Monday, July 16, 2007

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

I recommend this book for: high school

Not my usual style of book, and a big switch from the author's The Book Thief (which I completely loved!) but I enjoyed it immensely - I actually finished this one in one sitting! Ed, a 19 year old cab driver happens to stop a bank robbery. A few days later he receives a mysterious message - 3 addresses written on the ace of diamonds. At each address is someone who needs his help, and Ed assumes the role of "messenger" - finding out what message each person needs to receive and delivering it. As his new calling begins to take over his time, he finds a sense of purpose and direction in his life. (Don't worry, it's not quite that warm and fuzzy!) The ending is a twist that I'm not entirely sure I understand after only one reading, but it was a kind of magical- realism-make-you-think-about-it thing that I enjoyed nonetheless.

The characters were all well-drawn, from the stingy best friend with a big secret to the girl with whom Ed is simultaneously best friends with and so in love with he doesn't know what to do with himself, to the varied people who receive his messages, to Ed's friendly yet smelly dog. Their relationships are complicated and utterly realistic, and that keeps this from being a middle school book in my eyes. The Australian setting might throw some readers off at first (it's hot on Christmas, over 30 degrees!), but it's an interesting change from the U.S. without being totally alien. A fantastic read!

What the experts thought.


Anonymous said...

I agree, the book was a great read, as i enjoyed it all the way though, however i also thought that the ending of the story was slightly on the confusing side...does anyone understand what is really going on??

Anonymous said...

well basically markus zusak has been very creative in mixing fiction with non-ficiton. At the end of the book you actually find out that the author (Markus Zusak) is the person behind all of the doings and when Ed says to himself that he is going to write a book that will start "The robber is useless..." he knows that someone has already done it... the author.. really interesting book to read