It's been a while since I've cried this hard reading. I don't know if I would have read this if I'd seen the movie first so make sure you read it firsIt's been a while since I've cried this hard reading. I don't know if I would have read this if I'd seen the movie first so make sure you read it first. ...more
Ed Kennedy isn’t someone you’d expect to read a book about.
Basically, Ed is all of us. He’s going nowhere fast and is completely aware of it. He’s 19-yearsold, a smart kid who didn’t bother applying himself in school and is now driving a taxi around Sydney, Australia, to make ends meet. He lives with his horribly smelling dog, the Doorman, has a contentious relationship with his mother, is mourning over the recent death of his alcoholic father, spends his free time playing cards with his friends Marv and Ritchie and is in love with his best friend Audrey, a love that is thoroughly unrequited. When we are introduced to Ed, these are the most interesting things about him, and he does not expect that to change any time soon.
That is, until one day he obstructs a bank robbery and sparks a series of events that will change his life forever. Ed receives a mysterious playing card, the ace of diamonds, in the mail with three addresses written on it. From that moment Ed embarks on an adventure that not only changes his life, but the lives of strangers around him and even those closest to him.
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak is an incredible novel. Loneliness, guilt, hidden secrets, passions and more are exposed as Ed solves the clues on the playing cards to reveal the next person he must deliver an unknown message to.
Some of Ed’s missions introduce him to incredible people he would have never had the opportunity to meet, including a lonely old woman who longs for her lost lover, a struggling immigrant family whose love for each other is contagious and a young girl who runs like the wind in bare feet. Some missions, on the other hand, end in less than savoury ways for Ed, and yet the hardships and struggles he faces due to his strange orders from an unknown card dealer do not stop him from continuing on. He faces his fears, which are plenty, and marches on.
One of the best things about I am the Messenger is the writing style. Zusak’s style is simple yet poignant and straight to the point. The scenes, which seem random, short and a little disjointed at first, come together to flow seamlessly. Some of the paragraphs are written almost poetically, with uncommon line breaks and potentially awkward punctuation that somehow works perfectly to illustrate Ed’s thoughts.
The lack of excessive words in no way means the author dumbed down the language for his audience. Zusak cuts through the bullshit and delivers an unpretentious story about a nobody who becomes a somebody, a boy who becomes a man when he faces fears he never could have imagined, only for the fact that in doing so he will help others.
I am the Messenger is a must-read for all. Readers may find themselves unable to put this book down, as they may be so enraptured by Ed’s journey that they fly through the pages.I am the Messenger follows Ed Kennedy and his ensuing adventures after discovering a series of mysterious playing cards with clues on them....more