Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Giver, by Lois Lowry

Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Published: 1993
Pages: 180
Chapters: 23
Pages per Chapter (on average): 7+
Date Started: Feb. 5 -----Date Finished: Feb. 5
My Reading Speed: 180 pages a day, or 23 chapters a day
The Main Characters: A 12 year old boy named Jonas and an old man known as the Giver.
My Brief Synopsis: Well, in this alternate future, there's a community with loads of rules and everything is very orderly and painless and all the same. There are very rigid traditions, like what happens when children reach certain ages, and the family units. Everything is just too perfect. No one feels anything, they just do their assigned job and live their lives. But there is a special old man, the Reciever, who holds all of humanity's old memories of what life used to be like, before the Sameness. All the good memories and the bad ones. Since he's getting too old, a new Reciever must be chosen to bear the burden of memories, so at the ceremony of Twelves, Jonas is selected to become the next Reciever and get training from the old man. So the man becomes the Giver. The story is all told from Jonas's point of view.
The Conflicts: There aren's any villains, necessarily, but the bad memories Jonas has to bear, like war, hunger, pain and loss, are very difficult. He learns how people who are "Released" from the community are actually killed by getting a special shot from a syringe.
My General Comments: I've actually read this book before, years ago. After reading the Ember series, I thought I would enjoy this, but I find that it's not the same thing. I think the city of Ember, though underground, was a much more fascinating and active place than this dull Community. Also, I have no idea how the Giver is able to pass the memories on to Jonas. It's a bit like magic. It doesn't make much sense. It's sad how no one is able to have real feelings like the Recievers do. They can't even see in color, for some reason. Somehow, they've done away with that. What do they have, grey? No, that's a color too. So how can you imagine something that's colorless?
My Favorite Part: I'm not sure I have a favorite part here. It's an okay book. Fascinating concepts to think about. But you can only understand it when you read about it. It's very hard to convey to someone who doesn't know. It's hard to imagine how a life like that could be real, but it exercises the imagination and makes you think, "Well, okay, so what if it could happen?"
My Reaction to the Book: I suppose overall I got a funny feeling from this story. I'm not sure I liked it. Plus it was too short. I read it much too quickly. But that's funny, because Lowry's other book I've read this year, The Willoughbys, was short and finished quickly too. I liked that better, I think, because it was much better story. It was more satisfying, so I didn't mind that it was short. I believe there are companion books to The Giver, which make it a trilogy. The other 2 are Gathering Blue and The Messanger, but I don't feel any curiosity in pursuing them.
A Personal Shout Out to Lois Lowry: Sorry Lois, but I liked The Willoughbys a loooad better.
Here's the link to the Giver's Wikipedia Article.
Below is the Lois Lowry's website:
What is your favorite part? If you haven't read this book, sorry for all the spoilers, but you can comment and say if this book review was helpful. If you have read this book, please give me a comment or email me so we can discuss it. This would be the closest I've ever gotten to a book club, you know.


J.N. Future Author said...

I have not read this book. But I’m surprised! It sounds better than I thought (but I still won’t read it)

I thought the book was about racism...

So you really liked the City of Cmber? ^.^ it’s such a fun series! You should try and read Crispin and the Cross of Lead. That’s what I’m reading now - 162 pages, a really easy fast read. I did like its philosophy on happiness, it was insightful ^.^

J.N. Future Author said...

I'm always surprised how close our tastes in books are! are you as excited for Pendragon book 10 as I am?

I absolutly CAN'T wait for it!!! I really do love the series, but I am dieing for the ending! and there are all these questions floating around in my mind!....*sigh* I cant wait till it comes out!

I think a book blog would be fun....but I don't know, I have enough of a job trying to take care of the 2 I have....

Anonymous said...

I mean, I read the Giver. Never read the willoughbys. Giver is good. That's what I'll review. (I hit the wrong button:)