I've already blogged about this previously when my daughter declared this to be one of the best books she'd ever read. It's a forerunner of many of the dystopian stories that are being turned into films at the moment. In fact this one is released this coming August. Looks like they've made some changes-so it's really worth a read before you watch the film and think it looks like all the other ones. It's a quick read but touches on many big issues. Maybe it appears Jonas' world is actually nearer to Utopia-there's no war, hunger, arguments. But there's also no differences, no ideas and what chillingly emerges is no emotion either:
"Father? Mother?" Jonas asked tentatively after the evening meal. "I have a question I want to ask you."
"What is it, Jonas?" his father asked.
He made himself say the words, though he felt flushed with embarrassment. He had rehearsed them in his mind all the way home from the Annexe.
"Do you love me?"
There was an awkward silence for a moment. Then Father gave a little chuckle. "Jonas. You, of all people. Precison of language, please!"
Jonas, when he is given the highest compliment of being made 'The Receiver' comes to realise the enormity of receiving memories of the time before when his world hadn't yet 'blocked these out'. It's a really interesting read, thought provoking without film action graphic violence-it's a big more careful than that. It slowly unravels the seemingly perfect world and you see it as Jonas sees it, for the first time, as he begins to question the actions of his community AND takes incredibly brave steps to do what he feels is morally right.
Please read before you watch the film 10+-another you really need to read. I know I say that a lot but it is true!