By the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book Thief , this is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.
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.
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More About I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak; Marc Aden GrayOverview
By the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Book Thief, this is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.
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?
This book is a 2005 Michael L. Printz Honor Book and recipient of five starred reviews.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
- Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Gr
- Date: Sept 2006
From the book
The gunman is useless.
I know it.
He knows it.
The whole bank knows it.
Even my best mate, Marvin, knows it, and he's more useless than the gunman.
The worst part about the whole thing is that Marv's car is standing outside in a fifteen-minute parking zone. We're all facedown on the floor, and the car's only got a few minutes left on it.
"I wish this bloke'd hurry up," I mention.
"I know," Marv whispers back. "This is outrageous." His voice rises from the depths of the floor. "I'll be getting a fine because of this useless bastard. I can't afford another fine, Ed."
"The car's not even worth it."
Marv looks over at me now. I can sense he's getting uptight. Offended. If there's one thing Marv doesn't tolerate, it's someone putting shit on his car. He repeats the question.
"What did you say, Ed?"
"I said," I whisper, "it isn't even worth the fine, Marv."
"Look," he says, "I'll take a lot of things, Ed, but . . ."
I tune out of what he's saying because, quite frankly, once Marv gets going about his car, it's downright pain-in-the-arse material. He goes on and on, like a kid, and he's just turned twenty, for Jesus' sake.
He goes on for another minute or so, until I have to cut him off.
"Marv," I point out, "the car's an embarrassment, okay? It doesn't even have a hand brake—it's sitting out there with two bricks behind the back wheels." I'm trying to keep my voice as quiet as possible. "Half the time you don't even bother locking it. You're probably hoping someone'll flog it so you can collect the insurance."
"It isn't insured."
"NRMA said it wasn't worth it."
That's when the gunman turns around and shouts, "Who's talkin' back there?"
Marv doesn't care. He's worked up about the car.
"You don't complain when I give you a lift to work, Ed, you miserable upstart."
"Upstart? What the hell's an upstart?"
"I said shut up back there!" the gunman shouts again.
"Hurry up then!" Marv roars back at him. He's in no mood now. No mood at all.
He's facedown on the floor of the bank.
The bank's being robbed.
It's abnormally hot for spring.
The air-conditioning's broken down.
His car's just been insulted.
Old Marv's at the end of his tether, or his wit's end. Whatever you want to call it—he's got the shits something terrible.
We remain flattened on the worn-out, dusty blue carpet of the bank, and Marv and I are looking at each other with eyes that argue. Our mate Ritchie's over at the Lego table, half under it, lying among all the pieces that scattered when the gunman came in yelling, screaming, and shaking. Audrey's just behind me. Her foot's on my leg, making it go numb.
The gunman's gun is pointed at the nose of some poor girl behind the counter. Her name tag says Misha. Poor Misha. She's shivering nearly as bad as the gunman as she waits for some zitty twenty-nine-year-old fella with a tie and sweat patches under his arms to fill the bag with money.
"I wish this bloke'd hurry up," Marv speaks.
"I said that already," I tell him.
"So what? I can't make a comment of my own?"
"Get your foot off me," I tell Audrey.
"What?" she responds.
"I said get your foot off me—my leg's going numb."
She moves it. Reluctantly.
The gunman turns around and shouts his question for the last time. "Who's the bastard talking?"
The thing to note with Marv is that he's problematic at the best of times. Argumentative. Less than...Reviews
"The Book Thief is unsettling and unsentimental, yet ultimately poetic. Its grimness and tragedy run through the reader's mind like a black-and-white movie, bereft of the colors of life. Zusak may not have lived under Nazi domination, but The Book Thief deserves a place on the same shelf with The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel's Night. It seems poised to become a classic." - -USA Today
"Zusak doesn't sugarcoat anything, but he makes his ostensibly gloomy subject bearable the same way Kurt Vonnegut did in Slaughterhouse-Five: with grim, darkly consoling humor." - Time Magazine
"Elegant, philosophical and moving...Beautiful and important."
- Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"An extraordinary narrative."
- School Library Journal, Starred
"Exquisitely written and memorably populated, Zusak's poignant tribute to words, survival, and their curiously inevitable entwinement is a tour
de force to be not just read but inhabited."
- The Horn Book Magazine, Starred
"One of the most highly anticipated young-adult books in years." - The Wall Street Journal