I Am the Messenger

I Am the Messenger

Book - 2005
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After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2005
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780375836671
Characteristics: 357 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

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May 27, 2019

I'm 55 years old and this novel for young adults is my favourite novel. The narrator of the book is Ed, a self-described loser, an underage cab driver, with no ambition, no desire to escape this seedy Sydney slum or to do anything more than play cards with his friends. Then one day he accidentally foils a bank robber. Then the cards start coming.

Ed starts getting playing cards in the mail. An ace of clubs. An ace of diamonds. And on each card there is an address, a place to go. There are no instructions, so Ed has to figure out what he's supposed to do with these addresses. What he does is help people, save them from abusers, to help a beautiful girl to run, to take an old woman to church, to redeem his empty life with courage and determination.

I cry every time I read this book. It's not that the book is sad, it's that it's so beautiful that it breaks my heart. Markus Zusak is a young writer of extreme brilliance and a keen understanding of what it's like to be at the bottom with no way of climbing to the top.

May 07, 2019

As an author, Markus Zusak has the unique ability to write a magical story with lyrical writing so well done you ask yourself why you didn't think of words exactly like that to describe some similar situation. His books have a unique ability to make you wonder where the heck he's going yet they keep drawing your farther and farther in.

'I Am the Messenger' is just such a book. It's a story about an event that sets a young man on a journey he does not want to take, yet is compelled to do so. As he meets the criteria of the journey, he meets himself in the fullness of who he doesn't expect himself to be, doesn't know he is or can be. At times he thinks it's confusing torment, at other times he thinks it's a blessing. And the overarching question for him is who sends him on this journey. I think every reader will have their own distinct answer for that. I know I do.

There are so many wonderful words to quote from 'I Am the Messenger' it's hard not to just quote the entire book!

"Maybe I truly am shedding the old Ed Kennedy for this new person who's full of purpose rather than incompetence. Maybe one morning I'll wake up and step outside of myself to look back at the old me lying dead among the sheets."
* *
"But sometimes the truth arrives on you, and you can't get it off. That's when you realize that sometimes isn't even an answer - it's a question. Even now, I wonder how much of my life is convinced."
* *
"Somewhere along the line, I feel like somehow I introduced myself.
To myself.
And here I Am."
* *
"...And I hear the words again from this morning.
If a guy like you can stand up and do what you did, then maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of."
* *
"And that's when I realize.
On a sweet. cruel, beautiful moment of clarity, I smile, watch a crack in the cement, and speak to Audrey and the sleeping Doorman. I tell them what I'm telling you: . . . "

5 stars

Feb 01, 2019

Even the most ordinary can do extraordinary things. Believe and anything is possible. This is the message Ed Kennedy, an underage cabdriver with no real direction in life, carries when he is dealt the 4 aces that changes the lives of strangers, friends and ultimately himself.
A great read with just the right amount of humour that grabs the readers attention and takes them to an even greater ending.

Oct 04, 2018

I really enjoyed this, it wasn't at all like I expected but the twists and mystery were enough to keep me hooked all day

LPL_CentennialC Apr 28, 2017

Almost 15 years since I Am the Messenger was originally published, it still stands just as strong. Markus Zusak is most well-known for The Book Thief, but this is my favorite of his books. The main character, Ed, is written with a strong voice that will hook you from the beginning, and once you're swept up in the mystery of the playing cards, you won't want to stop reading. (When I read this for the first time, it was devoured in one sitting.) Recommended for those who enjoyed John Green & David Arnold!

Apr 26, 2017

Amazing book. The ending is just... well, I'll let you discover it.

It starts slow but is definitely worth reading the whole way through. THE. ENDING.

Happy reading ;)

Feb 26, 2017

You know the kind of books that when you finish it you just want to lay down, look at the sky and contemplate the meaning of things for several hours? This is that kind of book.

Aug 25, 2016

I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak, is a book about the nature of humankind told through the thoughts of your average, ordinary human: Ed Kennedy. Ed isn’t anything special. He’s just Ed. He plays cards with his friends and he drives his taxi, and that’s about it. Then, all of a sudden, he saves his friends from an armed robber, and strange things start happening. When Ed receives a playing card from an unknown sender with three addresses on it, he has no choice but to investigate, and finds himself needing to solve the problems of the people on this mysterious card. This is one of my favourite books of all time because of the message it sends. It speaks of the good that ordinary humans can do. It’s an incredibly inspiring work of fiction, showing that even doing something as small as buying a family Christmas lights can change the way someone else perceives the world. It shows that you don’t have to be superhuman to be a superhero, even if you’re only that hero for one person. Every act of kindness you do, you change something for the better, no matter how small. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to see the good side of humanity and who wants to know what they can do to make the world a better place.
- @freckleface675 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

From the author who made the critically acclaimed novel 'The Book Thief', Markus Zusak goes for an entirely different genre with this mystery comedy drama. This book follows the mundane life of Ed Kennedy living in an old town in Australia where nothing happens, the beginning shows him stopping a bank robbery then the rest of the story is a series of strange events happening to him. Ed receives cards in the mail where he is instructed to do good within his community but with certain gallantry. This incredibly entertaining novel explores what anybody is capable of, with tear-jerking moments and times when you want to laugh until your stomach hurts, I would recommend this to anybody.
- @Florence of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Jul 03, 2015

This book is well written and entertaining to teens it is also very page turning especially when he got a new card also Ed is that character everyone wants to be

Jul 03, 2014

Zusak continually writes stories about people finding strength within themselves, while managing to escape the cheesiness that so often accompanies a story like that. This book was blunt and beautiful, and a wonderful read.

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May 23, 2014

NoOneEver thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 11, 2012

Hannah03 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

shallowriver Jan 12, 2012

shallowriver thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Oct 09, 2011

Ciresica thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 13, 2008

noob123 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


Add a Quote
Jul 03, 2015

“She soon says, "You're my best friend, Ed."
You can kill a man with those words.
No gun.
No bullets.
Just words and a girl.”

Jun 28, 2012

Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of.

Oct 09, 2011

Carefully now, her statement comes out, "Believe it or not: it takes a lot of love to hate you like this".

Jun 17, 2008

I'm not the messenger at all. I'm the message.


Add a Summary
Oct 09, 2011

Ed captures a bank-robber and then he is considered as a "hero" in the newspaper. His life changes from that moment on : he gets unanymous cards with adresses or names. He knows he has to help those people somehow, but will he be able to do it or will he give up? After all, he's just a regular boy with no superpowers at all. Just him, a cabbdriver.

Jul 04, 2011

nice to read a story were the protagonist isn't some superhero, genius, incredibly good looking or whatever. He's just you're typical below the average guy who happens to be in love with his best friend. After accidently stopping a bank robbery- he constantly gets cards with adresses of people who need his help. It goes to show that even the ordinary people can do extraordinary thins.


Add Notices
Oct 09, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Oct 09, 2011

Violence: This title contains Violence.

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