Apr 13, 2012

The Messenger, by Markus Zusak

Title: The Messenger
Author: Markus Zusak
Target Audience: Young Adult
Pages: 386
Genre: Mystery
Person: First
Tense: present
Rating: 7.5/10

Blurb (quoted):
“Ed Kennedy – cab driving prodigy, pathetic card player, useless at sex – shares coffee with his dog and is in nervous love with Audrey. His life is one of suburban routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.
That’s when the first ace turns up and Ed becomes the messenger.
Chosen to care, he travels through town, helping and hurting, until only one question remains. Where are the messages coming from?”

This novel is a very symbolic one, meant to teach the reader a life lesson. I rather enjoyed it actually, but not for the content, rather the writing style. Had this book been written differently, without the humour, the sarcasm, and mocking attitude, I would’ve probably fallen asleep – it’s certainly not a book I’d generally pick off the shelf (we had to read it in English class though).
It’s structure is certainly interesting – set into five parts (each based on an ace of a different suit and a joker), and each part divided up by card numbers (ace to two to jack, etc.). Everything in this book is meant as a message to the reader to teach the moral.
I think most of the characters are identifiable with in that they are hopeless (or feel hopeless) and lost in life. They are developed individuals and very believable. I think what I love most about this novel is that none of the characters are actually ‘bad’, but there is still massive amount of conflict in it, both internal and external/physical.
What did it for me in this book was the way it was written. It is witty and amusing – it keeps you smiling or grinning and thinking.
The mystery aspect of it is present throughout as a side thought, but is never actually thrown in your face as the big question, but it instead focuses on the messages and journey Ed, the main character, must make.
If you like a mystery or even just witty, sarcastic humour, I’m sure you’re enjoy this book.

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