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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
3,8162231,358 (4.07)346
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» See also 346 mentions

English (208)  German (5)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (2)  Aragonese Spanish (1)  French (1)  All languages (223)
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
Really wonderful book with a good intentions. Some mentions of sex, but almost always in the context of a loving relationship -- and nothing graphic. Also has some alcohol and violence -- again, nothing graphic or gratuitous -- fine for sixth grade on up. ( )
  amydelpo | Dec 9, 2014 |
Despite my blog's name, I had never heard of this book until a few months ago when someone, seeing my name on Goodreads, asked me if I had gotten inspiration from this book. Unfortunately, I can't remember who commented this (If you're reading this, please comment or message me so I can give credit where credit is due), but I did remember this book, and I decided to read it.
Let me start by saying that this is my first Markus Zusak book. I had heard of The Book Thief before, but didn't find it to my liking when I tried it at first, not making it past the first couple of pages. It's definitely possible that his style just doesn't agree with me, and there are no real problems with this book. However, I did have some issues with this book.
My first complaint is that it is incredibly confusing. I consider myself a pretty intelligent person, but I couldn't figure out what was going on half the time, especially towards the end of the book. I had to reread the last twenty-ish pages a few times in an attempt to figure out what was going on, though it didn't help me any. But it wasn't just the end that was confusing, the whole book had these random what's-going-on moments, and sometimes I felt I was missing pages, because I could find no explanation as to what was going on and why. I understand that this book is a mystery, and I'm not supposed to know what's going on all the time, but to me, this just felt like it was called a mystery so the author wouldn't have to explain things that really needed explaining.
Other than that though, my main issue was that I honestly didn't care about what happened at any point during this book. I didn't care about what happened to the characters, and I didn't care what happened next in the plot.
However, this book wasn't all bad. I thought the plot was really cool, and while I wasn't Ed's biggest fan all the time, I generally liked him. I loved the Doorman, and most of the time I found the other characters agreeable enough. I didn't dislike reading this book, though it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Still, I can definitely see how some people could like this book and this kind of writing. I just don't think it was for me.
Two point Five out of Five Stars
Want to know more about the blog I mentioned? Look no further: http://themessengerreviews.blogspot.com/2014/08/i-am-messenger.html ( )
  TheMessengerReviews | Nov 23, 2014 |
Ed is the "epitome of ordinariness". He never went to college, lied his way into a job as a taxi driver, spends most of his free time playing cards with his friends, and has no vision of making more of his life. When he becomes caught in the middle of a bank holdup and is dubbed a hero, subsequently receiving a mysterious Ace in the mail with messages to deliver to strangers in need, he takes the role. This story follows Ed through his receipt of all four Aces, and the delivery of the messages on each. Even when he doesn't understand exactly what he is doing or why, he knows he has a mission and his life will never be the same again.

I found this title's storyline to flow well throughout and found it a fairly easy read. Many readers will be touched by the relationships that Ed makes and the sense of purpose that he gains as we are shown that the smallest acts of kindness can make all the difference in the world. Humorous scenes are thrown into the mix of mystery and character-building.

I, personally, was unimpressed with many of Ed's messages-whether seemingly insignificant or morally questionable, and found it disconcerting how little he questioned "why?" while using violence and making decisions affecting others' lives. The delivery of many of the messages as well as the language were rough, and in my opinion, the tone was more depressing than hopeful and the main characters weren't terribly likable. It did make me think about ethics and may motivate teen readers to push for purposeful lives.
If you read this book, be ready to be thrown by the ending.

Lexile: 640
AR BL: 3.9 UG
Recommended for: older teens
*language, violent and sexual content ( )
  liblb | Nov 2, 2014 |
If you’re looking for a novel like The Book Thief, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a seriously intriguing read, with a seriously irreverent layabout teen lead character, and a mystery that draws you deeper into inexplicable strangeness, even as the message remains disguised, then look no further. This card-player’s cryptic cards will lead Ed on a chase through character and plot, making even the most disturbing scene seem uplifting or even redeeming. Meanwhile the truth behind Ed's mission stays deviously disguised.

These teens drink and swear – it’s part of what makes them real, and it’s not gratuitous. They live half-wasted lives in that wasteland before adulthood. They cope with disappointing parents and parental disappointment, and struggle to heal from lack of direction or hope. Meanwhile the protagonist learns that both young and old have problems of their own. He learns to care. And he learns to see what's needed while others are blind.

The question, of course, is what hope is there for him, if he’s just the messenger. And the answer? You’ll have to read it to find out. Aimed at older, mature teens, and wonderfully enthralling and revealing for adults too, I Am The Messenger offers a wonderful message in a story that won’t let go.

Disclosure: I loved the Book Thief and I knew this would be different, but I love this too. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Oct 24, 2014 |
I didn't know this book was Christian Lit before I started reading, so it was a bit of a hmm.. this has religious undertones.. oh wait, I think it is... okay, it definitely is.

But speaking from a religious perspective, I thought it was a very well written book with not-so-subtle implications.

It's a little hard to review a book that is trying to speak into someone's life about Christianity (or really, any religion) because it's hard to talk about the merits of the book writing vs. the way the book carries its message vs. the religion behind the book.

I had no problems with the book's writing mechanics. I liked the pacing and the flow, and the characters were not cardboard cutouts. So this review is mostly about the way the book carries its message.

I am not certain you can go into this book without having some idea of Christianity because of the ending. It isn't like quite like Narnia books where much of the religious undertones can be ignored for the plot, characters, and world.

This book is about a boy who is living a normal life, meandering from day to day without any true goal. But that all changes when he is given an ace of diamonds. And he realizes he has to give messages to people.

The way the book leaves his friends for the last ace of hearts was actually very well done. I thought the exploration of people's secrets and things that are most important to them was beautiful. Everybody has secrets, everybody has something they are looking for.

3.5 stars rounded down. Recommended. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 208 (next | show all)
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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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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

References to this work on external resources.

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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