Friday, June 4, 2010

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Title: I Am the Messenger
Author: Markus Zusak
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Target Audience: All Ages
Number of Pages: Paperback - 357

I Am the Messenger is a beautifully told realistic fiction novel by Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief. At age 19, Ed has not accomplished anything worthy to be proud of and possesses no promises, prospects, or potential. Ed is just plain old Ed - underage cab driver by day, caring dog owner and card player by night. He lives in a cramped shack, is constantly put down by his own mother, and is completely and utterly in love with his best friend Audrey, who rejects love and refuses to let it enter her heart. All this is routine until Ed inadvertently stops a bank robbery. Following his heroic act, Ed receives a mysterious playing card in the mail - the Ace of Diamonds. Inscribed on the surface were three addresses. Unsure of who sent him the card and unsure of what to do, Ed decides to visit the three addresses, discovering a new problem at each location. He realizes that he must help these lost people, and delivering the messages they desperately need, Ed becomes the messenger.

Once again, Zusak has delivered us yet another slew of characters to fall in love with. This time, the author presents Ed Kennedy- the protagonist that both of us became fond of. Despite Ed’s lower class status and his some-what lazy ways, we were won over by the humor and good nature Ed possesses. Ed goes around sacrificing his own time to help the troubled people he meets at each place the cards send him to go. Each card that gets mailed to Ed becomes more challenging and forces Ed to put on his thinking cap. The first card Ed receives was much more direct, with three addresses. As he progresses however, the cards give hints or clues instead in which Ed must decipher. Ed must also observe (stalk) the people he must deliver messages to, to find out exactly what they need their wake-up call on. Ed gives hope to complete strangers and he has inspired us to do the same.

Despite Zusak’s masterful storytelling, this book lacks the action and suspense that I personally enjoy. Though quite engaging, this novel fails to build a prominent climax. This novel is perfect if you’re looking for an adorable, heart-warming read.

Apart from the joy Ed brings us, our favorite character remains to be the Doorman. The Doorman is the character that makes us smile the most. Apart from the lazy and ravenous behavior he demonstrates, he is a loving, caring dog that is always by Ed’s side. This dog is always waiting at home for Ed to return after the missions the cards send him. We wish we had a dog like the Doorman, despite the dog’s strong odor that was described in the book.

This touching story about the power of random acts of kindness will warm the hearts of readers of all ages and provide insight on the goodness in people.

Cover: 3.894133/ 5 - Though this cover is interesting and bold, it fails to correspond with the book. Besides the obvious card on the front, nothing here relates to the plot; the angry man with the erect red nose and stiletto boots holding a goofy Joker staff has absolutely nothing to do with this book.

 4.5 Hoots


Rica Eat World: The weathered ole' trooper from ye library. 

Okapi: Audiobook from - The Australian accented narrator lulled me into a hypnotic stupor. His croons masterfully told the tale of Ed Kennedy.

Reviewed by Okapi & Rica Eat World


  1. I am currently rereading this one. A friend was asking me about it at a BBQ recently, and I realized that I had forgotten WAY too much of the story. And, it's brilliant. I just love that Markus Zusak!

  2. I love Markus Zusak too! I really want to read his other books.

  3. I LOVE Markus Zusak! both this one and The Book Thief were amazing :) I remember the first line of this one, it made me laugh. "the gunman is useless".. love it! awesome review!

  4. I love that first line! I just realized that you share the same name with Audrey from the book! That's AWESOMESAUCE!

  5. I loved The Book Thief so I should probably check this one out. Thanks!

  6. I am currently rereading this one. A buddy was asking me about it at a BBQ lately, and I noticed that I had neglected WAY too much of the tale. And, it's amazing. I just really like that Markus Zusak!
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