I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

February 29, 2016 Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction 11

G’Day Bookworms!

I had sooooo much fun during Book Blogger Appreciation Week, but let me tell you something. It wreaked absolute havoc on my TBR list. I don’t even remember where I saw it, but somewhere in the blog hopping I was reminded that I’ve only ever read one Markus Zusak novel (The Book Thief, natch. Which duh. Read about it HERE.) I Am the Messenger came highly recommended from this mysterious unnamed source I cannot remember so I decided I ought to read it. And thus, I did. It seems pretty unfair to the rest of my TBR pile that I randomly jumped to this one, but I am a capricious sort of gal sometimes.

iamthemessengerThe book opens in the midst of a bank robbery. Ed Kennedy and his friends are caught in the holdup, and they make a rather motley set of hostages. Ed is an underage cabbie living in a less than stellar suburb of a major Australian metropolis. At 19 years old, he’s spending his life in a holding pattern. He plays cards with his friends, works at a dead end job, and can’t pluck up the courage to tell his best friend Audrey that he’s butt crazy in love with her. He lives alone with a maniacally stinky geriatric dog named the Doorman. (If ever a stench could be called maniacal, I imagine the Doorman’s would qualify.) Nothing is great, but it’s a peaceful existence Ed has carved out for himself. Shortly after the robbery, though, Ed’s life is thrown out of the comfortable pattern he’s used to when he starts receiving mysterious messages in the mail. He is sent on a quest by persons unknown to help (or hurt) the deserving in his hometown. But who is behind these messages?

I have mixed feeeeeeelings about this book. I loved Ed and his friends and their insane card games. I LOVE LOVE LOVED THE DOORMAN. This is the single greatest dog in all of literature! He’s really old and decrepit, so you can’t fault Ed for indulging him with coffee and the occasional ice cream cone. I have a soft spot for stinky old man dogs, okay?! There was a lot of humor injected into the novel and that is the sort of thing I gobble up. Ed’s self deprication? His banter with pals? His deep philosophical discussions with the Doorman? All brilliant.

Ed’s missions though… Some of them are awesome and some of them are rather bizarre. I like the idea of helping out one’s fellow man and all that, but I’m not sure how I feel about the seemingly random vigilante-ism that goes on. Plus, I was less than thrilled with the way the book wrapped up. Like… The mystery behind the missions? I just don’t buy it. Probably because I am old and cynical and lacking in heart. But there you have it. I’m a muddled mess of opinions with mad love for an ancient, fictional, odiferous canine.

Talk to me, Bookworms! What are some of the coolest pets you’ve ever read about? 

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11 Responses to “I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak”

  1. Deepika Ramesh

    “I’m a muddled mess of opinions with mad love for an ancient, fictional, odiferous canine.” Whaha! That made me smile. Thank you. 🙂

    I loved Leo/Sirius in Diana Wynne Jones’s ‘Dogsbody’. 🙂

  2. Jenny

    Hey! It might have been me that recommended this one. I’m sad you didn’t like the ending. It’s not for everyone. I’m glad you liked the rest of it though and, yes, the Doorman is awesome, isn’t he?

  3. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I too have mixed feelings about I Am the Messenger, you absolutely SHOULD read Diana Wynne Jones, and Markus Zusak’s other books, while the premises of them sound like less of a natural fit for me than I am the Messenger, are excellent and made me cry stupid baby tears. You can skip The Underdog, but Fighting Ruben Wolfe — man. It just was real real dusty in my house the day I read that one.

  4. Kailana

    For some reason I have never had any success with Zusak at all. I keep trying… One day he will click with me… He always sounds like something I would love.

    • Words For Worms

      LOL it probably was Suey! The subject matter of this book was sooooo different from The Book Thief that I’m not sure I would have realized the same person wrote them. It’s not a bad thing, just different.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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