Markus Zusak’s I am the Messenger is a fantastic fictional novel that won Children’s Book Council of Australia “Book of the year award” in 2003. Based on the perspective of non-heroic protagonist; Ed Kennedy, this book digs up the self-esteem of the ordinary people. Zusak has cleverly employed Ed as a perfect example that how a goal-less ordinary person can learn to live and enjoy life. Moreover, I am the messenger book sets up a good message for everyone.
The story kicks-off with Ed Kennedy; A directionless nineteen years old ordinary taxi driver, who loves gambling with his friends and hangs out with his coffee-drinking dog in his spare time. He doesn’t expect anything from his life that he thinks he is pretty much dead. Unlike one day, he involves in a botched bank robbery by capturing the robber by grabbing the robber’s dropped gun and shooting at him. He is then hailed by everyone as a hero although he is not usually a heroic type. What a lucky man!! After few days prior to this event he receives a mail that included an Ace of Diamonds with three addresses and time listed on it. That mail didn’t have any return address so he totally had no clue who sent the package? and what did it mean? Sounds creepy…
After thinking a lot about it, finally, he puts up his nerves to check the first address, when he does he is shocked to find a man raping his wife. Ed should have saved her but he didn’t as he had no confidence to face the other man thinking own-self weaker. Every night he goes to the first address but doesn’t build up confidence to help her. So, Ed moves to the second address. This time it was nothing creepy, he found out an old woman (Milla Johnson) there eating dinner on her own. Definitely, she is lonely. So, Ed knocks upon the door, she opens the door and invites him in asking where he had been all those years. She thought of Ed to be Jimmy who she had been waiting for 60 years. This 19 years man now visits the woman on a regular basis and reads her from the Wuthering Heights. Ed has successfully helped this old woman fill-up her loneliness. Similarly, Ed also visits the third address written on the Ace of Diamond, where he finds a fifteen years old girl who wants to run. Hence he helps her find her step. Now, it time he has to save the girl from the first address, he finally gathers up enough courage and saves her. But he only threatens the culprit to leave the town and never come back instead of executing the plan that he had made before; kill the culprit with the gun he found in a parcel.
Just as the time goes, Ed receives other aces of Clubs, Hearts and Spades with similar cryptic information. He now has developed self-esteem and does everything to help those people in-need (people’s address written in the Ace of card). One day when Ed’s one-sided love for his best friend Audrey turns into a two-sided relationship, a mysterious man with a folder shows up and tells Ed that he was behind all the cards and addresses. Ed, in the end, realizes that although he was an ordinary person, his effort to help others has brought change in their lives. Moreover, he learns he wasn’t the messenger; he was the message.
I am the Messenger book encourages everyone that one can play his role in making the difference in others life. In our life full of hustle and bustle, we rarely spend time to come to deeply know ourselves, we never realize our limitations until we attempt to exceed them, and we can never define ourselves who we are unless we act upon. So this book of Markus Zusak’s truly motivates us to become a message; a role model for others to follow, not a messenger. I would like to rate the book 4 out of 5 as I am the Messenger book review, for the optimistic message it carries and the style of writing inaugurated in this book. You can learn the entire story in detail by downloading I am the Messenger pdf from the link mentioned below;