I am the Messenger

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Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.5  (26)
Characters 
 
4.8  (4)
Writing Style 
 
4.7  (3)
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I Am the Messenger
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I read this and remember thinking it wasn’t that good. But then, after I’d finished it, I Am the Messenger started to grow on me. In retrospect, it was fantastic, a five-star read. So naturally, I had to re-read, because the memory I had of Zusak’s writing didn’t match up with my current opinion.

In short, I like this book A LOT. I like it better than Zusak’s more popular novel, The Book Thief, and I like it a lot more after a second reading.

Beyond Zusak’s brilliant style itself, which I absolutely love to death, there’s the plot itself. Now, I do admit that it’s a bit incredible, that Ed is a bit unbelievable, but if you’re willing to go past that, the end result is amazing. The plot, the story, the characters, the humor—all perfect. I could gush for days.

Like The Book Thief, this book starts off a bit slow and is harder to get into. And like The Book Thief, there is a moment towards the end when you just fall into the book and lose yourself. But with I Am the Messenger, that lost feeling is stronger, you’re more into it, and when you get to the completely brilliant end scene, you don’t want the book to be over. I honestly got a funny feeling in my stomach for the last fifty pages or so, and I know that sounds corny, but I did.

Also, as I mentioned, there’s Zusak’s writing. Gorgeous imagery and personification out the wazoo. Great use of fragments and paragraph breaks. Yeah, I’m sold.

One of my favorite books, better after a second read, and definitely better than ever-popular The Book Thief.
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Wow.
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
For some reason, every book I read by an Australian author is awesome. And this, my friends, was no exception.
It's weird. I love Ed, and most of the time while I was reading, I wished I was Audrey.
I definitely won’t forget this one. Brilliant.
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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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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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Fate, London, and Playing Cards
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Kristen

I must say, this book captured me right from the start. I listened to
it on audiobook, which definitely made me blush in the car when the
sexual thoughts and scenes came through, windows rolled down and me
avoiding other drivers' eyes. I loved the actor's voice and managed,
for once, to listen to the whole thing on audio (part of it being I
didn't have a book copy). I don't know about you, but listening to
books is a great motivator for hand-washing dishes and cleaning around
the house.

The book starts out with a bank robbery. Two friends,
both male, are at the bank and the robber manages to get away with the
money, but finds himself without a ride (his ride was getting talked to
by the cops and then drove away) and so he points to one of the friends
and tells him to give him his keys. The attitude of the character just
makes it very hard not to laugh. He's got a cheap old car that rarely
starts. Alas, he gives the keys over. The robber drops the gun on the
way out, but decides to just take off. Our main character, Ed, grabs
the gun and runs after the guy. Saves the day basically.

Well,
if that doesn't draw you into a story - the banter taking place
definitely will. Ed continues on and one day gets a playing card with
an address on it. He's been asked to give a message and this continues
on. He's not sure where the cards are coming from, but when two
gentleman come and rough him up (thanks to him being slow to figure out
one or two of the messages) he gets the picture that someone is behind
it. I don't think I'm explaining this book real well so far.

Here's
basically what happens - Ed has to find these people, figure out what
they need, and give it to them. A range of things happen - he gets
beaten the crap out of, he almost kills a man, and he has to pretend to
be an old woman's dead husband. And much, much more. The mystery behind
who is sending these addresses takes a side line while you cruise
through the life of Ed Kennedy - 20 something year old taxi-driver,
girlfriend deficient and with quite an attitude about life that is
carefree.

I just ate this book right up. I wanted to scrub for
days or drive around just so I could listen to the accented voice that
matched up perfectly what I drew up in my head about the main
character. The plot was fantastic, the characters interesting and well,
the ending was bloody well perfect. But you'll have to read it yourself
to figure that last part out.

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What a great message!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by mearley

Wow! This book was amazing! I listened to it on CD, and every day I wished I had a longer commute so I could hear a little more! Markus Zusak is a master of metaphor and personification; his words never seemed cliche or ordinary even when describing the most mundane circumstances.

One warning: Despite being marketed as a YA book, there is very little about this book (other than the protagonist being 19) that is YA. The language, violence, and frank talk about sex is definitely not to be recommended for immature readers.

However, if you can see the big picture, you'll be rewarded with a redemptive ending unlike any other. I'm excited to read the rest of Zusak's books!
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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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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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the messenger
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by lenely

i read this book in english and i really liked it excluding the last chapter.
the last chapter left me wanting more.
but the most exciting part of the book i liked was the fifth part, when Ed Kennedy was looking for that guy who kept sening him the playing cards.


it's definitely a book worth reading twice * in my opinion anyways* =D
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A surprise around every card
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Robert

This book was one of the best and most intresting books i have ever read. i think what captures the reader the most is how ordinary Ed is - how easy it is to associate with the character(s). The acts that Ed does makes him a hero, in a real sense of the word.
The only thing that was slightly dissapointing was the ending. Without giving away too much of the book... I just expected a little something more.

But i guess that's how Mark Zusak does it...unexpectidly. Especially the last line which really wraps it up nicely.

The book in general makes you feel good, something about doing good deeds (even if they mean 'bad' deeds), and helping others. The characters are also vast, in-depth and very real. You can see the beautifull audrey or the lazy ritchie.

For anyone reading this post, i urge you to buy this fun, compulsive, light-hearted (but serious at times) book.
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