I Am the Messenger

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but Markus Zusak's The Book Thief is one of my favorite books. Having read the rest of the author's works, I think it's also safe to say that he's one of my favorite authors now. So if you are also a fan, or want to be, I can definitely say this novel will NOT disappoint.

Synopsis: I Am the Messenger is about nineteen-year-old, Ed Kennedy. He's just an average, normal teenage guy. A self-proclaimed failure; He didn't try in school, and now he chose a job as a taxi driver because it was the easiest one he could find. In his spare time, he just hangs out with three of his best friends, just lounging around.
Until one day, on a seemingly normal trip to the bank, they found themselves in the middle of a robbery. When the robber decided to run for it and attempt to escape, Ed Kennedy decided to chase after him, and eventually, was able to stop him. After this "heroic" move, everyone thought of him as some sort of savior.
Then one day he received something random in the mail; a card--an Ace of Diamonds. On the card, were three addresses, with corresponding times on them. For a while, he was only confused and did not have an idea what to do. But eventually, he started to realize that these cards meant for something more special and more important than he has ever done in his entire life. He was given an important task; to be a messenger, and to deliver "messages" to specific people. The question is, can he deliver them, and is he capable of doing what is asked of him?

Review: I loved this novel so much. I loved the characters, the situations, the writing, the flow, the ending... everything.
Though not as good as The Book Thief, I don't think of it any less at all. I feel like the magnitude of Marcus Zusak's writing was the same. The development of the characters (and the plot) were smoothly done, making it very easy for me to empathize with all of them as well as the story itself.
And of course, as expected in a story coming from the author, the message to its readers were genuine and real. It didn't seem contrived or forced, and to me, that counts a lot. It's hard to take a book seriously when it becomes preachy in an extremely pretentious way.
Obviously, the book is too far-fetched and too "fantastical" to happen in real life, but I think that the point of it was not to deliver actual reality. I think the point was to to push us to think about other people than just ourselves, and for us to believe that somehow, each and everyone of us is capable of possibly changing the world, simply by doing good and kind things for others.

To sum it all up, it is a very good book (my 2nd favorite from the author), is extremely well-crafted, is heartfelt, and is full of meaningful but subtle messages. I highly recommend it.

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