Monday, February 26, 2007

I Am the Messenger

by Markus Zusak
This is the same author that wrote The Book Thief. I think he is awesome. I'm so glad he's young (looks 19, but is actually 30!) so that we can look forward to lots more books. I loved both of these books even though they are as different as night and day. The only comparisons are the ingenious plot and the beautiful writing.

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.

I've read several comments that people had a hard time 'getting into' The Book Thief. I didn't, but I did have a bit of trouble 'getting into' this one. I was hooked by page 60, though. I wasn't sure I would ever really care about this 19-year-old boy and his looser-like friends. There was the mystery of who sent the ace and what the mystery meant that kept me reading. And, of course, by the end of the book I cared deeply for Ed and his friends.

A few passages that caught at my heart*:
When her hands reached out and poured the tea, it was as if she also poured something into me while I sat there sweating in my cab. It was like she held a string and pulled on it just slight to open me up. She got in, put a piece of herself inside me, and left again.

One quick question. "Who sent you?" Once in the air, my question loses its pace. The words float . . .

I know that all of this will stay with me forever. . . . things just keep going as long as memory can wield its ax, always finding a soft part in your mind to cut through and enter.

It's the person, not the place. If you left here, you'd have been the same anywhere else. If I ever leave this place - I'll make sure I'm better here first."

*These are parts of the book that I want to read again. I realize they may not make any sense to anyone who hasn't read the book, but for some reason they said something to me.

I Am the Messenger is a 2006 Prinz Honor Book.


Wendy said...

I know what you mean about Zusak's "youth." When I find a great writer, I want him (or her) to just keep on writing forever!

This one is on my bookshelf. I went out and bought it immediately after finishing The Book Thief (which was so stunning I continue to think about it even though it has been weeks since I finished it). I need to move this one up on my TBR list. Thanks for the review.

Framed said...

This sounds really good. But I haven't even read "The Book Thief." I just need to learn that I can't read them all today. . .or tomorrow or maybe even this year. Rats.

SuziQoregon said...

Oh this is good news. I'm glad that it's very different from The Book Thief, but has great writing. Like you, I had no trouble at all 'getting into' The Book Thief - it hooked me right away. I'm officially adding this one to my list :-)

Les said...

This is one I need to just go out and buy and read. I'm afraid, if I don't, I'll forget to and then I'll miss out on another great book by Zusak. I loved The Book Thief and can't wait to read more by this talented author.

Carl V. Anderson said...

Bought this one for a friend for Christmas and cannot wait to borrow it from her! ;)

Lotus Reads said...

Wow, booklogged, I didn't know Zusak had written another book! I haven't read "The Book Thief" yet, but judging by the rave reviews you all have given it, I can't wait! I am glad you enjoyed "I Am The Messenger" as well, those passages are just beautiful, he's an excellent writer, wow!!!

Stephanie said...

I'm really glad to hear this was good. I just finished The Book Thief (when I should have been reading a Classic!! LOL) It was wonderful! Best book I've read in a long time.

Lover of Books said...

I loved The BOok Thief and will think about reading this one. :)

hellomelissa said...

i keep hoping "the book thief" will magically appear in front of me, and now you're telling me that there's another excellent book by the same author?? i think the hints to my hubby will need to be a bit less subtle.

i'm super behind on the classics challenge (blame surgery or laziness) but finished "palace walk" and am reading "good earth." maybe by may i'll be done??

Bookfool said...

I Am The Messenger has been on my wish list since I read The Book Thief (in July, I think). I'd move it from wish list to cart if I didn't already have toppling shelves. I'm thrilled to know you enjoyed it, though, and maybe I'll have to consider getting it sooner. Thanks so much for your lovely review. :)

wondering said...

Just finished The Book Thief the other day and am looking forward to reading this one!
Sounds great!

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