Post #4: I Am the Messenger

Iamthemessenger
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Post number four is for Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger, which was yet another required reading assignment. I have read one other book by this author, and that was The Book Thief, which I absolutely adored. This book wasn't quite to that level, but I did like it a lot, and was glad to finally have something in this class strike my fancy. :)

Slight not-really-spoilers follow.

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This book's main protagonist is Ed Kennedy, who is a nineteen-year-old taxi driver who really doesn't have much of a future lined up for himself. Ed's main group of friends are Marv, Ritchie and Audrey, and he has interesting relationships with each of them, but especially Audrey, who he is in love with. You get to know each of these four characters throughout the course of the book, and become really sympathetic for Ed. Ed's life is thrown upside down when he semi-stops a bank robbery, and receives a playing card in the mail with three addresses written down on it. His job is to complete a task at each of the addresses, and deliver a "message", which varies for each person. He has to complete five cards, four of which have three tasks and the final which as only one.

There are some  brutal aspects to this book. Some of Ed's "messages" are pretty violent, or the result of some violence of some sort. Also, I spent the majority of the book trying to figure out where it was set. I am thinking Australia, but couldn't ever really tell. They use "soccer" instead of "football", and yet there are some very British phrases used by the characters. Also, it's warm during Christmas, which definitely makes me think that wherever it's taking place is in the southern hemisphere. I finally settled on Australia because that's where the author currently lives; I know that where it was taking place isn't really important, but it bothered me that they never came out and directly said so. Also, the book is written in first person, which usually bothers me, but I actually found myself really engaged with this story, and was able to not focus on the fact that it WAS from first person pov (Ed is the narrator throughout the entire book).

I don't want to spoil so won't talk about the plot, but I enjoyed the twists and turns, and what Ed had to go through in order to ultimately better himself (and his friends). I highly recommend this book; it is a definite keeper.

Currently reading: A Very Long Engagement by Sébastien Japrisot, Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis

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