I am the Messenger

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What I think of 'The Messenger'
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Leon Monaco

The Messenger
Leon Monaco

The thrilling, epic novel by Markus Zusak, The Messenger demonstrates how an ordinary guy can turn his life around that he can live beyond what [he is] capable of. Ed Kennedy starts out to be an average, half-hearted 19 year old cab driver with a low self-esteem and nothing going for him in his life. All of these traits start to change when Ed starts receiving messages in the mail printed onto playing cards. Through his journey of delivering these messages, he confronts fear, love, friendships and personal dilemmas, which are all solved, changing parts of Ed slowly. By the end of the text, Ed has transformed into a courageous and loving human being, which has set him up for a new life. So how did the messages turn Ed into a better person?

While Ed delivered his messages, he made friends with some of the people he delivered to. The first fiend he made was the priest, Father Thomas OReilly. Eds message for the priest was for him to be reunited with his brother. In the meantime, Ed becomes good friends with Father OReilly, which leads him into going to church and increasing his faith.
The next person Ed befriended was Angie Carusso, mother of three children and who is always giving. As a generous, but small gesture she buys an ice-cream for her children every week like clockwork. To do something for someone who is always giving, Ed buys an ice-cream for her. You never get an ice-cream for yourself&you deserve one to Ed. Later in the text, Angie meets up with Ed and hands him an ice-cream, just a way to say thankyou.
Ed made friends with members of the Tatupu family, who from the very beginning idolised him. Ed jokes and laughs with them at dinner and gives the children piggyback rides. When Ed put the lights up at their house he brought a poor husband and wife together and made them forget about their poor miserable lives just for a second. This proved to Ed that beauty wasnt in a persons appearance, but instead, on the inside. Sometimes, people are beautiful¬ in looks¬ in what they say&just in what they are Ed. This situation made Eds self-esteem lift; thinking that anyone and everyone is beautiful, including himself.
The owner of the old fashioned cinema, Bernie Price became friends with Ed once Ed came to his cinema with Audrey. This reminded Bernie of himself years ago. While watching the movie with Audrey, Ed had a bit of trouble with his messenger, moving around the building and changing the movie reel to the one showing Eds past accomplishments with his messages. What was shown demonstrated how Ed changed other peoples lives. The final words on the film were: Time to move on hinting to Ed that it in now his turn to change. This task, however, cannot be done with only gaining a few friends. He would need something more.

Through Eds journey to deliver his messages, he faced fearful times where he needed courage and strength to go on. The first challenge Ed faced was at 45 Edgar St, the rape household. Before ha gained the courage to stop the man from hurting his family, Ed would continuously back away from the challenge night after night, hoping that it would eventually blow over. The thing that persuaded Ed to go through with it was the gun left by his messenger, giving him the confidence to overpower the heavily built rapist to complete his message. Ed didnt kill the man, thinking it was unethical and wrong. This shows how Ed is using new and better judgement.
The second fearful obstacle Ed confronted was Gavin Rose. Beating him up took a great deal of courage which Ed had gained from the Edgar St message. This scenario increased Eds courage as well as his patience, mainly from waiting for Gavin to fight with brother. I feel like Im outside myself Ed, demonstrates that he is using his new courage and strength traits in practice, feeling new and uncomfortable.
Another scary situation that Ed faced was when he dealt with his mother on her porch. Waiting for her was daunting and the conversation that followed took a lot of courage from both parties. This was the first time that Ed had thought that the message was directed at him. I sit here, in the prime of my youth, completely and utterly alone, its me Ed. To Ed this was his darkest moment, worse than Edgar St and the Rose brothers. After these three fearful messages, Ed gains courage, confidence, judgement, strength and patience, all new traits to help him in being a better, stronger person.

Throughout the text, Ed has made friends and fought battles, but there were also times when he would feel love and compassion for the people in his messages. Milla Johnson, Eds first ever message involved love whenever Ed would visit as Jimmy. I like being Jimmy Ed, this shows that Ed likes to be Jimmy so he can be loved back by Milla, If Milla were a younger woman, I believe that Ed would fall for her much more than he does currently in the text. I melt and look her in her old but lovely eyes Ed. This shows how affectionate Ed and Milla are together, loving each other.
Sophie changes Ed drastically. At first, Ed puts himself down constantly because of his poor fitness level. Sophie changes this by making Ed see the beauty and positives in other people rather than see the negatives in himself, to look at the glass half full. Shes beautiful and Im ashamed&feelings of love and lust fight each other inside me Ed. Sophie to Ed is the girl he can never have. He thinks she is gorgeous, but she is only 15 and Ed is 19, it just goes to teach Ed that he cannot have everything also.
As harsh as it was, the conversation between Ed and his mother on her porch would fall into this love category, mainly because of his mother saying that it takes a lot of love to hate [him] like this Bev. In my opinion, when the book has finished, I believe that Bev Kennedy would love his son much more after all of these changes to Eds life have been completed.

So far, we have witnessed new friendships spawning faith and inner beauty, dreaded scenarios creating courage, confidence, judgement, patience and strength, and the unforgettable love tales forcing Ed to have a positive view on life. All of these new characteristics have pushed Ed to become a better person, but he would still need to solve the close friend issues that were stated on the Ace of Hearts. Ritchie, Marv and Audrey all contributed in helping Ed produce his problem solving and observation skills to what is close to him. Ritchie is a lazy and confused man that shows Ed how much worse his life could have been if he didnt care or pursue anything.
Ed demonstrates his new brewed courage to Marv when he confronted Suzanne Boyds father with confidence. Helping out Marv in my opinion was the most meaningful message in the whole novel, because it showed Eds courage, confidence, love and the ability to bring a mother and father together with their child.
Audreys message was to show her how she should stop sleeping around and seek true love. That love lies with Ed, who has loved Audrey for quite some time, but not daring to unveil it. No one will ever love her as much as I do Ed. The night they dance, that love and compassion Ed had for Audrey is shown. There is no doubt that the confidence and affection used that night were influenced by Milla and Sophie from earlier in the novel. After that, Audrey changes her feelings towards Ed and opens her heart to him, resulting in Audrey moving in with Ed permanently at the end of the text.

To sum up this discussion, I believe its fair to say that Ed Kennedy by the end of the novel became a stronger and more loving, courageous and positive human being with now no major flaws or negative characteristics. With the help of these messages, Ed Kennedy will truly live beyond what [he is] capable of.
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All We Might Need Is A Simple Paradigm Shift
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The extraordinary is concieved and delivered, through a little bit of courage and faith, in the otherwise dull and mundane. This is the message in Mr. Zusak's sweet and enormously pleasurable tale of Ed Kennedy, a painfully average nice guy who is suddenly snatched from a life of lazy, self-centered repetition and thrust into an existance outside of himself. As Ed stumbles along in his journey, Mr. Zusak effortlessy invites the reader along as we, with Ed, experience new levels of understanding, tenderness, sacrifice and companionship. In I Am The Messenger, the author creates a fun enviornment that oozes with comfort and kindness, all welcomed feelings in this fully engaging and satisying novel.
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A good book!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Allyssa

I am the messenger is about this guy named Ed. Ed receives these player cards, with little messages written out on them, in the mail. These cards contain various tasks, in which Ed must complete. One of them includes hanging out with a lonely elder lady. He doesn't know why he is getting them, but he completes them, nonetheless. By following these tasks, he not only understands himself more, but he also understands his friends more.

This book has humor and a decent plot line. I read this book in two days; it really is great. I love it because the story line is so great, and just by the way Zusak writes the story. There are many twists and turns in this story that it's hard not to feel involved.
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EPIC thats all I can say
(Updated: April 28, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
N/A
Writing Style 
 
N/A
Reader reviewed by Kare

I have NEVER loved nor hated a book so much in my life!

Description:
Ed Kennedy is a good-for-nothing, waste-of-space type of person. He spend his time driving for a taxis company and play cards with his friends. He isn't much until he single handledly stops a bank robber. He is painted a hero in the local newspapers. After the fifteen minuets of fame wears away he receives a playing card with addresses scrawled on them. All he knows is that he feels he must visit the addresses. The people who live at these addresses need some help. So Ed helps them. As he works his way through the people he becomes tied too a job, not one with a monetary pay, he is the messenger.

My Review:
This book has hit me unlike any other book I have ever read. Its gripping and raw, impossible to put down. Ed is a rustic and real character, one that could really exist. He is an everyday hero. NO he's not supernatural or filled with paranormal powers but the boys go POWER!! The author really nails the setting, its believable creates the world that Ed exists in beautifully.

Ed faces each new card with unbelievable bravery, I know I couldn't summon that kind of power to do what he does. With every card Ed learns more than one ever thought possible. Ed has days when he fears his new-found calling and days when it brings him inexplicable joy, but with every card he helps somebody. He is learning to be, not just breath but live. He finds some direction in his lost world.
One thing that bothers Ed is that he can't figure out if the person sending the cards is good or bad...
Somebody is playing a cruel game with Ed and as he travels through the cards he struggles to figure out just who is sending him on this wild goose chase.

Explanation of why I love/hate this book:

love-
*Ed is hero
*The message is strong and powerful about the inner power of what man (and women) can really do and what limits they can break through.
*You question who is messing with Ed till the end

Hate-
* Now don't get me wrong but I don't like the language in this book. Far too much cursing for my likes but it goes with the setting and the characters so I guess the author felt that it was necessary.

Seriously this book is so powerful it should be read.
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The Best
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Wes


This book is a very good book. I could be better or very close the the book Holes. It isn't approptite for younger kids though. I reconmend it to anyone that has to do a summer reading project like i just did. It's great and keeps you interested till the end.
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Get the message
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by bookworm9

Nineteen-year-old Ed Kennedy is an underage cab driver who lives in a shack with his smelly, ancient, but beloved dog, the Doorman, and spends a lot of time playing cards with his three best friends. Ed thinks his life is pretty pathetic, until he begins getting playing card aces in the mail, each with three people he has to help.

The premise of the book is as simple as that. The reality of it is a lot more complicated, as Ed faces everything from being sent to kill a rapist to being asked to help some people who are near and dear to him. Throughout, he wonders who is sending him these bizarre messages, and why he is the Messengeror is he?

This was one of the most unique and downright GOOD books Ive read in awhile. I could say it was part coming-of-age novel and part brilliant thriller, but really this book defies all labels. Its just a plain good story, and though a few of the people Ed is sent to help fade into the woodwork too quickly (the ice cream lady, Bernie the movie guy, and even Ritchie), theyre more then made up for with the other vibrant interactions Ed has (all three people on the first card, the confrontation with his mom, and Marvs secret, for starters). Ed is a great character who had me rooting for him the whole way.

If it hadnt been such a good book, the ending would have ruined it, and as it was, it was very disappointing, being both maddeningly didactic and ambiguous. Its only saving grace was that it was happy, which Ed deserved. But ending aside, this is a must read.
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A Classic Discovery Story
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sandra

Ed Kennedy is introduced to us as a 19 illegal cab driver who's main purposes in life are to taxi people around town, and play cards with his three friends. A bit of a sad life, if you look at it. One day, he thwarts an attempted bank robbery, and gets his 10 minutes of fame. Life then goes back to normal. Or does it?

After his 'act of heroism', Ed begins receiving Ace cards, listing a potporri of things from names to movie titles. Now it's his job to figure out what to do with the information. Along the way, Ed helps various characters to a better life, including himself.

Ultimately, this was a story of self-discovery. Ed, began as a useless 19 year old without much purpose in life, and became someone who knew what to do with his life. It was a pretty powerful message to me.

I would recommend this book to nearly anyone and everyone I know. You don't really have to think while you're reading this, so it's pretty light on the cranium. Also, you could connect to Ed. Who doesn't ever feel like they can't do anything to change the world?
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Ace of Hearts
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by thelockerboy

'I Am The Messenger' is a thrilling novel written by who I believe is one of Australia's finest up and coming authors. Zusak's writing is one of simplicity, yet heart gripping honesty and depth.

If you enjoyed this novel go and treat yourself to his others.
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Discover the Aces...
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Saba

Ed Kennedy is just an all-round failure - or so he thinks. After stopping a bank robbery, however, playing cards begin to arrive in the mail, written over with cryptic messages. As Ed decodes them, he finds that each message is actually a task, set for him to do.
Slowly, he makes his way through all the aces, until the only task left for him to do is to find out who's sending the messages...

I loved this book because it isn't very hard to start - you can get into the book right away. It's bold writing style is aspirational and unique, including humour, detail and even suspense.


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A poignant story
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Grace

I Am the Messenger is a beautifully written and moving book. I loved the plot, with the mysterious Aces and what Ed learns from them. I loved the way Markus Zusak told the story, with honesty and humor, how real all of his characters were. Ed is a message to all of us to strive to be the best that we can be, and to pay more attention to the people around you and really show that you care.
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