Book Reviews of I Am the Messenger

I Am the Messenger
I Am the Messenger
Author: Markus Zusak
ISBN-13: 9780375830990
ISBN-10: 0375830995
Publication Date: 2/8/2005
Pages: 368
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 38

4.4 stars, based on 38 ratings
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

25 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I really liked this - I couldn't really put it down. Playing cards sent to him lead him on a scavenger hunt of sorts. But what he finds are situations that he is challenged to resolve. Some of them are quite frightening. Who would do this to someone? But the chase was better than the kill, and I felt let down by the ending. The excitement still made it worth while to read. I don't think it will make it into my top 10 for the year, but maybe in the top 20. I think I would like to read something else by this author, his imagination intrigues me.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is one of those books that surprisingly left me almost speechless. It is so much more than the synopsis leads one to believe. I am so blessed that this was required reading for a grad class for young adult literature or I never would have read it. Mr. Zusak's writing style is poetic in places: "Screams jump over the fence." "A murmuring crawls to the window . . ." It does have some obscene language, but somehow it seems necessary to the setting and voice. A couple of places left me feeling like I missed something, but the incredible message feels life-changing. It is very though-provoking and hard to put down. I highly recommend this book for ages 17 and up, and I will be recommending it to my book club because it could generate much good discussion.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 578 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Finished reading this one today and must say that I really enjoyed it! At first, I was not too sure I would like the book given that it is supposedly written for "young adults", however, some of the themes and subject matter I feel are more for older readers including themes of love, sex, and the plights of ordinary human beings. The story is basically about a young man, Ed, who is wasting his life away being put a position to help other people through a series of clues delivered to him on playing cards. The way he reacts to the clues and how he decides to assist the people involved is the crux of the novel. In some ways, Ed reminded me of Holden Caulfield, the protagonist of "Catcher in the Rye." Some of the novel was also a little dark and could have been written for a "film noir" mystery. In the end, Ed discovers that if a guy like him can stand up and do what he did, then maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of. I would recommend this one!
reviewed I Am the Messenger on
Helpful Score: 3
Very intriguing tale from the author of The Book Thief. There's a very deep and thought provoking undercurrent to the story. I highly recommend this book!
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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 and 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?

This author is one you're either going to love or hate, there's usually no in-between. This story is quite the story and an interesting read. I found it difficult to put down until I knew all of the answers, or could it not be what it sounds like?
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed this book so much that I handed it straight to my husband, then to my daughter and then to a friend who is reading it now. I enjoyed the storyline and the storytelling so much that I cannot tell you if it would be considered "well-written" by my English teacher son, but Markus Zusak certainly knows how to tell a story!
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who is kind of a nobody! He hasn't achieved anything great, isn't a genius, his mom despises him, and his dad died of alcoholism. The only real thing that he has is his dog, named the Doorman, who everyone says desperately needs a bath. And, he's in love with Audrey, a girl from a bad neighborhood, just like him, who also happens to be one of his best friends since forever. The thing is, Audrey doesn't know that Ed is in love with her, and worse yet, she says she doesn't believe in love.

One day, Ed and his friend stop at a local bank, but a robbery begins while they are in line. And Ed stops the guy.

So then he becomes a local hero. He is just trying to live a normal life, and then he gets a playing card in the mail with three addresses and times on it. Ed doesn't know what to do. Should he just throw the card away, like his friends instruct, or should he go to the first address to see what this is all about?

This book would be a good recommendation for fans of THE DA VINCI CODE and the movie National Treasure.

Ed is such a cool character! He seems like such a normal guy, who does things that normal guys do, and lives a very ordinary life. Until he gets the card in the mail, and he's not so ordinary anymore.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was pretty good. I loved how everything somehow connected and unlike many books, you don't exactly know what's going to happen next. It's a great read! Some language though (:
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 1076 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Nineteen year old Ed Kennedy has major issues with his life going nowhere fast. He's high school educated and a cab driver...that's it. Until he inadvertently captures a bank robber and becomes a local hero. All of a sudden, playing cards with addresses printed on them appear in his mailbox. It becomes apparent to him that he is expected (by some anonymous personage) to help (or hurt when needed) the people at these locations.

This reminds me of Pay It Forward but not nearly as well written or as enjoyable. I found I Am the Messenger boring and had to repeatedly force myself to pick it up again and finish it. The premise is good but there just isn't any snap to the book. I found myself wanting to scream "get on with it already". The book is based in England and quite a few idioms are completely undecipherable. Just trying to figure out what they're talking about makes for an interesting and oft times frustrating experience.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a must read. It has everything and even though it has been some time since I have read this novel it is still very much in my mind.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 334 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
For young adults - (but the older folks will love it even more!)
Hilarious, down right good/fun read!!

...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 inadvertantly 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?

You'll enjoy every word - author Markus Zusak also wrote "Fighting Reben Wolfe" and "Getting the Girl"
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 1252 more book reviews
Wow, amazing, moving, thought provoking, interesting, disturbing, and a book that will be with you long after you have finished reading it. It gives you the information that anyone and everyone, no matter where they are in life can make a huge difference in someone elses. Being there, asking questions and interacting with others giving them hope in a way they can understand and keep alive. A wonderful read, not like the style of The Book Thief so if you are thinking of comparing them, you really shouldn't. Different style, story and place in time. Enjoy this book. Let it give you something to think about and take away when you are done.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 7145 more book reviews
Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who is kind of a nobody! He hasn't achieved anything great, isn't a genius, his mom despises him, and his dad died of alcoholism. The only real thing that he has is his dog, named the Doorman, who everyone says desperately needs a bath. And, he's in love with Audrey, a girl from a bad neighborhood, just like him, who also happens to be one of his best friends since forever. The thing is, Audrey doesn't know that Ed is in love with her, and worse yet, she says she doesn't believe in love.

One day, Ed and his friend stop at a local bank, but a robbery begins while they are in line. And Ed stops the guy.

So then he becomes a local hero. He is just trying to live a normal life, and then he gets a playing card in the mail with three addresses and times on it. Ed doesn't know what to do. Should he just throw the card away, like his friends instruct, or should he go to the first address to see what this is all about?

This book would be a good recommendation for fans of THE DA VINCI CODE and the movie National Treasure.

Ed is such a cool character! He seems like such a normal guy, who does things that normal guys do, and lives a very ordinary life. Until he gets the card in the mail, and he's not so ordinary anymore.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 26 more book reviews
FYI This is NOT an appropriate Young Adult novel. (at all!). FYI the S*** word appears approx. every 3/4 page and there is much discussion of casual sex.

OTHERWISE this book is fantastic. It is very creative and unique and well done. And, well written....for adults.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 893 more book reviews
What a delightful, unique read! This young writer who began writing in high school wrote a wonderful original little tale. Imagine receiving five cards to stimulate you to help people as only you can. This is what happens to Ed. He helps many strangers. He helps his friends. And, the final person he helps is himself. There is a message in this book that each of us needs to discover again and again - life is what you make it. However, you must read the book for yourself to see how it all progresses and what happens in each case. Wonderful read for young and old alike.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 56 more book reviews
"I Am The Messenger" by Markus Zusak does not have the impact of the author's subsequent book, "The Book Thief" but it is a pretty powerful, nonetheless. Ed Kennedy is nineteen years old and has done nothing with his life. Then he finds himself in a bank that is being held-up. He performs an heroic act and his life begins to change...though not in the way that you'd think. This is a lovely book about "paying it forward" and random acts of kindness for kindnesses sake.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 10 more book reviews
This was a quick read. There are references to sex and some swearing - didn't bother me, but it might be offensive to others. The story line was good, though I think it could have used a little more development at the beginning. Definitely worth a day or two sitting at the pool :)
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 599 more book reviews
Intriguing, humorous, and unique. Some quirky characters and a lovable dog. I loved the way this tale developed and it was hard to put down. It stays with you and might have you taking a closer look at your neighbors and acquaintances. Nicely done!
reviewed I Am the Messenger on
This is the second book I have read by Markus Zusak...I read "The Book Thief" while on vacation two years ago.
It stuck with me. Wondering how the movie will turn out.
"I Am the Messenger" was just as different and unexpected.
He deals with complex ideas in a simple and clean way. Not your usual story...I never felt he was using "tricks" in his writing. Kinda reminded me of Richard Bach and "Illusions". The story doesn't try to make you suspend belief but makes you want to know more....
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 14 more book reviews
I absolutely adore this book. It gets better every time I reread it. It's one of those books that's honestly hard to describe or explain why I like it. It just has to be experienced. Zusak is a brilliant writer with a real gift for shaping the English language effectively. I'll admit that I wasn't quite sure what to make of it when I first started reading it, and parts of it are a little hard to get through. But trust me when I say that it gets better the further you go, and even better with each rereading. When I first read this book, it made it into my top 10 favorite novels. The second time I read it, it went into my top 5. A severely underrated must-read.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 120 more book reviews
The characters are wonderful, and the plot gimmick keeps you reading. The ending is a little out of left field, but it works.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 12 more book reviews
great book. It had alot of humor and the story line always kept me guessing. Highly recommended.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 161 more book reviews
Oh, people, I do not get it. You all give it 5 stars. Explain to me why. A friend and I decided to read this together (we both loved The Book Thief) - we thought we'd read and discuss every few days. We discussed once and gave up. We agreed - this isn't worth discussing.

There's no believability, the protagonist's motivations aren't convincing, but he acts motivated, and his quests don't make sense, and I don't buy that his actions 'heal' the situations they purport to heal. But everyone in the story buys that they do.

And the writing - a young author finding his voice (even though this is maybe his 4th book), but leaving too much evidence of the writer in love with his own words. Description that calls out, "hey! I'm imagery!" Metaphor that sweeps in like so many tiny newborn spiders on the breeze of a new morning's hope.

Fragments of. Sentences. They communicate bittersweet...

Loss.

Do they not?

Loss.

(OK, here's a real snippet.)

"Fear is the street.
Fear is every step.
The darkness grows heavier on the road and I begin.
To run."

Really, dude?

The resolution is way too much the work of a first-time novelist, and felt like the work of a collegiate pretension generator who's pretty sure he's blowing your mind. It shouldn't have been published. Although I'm glad he did get published (later).
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 231 more book reviews
An unusual story, but I found it interesting. Not in the same style as The Book Thief, which I loved.
reviewed I Am the Messenger on + 18 more book reviews
This is my new favorite book. It's very hard to put down,too.