Title: I am the Messenger
Author: Markus Zusak
Release Date: January 2002
Genre: Contemporary/Young Adult
My Rating: 10/10 Perfection
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?
I’ll apologise now for being MIA for the last week or so. This book was a sloooow read, but I expected that. Having read The Book Thief by the same author (my favourite ever book!), I knew this wouldn’t be easy, and I was right. Now, when I say it’s slow, I don’t mean that in a bad way. It just requires time to drink in every word; it’s not the kind of book you can just skim through. I found I could only really read around 30-40 pages a day, before I was too exhausted to carry on. It requires pauses after so many pages, simply to collect your thoughts and absorb what has happened so far.
Once again, the beauty of this book lies in the language. While the story is a good one, the narrative is just something else. Each and every word has been chosen with extreme care, and it is just stunning. Markus Zusak is so unique in his narrative choice, avoiding conventions whilst managing to avoid being over the top and cheesy. This guy could re-write the phone book and I would drink in every word.
The story itself, as the title suggests, is about messages. Both good and bad, but all with a purpose and positive outcome, that every one turns out to be unbelievably heart-warming without being cliche. It’s certainly a young adult book. Whilst I have issues with The Book Thief being placed into the Young Adult category, this one is more conventional in terms of its characters and general story outline. Essentially, it’s a coming-of-age story, with the message to try to actually do something worthwhile with your life; to question what you really want.
I always find it really difficult to write about books I love, so I’m struggling with this review. It’s so hard to get across just what makes this so good. I could use quotes from the book, but I don’t really like doing that. It’s so, so different from The Book Thief, but I love it for very similar reasons.
Whilst this didn’t quite reach the heights of my love for The Book Thief, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves words. Don’t expect it to be an easy or quick read; make sure you’re prepared for it. This book will warm your heart like no other (maybe one book aside!) and I await the day Markus Zusak finally writes something else!