliver. the acclaim is deserved. great book.

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Unnecessary addition of music ruined it

The reader did a great job but unfortunately I am compelled to give a low rating because of the distracting spurts of music. It was totally disjointed and really took me out of the story during the more important/dramatic moments.

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  • Zed
  • 2021-10-17

Bad narration.

The narration was terrible. I could hear the speaker's saliva jangling in his mouth.

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Beautifully simple story

I first read this story in highschool and love it, decided it was a simple story I enjoyed and would like as background noise so I bought it here and honestly?

it holds up, the story isn't anything the write home about, it's a pretty simple story about independence and the self but it's solid and told well, the narrator isn't perfect but he fits and it makes beautiful background noise to fall asleep too.

Honestly still one of my favourite books because it knows what it is and doesn't try to be anything else.

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  • adam jensen
  • 2019-01-02

Music. ugggg

The book is good. but the music.,............ why is there random music every 10 mins. It is not even good music. but it takes you away from the story when it happeneds. i want to speak to the person that put that in and find out why they thought it was a good idea. then i would like to fire them. Just read the book and skip the audio book. it will annoy you.

29 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Taylor
  • 2012-12-27

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.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Claudia H
  • 2015-08-03

A blast from the past

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.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Nicky
  • 2018-06-27

Ugh, music!

I purchased without reading the reviews since I knew the story was one I’d enjoy. The music was so distracting I kept wanting to turn it off!!! The narrator wasn’t my favorite but nothing takes me more out of a story than extremely irritating music throughout the entire book. I will not listen to it again. Lois Lowry deserves better. So disappointing.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Ethan
  • 2013-05-03

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.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Beth
  • 2012-09-08

Great Story but...

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.

95 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-06-12

Memories

Was my favorite book when I was 11 and now still at 26 years old

6 people found this helpful

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  • far_to_go
  • 2013-07-18

Annoying music

Would you listen to The Giver again? Why?

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.

88 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nikki Cole
  • 2012-07-09

This guy's mouth makes some serious noises...

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Rosemary. She was very brave and noble and I like the mystery behind her past.

What didn’t you like about Ron Rifkin’s performance?

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.

Could you see The Giver being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I guess I could see it. I am not invested enough to guess the cast though.

Any additional comments?

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.

97 people found this helpful

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  • Inkish Kingdoms . com
  • 2017-06-24

A book that I could read unlimited times

Come and check the review at my blog! Inkish Kingdoms!

I have to say that I love this book, and all the deep interpretation that we can give it to it. Not only to what the author explains but to what she implies without saying any explicit words.

What make us individuals? Or why is individualism a threat to the government and to mind control? In a world where birthdays do not exist, where you cannot make your own decisions, where you are watched and controlled for the sake of stability and utopia. Is this living? is this life? To protect everybody from all the struggles of life will never work out. They protect the people from making mistakes. They don't have the option to choose, everything is giving and ...

The narration, the story, the author, the symbolism, the critic, the political discourse, all on this book is perfect!

12 people found this helpful