So I finally made it to an actual book discussion – not counting the entire Reviewing The Classics-series, of course. And what book could be better to start off with, than my latest “I can not read less than 100 pages at a time”-love, I Am The Messenger?
Now, I have to admit – I was actually a bit scared to read this one. Not because of anything content-wise, it’s just that I loved The Bookthief so much, that I really really wanted to love this one as well – and what if I didn’t?
Suffice it to say: I needn’t have worried.
Ed Kennedy, the book’s main character, is someone who’s basically going nowhere, fast – he knows it, and dislikes himself for it, the girl he likes knows it and (to some extent) won’t date him for it, and his mother knows it and resents him for it. After, one day, he’s accidentally stopped a bank robber, 4 aces (the playing cards) start arriving – each carrying 3 names, or hints, of people he has to help in some way. While the cards start out sufficiently distant – 3 people he doesn’t know – they get increasingly close to his life, with the last card naming his three best friends – one of which is the girl he likes.
The main character is Ed Kennedy, and he is, to some extent, the person we may all fear to be. The goalless, just wandering through life, passionate about nothing guy that nobody would miss all that much if they were gone.
In all his “pointlessness”, though, he is a character that really spoke to me. Yes, he starts out as nobody special – but don’t we all? When given the chance, though, he chooses to act and to help and improve the world, even if just in a small way, for a few people. (although, to what extent you can really call it a “choice” when he gets beat up by the messengers of his message!)
I could tell you all about the other characters, but unfortunately that would also mean kind of giving away the story – and I’m not gonna do that. Suffice it to say that you’ll probably be very frustrated with them, but you’ll love them all the same!
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.
I mean – it’s Markus Zusak. I feel like the entire world and their cat love this author, but let me just give my two cents!
First of all: I actually really struggled with the narration in the first couple of pages – I think I actually restarted this one 4 or 5 times before I really could get into it, just because you’re sort of dropped into a situation and with people that seem to make no sense – but it gets better, and soon enough, I literally couldn’t read less than 100 pages at a time!
Now, the book is narrated by Ed Kennedy who is “The Messenger” but, of course, that implies that he isn’t the one sending the messages, just the one delivering them. Throughout the story, for me at least, that always left me feeling kind of on edge, because you never know to what extent Ed is actually aware of what is going on around him, and of what and why he is doing (remember how he was going nowhere fast? He also isn’t always the most attentive of people).
What’s more, I constantly was waiting for the other shoe to drop – this might just be me and my messed up expectations, or something, but I just really had this feeling that something bad was going to happen any minute, and it actually did leave me at the edge on my seat!
And of course, just like in The Book Thief, there are some diamond-like phrases that make you sort of stop and go: wow!
For a long time, I wonder what I’m waiting for, but I understand it’s just like he said. I guess it’s for life beyond these pages.
I think it’s pretty clear by now that I really, really liked this book – it might take you a while to get into it, but once you do – ermagerd is so gooood!!! (Sorry. My enthusiasm got away from me for a bit, there 🙂 )
So, yes, stop reading this, and go read that!
(Oh, and be sure to let me know down below whether you read I Am the Messenger, and what you thought!)
PS: Should you, like me, be wanting to read this gorgeous story after reading this: you can find it on Amazon here!