As I mentioned, I am not a re-reader so I was a little nervous about reading Lois Lowry’s The Giver again. I had this memory of loving it, and I was afraid I’d ruin that.
From the title of this post you can see that that fear was unfounded. Fifteen years after I first read it and The Giver still delivers the literary goods.
The one thing that did suprise me was how short the book really is. In my mind, The Giver was long and complicated. So much happened and so much had to be explained. But in reality, all that complex events are much less drawn out then I remember. It moves quickly and the secrets unfold swiftly. There’s hardly any time to feel anxious about the outcome because it’s there before you know it! I guess these perceptions really do change with age.
What hasn’t changed is how impressed I am with the story. As a coworker explained, Lois Lowry was doing dystopia well before dystopia was the cool thing to do. You hear that Hunger Games? As simplified as the concepts are, I still love the plot. And the ending leaves you wanting more.
Of course, now I know there is more. At least two sequels I believe. However, I prefer to retain my childlike wonder at the end, and the book in general, which I won’t change with a sequel.
[Update: Upon Wikipedia-ing, I have learned that the next novel in the trilogy doesn’t continue the story of the main character from The Giver, Jonas. On one hand, this is for the best since the way The Giver ends is so right. On the other hand, damn I wanted to know what would happen next!]
Okay, maybe I will search Wikipedia for a clue as to what happens. But other than that, I’m sticking with the original.