I am the Messenger – Marcus Zusak
Meet Ed Kennedy — underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger….Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?
Winner of the 2003 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.
I am the Messenger is an excellent book. When we are first introduced to Ed Kennedy, it not clear whether or not the author wants us to like him. Actually, it seems like he wants us to feel about Ed Kennedy, the same way Ed Kennedy feels about himself, lost, ambivalent, and rather pathetic. All of this begins to change when Ed stops a bank robbery, and a few days later he receives the first message. The anonymous messages usually tell him to be at certain addresses where he must survey what is going on with those particular people and figure out what “message” he is supposed to deliver. From that moment on he becomes The Messenger. Ed’s life begins to change and become more meaningful with each task and we began to witness and feel his metamorphosis. This book is really good for a few reasons:
1. It’s suspenseful. There is an underlying tension caused by the unknown identity of the person sending Ed the messages. Also, each individual message has its own level of suspense, will it be dangerous? What will be the end result? This suspense will keep you reading way past your bedtime.
2. The writing is fantastic. Once again I find myself marveling at Marcus Zusak’s voice and his originality.
3. Like, The Book Thief, I am the Messenger is thought provoking in so many ways. You could have a field day with all the themes in this book. What is your life like? Is it what you thought it would be? Is it disappointing and if so, are you brave enough to do anything about it? This book is not really about the messenger, but about the message itself.
My one beef with the book is the ending. It’s a little abstract and postmodern and it doesn’t quite wrap it up as tightly as I would have liked. That being said, the way it ended did not affect my enjoyment of the book. Marcus Zusak scores again big time at BOOKIE!
If you read or have read this book, I would love to discuss you thoughts on the ending. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and give me your thoughts!