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I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I Am the Messenger

by Markus Zusak

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,6312141,451 (4.08)333
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» See also 333 mentions

English (197)  German (5)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  All languages (211)
Showing 1-5 of 197 (next | show all)
Read this one over the weekend. I liked it very much. Ed is a witty, likeable character. I did have a few moments of difficulty "suspending disbelief" in this book, initially when Ed chooses to obey the strange commands and keep the cards a secret, which is not what I would likely do. Why would you not ask around about it, call the police, etc.? Late in the story, Ed does mention that in his neighborhood you avoid involving police, and I suppose that is reason enough, but he believes his life is truly in danger, that he must commit a murder or be murdered himself. That's pretty heavy-duty stuff.

I like Ed's openness to the messages, and his instincts for doing what is needed, but am bothered by his willingness to resort to violence if he believes that is what the card "wants." I suppose it's just a different kind of world that he lives in.

I have decided the hardest part of writing a novel must be the ending. I have read many books that were fabulous all the way through but fell flat, seemed rushed, stopped abruptly, or just didn't make sense at the end. For I Am the Messenger, I just had a "huh?" moment at the end. Maybe I'm obtuse but I couldn't really figure it out. Did Ed realize he was just a book character? Did the ginger-haired man actually kill Ed's father, as he said? Is he the "author"? I didn't really get it, but that didn't detract too much from my enjoyment of the story and its message.

Also, I have seen this called a children's book in several places, but I do not think that is an appropriate label for it. Maybe "young adult" would be more correct. It includes language that some might find objectionable, frank discussions of sex, and depictions of rape and unprovoked violence. I believe it should be reserved for high school age and older, unless you have a very worldly middle schooler.

The above comments may make it sound as if I didn't like this book, but that is not true. Zusak's writing is beautiful and lyrical. This book has humor and touching moments, and the characters are realistic (except for the above-mentioned instigator). The message of making a difference is important and clear. I found the story interesting and was compelled to read on to see what would happen. The concerns I have are minor when compared to my overall enjoyment of the book. I would definitely recommend it. ( )
  glade1 | Jun 2, 2014 |
I loved this book! I know Zusak's book The Book Thief has gotten a lot of attention lately but boy...I thought this was much better. A very creative story well told. If you enjoy Young Adult fiction then this is a must read. ( )
  ElizabethBevins | May 6, 2014 |
An amazing story about how one person can make a difference in small ways. Very inspiring! ( )
  Natalie.Maree | May 3, 2014 |
A noteworthy read that certainly will occupy your thoughts. Certainly might cause you to re-evaluate some of your relationships. ( )
  mcolv989 | Mar 19, 2014 |
So, I didn't love this book like a lot of people did. Maybe it's because I read The Book Thief first and loved it so much.

Ed, the protagonist, irritated the poop out of me. I'm no one, I'm nothing, my life is going no where... I get you. Can we please stop whining about it? The premise was interesting, but ultimately I found it a little shaky. The ending tried to satisfy things with who/what/why Ed was getting these mysterious cards but I didn't think that it made a whole lot of sense. The peripheral characters were also largely a source of aggravation, even towards the end when the story turns towards Ed's friends/family they don't feel sufficiently developed to make me actually care about them.

All that being said, this book does try to be deep and important, the themes are probably excellent for a mature seventh grader and up. The language and writing is gorgeous, it's almost poetic. The story itself just fell flat for me.

There are worse things to read, though. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Markus Zusakprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gray, Marc AdenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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protect the diamonds

survive the clubs

dig deep through the spades

feel the hearts
For Scout
First words
The gunman is useless.
It feels like the mornings clap their hands.
To make me wake. [75]
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Originally published as "The Messenger" in Australia.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Nineteen-year-old Ed Kennedy is the epitome of pathetic mediocrity. He drives a cab, lives in a run-down shack with his malodorous dog, and plays cards with his friends Ritchie, Marv and Audrey. His life is completely devoid of purpose or significance – until he manages to foil a botched bank robbery, and someone, somewhere, decides that it’s time for Ed to become the messenger. Guided by playing cards left in his mailbox, he must venture from his shack to help people the rest of the world has abandoned. Not all of Ed’s tasks are easy, however, and the true purpose of his messages may be more than it seems.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375836675, Paperback)

protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts
Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.
That's when the first ace arrives in the mail.
That's when Ed becomes the messenger.
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?
A 2005 Michael L. Printz Honor Book and recipient of five starred reviews, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:27 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who doesn't think much of his life. He inadvertently helps stop a bank robbery, and that is when his life starts to change. He begins to receive mysterious messages that instruct him to go to addresses where people need help. Ed becomes the messenger, but who is behind the messages? Meet Ed Kennedy - underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he's hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That's when the first Ace arrives. That's when Ed becomes the messenger. Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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