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I Am the Messenger

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  149,231 ratings  ·  14,506 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
Paperback, 357 pages
Published May 9th 2006 by Alfred A. Knopf Borzoi Books (first published January 10th 2002)
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Tom Tobin
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Diane They are so vastly different. Don't expect it to be anything like The Book Thief in terms of genre (not historical fiction) or perspective. But this b…moreThey are so vastly different. Don't expect it to be anything like The Book Thief in terms of genre (not historical fiction) or perspective. But this book is a gem - unique, fun, and with a depth to it that sneaks up on you. I loved it.(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  149,231 ratings  ·  14,506 reviews

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Kevin Fanning
Jul 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Basuhi by: Summer
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.


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.


Maybe you don't like t
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
i have always had a passionate love for the words of marcus zusak. he is my all time favourite author, without a doubt. his writing never fails to make me melt. but over time, that longing desire has transformed into a peaceful comfort. with each reread, it feels like i am coming home. and thats exactly how this book felt.

with an expert balance of humour, sentimentality, and hopefulness, this story is a work of art (side note: the first chapter of this book is the most spectacular chapter ever
Charlotte May
"But you're far from this. Your fingers turn the strangeness of these pages that somehow connect my life to yours. Your eyes are safe. The story is just another few hundred pages of your mind. For me, it's here. It's now. I have to go through with this, considering the cost at every turn."

Bizarre ending, but a beautiful message. (See what I did there 😉)

I wanted to try another book by Zusak, to be able to see if The Book Thief was just a one off. I have a handwritten book list I made when I was
Maryam Rz.
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: slow YA contemporary mystery fans
(4.5 ★’s)

Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.

We’ve all been through it—that moment when you pick up a book cluelessly, your heart unaware of the misery ahead, and fall hard and fast and think, oh, but I need more, so you hesitantly eye the author’s other works, hoping for a contestant for your heart and yet, too afraid to let yourself do so. Sometimes, the next book will be a glowing gem and sometimes, a dull brick—it’s a risk, always, to al
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
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew nothing about this book going in other than that it was by The Book Thief author. I probably never would have tried it without that being the case, so it does pay off to have one big bestseller!

This odd little story is touted as a Young Adult book. Um, I mean, I guess it could be, but it doesn't really feel like one. All of the main characters are adults and the story doesn't stand out to me as something that would specifically appeal to young readers. But, hey, I am a grown up so what do
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was pretty fantastic TBH. I don't that it was quite a 5 star and INCREDIBLE but it was pretty great.
Ed was an overall likeable character, though sometimes he said and did some very problematic things, especially in his relationship with girls. But most people in life are problematic in one way or another, so #relatable #reallife.
This book was a bit hard for me to get into at first and took some easing in but once I was in I wanted to finish it ALL!
The ending
Dan Schwent
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

2.5 stars. Some books you instantly love - they reach you, unconditionally. Others you hate with passion and you would happily burn them if only you weren't reading ebooks (also, you really don't want to have something in common with every tyrant out there). Then they're the mild, non-committal threes and two-and-a-half, better known as the great shelf of meh.

► Well now. Do not be fooled by my 2.5 stars rating : I Am the Messenger is not one of those books.

Indeed this rating is to be taken a
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.

The Book Thief is one of my favorite books ever (if not my favorite book ever), then how is it possible that I loved I Am the Messenger even more?

This book is just... beautiful, from start to finish. I'm not really good at putting my thoughts into words so I know that nothing I could ever say will bring this book justice (but that still won't stop me from trying).

First of all, it took me a long time to read th
Jackie "the Librarian"
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
Markus Zusak does not disappoint! I love the message in this book and it leaves such a powerful impact!
“We both smack the sudden silence with laughter. When it returns, we hit it again. The laughter spins in front of us and we keep hitting it.”

Ever had a fit of the giggles or a laughing jag? Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old taxi driver in a small town outside Sydney. An Aussie reader will recognise the characters and the rites of passage, but really, young people have a lot in common all over the world. Some still live with parents and wish they could move, while some are on their own but ha
May 18, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-german
I can't believe how much I hated this book. It's been two months since I read it and I'm still furious about it. Looking at the other reviews, I seem to be in the minority though. I've been trying to figure out why I liked it so much less than so many others and I haven't found a good, solid answer yet. My only idea is that, maybe, I have simply outgrown YA at this point. It definitely made me want to stay away from the genre for a bit.

I don't even know with what to start. Because I just dislike
Brigid ✩
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.


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

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
Mar 15, 2015 rated it liked it
I buddy read this with Vane! Click here to see her review.

3.5 stars

I am the Messenger is, in many ways, a beautiful book. The story is moving, the message beautiful and the characters interesting and complex. It is also often very humorous and it ended up making me smile (and even laugh) many times. Do not go into this expecting it to be like The Book Thief, the two books are nothing alike and you will be disappointed. For those with an open mind however, I believe this book has quite a lot to s
Nov 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Dec 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
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.
3.5 /5 stars

"Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are."

Let me just begin this review by saying that I Am the Messenger is not The Book Thief. As enjoyable as it was, it is nowhere near as incredible as The Book Thief was. But did I really care? No. Markus Zusak has such a way with words. He makes you feel the story, and the words, as if they were tangible things, and I love that. The words never feel empty, never like nothing more than ink on a
kazually ♡
dnf at 100 pages :3

this book was really boring & somewhat confusing. i didn’t understand the symbolism behind the cards that Ed kept recieving and how he knew exactly what it meant when it really was just, hey here’s an ace of diamonds in the mail and some addresses and times written on it

what?? does?? that?? mean??

so Ed automatically interpreted it as some crime is going to happen at those specific addresses at that specific time and never once questioned why? and how? yeah, because these thing
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
“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.
Yusra  ✨
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this is the 5th time I’m reading this book, and it astounds me how every time feels like the first time.

zusak’s writing is gorgeous, there’s no better way to describe it. it’s effortless. i have to say he does lay it on a bit thick with the prose in this book but it’s only a minor inconvenience.

and the story. the STORY. it’s mystery combined with just a normal cab driver living his life and being hopelessly in love with his best friend. it feels my heart with so much happiness!!

Ed Kennedy is
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
If you pass your mouse over the star choices, 1 star reads "did not like it"! This does not necessarily mean it is a terrible book, only that the reviewer did not like it. People like different things, right?! This book did not fit me . Hopefully, by explaining my reaction others will be better able to decide if they will like the book or not.

Life isn't as simple or as sweet as it is drawn here.

This is my primary complaint in a nutshell.

I must clarify; the message is sweet and simplified, ev
Vanessa J.
I buddy read this with Chantal (click for her review).

3.5 out of 5 stars

Meet Ed Kennedy:

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.

He's an ordinary guy. That is, until one day he stops a bank robbery and his destiny is settled. Soon aft
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Markus Zusak is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which spent more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, and is translated into more than forty languages – establishing Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia.

To date, Zusak has held the number one position at,, the New York Times

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Whether it’s magic schools, dystopias, paranormal love stories, or contemporary explorations of important real-life issues, young adult books...
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“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”
“Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.” 3597 likes
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