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I Am the Messenger
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on May 3, 2017
Author Markus Zusak is a master at taking a somewhat unlikely protagonist and and deftly inserts them into your heart! Just like The Book Thief, this book gave me All. The. Feels.

Ed Kennedy is an unmotivated slacker who drives a cab. He hangs with his (rather loser-y) friends, and is in the throes of unrequited love for Audrey, his best friend. One day he manages to catch an inept bank robber, and now he's a “hero”. And he immediately receives a playing card in the mail—an ace of diamonds. Three addresses are written on it. Ed has been chosen, and he is required to help these people. He's not sure who's “requiring” him to do this (but at one point when he wavers, some guys show up to get physical with him to guarantee he does the job!), and he's never told what help he's supposed to give. He has to figure it out.

Each person he helps becomes a tiny “storylet” that all add together to make up the main storyline of Ed's journey. It is Ed's very “unheroicness” that makes him such a touching hero. All the people he helps, without being the least bit sentimental, completely warm your heart.

This is just one of those books that touch you, and it's a feel-good story for sure. When you finish it, you will put it down with a sigh, and think “What a GOOD book!”
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on July 12, 2017
I had just finished reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and wanted to read another book of his to compare writing style and content. The two books are very different in each respect, but both leave you with thoughts to ponder. I recommend this to those who are interested in self reflection.
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Enthusiast: Batmanon July 28, 2013
I first read this book in high school and loved it, so I bought it for my Kindle to reread, and while it's still a good book, it doesn't hold up as well the second time through.

'I am the Messenger' tells the story of Ed Kennedy, a man chosen to help the residents of his ghetto-ish town, and the people he meets along the way. Most of the characters and lessons learned are fun and inspiring.

The only problems I have with this book are:

1. Zusak uses a lot of one sentence jokes and descriptions that get annoying after a few chapters, and
2. The ending reveal of who's manipulating Ed is pretty dumb.
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on September 3, 2014
Now this book did kind of start of slowly for me but the overall book was just great. The amazing thing about this book is that I can use direct quotes from the book to tell you exactly how it made me feel. "I didn't know words could be so heavy." It reminded me that "Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are." And the most important thing it told me to hold onto in life is that "Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of."
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on April 11, 2016
This is my first time to read a Zusak book. I really like the effortless writing style, and it was a quick read. The beginning took off well, lagged a bit in the middle, and then did disappoint me at the end- it just felt rushed. To me, this book was just ok. I liked the protagonist but not sure I would try another Zusak novel.
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on September 22, 2017
I found this book a great disappointment after The Book Thief. I just loved The Book Thief and felt that it was up there with some of the best novels I have ever read. But this book was hard to get into, and I found the voice of the narrator really annoying. There were some poignant moments and warm insights into sad and messy human lives, but overall I just didn't enjoy it that much. Too many stories, too much humility from the narrator, too many characters to really connect with them.
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on August 2, 2017
"I'm the message."

This is my read at least twice a year book. Each time I take away something new from it. Extremely relatable, funny and sad. To say it's one of my favorites is an understatement.
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on September 4, 2017
Was not sure I was going to be able to read this book, bought it for my kindle because saw the young author had won an award. Language a bit raw in the beginning yet so very glad I trudged my way through as it TURNED OUT TO BE A GREAT READ!!
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on December 5, 2013
So, huge spoiler alert. Whoop, whoop, whoop! Whoop, whoop, whoop! Spoiler alert! You know, I read this book because I read "The Book Thief" first. Did I like "The Book Thief"? Yeah, I did. Did I like this book better? Oh, yeah. Much better. Why did I like this book better? You know, I wouldn't have been able to tell you unless you've read both books. Having read "The Book Thief", do I want to see the movie? Well, kinda--only to see how the star-studded cast can bring the beautifully written story to screen. When I read that the movie doesn't address the two books that Max writes for Liesel, the major turning, revolving, focusing points of the novel, I immediately swore off seeing the movie. Then I read that Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson were casted ... and so, am in conflict.

I appreciate a writer who leaves much of the ending of a story to my mind, so that I can create and develop the pictures and plots in my mind. In "The Book Thief", we have Death playing a speaking role--almost to the point of where I felt, as a reader, that I was beaten over the head with the fact that Death was in the forefront and taking an active role. Yes, yes, Death. Okay, gotcha, let's move along. I was also confounded, or conflicted, when there were these sections of airy prose--not prose, yeah prose--thrown into the mix BIG and BOLD and COMMANDING. I didn't know the source. Maybe I was just stupid, or had too much too drink. It wasn't revealed until whatever chapter that it was our Ms. Liesel who was writing these BIG and BOLD and COMMANDING passages. Wow, when I understood this--like I said, I might have been behind all cheering on Death for narrating and cleverly leading us down a path where Ms. Liesel would taking the jumping off point. Whew! Boy, howdy. When I had that realization, the novel completely opened up and I read it again from the beginning so I could absorb, and intrinsically know, breathe even, the essence of Ms. Liesel. Then the novel was, holy cow, for teens? Pfft. For everyone. Period.

Okay, so where was I? Oh, yeah, this book. I think when one reads that the English version of this novel is titled "I Am the Messenger" but in other languages the novel is titled "The Message". I think that if you view the novel through the looking-glass of the novel as "The Message" rather than "I Am the Messenger" I might persuade you to see/read the novel my way. In this novel, the protagonist--Christ on a cracker. Sorry, let me just be me.

In this novel, our wanna-be hero, Ed, is living a bland and bleak life: SSDD, in other words, and I apologize I offend with my language: Same Shit, Different Day. He isn't living live, he is simply existing--that is, until he finds himself as a potential hostage in a bank robbery and steps outside *cringes from the overused reference* his box and well, saves the day. He then is the recipient of a playing card with a task. Okay, folk. So those of you who were "surprised" by the ending? Who in the heck did you think were sending the cards? To make a long story short, Ed learns it's the little things, sometimes the odd things, the different ways of connecting and validating folk for who they are in their world and sorting through the flotsam and jetsam of "Hi, how are you?" and "Nice day, isn't it?". In other words he takes a stand and does that which he believes is right for him and his heart; just right for who-he-is-right-now-and-crap-to-all-the-rest.

So then, to the ending that a bunch o' folk didn't like, but I did. Okay, so who is a big fan of SF out there, anybody? Christ, doesn't anyone "do" metaphors anymore, or is it just me? Ed is visited by this little guy; a youngin' whom I see as, seasonally appropriate and for lack of a better term, the ghost of Christmas past. The little guy ain't Ed, but he's an apparition of a kinda' Ed, of a youngish' Ed, or *gasp* could it be the devil appearing in a form that is likable and unoffensive to our *snicker* Mr. Ed reminding him of the difference of who he was then and who is is now? I have a quote, but can't reach it as my Kindle is in the other room, and I have a Chocolate Labrador named Luna lying on my feet impeding my progress whilst begging for treats.

I'm paraphrasing thanks to Luna: the little guy holds a mirror up to Ed and asks him if he is "looking at a dead man now?" And Ed, in a whisper, in a flood, sees all "those places and people again" (my husband called Luna out for treats so I was able to rescue my Kindle).

Not to be a smart-ass, because, well, I am one, who can't see from the obvious writing and the mysterious little guy holding a mirror up to our protagonist asking him to reflect upon his life, can't see the obvious that the little guy is and/or could be Mephistopheles. Not that Ed every actively and/or overtly wished for a change of life through the devil; I think it was understated and pretty darn clear through the writing. Oh, that and I totally loved when Ed told off his mom and said something like, "It doesn't matter who I am there, it matter who I am and the changes that I make here." Again, paraphrasing as Luna has once again settled on my feet and my Kindle is far, far away.

Again, I could be wrong. Call me odd, loved the book, the ending, and must give props to the writer for following a life-long dream of published author.
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on January 4, 2015
I don't give very many books 5 stars but this one is about as shiny as they get.

If you're jaded and cynical, or you aren't moved easily by acts of kindness or people being heroic, you probably won't like it.

But I sure did. I'm an idealist, a sensitive guy. I love a good love story and seeing people rise above themselves or their circumstances. I love a good zero to hero story.

Several times, at least 4 or 5, I had to stop for a few seconds just to collect myself. I haven't read a book this touching or moving in years. Maybe never. It wasn't sad and tragic, it was hope, beauty and light. It had suspense, tension, and a bit of darkness, but ultimately it was a thing of beauty.

I couldn't put it down, only stopping to stretch, use the bathroom, eat, or the aforementioned collecting myself. Amazing, absolutely amazing! I've read a couple hundred books in my lifetime, give or take, but this is definitely one of the best. I was pretty surprised actually, but there it is
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