Review: The Messenger

January 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm (4 stars, review) (, , , , )

The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Pages: 386, paperback

ISBN: 97803304247338


Date Released: First published in 2002. This edition published in February 2009.

Genre: Literary fiction / Young Adult / mystery

Where I got it from: bought


Meet Ed Kennedy—underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. . . .

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

Winner of the 2003 Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award in Australia, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love. (Taken from Goodreads)

This book was quite different from The Book Thief (also by Markus Zusak). The writing style is much the same, fragmented, attempting to be poetic, but incredibly annoying for the tone and the character.
I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that I’m Australian and encounter these sort of ‘bogan’ people on the train everyday to and from uni, but the characters annoyed me. Their voices, though well constructed, were just too annoying for me to handle. Seriously, I hate how Australians talk, and this book encorporates it.

I did, however, enjoy the plot. Zusak has a way with words that allows emotions to come surging through. I admit, I cried at times during this book, and I laughed, and I seethed with raging fury. I was hopeful for the characters, and was constantly kept on the edge of my seat
Admitedly, I was disappointed at the lack of a climatic ending, but since this is Zusak, I’ll let it slide for the beautiful prose.

Cover: 3
Plot: 4
Characters: 2
Writing: 5
Level of Interest: 5

Total Rating: 4/5



  1. Pico said,

    Wow, it’s interesting you had such a different reaction to me! I really liked the Australian feel of it- right from the first conversation- I found it easy to instantly relate and quite hilarious. Maybs it’s because I’m actually a bogan… Haha I swear I’m not! 😉

    On the other hand I thought the poetry in the prose was at times a little, raw… in that he always seems to hit the nail on the head in The Book Thief, but at times I thought it was a bit clunky here, you know? But all in all, very enjoyable, and I really liked the characters with the exception of Audrey who I thought was ok. I never seem to like the female leads though, esp. when the MC is male. I DONT KNOW WHY. Anyway, my copy is the same as your pic, but I see it’s now being sold as ‘I AM THE MESSENGER’ what’s up with that???

    • nlmars said,

      Hm, I can see what you mean about being able to relate to it. I dunno, I guess dialects like that sorta irk me out, for example a southern drawl or an Australian accent. It makes me shudder with rage. 😛

      Yeah, I’ve been wanting to know why it’s being sold as I AM THE MESSENGER. It’s an interesting name, but I think THE MESSENGER is short and sweet and gets the point across.

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