I Am the Messenger – Markus Zusak (7/52 books challenge)

I am the Messenger I fell in love with The Book Thief by Markus Zusak when I read it more than a year ago, so this choice was actually easy. I saw another book by this author on the shelves of my local library so I didn’t even read what it was about and borrowed instantly.

The story is about Ed Kennedy, an average 19-year-old boy, working as a taxi driver, calling himself a failure. He plays cards regularly with his three best friends, Marv, Ritchie and Audrey. He’s in love with Audrey, but she doesn’t want to be with him. This is what is life is about until he stops a bank robbery, and he gets the first card with an ace and three addresses. Since then he becomes sort of a messenger and helps random people, always following the cues on the arriving aces.

I am not sure how to describe that book. I feel anything I say, it won’t be enough. The words “I love it” seem so ordinary and over-used for such a special book. I know it may seem naïve or childish or whatever and I don’t care. Markus Zusak for me is someone who always brings me to this special state, where every word matters and everything is magical in a sense I felt when I was a kid.

Well, anyway, let me try:

This book entranced me from the first page. I really needed one that I wouldn’t be able to stop reading, and that was it. It is a very fast read, mostly because it is captivating, extra-ordinary, but also because it is written in a pretty easy style. It doesn’t have fast action, doesn’t have complicated plot or sophisticated characters. But it speaks about average people, about every-day life, about bigger and smaller problems, and about getting satisfaction from helping others.

It is simply beautiful. It teaches what humanity is all about. It teaches the importance of details, of small things; we all know how to enjoy them when we’re kids, but we forget when we get older. Besides, the characters seems real, relatable. The book has a lot of humor, as well as moving moments. It is just something that gets right to the heart and stays there.

I am not sure, though, if I loved or hated the ending. The more I think of it, the more I am inclined to think it is actually genius.

I read somewhere on the Internet that the characters – those that Ed helped – were one-dimensional and readers wanted to know what happened next. I always want to know what happened next, but I don’t think it’s the point in this case. The point was to show how small things can make a difference, and how we should enjoy the present and the kindness of strangers.  Overall, I absolutely love it. I can’t even find a single flaw in it. For me – it is perfection.


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