September 24, 2011

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Ed Kennedy is a 19 year old cab driver.  He works, lives in a shack and plays cards every night... he's not very ambitious.  He's seemingly just coating through life, until one day his life changes forever.  He's at the bank with his friends when it get's held up... but as things go wrong for the robbery, he turns out a hero.

In the light of his heroism, he is receives a delivery.  A playing card... the Ace of Diamonds.  Printed on the card are three addresses and times.  He travels to each destination and realizes it's up to him to make things right.  But once the Ace of Diamonds is done, his job is not, as he receives yet another card.

It is a mystery who is sending these cards, yet he knows that it's important work.  He must complete the missions... his life depends on it.  One by one he makes his way through and begins to realize that while he's changing the lives of the people on his cards, they are also changing his... enriching his life in ways unimaginable.  Giving him purpose.

Protect the Diamonds.  Survive the Clubs.  Dig deep through the Spades.  Feel the Hearts. 

This is by far the BEST book I've read all year.  It is stunningly beautiful.  Zusak's writing is silk... seamless, smooth and perfect.  He is touching, lovely, comical and engrossing.  Each character is built with care and they are solid... flesh and blood.

I picked up this book because I also loved his novel, The Book Thief.  That book, although vastly different, is also beautiful.  Which leaves me to the conclusion... everything Zusak touches turns to gold.   Shimmering and precious.

5 Stars

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