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I Am the Messenger

I Am the Messenger

eBook - 2007
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By the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book Thief, this is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love. Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.That's when the first ace arrives in the mail. 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?This book is a 2005 Michael L. Printz Honor Book and recipient of five starred reviews.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: 2007.
ISBN: 9780307433480
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Overdrive, Inc

Opinion

From Library Staff

This slightly earlier novel is often overshadowed by Zusak's masterpiece The Book Thief, but it stands on its own merit. 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.


From the critics


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c
Cidherman
May 16, 2021

I enjoyed I AM THE MESSENGER for the original and creative plot. That said, it really wasn't my kind of book. I liked the writing style but it is based on fantasy, and no amount of suspending belief could make it possible for me.

A lot of reviewers claimed it was their favorite book, which is why I gave it go. I like thrillers but dislike horror. I like to keep it real: no monsters and everything explained in the end. This was good and it has an acceptable bit of magical realism, but not enough reality for me to love it.

Barrie_Teen_Lists Mar 24, 2021

Hello readers, this is a review for the book I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. I give this book 5/5 stars. I LOVED this book! Oh my goodness, I stayed up through countless nights reading this book. It may even be my new favorite book ever! I would change absolutely nothing about this book. I loved every second of it. So the book has some really interesting and well developed characters that really get you thinking about what it means to truly be a good person. I think that it also has a riveting plot that will keep you guessing around every twist and turn, and there are a lot of twists and turns.

I’ll do a little summary of the book as well to give you an idea of what this book is about. This story follows the life of 19 year old Ed Kennedy. He lives in a rough neighborhood and works as an underage taxi driver. In his spare time he plays cards with his friends Marv, Audrey, and Ritchie. The story kind of centres around Ed not feeling satisfied with his life and not feeling good enough. He has very successful siblings and an unsupportive mother. His dad was also an alcoholic and died due to unclear circumstances (the book doesn't really elaborate on his death). Ed has a dog named the Doorman, who is addicted to coffee and has a massive crush on his best friend.

The story starts with Ed and his friends being caught up in a bank robbery. They get away and this event isn't really mentioned until the end of the story. Ed’s life changes when he receives an Ace in the mail with three addresses written on it. Ed soon realizes that he has to visit these addresses and help (or hurt) those who live there. After that Ed realizes that his job isn't over. He gets visited by some people involved in his mission and learns that it's much bigger than he could have imagined. Ed receives three more cards as the story progresses and each leads him to different tasks. I won't spoil the end of the story for you; I'll leave it up to you.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good thriller and mystery. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under the age of 12, because there are quite a few sexual remarks and coarse language in this book. I loved this book and would highly recommend it. Happy reading.

n
N_1239
Feb 03, 2021

This is one of the best books I've ever read, and Markus Zusak portrays the simple beauties of life and empathy in such lyrical, emotional ways. The story revolves around a boy named Ed, a seemingly normal person who hasn't done much with his life. But after the right kickstart, he goes through a journey of cards, each card for a person, and finds a way to make their life more special, just through the simple things. Ed isn't rich or philanthropic or invested. He was just set on a path, and on that road he lit light bulbs in ways that we sometimes forget to do. The story is delivered incredibly well with such a different yet important message that is captivating and will bring you a smile whether you like it or not. It's different from the usual, which is exactly what we need to see the simplistic beauty such writing can give, and the simplistic happiness that what Ed does can spread.

q
Qazque
Jan 10, 2021

Following the story of the protagonist Ed Kennedy, this consummate book is definitely aimed at more mature audiences. The mystery element in this novel was very well executed, the characters are rounded, and their actions believable. I often find Zusak's novels scrupulous, concerted, and laced with ingenuity and I Am the Messenger is no different. The amount of planning that went into this book is very evident with how the story coalesces from beginning to end, as well as in the unique use of chapters.

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mkpederson
May 28, 2020

Holy buckets. Just brilliant.
So different, so engrossing. A truth told incredibly uniquely.

l
lkim17
May 08, 2020

After stopping a bank robbery, 19 year old Ed Kennedy’s bland life takes a turn upside down as mysterious playing cards start appearing in his mail, where he must help the lives of people in his neighborhood, and ultimately, himself. I am the Messenger is a surprisingly heartwarming tale, detailing how anyone, no matter how insignificant they seem, can make a big difference in anyone’s life. This book is great for teens in high school, with a plot that breaks away from the usual romance and drama. Full of quote-worthy pages, I loved this book for the raw emotions it delivered and the journey that the characters go through.

b
black_cat_3443
Feb 18, 2020

Beautiful.

l
LuisMunoz28
Nov 25, 2019

I love this book, it is my favorite book, I read it in Spanish and I am not sure how different it is from the English version, the only thing i did not like is the ending, I think Markus Suzak (Sorry if I spelled wrong) has something about bad endings, I've read 'The book thief' and i think the ending is so sad, but i did like this book more than 'The book thief'SO if you liked 'The book thief' you should read this book... 10\10

p
princessofburundi
May 27, 2019

I'm 55 years old and this novel for young adults is my favourite novel. The narrator of the book is Ed, a self-described loser, an underage cab driver, with no ambition, no desire to escape this seedy Sydney slum or to do anything more than play cards with his friends. Then one day he accidentally foils a bank robber. Then the cards start coming.

Ed starts getting playing cards in the mail. An ace of clubs. An ace of diamonds. And on each card there is an address, a place to go. There are no instructions, so Ed has to figure out what he's supposed to do with these addresses. What he does is help people, save them from abusers, to help a beautiful girl to run, to take an old woman to church, to redeem his empty life with courage and determination.

I cry every time I read this book. It's not that the book is sad, it's that it's so beautiful that it breaks my heart. Markus Zusak is a young writer of extreme brilliance and a keen understanding of what it's like to be at the bottom with no way of climbing to the top.

m
MB_kcls
May 07, 2019

As an author, Markus Zusak has the unique ability to write a magical story with lyrical writing so well done you ask yourself why you didn't think of words exactly like that to describe some similar situation. His books have a unique ability to make you wonder where the heck he's going yet they keep drawing your farther and farther in.

'I Am the Messenger' is just such a book. It's a story about an event that sets a young man on a journey he does not want to take, yet is compelled to do so. As he meets the criteria of the journey, he meets himself in the fullness of who he doesn't expect himself to be, doesn't know he is or can be. At times he thinks it's confusing torment, at other times he thinks it's a blessing. And the overarching question for him is who sends him on this journey. I think every reader will have their own distinct answer for that. I know I do.

There are so many wonderful words to quote from 'I Am the Messenger' it's hard not to just quote the entire book!

"Maybe I truly am shedding the old Ed Kennedy for this new person who's full of purpose rather than incompetence. Maybe one morning I'll wake up and step outside of myself to look back at the old me lying dead among the sheets."
* *
"But sometimes the truth arrives on you, and you can't get it off. That's when you realize that sometimes isn't even an answer - it's a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced."
* *
"Somewhere along the line, I feel like somehow I introduced myself.
To myself.
And here I Am."
* *
"...And I hear the words again from this morning.
If a guy like you can stand up and do what you did, then maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of."
* *
"And that's when I realize.
On a sweet. cruel, beautiful moment of clarity, I smile, watch a crack in the cement, and speak to Audrey and the sleeping Doorman. I tell them what I'm telling you: . . . "

5 stars

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Age

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l
lkim17
May 08, 2020

lkim17 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

n
NoOneEver
May 23, 2014

NoOneEver thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

h
Hannah03
Jul 11, 2012

Hannah03 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

shallowriver Jan 12, 2012

shallowriver thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

c
Ciresica
Oct 09, 2011

Ciresica thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

n
noob123
Jun 13, 2008

noob123 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Quotes

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q
Qazque
Jan 10, 2021

"She doesn't want to love me, but she doesn't want to lose me either" (Zusak 323).

k
Kulsum_0
Jul 03, 2015

“She soon says, "You're my best friend, Ed."
You can kill a man with those words.
No gun.
No bullets.
Just words and a girl.”

s
SKaTEr96
Jun 28, 2012

Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.

c
Ciresica
Oct 09, 2011

Carefully now, her statement comes out, "Believe it or not: it takes a lot of love to hate you like this".

n
noob123
Jun 17, 2008

I'm not the messenger at all. I'm the message.

Notices

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q
Qazque
Jan 10, 2021

Coarse Language: More prolific in the beginning of the novel than in the end.

c
Ciresica
Oct 09, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

c
Ciresica
Oct 09, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Summary

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c
Ciresica
Oct 09, 2011

Ed captures a bank-robber and then he is considered as a "hero" in the newspaper. His life changes from that moment on : he gets unanymous cards with adresses or names. He knows he has to help those people somehow, but will he be able to do it or will he give up? After all, he's just a regular boy with no superpowers at all. Just him, a cabbdriver.

l
LuluY
Jul 04, 2011

nice to read a story were the protagonist isn't some superhero, genius, incredibly good looking or whatever. He's just you're typical below the average guy who happens to be in love with his best friend. After accidently stopping a bank robbery- he constantly gets cards with adresses of people who need his help. It goes to show that even the ordinary people can do extraordinary thins.

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