I Am the Messenger

by Markus Zusak | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0375836675 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Qantaqa of Dachau, Bayern Germany on 9/28/2010
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Qantaqa from Dachau, Bayern Germany on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That's when the first ace arrives in the mail.
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?

Journal Entry 2 by Qantaqa at Dachau, Bayern Germany on Thursday, September 30, 2010
Bookring participants:

- delfinnetti
- erinacea
- Urfin
- Sheepseeker

Journal Entry 3 by Qantaqa at Dachau, Bayern Germany on Sunday, October 03, 2010
The book is now on its way to delfinnetti.

Journal Entry 4 by wingdelfinnettiwing at Siegen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Monday, October 11, 2010
Ich habe das Buch heute aus der Packstation befreit. Vielen lieben Dank fürs Verringen und Schicken. Ich lese gerade noch mein aktuelles Buch zu Ende und dann ist dieses hier dran. Ich bin schon gespannt, nachdem mir die Bücherdiebin so gut gefallen hat.

Edit 17.11.2010:
I´m reading the book at the moment. Somehow I don´t read very much at the moment (but the use of audio-books was increased drastically recently). I will either finish reading the book in the next two weeks or pass it on half-read. Promised!

Edit 02.12.2010
Well I just finished the book and the next adress arrived two days ago. The book will be in the mail tomorrow. I kept it far to long, I should refrain from bookrings in the pre-christmas-time. Audiorings are far better suited to accompanie baking and the like ;-)
My slow reading is not due to the style of the book. The book is pretty enthralling.
The ...hero?... well at the end, yes hero! of the book is Ed. He is a hopeless loser - even his mother tells him this to his face. He drives a taxi as excuse for a job. He playes cards and drinks with his friends. End of story. Well until he accedently prevents a bank-robbery. Well the gunman is useless. But still, he might have succeeded with the robbery if Ed hadn´t stopped him. And then Ed gets an Ace of Diamonds in a envelope with three adresses on it. And suddenly Ed has to change the lives, the fates, the hopes and aims of people he has never met before. Sometimes in small ways and sometimes in very significant ways.
Spoiler in white mark to read:
In all Ed gets 5 playing cards and some encouragement. He has to change the lives of 12 people and for the last card, the joker - his own. Thats where I think the brilliant story failed a bit. I thought Ed should have changed a bit more. Not neccessarily moving, better job, university, girl... maybe just continue helping people on his own. Maybe becoming a priest and sending Audrey off with some other guy to get married and away from him for good. At the very least making up with his mother... Up until the last 12 pages the book was brilliant. Then the solution is a bit stale. A mysterious deus ex machina without real explanation (well if his father wasn´t dead and training Ed up to be a small-size-super-hero - that would have been mischievously fun!). And there was no need for him to end up with Audrey! Well but apart from the last 12 pages it was a great book! Endings come with all kind of flavour and this wasn´t to my liking but it´s not a disaster. There is worse. A good book still.

Journal Entry 5 by wingdelfinnettiwing at Siegen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, December 03, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (12/3/2010 UTC) at Siegen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany


I will send the book with the mail to erinacea today. Finally... Sorry for keeping the book so long. Thank you very much for the bookring! Great book!

Journal Entry 6 by erinacea at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Saturday, December 11, 2010
Fetched from the post office yesterday, thanks for sending! I didn't get around to journal last night because our Christmas meet-up ran late. :)

Journal Entry 7 by erinacea at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Monday, January 24, 2011
Finished sometime last week. I was surprised how very different this book was from The Book Thief. Completely different in subject, characters and style.

In the beginning, Ed reminded me a lot of Odd Thomas because of the name similarity, comparable living situation, their relationship with their mother, and because fate assigns both of them the role of the hero. I wasn't sure whether I liked Ed at first, but he grew on me as he struggled with his mission.

I liked the unorthodox beginning of the story and really liked Ed's short introduction of his friends. The way they (but also other characters, like Ed's Ma) get fleshed out as the story continues, is actually the only thing I felt this book had in common with The Book Thief.
To me, Audrey remained the least interesting among Ed's circle of friends, but not in an annoying way. I mean I could see why Ed liked her so much, but to me as a reader she just wasn't a character worth any particular interest.

I also liked the puzzles involved in the later card messages. Not that I would have been able to solve them without additional information, but I liked the way they were presented and that I could get an idea of what was involved in them. Pretty much all of the missions were immensely interesting, and I was particularly impressed how Zusak managed to come up with something completely new and different for each and every one of them. Also, Ed's reactions, mood swings, anxiety and procrastination, felt very natural and believable.

I'm not entirely sure what to think of the ending. Spoilers follow, highlight to make them visible:
On the one hand, it was a twist I couldn't have seen coming, and while it could have been really trite, I do think that Zusak handled it well, by which I mean that Ed reacted, though surprisingly calm, in a way that matched his character.
On the other hand, I couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed. The range of characters working for the "guy behind it all" had hinted at a complex organisation working towards the goal of, I don't know, furthering humanity or something like that. I was hoping to get all of that explained, all these idiosyncrasies of pie-eating thugs and subtle threats, and of course, how they knew all that stuff about Ed. Only to be... fobbed off with the explanation, "It happened because I wished it so"? Yeah, I'd really been hoping for more.
And I totally agree with delfinnetti that Ed hooking up with Audrey was completely unnecessary. In my opinion, it would have been more interesting for him to get over her and, yes, continue helping people on its own, with maybe a potential relationship on the horizon.

All in all a very interesting book. Thanks a lot for sharing, Qantaqa!

Will travel along shortly to Urfin.

Journal Entry 8 by wingUrfinwing at Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Thanks. The book's with me now.
I read erinacea's JE and look forward to read (and judge;) myself.

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