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I Am the Messenger Paperback – May 9, 2006
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry (also known as Getting the Girl), released between 1999 and 2001, were all published internationally and garnered a number of awards and honours in his native Australia, and the USA.
The Messenger (or I am the Messenger), published in 2002, won the 2003 Australian Children's Book Council Book of the Year Award (Older Readers) and the 2003 NSW Premier's Literary Award (Ethel Turner Prize), as well as receiving a Printz Honour in America. It also won numerous national readers choice awards across Europe, including the highly regarded Deutscher Jugendliteratur prize in Germany.
It is The Book Thief, however, that has established Markus Zusak as one of the most successful authors to come out of Australia. To date, The Book Thief has held the number one position at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, the New York Times bestseller list, as well as in countries across South America, Europe and Asia. It has also been in the top five bestsellers in the UK and several other territories. It has amassed many and varied awards, ranging from literary prizes to readers choice awards to prizes voted on by booksellers. It was the only book to feature on both the USA and UK World Book Night Lists in 2012, and has now been adapted into a major motion picture.
The Book Thief (the film adaptation) is directed by Emmy Award-winning Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) and was shot in Berlin by Twentieth Century Fox. The cast is headlined by Academy Award winner Geoffrey Rush (Shine, The King's Speech) and Academy Award nominee Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves, Anna Karenina). It also includes exciting new talents Ben Schnetzer, Nico Liersch, and Sophie Nelisse (Monsieur Lazhar), with Nelisse cast as The Book Thief, Liesel Meminger.
The Guardian calls The Book Thief "a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told." The New York Times: "Brilliant and hugely ambitious...the kind of book that can be life-changing." The Age: "an original, moving, beautifully written book."
Markus Zusak grew up in Sydney, Australia, and still lives there with his wife and two children.
Top Customer Reviews
Winner of the 2003 Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Award and nominated for best young adult book at the 2006 L.A. Times Festival of Books, I AM THE MESSENGER (or THE MESSENGER in Australia) tells the story of Ed Kennedy, nineteen-year-old taxi cab driver and all-around average guy. In fact, he's the epitome of average -- faithful friends, stinky dog, dead-end job, and girl who loves someone else.
That's why it's such a big deal for Ed, Marv, and Ritchie to get trapped in a bank during a stickup. One of the thieves gets spooked, drops his gun, and somehow Ed ends up with the weapon and the town's praise. That might be a winning hand for Ed if he doesn't receive the first mysterious playing card, the Ace of Diamonds in his mailbox. It's a card with a message for him to deliver. Or else.
Messages like Ed's will change a person, if he or she lets them. That's the beauty of Zusak's story. Ed discovers the changing power in simple, personalized messages of love, even if they're ones he's forced to deliver. While I could imagine a cynical reader calling Ed's 12 messages a tad forced, I would differ with them on every case. Ed's stories are simple proof 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."
-- Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens
Is the story particularly gripping? No.
Is the pacing appropriate? No. There are many scenes that seemed irrelevant. In fact I once read that a "tight story" is one where no scene or character could be removed without the whole thing falling apart. This is not a tight story.
Is the ending satisfying? Sort of. Yes. No. Although I give him credit for balls. The ending is a ballsy cop out.
I also wonder why this is classified as a young adult novel. If "young" means that most of the main characters are "young" and they are struggling to find their way in the world, then yes it is properly classified. However the reality is that this is a fairly adult book and I wonder what criteria the editor ultimately used to put it in the YA category. The heavy emphasis on alcohol and sex (even rape) seems a bit ragged for the generally softer category of YA. Does this book fit in with the Twillight series? I don't think so....
However I don't want my review to sound as negative as I fear it does. This is a fascinating work by a talented individual. Keep an eye on him, I think he has great work in him.
Oh, well. Obviously many people have enjoyed the book, and I did as well, but the tacked-on ending just left me unsatisfied and disgruntled.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was inspired by the main character Ed’s very normal life. Maybe normal is too nice a word. His life is more mediocre. Read morePublished 2 hours ago by Jessica B.
Loves this book! I actually read a bit then started the audio. So good! It's funny & sentimental. The audio reader's Australian accent is perfect and he does such a great job... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak is an amazing book which proves that even deathly ordinary people can be important to someone else. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Truly a gripping novel. Leaves you guessing throughout the story and invests you in the characters. Makes me wish there was more of Ed's story I could read, but I'm happy with how... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Casey
It's rare to ever get lost in words. It was when written stories first existed, and it is today when the pull of more interesting things (such as Facebook) threatens to tear away... Read morePublished 25 days ago by C. J. Miller
<b>Review also found on <a href="https://booksncalm.wordpress.com/2015/12/06/i-am-the-messenger/">Books N' Calm</a></b>
This book was great. Read more
A Truly Amazing Book
“The gunman is useless.” That is the first sentence on the first page of the book I am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. Read more
Really enjoyed losing myself in this one. A page turner that keeps you guessing! An ordinary man becomes extraordinary, just as we all arePublished 1 month ago by Rachelle M. Perrine