The Giver Mass Market Paperback – Sep 10 2002
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From Kirkus Reviews
In a radical departure from her realistic fiction and comic chronicles of Anastasia, Lowry creates a chilling, tightly controlled future society where all controversy, pain, and choice have been expunged, each childhood year has its privileges and responsibilities, and family members are selected for compatibility. As Jonas approaches the ``Ceremony of Twelve,'' he wonders what his adult ``Assignment'' will be. Father, a ``Nurturer,'' cares for ``newchildren''; Mother works in the ``Department of Justice''; but Jonas's admitted talents suggest no particular calling. In the event, he is named ``Receiver,'' to replace an Elder with a unique function: holding the community's memories--painful, troubling, or prone to lead (like love) to disorder; the Elder (``The Giver'') now begins to transfer these memories to Jonas. The process is deeply disturbing; for the first time, Jonas learns about ordinary things like color, the sun, snow, and mountains, as well as love, war, and death: the ceremony known as ``release'' is revealed to be murder. Horrified, Jonas plots escape to ``Elsewhere,'' a step he believes will return the memories to all the people, but his timing is upset by a decision to release a newchild he has come to love. Ill-equipped, Jonas sets out with the baby on a desperate journey whose enigmatic conclusion resonates with allegory: Jonas may be a Christ figure, but the contrasts here with Christian symbols are also intriguing. Wrought with admirable skill--the emptiness and menace underlying this Utopia emerge step by inexorable step: a richly provocative novel. (Fiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
"A powerful and provacative novel.”
-- The New York Times
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Top Customer Reviews
SO HAPPY that I did. Having only been 12 at the time, there was so much, "politically" that I just wasn't mature or learned enough to understand. So the 2nd (and 3rd!) time through I enjoyed it even more and I was better able to think critically about the content.
I finished it this morning, and I can honestly say I loved and wish that I could have read it when I was younger. Would I have understood the deeper meaning? Probably not at first, but I would have loved to have been a part of that classroom discussion. As much as I wish I had read it when I was younger, I am also glad I read for the first time as a 22 year old adult. I think I have a better understanding of some of the themes and I am definitely mature enough for some of the more "disturbing" themes. Had I read it as a 12 year old, I'm not sure if it would have turned me off or not.
All in all, this book is definitely worth a read. It's a quick read that won't take long at all, but does require you to think. I am looking forward to the movie!
And long before it became chic, Lois Lowry produced a hauntingly memorable story set in a world where emotions are suppressed, and only "The Giver" has the power to change it. It's a powerful little story -- whether read alone or with the three loose sequels -- with haunting prose and some very strong characters, as well as a message of compassion and acceptance.
A young boy named Jonas lives in a rigid, joyless community where people use emotion-deprivation pills and adhere to insanely strict rules -- they have no conflict, poverty or discrimination... but they also have no love, no fun, and no creativity. When Jonas is selected as the Receiver of Memories, he is suddenly flooded with feelings and memories of both the good and the bad from humanity's distant past.
And as he comes to realize what his people have lost in their quest to be the same, Jonas begins yearning for the world he knows must exist outside the Community. But his quest becomes a more personal one when he discovers another price for the Community's existence: the "release" of babies that they don't deem good enough. The only one who can change the Community is Jonas.
Pretty much all young-adult dystopian fiction owes a debt to the Giver Quartet -- it has young people discovering the cruelty and callousness of their societies, and finding different ways to rebel. But Lowry doesn't shy away from asking the serious questions in her story, such as lack of respect for life (if it's inconvenient or doesn't fit in), kindness, compassion, and the good AND bad roots of what it means to truly live.Read more ›
"What if they were allowed to choose their own spouse.... and picked wrong".
Great read. Highly recommended for readers of all abilities.
Am I glad I read it? I am glad I read it. I mean, come on, it's just one of those books you have to read. But I wasn't all that impressed by it, to be honest.
I did like some of the surprises it threw my way, such as the colour thing. But, there were things that bugged me.
Too many unanswered questions. I thought the Giver was going to answer all these questions, but he didn't even know much. There was just so much left up in the air, so many aspects not explained. That bugs me.
It was fairly enjoyable and it was interesting, but something was just off.
I'm not really sure why this book is sooo popular and well-received. I mean, I get that it was, like, the first of its kind or whatever, and it was decent, but it just wasn't that great in my opinion. Only okay.
Not sure if I will read the second book.
Most recent customer reviews
I would recommend this book to others. It very much caught my attention from the beginning of the story. Looking forward to reading part 2!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I was unaware of the "buy now" and also thought I was buying the book, not the electronic book. I requested a refund and go no response, so in rating this item... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing but disturbing. This story is one you can't forget....even if you want to.Published 8 months ago by Jackie Allen
Short but good read. The movie is well adapted from the prose.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
I can't believe I waited so long I read this book. It pulled me in from the first chapter and kept me trapped until the last line. I look forward to the rest of the books.Published 14 months ago by A. Mabee
This writer is talented enough to spin a tale that provokes some truly intriguing questions (why can't they see colour? Read morePublished 16 months ago by colin
I couldn't put this book down once I started reading it. I went through a rainbow of feelings, and I'm left with a wistful bittersweet sentiment that I struggle to understand and... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Armand de Sillègue
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