Thursday, November 11, 2010

REVIEW: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.

This has been one of my favourite books that I've read all year. I really love the way Markus Zusak writes and with this story, I was pulled instantly into Ed's head and his life.

Ed Kennedy is 19. He's a cab driver and he's in love with his best friend, Audrey, who has no idea of his feelings. He really doesn't think much of himself, he think of himself as kind of a loser, living alone with The Doorman, his very old dog. After catching a bank robber, Ed is mysteriously sent a playing card in the post with addresses on them. Ed soon discovers that he's been given a task, and that he must send a message to each of the people listed on the playing card. Strangers at first and then things a little closer to home...

With the help of the playing cards, Ed is able to see clearly how much he has to offer to his neighbours, his community, his friends and family. He is finally able to connect with other people and he's in a position to help out and make a change, a difference. Ed is able to see that he does have worth, that he is important. And while it isn't always easy and Ed does struggle with some of the messages, he always tries to find the courage from somewhere to make things happen. And I think it's a wonderful message to give to teenagers these days. Don't we all sometimes think of ourselves as a bit of an Ed Kennedy?

Honestly, this book had such an impact on me. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but some of the addresses that Ed is led to absolutely broke my heart. The old woman who mistakes Ed for the husband she lost decades ago, the poor family who is utterly and entirely happy, a young wife abused by her husband. I think it could have been very easy for Zusak to turn this story into something very cheesy and over the top, but he doesn't. It could have been preachy, but it didn't. As well as having quite a few melodramatic moments as Ed changes the lives of others, there's always lots of humour.

From the bank robbery at the beginning, to Ed's interactions with his friends and the strangers he's been led to, this book is just beautiful. Beautifully written and a lovely message sent to all of us. That we all can be more than we think, that we all have the power to change our own lives and the lives of those around us.


  1. Still an author that I need to read. I have just avoided him, as so many people told me that they didn't enjoy The Book Thief.

  2. Vivienne - I've not read The Book Thief either! It intimidates me. I hear both, that people LOVED it and rave about it or that they just didn't get it. I Am the messenger though? I loved it. Hope you give Markus Zusak a chance :)

  3. I haven't read anything by this author either - I really want to though. Btw. I am your newest follower :-)

  4. I loved this one too, but The Book Thief is one of my favorite books of all time. Zusak is just ridiculously talented.

  5. I adored The Book Thief and I would love to read more of his work. Great review. I cannot wait to read this one.

  6. I tried reading The Book Thief, but didn't get on with it.

    I've not heard much about this one, but what I have heard hats been excellent. It's definitely on the wishlist.

  7. I absolutely loved this book...I think I might even like it better than The Book Thief, which is saying something.

  8. I really liked this book-I loved The Book Thief and wanted to read more of Zusack's work-I have posted on this book, and The Book Thief-I enjoyed your post a lot

  9. What a wonderful, wonderful review. I'm always so glad to come by your blog because I know that there will always be a book that I've never heard of that I will inevitably end up wanting - and it's definitely the case with this one. And from what you've mentioned, Ed sounds like someone that so many of us can relate to in one way or another - which adds to all the more reason to read it.

  10. I am kind of yearning to read this - I read it shortly after The Book Thief but I hardly remember anything about it now. I love Markus Zusak though. He is a powerful writer, even when he's writing about things that seem small.

  11. I am very surprised at the amount of comments this post has created!

    Willa - Welcome and thank you :) Glad to have you. Also, you really must read a Markus Zusak novel. Pick any of them, I'm sure it'll be good :)

    Avid Reader - Ridiculously talented is definitely a good way to describe him! Will attempt The Book Thief soon, I'm sure

    Linda - It's really good, I hope you get to it soon :)

    Darren - I've tried a few times with The Book Thief without any success but I'm blaming it on the timing.

    Zara - That IS saying something. But yes, I loved it too!

    vampgirlx90 - Thank you for your comment and good luck on your book blogging journey.

    mel u - Thank you :)

    thebookfairyhaven - Your comments are always wonderful! I read them and always end up going 'awww, she's so sweet' I do hope you find a copy of this book and read it, I can't recommend it enough :)

    Jenny - Yes, definitely. :) And already I sort of feel like a reread..

  12. Going to ask Santa for it and buy it for my friend based on this, thank you. I also loved the Book Thief though it's been so long since I read it x

  13. Fiona - Thanks for the comment :) I really hope Santa hears your request!


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