Title : The Messenger
Author : Markus Zusak
Publication date : May 9th 2006
Publisher : Alfred A. Knopf Borzoi Books
Genre : Young Adult | Contemporary
Synopsis : Protect the diamonds
Survive the clubs
Dig deep through the spades
Feel the hearts
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? (From Goodreads)
“She soon says, “You’re my best friend, Ed.”
You can kill a man with those words.
Just words and a girl.”
This book is bloody BRILLIANT ! Brilliant I tell you. After reading The Book Thief, I just needed another Zusak book because YA KNOW, I love that book to bits and pieces and I was starting to feel the withdrawal. Naturally, I went into The Messenger with very very high expectations and it didn’t disappoint. It is quietly beautiful and meaningful and JUST READ IT.
I frankly don’t know how to describe the writing, it’s interactive and almost tangible. Ed, the main character, is directly talking to the reader or to a diary with thoughts jolted down as the came to his mind, which made for very random and eclectic paragraphs sometimes, but everything still managed not to be confusing and I really appreciated that. The chapter lengths go from one single sentences to quite a few pages depending on the idea and the event recounted. And the dialogues, oh man ! They are so well written, they feel very raw and add so much to the realism of the story which is already very “daily life” like, with a twist obviously.
The plot isn’t anything I expected, I thought it would be this fast paced, crazy ride of a book and what I got was an impactful coming of age story. If I had one piece of advice to give about this book that I learnt from the very first few pages is : Don’t compare this to the Book Thief, you just can’t, where it is this heart wrenching, intense story, The messenger is nicer on your feelings, won’t leave you sobbing through the night, but what it will do is slap you on the face through and through.
The story starts off very mysterious with Ed receiving a card leading him to a bunch of people. First question that came to mind: WHO THE HELL IS DOING THIS? I MUST KNOW !!! But as the story went on I realized that it didn’t matter as that wasn’t the purpose of the book and gradually lost interest in the source of the message and focused on its goal which was to get Ed off his butt and do something with his life other than drive a Taxi, play cards and be -not so- secretly in love with his bestfriend. Also, the message (see what I did there hehe, I’m not sorry at all) that this book conveys is so powerful while being the most obvious things at the same time. It is all about seeing beauty and finding joy in the most insignificant-looking things and having a greater purpose, bigger than yourself.
Let’s talk about Ed Kennedy for a bit. He’s the most slap-worthy character I’ve ever read about. He’s so fatalistic, resigned and bitter, and he lacked ambitious BUT I still liked him because it wasn’t his fault, meaningful people in his did everything but build him up throughout his life (I wanted to physically fight that bitch of a mom he has). I wanted so much for him, I rooted and cheered for the guy !! The development he experienced was so incredible, the journey that he went through as the messenger led him to being this confident guy and he didn’t even realize it. The things he was doing for all these people did more for him and abled him to find himself, his drive and his purpose, made him stronger and most importantly happier. Oh, wait wait! Can we acknowledge that dog of his for a second? A COFFEE DRINKING DOG ! If you don’t want to read this book because I said so just do it for the dog !
What I loved about this book and what made it really special is that all the characters -no exception made- were these very ordinary people, all with some hidden dream or fear that had to be digged up which made each one of them interesting in their own way.
I really loved how it all tied up, no crazy mind blowing ending which was really different from what I’ve been reading lately. Every soul on earth should read it because it’s beautiful and deep and meaningful and it just has so many things to say that I need more people to read it and get its message. It’s all about believing in yourself and your capacities as well as doing good by yourself and others. I didn’t expect it to be impactful but I must admit that Markus Zusak is a genius with his words.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Messenger ? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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