I am The Messenger by Markus Zusak| Book review

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“Why can’t the world hear? I ask myself. Within a few moments I ask it many times. Because it doesn’t care, I finally answer, and I know I’m right. It’s like I’ve been chosen. But chosen for what? I ask.”

Hello everyone! Hope you’re having a chilled out evening. So today’s post is about the story of I am the messenger by Markus Zusak. He’s also well known for his other book, The Book Thief that turned into a movie. And let me tell you, that book is a roller coaster of emotions. If you haven’t read it, then I don’t know what you’re doing with your life! Just kidding though. But seriously, how can you miss out on reading a marvelous story that will probably shatter your heart into little pieces? Because I know I wouldn’t. Anyways, I am going to stop babbling, or I’ll embarrass myself. So back to our review.

Who’s Ed Kennedy?

Who’s the one who chose Ed to be The Messenger?

Why has he been chosen to be The Messenger?

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen year old cynical guy who works as a cab driver for a cab company. He lives in a cheap shack that he rented with his only housemate, The door man. And that’s his stinky dog who smells horribly gross. Ed is helplessly in love with his best friend Audrey who cares about him too much to even consider dating him. He’s got another two close friends, Marv, and Ritchie. Ed is one of those people whose personality is a mix of contradictions. Each trait contradicts the other one. “You’ll understand what I’m talking about at the end of this review.”  He is lousy/careless about his future. He didn’t even think of going to college or showed an interest about his education. The only thing he’s good at is playing cards a couple nights a week. The days were passing by pretty much the same, until one day, Ed stops a bank robbery and its robber. The police station called Ed to come to testify and tell them exactly what happened and how he stopped the robber. Everyone was complementing Ed about what he did, and he felt awesome about it. Ed got more famous and his face was all over the newspapers. But something unusual happened after that. One day, Ed thought of checking his post, and found a playing card with three different addresses and clues written on it. There was also a letter that explained to him what he should do, and if he didn’t obey the instructions and did what he’s told to do, his life will be at stake. Ed was bewildered at first, but then he chose to do what the letter said exactly.

The sender of those cards is someone Ed doesn’t know. He started asking his friends, even Audrey, but they all denied it. The Messenger’s mission goes like this, each card has a couple of addresses and places written on it that he has to go to. Once he goes to several places and do his job as he’s told, he receives another new card in the post with a new addresses.

Ed has been chosen to be the messenger for several facts based on his uneventful life. He is pessimistic about his choices, and himself. If something is out of his reach, he won’t bother to try and get it. Wallowing in self pity and comparing himself to other people’s lives and jobs is what he does best. He underestimates his abilities and the things he could do and achieve way too much. Despite all of his negative personality, he’s really affectionate and protective of the people he cares about. He’s willing to help them no matter what. He puts other people’s needs over him, and he doesn’t even realize it until the end of his journey. However, Deep inside, he believes that he wasn’t meant to do great things in life, and to leave an unforgettable mark on this world when he dies. But being the messenger has proven to him that he’s not what he thinks of himself at all. He goes around each night, delivering the messages, fixing people’s lives, protecting them from whatever/whoever is harming them, and preferring helping people he doesn’t know over sleep and comfort. For the first time, he follows his instinct to do what’s necessary. And as much as he hates it, his journey as the messenger brings joy to some people and sometimes inflicts pain on them to open their eyes and realize the wider picture.

Markus Zusak uses English like nobody does. His words are magically touching and so powerful that makes you feel like you’re drowning so deep in a pool of endless emotions. His writing style is so poetic and full of passion. To be frank, I picked up this book without reading any reviews. I didn’t have any idea what is it about. At first, the plot was going slow and the characters were dull and hard to like. But further on, Ed’s journey got more intense and complicated and the characters became more interesting. He was living his ordinary life thinking he’s immune to change, while in fact he willingly surrendered to his negative mindset that was poisoned by so many toxic thoughts without a fight. But once he got out of his comfort zone, and went great lengths to help others, he started wanting to make more out of his life. At the end of the book, he became fully aware that he’s not the messenger, he’s the message. And he is capable of doing more than he thought he could.

I think that the main message of this book to all of us is to never underestimate any act of kindness, even the smallest one. Because sometimes, all we want is just to be listened to when life gets overwhelming. So taking a little bit of your time, easing others’ sorrows and pain, being there for them to never let them feel alone, and protecting them is the biggest genuine form of sacrifice any human being could offer. Last but not least, never settle for less if you truly believe that you could be a better version of yourself.

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