Book Review: I Am the Messenger

Author: Markus Zusak

ISBN: 978-0375836671

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.

The story is about Ed Kennedy, a 19-year-old cab driver who lives alone with a strange old dog Dorman – a true canine coffee addict! Ed does not have much ambition to do anything else with his life, besides driving taxi and playing cards with his three friends. His mother despises him, and after his father died a year before – he does not have any goal. This is until he accidentally prevents a bank robbery from happening after which, his life takes an unexpected turn. He starts receiving playing cards (Aces) delivered to him with series of instructions. The story goes on to explore how and what Ed does to do the job he’s chosen to accomplish.

To the very end of the story Ed doesn’t understand the meaning or the purpose of the messages he was chosen to deliver. But the whole process marks a first serious awakening in his life. As the story evolves, he goes out of simplicity and flat commonness and his life gets a meaning – he does things that truly make difference.

Who sends those cards to Ed?

Why is Ed the chosen one?

Is Ed’s life going yo change for better or worse?

The novel is gripping, to say the least. The writing style is flawless and there are just so many memorable quotes in here. One of my favourite is: People die of broken hearts. They have heart attacks. And it’s the heart that hurts the most when things go wrong and fall apart.

The story takes the reader through life of an ordinary person, Ed, and shows how a small gesture can make a big difference. I couldn’t put the book down once I started reading it – I couldn’t wait to know more, I wanted to see what happens next. There were parts where I wanted to applaud Ed for what he does; there were parts where I couldn’t help but smile; and then there were parts when I was dissatisfied because I felt they were not strong enough. But the positivity of the book outdid the negativity and overall, I would highly recommend it – it’s a light and pleasant read for sure.

My rating: 3/5.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: I Am the Messenger

  1. I fell in love with this book…I loved the style of writing and the story and most importantly, the message. The ending in terms of who was behind it was a bit ‘meh’ but apart from that, to me, it was perfect. I reviewed this one of my personal blog.

    • As you said, the ending is disappointing but otherwise a totally entertaining book. I loved Ed’s growth as a person. He has to overcome a lot of his personal struggles and I loved how he works through it.

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