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I Am the Messenger

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  62,929 ratings  ·  7,346 reviews
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 rob...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Alfred A. Knopf Borzoi Books (first published 2002)
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Julia I liked it well enough...I absolutely loved the book so I expected an amazing ending, but *shrug* One thing I didn't like was that some of the…moreI liked it well enough...I absolutely loved the book so I expected an amazing ending, but *shrug* One thing I didn't like was that some of the problems were set up by that guy...I didn't like that some of the things were organized for him to fix instead of naturally occurring >.<(less)
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Best Young Adult Books
152nd out of 9,048 books — 57,590 voters
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Printz Award Winners and Honor Books
4th out of 72 books — 838 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kevin Fanning
OK: one of the best first chapters of any book, ever. Like, SO good. Perfectly executed.

The rest of the book: I liked it. Interesting premise, moved along at a decent pace. The "twist" at the ending was good.

There are a few iffy spots, where he describes a scene and it's not at all clear what exactly just happened, or he over describes and reminds the reader that what's happening at the moment is related to something that happens previously, and you're like "OK yeah, I know, I read that 20 page...more
Annalisa
Feb 10, 2014 Annalisa rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: language, sexual content
Recommended to Annalisa by: amy m
I can't seem to get enough Zusak. Once again his language is magic. Instead of falling into the "he (or she) said" pitfall, the dialogue takes on the action of the predominant emotion. If he wants to reach for a friend, the words reach. And the way he breaks his sentences to evoke emotional pauses is poetic. Plus it makes his stories delectably quick to read. The perfect combination of length and pause. But his prose is not even the most powerful thing about his writing. Zusak pulls the words li...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
My full name’s Ed Kennedy. I’m nineteen. I’m an underage cabdriver. I’m typical of many of the young men you see in this suburban outpost of the city – not a whole lot of prospects or possibility. That aside, I read more books than I should, and I’m decidedly crap at sex and doing my taxes. Nice to meet you.

After accidentally preventing a bank robber from escaping, Ed Kennedy receives his first playing card with three addresses written on it. He understands that he needs to deliver a message to...more
Dan Schwent
Apr 06, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dan by: The lovely and talented Emily Scherrer
Nineteen year old cab driver Ed Kennedy foils a bank robbery and soon finds himself receiving cryptic messages in the mail written on playing cards. Each card bears hints toward three people Ed must help in some way. Will Ed ever find out who is behind is mysterious messages?

Apart from books by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, this is my first foray into young adult literature and I enjoyed it immensely.

I think the first thing that pulled me in was that Ed is a lot like I was at nineteen. I like...more
Basuhi
4.5 Stars.

Hello There.

Maybe you're here because you've read the book and you loved it. You loved it so much that any review about it is a beacon of irresistible curiosity for you.

So much that you want to hold this book close to you, day and night.

And just think about the intricate enormity of it all.

Then, you're just like me.

Or

Maybe you're here because you haven't read it and want to see if it's worth your time. In that case, let me be precise and say,
Go Read it.
Now.

Or

Maybe you don't like t...more
Shelly
I downloaded this on itunes today because my job is super boring and I like to have stuff to listen to and/or watch online. Plus it's popular with some friends, and I'm a follower like that. Anyway, I had to force myself to turn it off today so that I would have something to look forward to tomorrow. I'm halfway through. The story and the reader's voice are mesmerizing! Don't want it to end.

Review starts here:

There's a series on PBS about these doctors--it may even be called "The Doctors," (can...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Jul 27, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens of all ages
I threw this book across the room, and then I picked it back up, held it at arms length, and shook my head at it. And then I thought about the way it held me in suspense, how it kept the kids in my teen book group reading and thinking, and I dusted it off and gave it a hug. Markus Zusak, you bastard!
What has me reacting like a schizophrenic? Why, I can't tell YOU. That would spoil the book for you, and you really should read it. The basic plot is, a guy stops a bank robbery, gets written up in t...more
Kim
Stamp it on my forehead, folks. I'm here, I'm a blubbering fool, get used to it.

I didn't have high expectations going into this novel, I'd heard it wasn't as good as 'The Book Thief'(pfft...whole box of kleenix on that one). But, I finished it in 7 hours and what can I say?

Um... I.AM.A.SAP

Okay, I can see the flaws, I mean..I'm not a stupid sap. I could see the formula... I knew what was coming. But, the writing makes up for it.

Plus, a 19-year-old-suffering-from-low-self-esteem-who-has-a-severe...more
Scarlet
4.5

Like anyone who has read The Book Thief would know (and if you haven’t read The Book Thief, what in the world are you waiting for??), Markus Zusak has that unusual ability to make you go from laughing to crying in a matter of minutes. So despite the general hilarity of the book, which had me in splits before the first chapter was even up, a small part of me was subconsciously waiting for the other shoe to drop – waiting for the tears and the heartbreak I was so sure would come.

And it never ca...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
It's been months since I read this, so bear with me. But nonetheless, I still remember this book pretty clearly so hopefully it's not a problem.

Anyway, so basically ... THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD IT MADE ME JIZZ IN MY PANTS.



Honestly, I put off reading this book for a long time. I love The Book Thief so much that I was a little afraid to read more of Zusak's work just because my standards for his writing were set so ridiculously high.

But, I shouldn't have worried, because I Am the Messenger is also s...more
Kassidy
Markus Zusak does not disappoint! I love the message in this book and it leaves such a powerful impact!
Hillary
I wanted so badly to like this book because I liked the Book Thief so much, but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t get past the constant swearing, the sweaty smelly characters, and the story line kept shifting back and forth from horribly bad to decent and the decent didn’t compensate for the horrific. . In the Book Thief the charm of the characters seemed to make up for their lack of poise and class, this book couldn’t pull that off.
Chelsea
May 29, 2007 Chelsea rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: older teens
Shelves: ya, favorites
After reading The Book Thief, I went to great lengths to find another Markus Zusak book, and when I finally found this one, I couldn't have been happier. I think I read it in about two days. Markus Zusak's powerful prose is still at work, although Ed Kennedy is hardly an ideal subject for poetry. Zusak's protagonist is an underage cab driver with a coffee-addicted dog, a foul-mouthed mother, and an intense love for his best friend Audrey. Ed thinks he's destined to be another nothing of the city...more
Rachel
Aug 27, 2009 Rachel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Tony, Nathan
Recommended to Rachel by: Annalisa,Cami
Shelves: favorites
In reading this book, there were times I teared up. Nothing sad, just the power of Zusak's words. There are beautiful books out there, ones that are lovely and I float away in, but Zusak's words make me feel like I'm really living them or writing them myself. That is how connected I feel. I feel like he's in my head or I'm in his and somehow we are laughing together over little things. He writes the exact way that I see things. Maybe it's the poet in me where inanimate objects come to life or th...more
Shirley Marr
Having read the rest of Markus Zusak's catalogue, I was excited about this - a tale about card-playing, taxi-driving, lovable-loser Ed who's ordinary lives is tipped sideways and weird sh!t goes down when he starts recieving cryptic playing-cards in his letterbox with instructions to carry out. Ed suddenly finds himself as The Messenger under the mercy of a mysterious stranger whose intentions he does not know.

I knew I would love it. I just never expected to be having a love-hate-relationship-Ba...more
K
Jan 11, 2009 K rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: teens
Maybe I'm allergic to Markus Zusak's writing? What he intends as quirky, inspiring, and heartwarming, my brain interprets as affected, cliche, and grossly manipulative. In this novel, an underachieving 19 year old begins receiving cards directing him to various troubled individuals around town. By stalking these people and interfering with their lives at the right moments, he becomes a hero/saint figure, and wins the heart of his beautiful best friend, a girl who'd previously been too afraid to...more
Jo
Initial Final Page Thoughts.
Say what?

High Points.
The beginning- what a hilarious opening. Hopefully I’ll never be caught in the middle of a bank heist, but I just know that if I ever were, that is exactly how I would act. Marv and Richie! The Doorman. Australia! Pa-pa-pa-poker faaaace. Mystery. Intrigue. Clues. (Most of) The messages were beautiful and made my little northern ice-heart melt.

Low Point.
I am still undecided about whether I liked Ed, I’ll discuss this more in the hero section. Even...more
Rose
“My full name’s Ed Kennedy. I’m nineteen. I’m an underage cab driver. I’m typical of many of the young men you see in this suburban outpost of the city -- not a whole lot of prospects or possibility. That aside, I read more books than I should, and I’m decidedly crap at sex and doing my taxes. Nice to meet you.”

I read Der Joker (most of you know it better as I Am the Messenger or The Messenger) for the first time when I was 12. But I never finished it. Back then I wasn't an avid reader like I'm...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This book has "moments" of great writing. It "at times" touches on or "skitters past" some real insights. Possibly it brushes up against them and then glances away. The opening "sequence" chapters, or cards seemed to me to go on forever and I was more than ready to move on. It was a case of "okay I get it, your a ne'er-do-well, your mother disrespects you, your father's dead (and you miss him). It was tragic, he was a drunk, your mother was disillusioned and made him and now makes you miserable....more
Summer {is puntastic}
Upon reading and completing The Book Thief, I somehow knew, without trace of uncertainty or doubt, that Markus Zusak is a literary genius.

Only he could have such unmistakable and beautiful prose.

Only he could create such perfectly written characters.

Only he knows how to captivate his audience and manipulate their feelings to this extent.


I bought this book almost compulsively, not knowing a thing about the story and going in completely blind. While not a tearjerker like The Book Thief, I Am the...more
Meaghan
Mar 07, 2009 Meaghan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Zusak fans and people who like funny books
This book was hilarious -- it had one of the funniest bank robberies in the history of literature and I was often literally falling out of my chair laughing. The suspense was also well-done -- I was dying to find out who The Messenger was. The only thing I didn't like about the story was the ending. It almost ruined the whole book for me, in fact. I won't give it away except to say this: it was a cop-out. Very clever, a wonderful little literary conceit, but still a cop-out. It pissed me off. If...more
Mariel
Mar 23, 2011 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: George Costanza
Recommended to Mariel by: they shot the messenger
I read bunches of I Am the Messenger reviews on goodreads last night before going to bed. Maybe it was the Tylenol cold & flu, but I had dreams of this book and things in it I didn't even remember from my 2007 read. Mixed in with goodreads reviews. Like the head-hunter-honcho Blue Meanie in Yellow Submarine: everything's gone FLUEY! I liked it! Beats my old recurring dream of falling down the rabbit hole (whoops that was the Tim Burton film. Or a sex dream)...
I didn't remember that Markus Zu...more
Sandee (Nikolai Lantsov's Queen)
“Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.”


Marcus Zusak. You are such an unbelievably talented writer. I'm sure you already know that. You write with so much passion. With so much thought in the words you use and how you use them. There was no crappy circumlocution (which I hate by the way), there was just simple words that conveys a deeper meaning. Zusak is indeed a magnificent storyteller.

"Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they ar
...more
Jasprit
Reasons to read I am the Messenger

• An intricate thought evoking awesome plot ✔
• A group of endearing characters that you never want to let go ✔
• Writing which is simply out of this world ✔
• A printz honor book ✔
• Written by Zusak, do I need to say any more? ✔

This has to be one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever had to write. I savoured this little gem of a book in a few days and my mind is still reeling after finishing it a few days ago. I apologise in advance if this review appears to be al...more
Emily
It only took me 30 pages to decide I wasn't going to like this book. It certainly sounds like an interesting premise--cards in the mail, the need for someone to care and to act--but the language turned me off, and when the main character starts reflecting on his pathetic sex life I decided this book was not for me. It didn't help that Zusak made his characters so completely unlikable. And in only the first 30 pages! I flipped through to see what else the book might hold, but only saw more of the...more
Isamlq
The gushing starts here:

I first came across Zusak in The Book Thief. In that one, I knew I had come across another favorite~ book or author, take your pick. And while I am the Messenger is not the same genre as the former, it is just as good as (and at certain points better than) the former. Each word, each line in it carefully chosen to paint Ed Kennedy’s world as clearly as possible. And what a world it was: one peopled with ordinary, sometimes mediocre individuals, all hilarious and quirky...more
Raeleen Lemay
MARKUS ZUSAK, WHY ARE YOU SUCH A GENIUS??? This book was just as amazing the second time around, FO SHO.
Alyssa
Before I Am the Messenger, I often wondered how Zusak’s ideas come about. I’ve read his most popular novel to date, and was very curious as to how he could go about successfully writing a book set during WWII that stars a fourteen year old orphan who steals books, and is narrated by Death. Since reading I Am the Messenger, though, I’ve stopped wondering, because I’m beginning to believe this man is a literary genius, and that questions should no longer be asked of him because everything he does...more
Choco
It took me a long time to pick up this book and start reading it because I LOVED The Book Thief so much. I was scared to be disappointed and let down because I didn't believe anyone who has written a book that good could have created another book that's good. Weird logic? Bet it makes sense to some of you.

Zusak's love for stupid humans (we are all stupid in a way) is evident, and characters and what happens to them in The Messenger are both funny and beautiful. As I read about Ed, Marv and other...more
Joyzi
Feb 07, 2011 Joyzi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Every living person who loves reading
Recommended to Joyzi by: Goodreads and Youtube
Book Review for I am the Messenger

aces Pictures, Images and Photos

Protect the Diamonds
Survive the Clubs
Dig deep through the Spades
Feel the hearts


***Note: those lines were courtesy of a Youtube book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TpVhL... ***

I've recently read The Catcher in the Rye and there's a really nice quote there that I really like and it's like this:

"What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call h
...more
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Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent a total of 375 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there eight years after it first came out.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe...more
More about Markus Zusak...
The Book Thief Getting the Girl (Wolfe Brothers, #3) Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Wolfe Brothers, #2) Underdog (Wolfe Brothers, #1) Underdogs (Wolfe Brothers, #1-3)

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“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”
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“Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.” 2676 likes
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