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The Messenger

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  106,123 Ratings  ·  11,666 Reviews
This teen gem about an unambitious teenager whose life is suddenly turned upside down by anonymous messages has it all - mystery, humor, romance, friendship.

Meet Ed Kennedy - underage cab driver, pathetic card palyer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack, and he's hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence,
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Paperback, 386 pages
Published July 2006 by Picador (first published 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…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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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
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Annalisa
May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Basuhi
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.

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
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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
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Maureen
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FEELING SO MANY FEELINGS RN.
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
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Dan Schwent
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘ (of badger and SNAKE)


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 as
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Jackie "the Librarian"
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Shelly
Apr 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Mario
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
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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
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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
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Kassidy
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Markus Zusak does not disappoint! I love the message in this book and it leaves such a powerful impact!
Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
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
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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
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Ryan
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 pa
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Kristijan
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ubacujem moj review sa jednog drugog mesta... :D Ne zamerite :D

Učiniti pravu stvar za ljude koje ne znamo nije laka stvar, a još je teže to uraditi za one koje volimo i za sebe. Zusak u ovom (na momente izuzetno vedrom i smešnom, a na momente teškom i veoma ozbiljnom) romanu poziva upravo na to - da se usudimo na taj korak. Ovo je neodoljiv roman koji svojom porukom nadmašuje "Kradljivicu knjiga", napisan izuzetnim stilom sa veoma intrigantnim završetkom.

I da, definitivno treba pročitati ovaj ro
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Hillary
Dec 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Raeleen Lemay
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MARKUS ZUSAK, WHY ARE YOU SUCH A GENIUS??? This book was just as amazing the second time around, FO SHO.
Cait (Paper Fury)
I read this because I loved The Book Thief and astronomical amount. Like REALLY loved it. Books don't make me cry, but The Book Thief did all sorts of unspeakable things to my emotions. I'm trying not to compare I Am The Messenger to it, buuuut it's hard. To be honest, the books are NOT on the same wave-length at all. They're just so different it's hard to mesh in my head it's the same author. (Although it does have Markus Zusak's style and wording, which I love.)

At the end of the day I didn't
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K
Nov 24, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aria the Blue Fairy
“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 a
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Ace
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is hilarious. I'm so homesick...

"
“Well, look what the bloody dog brought along,” says one of our fat guys. One of his mates tells him it’s supposed to be what the cat dragged in, but, frankly, big fatso’s too thick to understand. He’s got what we’d call a Merv Hughes mustache. If you don’t understand that, all you really need to know is that it’s big, it’s bushy, and it’s downright reprehensible. The saddest comment on all of this is that he also happens to be our captain. I think his real
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Vane 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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Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*


Z, is for Zusak

3.5 Stars

I didn't know words could be so heavy.

Some writers use words like water in a garden, liberally and freely, while others use them with a sparing grace; concise and to the point. For me, Zusak falls in that second category. He has a talent for infusing his simple prose with more power than the words themselves own. I respect that, I respect that a whole lot. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy some more wordy writing, that would be a lie, but I have a whole different level of
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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
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Chrissie
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, even
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Chelsea
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Anushka
So beautiful, so honest, so truthful.

A book that has power to make you feel safe, vulnerable, sad, happy, grateful - all at the same time.

I don't know how Markus Zusak does it again and again but he's capable of writing stories that make you cry just by the sheer beauty of it. The Book Thief and The Messenger, both got me welled up not because they were emotional but because they presented humanity in such a way that you can't help but feel a warmth spread in throughout body, right till your toe
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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 more than a decade on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there to this day.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry (al
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More about Markus Zusak...
“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.”
22442 likes
“Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.” 3393 likes
More quotes…