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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.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,1592501,205 (4.07)379
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» See also 379 mentions

English (233)  German (5)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (2)  Piratical (1)  French (1)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  All languages (249)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
This book has a really cool concept. And if anybody could pull it off, it would be Markus Zusak.

I was initially turned off by the real, grittiness of the book, though. Like the thoughts of a pathetic 19-year-old boy (it doesn't take any imagination to figure out what those thoughts might be). And the description of Ed's apartment and his dog were so vivid I could see, smell, and taste them. After one particular scene I wanted to brush my teeth and take a shower.

But I simply can't resist Zusak's writing. It pulls me in, makes me care about all these considerably-less-than-perfect characters. I had to know where the mysterious someone would send Ed next. But the biggest payoff was watching each character grow and learn to live rather than merely exist. You don't have to be extraordinary to matter. Like I said, the concept of this book is really cool. ( )
  AngelClaw | Feb 3, 2016 |
After reading Zusak's The Book Thief, I clamored to get this one. It was no "Book Thief", but it was an interesting and engaging story. The harshness of poverty-riddled, modern-day life in Australia was apparent in the language and descriptions of familial relationships. I was tempted to feel that the harshness was manufactured somewhat, but as I got to know these characters and their environment, I agree with the style and the reasons for Zusak using this literary tool.

The story is an intriguing one, with one character receiving "messages" on how to make a strong and lasting change in someone's life. Changes that seem to be small and without much cost or effort on the part of the protagonist. As expected, the "messenger" changes and grows with each person/family he helps.

We find in the end who the instigator is, and I was torn as I neared the finale as to whether or not I wanted to know. It would have been fitting for this person to remain anonymous, I think. The statement that I cannot easily dismiss or understand is that the man behind all of this "instructed that man to brutalize his wife." Why would he do that? Just to make a point? Was the man abusive already? Was money exchanged? Out of all of the situations, he merely acted on what was already in play. In this case, however, he caused the action, and I am not sure I can forgive that; especially since a child was witness. This revelation almost ruins the book for me. How on earth can someone who wants to right wrongs himself instigate a wrong simply to enable it to be rectified. There must be more to the story that was either edited out, or that I missed. In any event, this heinous sentence demonized the otherwise altruistic man, and turns this into something I don't think Zusak intended.

Overall, I recommend. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver wasting his life. He is in love with his best friend Audrey who refuses to love anyone. He plays cards with his two loser friends and rarely wins. He lives in a rundown shack with a coffee-addicted dog named “The Doorman”, and is convinced he is destined to be nothing. That is, until he unintentionally stops an attempted bank robbery. Suddenly, Ed temporarily becomes a hero due to the local articles exaggerating the bank robbery incident. One night he receives a playing card, an ace, with the following instructions:

45 Edgar Street, midnight
13 Harrison Avenue, 6 p.m.
6 Macedoni Street, 5:30 a.m.

Ed is tempted to throw out the card. The addresses scrawled on it mean nothing to him. The guilt of even considering discarding the ace overpowers Ed’s confusion and he begins to contemplate visiting the addresses written on the card. Reluctantly taking on the role of the messenger, Ed scours the town for specific addresses and tries to figure out what to do. Intersecting with strangers and familiar people alike, he must figure out what message needs to be delivered to each particular person.

I couldn't put this book down. It was a great story and left me wondering if it's possible to change other people's lives for the better with simple acts? Is it possible to change our destiny? ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
If The Book Thief is truly better than this book, then I should be racing out tonight to buy it, as I Am the Messenger is a new favorite. I have barely closed the book and I already want to start over again at the beginning, only this time taking it slower, savoring the words and allowing each message to fully sink in. I started this novel this morning, choosing it as it was the January selection for my face to face book club. I never imagined that I would blow through it in an afternoon, literally unable to put it down. I neglected all I had to do today, though thankfully not my children, so that I could continue to read this superb novel. My husband may not think it was the right decision, but there is no doubt in my mind that it was.

Ed is an ordinary young man living on the wrong side of the tracks working a dead end job and playing cards with his slacker friends. His father recently died from alcoholism, all his siblings have left for the city, and his mother hates him. All he has is his faithful dog, The Doorman. For one brief moment, he stands up and does something, foiling an inept bank robber and becomes a local hero.

He soon begins to receive strange messages, written on the faces of playing cards. Unable to shake them off, he follows them where they lead and changes not only his life, but that of 12 other people. Some of these messages are simple, Christmas lights, running shoes, and ice cream cones. Others are painful and violent, teaching loyalty to two violent brothers and saving a woman and her daughter from a life of fear and terror. Each of these messages changes Ed imperceptibly, teaching more about himself then he ever could have imagined. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
I loved The Book Thief. I loved this too - so far it's the best book I've read in 2015. The story of Ed Kennedy, who accidentally prevents a bank robbery and then becomes a messenger for an unknown mystery. Solving clues that bece more cryptic in order to deliver messages around his town, Ed learns a little about himself along the way. Beautifully written, gripping and an easy read all at once, I liked the characters, felt sympathy and also wondered what each clue would mean. While part of the ending was a little inevitable, part was a surprise and a clever one at that. A great book that I'll be recommending. In fact I'm putting it in the post to send to a friend today. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Markus Zusakprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ernst, AlexandraTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:08 -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 8 descriptions

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