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I Am the Messenger

by Markus Zusak

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,3973071,334 (4.04)409
After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.
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» See also 409 mentions

English (288)  German (5)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (3)  Catalan (2)  French (1)  Piratical (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  All languages (306)
Showing 1-5 of 288 (next | show all)
A compulsively good read, with well-constructed characters. As I was reading, I was gripped by the plot yet attentive to the prose and the structure of the story at the same time; hardly surprising, considering the denouement. I felt the resolution was a little pat, but otherwise this was an excellent book. ( )
  dmturner | Jun 29, 2020 |
You probably don't realize, because I read romance like I would like to eat warm baked chocolate chip cookies (three times daily) but Book Thief is a top 5 for me and this book absolutely reminded me why.

Markus Zusak has a singular ability to give a compassionate and unique narrative to an incredible time in history

And apparently, an incredibly mundane one.

I Am the Messenger reminded me of the stilted wandering of The Stranger going through the motions combined with a incredibly effective Pay It Forward.

I don't know how else to describe it. By the end, particularly in the second part of the hearts section, I was weeping.

The book opens with the words:
the gunman is useless.
I know it.
He knows it.
The whole bank knows it.

and it so absurd and hilarious...

And then it gut punches you a solid 400 times. It can be as simple as that, then Ed reuses the term "shirty" which a cop who interviewed his group accused them of being and you're laughing again.

And then Ed will destroy you again when he looks at Audrey and uses some profound, weighty, yet succinct way to convey his unrequited love and endless rejection.

What starts absurd and hilarious progresses into heartfelt consciousness and growth from a narrator who could easily feel done --he's incredibly NORMAL and has done "Jack shit" in his 19 years-- but he's an original voice in a book that is so wacky and brilliant I knew I'd be adding a hard copy to my library within 3 pages. ( )
  samnreader | Jun 27, 2020 |
Wish I could give it 6 stars ( )
  mitchtroutman | Jun 14, 2020 |
I must've read this at least five times by now and I still love this book. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
What an unusual book! I guess it's technically classified as YA fiction, though I don't know why. The writing is more complex than I typically think of as YA and though the overall theme is positive, there are certainly some adult themes as well (abuse & rape).

Through an odd set of circumstances, the main character finds himself drawn into completing a series of mysterious tasks. He's given an address or a name or clue and has to research and follow his intuition to determine how he can help in a given situation. The story shows how a very average, unremarkable young adult can make a difference - sometimes major, sometimes minor.

The way he receives and figures out his "tasks" is definitely unbelievable (but good fiction), the actions, the growth he finds, the compassion and sense of himself that he discovers is inspiring. If put into a personalized framework, it shows how any and all of us have the capacity to help each other in big or little ways ..... just be aware and see their need. And did I say, the man has a way with a phrase! Some intriguing, unusual, enjoyable turns of phrase throughout. Another winner by Zusak.

Perform a random act of kindness every day. ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 288 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Markus Zusakprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ernst, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gray, Marc AdenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors

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.
Publisher's editors
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

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Wikipedia in English (3)

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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.
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