I Am The Messenger
By: Markus Zusak
Ed Kennedy is an under aged cab driver and has absolutely no other ambition in life. The only thing he looks forwards to is the occasional card game with his friends, reading at his rundown rental, and the seldom friendly customers that hitch along for his illegal taxi rides. But after an "unfortunate" bank robbery that Ed stops he receives these playing cards with foreign addresses scrawled on them. He then, in turn, investigates the houses and finds problems or issues that the people residing there. He immediately feels obligated to help the citizens of his suburban town. He decides it is his mission to complete all five playing cards but the question that is always rattling his mind is who sends the cards?
Marv is not the protagonist but nonetheless a very unique and common character. Marv is one of Ed's friends but very argumentative, a penny pincher, and enjoys smoking his or his father's cigars. He is very defensive about his trashed car for an unknown reason. But as the plot continues, the car was the one-way ticket to pick up his girlfriend, Suzanne Boyd who mysteriously vanished from the town. Marv would never tell anyone where or how she vanished but it took a toll on Marv's emotions. That was the day he got very defensive on the littlest things. When Ed finds out that his next playing card has Marv's address he figures our a clever way to get Marv to fess up. It happens that Suzanne got pregnant and when her father found out he left with the "disgrace" Marv placed on her family. He never got to see his child and was saving up enough money to someday face Suzanne's father with the money in hand and fund his child. Ed helps in reuniting Marv and his daughter for the first time. It was probably the most touching scene in the book and shows how mysterious people can be with hiding the largest secrets. Other main characters include Ed, Audrey, Ritchie, and Ma.
The setting takes place in Ed's hometown. It is a Australian city that must be relatively big because Ed taxis there. Most of the plot takes place at Ed's "shack" which he refers his residence as. The city isn't exciting which resembles the way Ed acts. He just waits things to happen and doesn't start them. Anyways, Ed is frequently bashed by his Ma because he never left the outskirts of his city.
"Don't start this compulsively readable book without enough time to read it straight through to the final page." - Publisher Weekly
"Exquisitely written and memorably populated, Zusak's poignant tribute to words, survival, and their curiously inevitable entwinement is a tour de force to not just read but inhabited." - The Horn Book Magazine
Why Read It?
I Am the Messenger simply intertwines advance and complex word choice with humor that creates an irresistible hunger to read on. The interesting plot is one that I myself have never seen. The simplistic originality about a book of doing good deeds to others is almost unheard of. The characters are very "human-like" and are relatable because they're realistic and not artificial. However, the standout note is definitely Markus Zusak's voice. It's present at all times and never fades.