Customer Reviews for

I Am the Messenger

Average Rating 4.5
( 395 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(253)

4 Star

(94)

3 Star

(30)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Taylor Rector for TeensReadToo.com

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who is kind of a nobody! He hasn't achieved anything great, isn't a genius, his mom despises him, and his dad died of alcoholism. The only real thing that he has is his dog, named the Doorman, who everyone says desperately ne...
Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who is kind of a nobody! He hasn't achieved anything great, isn't a genius, his mom despises him, and his dad died of alcoholism. The only real thing that he has is his dog, named the Doorman, who everyone says desperately needs a bath. And, he's in love with Audrey, a girl from a bad neighborhood, just like him, who also happens to be one of his best friends since forever. The thing is, Audrey doesn't know that Ed is in love with her, and worse yet, she says she doesn't believe in love.

One day, Ed and his friend stop at a local bank, but a robbery begins while they are in line. And Ed stops the guy.

So then he becomes a local hero. He is just trying to live a normal life, and then he gets a playing card in the mail with three addresses and times on it. Ed doesn't know what to do. Should he just throw the card away, like his friends instruct, or should he go to the first address to see what this is all about?

This book would be a good recommendation for fans of THE DA VINCI CODE and the movie National Treasure.

Ed is such a cool character! He seems like such a normal guy, who does things that normal guys do, and lives a very ordinary life. Until he gets the card in the mail, and he's not so ordinary anymore.

posted by TeensReadToo on November 1, 2008

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

Put it Down Mid-Book..

My librarian recommended this to me..I will never ask him to recommend a book to me again. First of all, I HATE putting down books after I start them, even if they're awful. This book however, I could not stand!
I started it and thought "it will get better.." It doesn'...
My librarian recommended this to me..I will never ask him to recommend a book to me again. First of all, I HATE putting down books after I start them, even if they're awful. This book however, I could not stand!
I started it and thought "it will get better.." It doesn't.
The perspective: drove me insane. "I sit at the table." Drives me crazy.
The language: OVER DRAMATIC. It killed me! (The guy made a overdramatic thought at every action. Not to mention, the main character isn't a character you'd like to know.)Originally, I didn't mind the main character. But he grew on me as a loser who has no aspirations in life.
**CAUTION** if you are a realistic person, do NOT read this book.
However, I'm sure some people will like this book. If you like over dramatic thoughts and "deep" language.. then go ahead. But don't say I didn't warm you!

posted by JRews on June 9, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 5
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    Age

    Great but if youre sensitive to profanity or under 12 i suggest you wait to read it

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Good Book for older readers

    I loved this book, and it has the same charm that markus puts into every book of his. But, if you are under 14 years old i would advise you to wait a couple years before you read it. It is full of 'adult themes' but is truly a wonderful book, so dont be deterred by this. Just eait untill you are a bit older, and then read up!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2014

    This book was amazing. My mind was tested with the mysterious ap

    This book was amazing. My mind was tested with the mysterious appearance of every set of cards. With every card, comes a new quest to help others, and for the main character to find his true identity. I was disappointed with the ending, because it left me confused, dazed, and wanting more. I recommend for 12 and up

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Great Ending!!!

    Thia book is amazing and even if you think that this book is never ending keep reaading till the end! I loved it!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I love you Zusak

    I don't know why this book was so touching, but I know that it's easily one of the most beautiful works I've ever read. Lovely. Just lovely.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2014

    Good story

    I loved the characters and their sarcastic personalities. The story leaves an amazing message and its appropriate for any age group. A great read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2014

    Excellent

    Excellent book. Better than his popular book, The Book Thief.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I love books that make me laugh then make me cry, books that are

    I love books that make me laugh then make me cry, books that are cathartic and empowering.  This is such a book…and it has a timeless message. 

     Ed, our narrator is you, he is me, he is your best friend, he is the stranger on the street, he is Everyman(-woman).  He is the human spirit adrift—comfortable enough, he has the basics: a job to get him by (taxi driver), a roof over his head (a shack), food in his belly (lots of pies with sauce), a loyal dog (a coffee-loving mongrel called the Doorman who reeks of death no matter how many baths he gets), a routine with friends (nightly card games with drinking and comical banter), and a HUGE sense that something is missing (like a serious kick in the arse).  

     So, when he receives the first playing card and the mysterious mission that comes with it, Ed isn’t at all sure he’s the right bloke to step into the lives of random people and give them what their lives are missing.  But destiny (and a pair of thugs who aren’t afraid to persuade Ed with fists) won’t give him a choice.

    So…like some super-hero lurker our Everyman watches the houses and lives of strangers until he knows what gift they need.  

    (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT) The five missions that made my heart go especially gooey: 

    1 (Ace of Diamonds): He pretends to be the late husband of a lovely, lost and lonely elderly gal named Milla; he reads to her from Wuthering Heights, he escorts her to a church party (with free BEER!) that he helps organize, he invites her over for Christmas, makes sure her old and fragile heart still feels young and warm…and the gift is in the giving, a reminder that he, too, is vulnerable. 

    2 (Ace of Diamonds): He helps a young runner named Sophie discover that her beauty and grace have everything to do with her bare feet…and as he imbues Sophie with the confidence she deserves, Ed himself is imbued. 

    3 (Ace of Hearts): He helps reunite his worthless (despite the $40K in his bank account), stingy (ditto), abrasive, and secretly-pained best mate Marv with his estranged daughter (who is gonna have a spectacular college fund), turning Marv not only into a father but a real man…and as Marv matures so does the very nature of their once shallow friendship.

    4 (Ace of Hearts):  He gives three minutes of glorious love to his friend Audrey, a girl so broken by her past that she refuses to treat herself with the respect she deserves.  Three minutes of dancing outside under the sunrise might not sound like much, but for a girl who’s never allowed anyone inside her soul, it is everything…and for Ed, who has always loved her, it is more than everything.

    5 (Joker):  He, Ed, is the final mission.  He discovers what the message of his story has been building to all along: that if he can do it, EVERYBODY has the power to imbue joy and justice into the lives of others…and that sometimes the means to an end are the end. 

    Eloquent and modest, mysterious and poignant, witty and heart-wrenching, I Am the Messenger is more than a great book.  It is a call to action.  

    (****Given how much I took away from this book, four stars might seem like a low rating, but please know I’m holding it up against Zusak’s other best-seller, The Book Thief, which is five stars and hands down the best book I’ve ever read—every person on the planet should read it, IMHO).

    Best Lines: “ ‘Am I real?’ ….  ‘Of course you’re real—like any thought or any story.  It’s real when you’re in it.’ ”
      
    “If a guy can stand up and do what you did, then maybe everyone can.  Maybe everyone can live beyond what they’re capable of.”       

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Made me a Zusak fanatic

    This story is wonderfully well woven together. Inspires movement

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 17, 2014

    This book has a message.

    It's an unusual story but I liked the author's thoughts. He writes well. Worth reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 27, 2012

    Pretty good book - definitely worth a read

    Almost everyone agrees that this book is hard to put down once you pick it up; it's true! I am the Messenger is a very intriguing read, filled with suspense at almost every turn of the page. Zusak also manages to eloquently balance the suspense and action with an appropriate degree of emotion. He takes time and care to establish characters in their entirety, but no so much to inevitably bore you. The only thing I *personally* did not care for was that the ending wasn't too difficult to predict. That being said, I did find it satisfying nonetheless, and I know of many people who were surprised by the twist ending and found it completely satisfying. All in all, I am the Messenger is a good book, definitely worth a read through at least once. I'd recommend it to anyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    One of my favorite reads

    Ed Kennedy ¿¿ an unambitious 19 year old cab driver who lives in a lean-t¿ with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, ¿nd plays cards ¿¿¿r¿ night. He has a dead-end job, a few friends, an estranged family, and is hopelessly in love with his best friend. The course of his life is forever altered following the events of a bank robbery. While at a bank with his close friends, Ed prevents a bank robber from escaping using the robber¿s own gun.  In the aftermath ¿f h¿¿ heroism, h¿ ¿¿ receives a delivery. It is a playing card, th¿ Ace ¿f Diamonds.  Printed ¿n th¿ card ¿r¿ three addresses ¿nd times. H¿ travels t¿ each destination ¿nd realizes he has been given a purpose, an opportunity to make a difference in each circumstance. Once th¿ Ace ¿f Diamonds ¿¿ completed, h¿¿ job ¿¿ n¿t, ¿¿ h¿ receives ¿¿t another card. There is much mystery surrounding the cards, ¿¿t Ed knows th¿t ¿t is valuable work. Thus Ed becomes the messenger, messenger of hope, of love, and ¿small things that are big.¿ A major message is finding purpose in one¿s life. One must strive to find meaning and avoid living a life of complacency. One leading a seemingly ordinary and average life is capable of achieving greatness and heroism. The novel also stresses the idea of fate and destiny, the idea of a higher force having control in human life. The characters are strongly and thoughtfully developed, especially Ed Kennedy. The story is told in first person which allows the audience insight into Ed¿s thoughts and beliefs and his dry and sarcastic inner dialogue. The idea of the story is engaging and well developed. The dialogue is also well written and entertaining. The book is divided into several subplots, each portraying a story of its own value. I enjoy this organizational structure. The ending was disappointing. It was a surprising and unexpected twist that took me off guard. I suppose it was confusing to me and I felt it had the element of ¿and I woke up and it was all a dream.¿ Perhaps the reason I found the ending disappointing was the fact that it altered my view and perspective surrounding the entire story. I highly recommend this book as a result of the quality of writing and content of the story. The author, Markus Zusak, effectively uses suspense in order to engage the reader, causing them to listen. This novel is capable of touching hearts and provoking deep thought. It is easy to connect with Ed, an average person attempting to make their way in the world, yet Ed is capable of forever benefiting the lives of others through the tasks given to him. This provokes the desire to make a difference. It implements the sense of heroism in oneself. Another recommended work written by Markus Zusak is The Book Thief.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 28, 2011

    One of my favorite reads

    Ed Kennedy ¿¿ an unambitious 19 year old cab driver who lives in a lean-t¿ with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, ¿nd plays cards ¿¿¿r¿ night. He has a dead-end job, a few friends, an estranged family, and is hopelessly in love with his best friend. The course of his life is forever altered following the events of a bank robbery. While at a bank with his close friends, Ed prevents a bank robber from escaping using the robber¿s own gun.  In the aftermath ¿f h¿¿ heroism, h¿ ¿¿ receives a delivery. It is a playing card, th¿ Ace ¿f Diamonds.  Printed ¿n th¿ card ¿r¿ three addresses ¿nd times. H¿ travels t¿ each destination ¿nd realizes he has been given a purpose, an opportunity to make a difference in each circumstance. Once th¿ Ace ¿f Diamonds ¿¿ completed, h¿¿ job ¿¿ n¿t, ¿¿ h¿ receives ¿¿t another card. There is much mystery surrounding the cards, ¿¿t Ed knows th¿t ¿t is valuable work. Thus Ed becomes the messenger, messenger of hope, of love, and ¿small things that are big.¿
    A major message is finding purpose in one¿s life. One must strive to find meaning and avoid living a life of complacency. One leading a seemingly ordinary and average life is capable of achieving greatness and heroism. The novel also stresses the idea of fate and destiny, the idea of a higher force having control in human life.
    The characters are strongly and thoughtfully developed, especially Ed Kennedy. The story is told in first person which allows the audience insight into Ed¿s thoughts and beliefs and his dry and sarcastic inner dialogue. The idea of the story is engaging and well developed. The dialogue is also well written and entertaining. The book is divided into several subplots, each portraying a story of its own value. I enjoy this organizational structure.
    The ending was disappointing. It was a surprising and unexpected twist that took me off guard. I suppose it was confusing to me and I felt it had the element of ¿and I woke up and it was all a dream.¿ Perhaps the reason I found the ending disappointing was the fact that it altered my view and perspective surrounding the entire story.
    I highly recommend this book as a result of the quality of writing and content of the story. The author, Markus Zusak, effectively uses suspense in order to engage the reader, causing them to listen. This novel is capable of touching hearts and provoking deep thought. It is easy to connect with Ed, an average person attempting to make their way in the world, yet Ed is capable of forever benefiting the lives of others through the tasks given to him. This provokes the desire to make a difference. It implements the sense of heroism in oneself.
    Another recommended work written by Markus Zusak is The Book Thief.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 1, 2011

    Great

    I read this book because I loved The Book Thief and wow. This book reads very well and the main character is completly relatable. We all feel like are lives need more and it was great to see Ed transform himself from pathetic being to feeling like hes doing something worthwhile. The writing is very real and feel like dialog Ed just a friend talking to you. Read this book. Its worthwhile.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    OK

    I liked this book but at times I did find it a bit dull. This is a story of a man that finds out that he can be more that what he thought before. Ed is a 19 year old cabdriver living in Australia and one day he happens to be in the bank when it is being robbed. He stops the robber with his own gun without realizing afterwards he'd start a journey he'd never forget. One day he gets a card in the mail with some adresses on it and soon learns he has to help the people at those adresses whether good or bad. After each one is complete he recieves another card with more clues to helping more people. Ed is angry because he doesn't know who is sending them but he does them anyways. He learns the biggest lesson of his life in the process and who he really is. My favorite two helped would have to be Milla and Marv, both of those brought tears to my eyes. I would suggest this book to anyone looking for an easy good read. I've noticed people read one or two reviews and base the book on those whether good or bad, I say don't do that. Only your own opinion should matter to you about a book whether good or bad. And you shouldn't not read a book because I or someone else has a bad opinion about it. I have seen bad reviews on books on these kinds of blogs and people commenting now they know not to read it, everyone is different, even in the way they view certain books.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2010

    You must be the messenger

    Very good book, I couldn't put it down. The story is a definite hook, you won't want to put it down! The story line is well written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Choices

    A note, first of all: I would definitely classify this novel as being for older teens or young adults. There is some mature content and a lot of swearing throughout the story!
    That being said, I loved the book! I first read Zusak's "Book Thief" and this book has been on my list for quite awhile. I finished it in two days.
    The odd assortment of characters provides a great backdrop to a plot that pulls you further and further in, keeping you engrossed in the story as you follow along with Ed's adventures. You do have to be willing to sit with a little mystery at times, because you know what Ed knows, and as the reader you get to figure things out along with him.
    The action is neither too slow, nor too fast, allowing for breaks in activity to cool the reader down before plunging them headfirst into the next chapter.
    Zusak has an intriguing concept to work on, and he executes it brilliantly with his writing and dialogue, and I must say the book comes to a satisfactory conclusion, even with a twist and a bit of mystery thrown in!
    The main themes of discovery and finding yourself are great for anyone searching to find some motivation in their daily life. What things, big or small, can you do as a messenger to make your world a better place?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    It takes awhile to get into it

    It took me a few chapters to appreciate this book. Zusak's writing style is a little different. In the beginning, I found it hard to accept that a 19 year old would carry the weight of failure as if he were a man in his 50's who hadn't achieved anything. Somewhere along the way the words take a life of their own. I enjoyed it. I'm a little stumped about the ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Markus Zusak does it again!

    When I read The Book Theif, I thought that no book could ever be better than that. When I read I Am the Messenger, I was proven wrong! It is 100% unique, as Markus Zusak's stories always are. If you haven't read it, don't think twice! Read it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2009

    Great Read

    I read I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak. It tells the story of a boy named Ed and the mysterious aces that come into his possession. The book starts out in a bank robbery where Ed becomes the hero and stops the robber. He then comes across an ace with three addresses on it. He follows the addresses to people that are in need of assistance. The same for the other three cards, only they are no longer as clear-cut as the first. The cards lead Ed all over, helping those in need.
    Ed Kennedy is not the best looking 19 yeah old taxi driver but he's not too bad. He lives alone with his disgusting smelling dog, the Doorman. Audrey, the only girl in the group, is the one Ed has been in love with for years. She has hair like straw as said by Ed. The Doorman is Ed's dog. He is the smelliest, lazy dog in the world. Ed will even imagine that the Doorman can talk to him.
    "'My father?' I ask. 'You are like he was,' Keith enlightens me, 'and just like him, you were more likely to die the same way - a quarter of what you could have been."
    This paragraph is very important. He, Keith, says to Ed that he is just like his father. This is something Ed hates to hear. This shows that not only does his mother feel this way but so do others. It also shows that he is stronger than his father was as his father was an alcoholic and Ed has not succumb to his father's weakness.
    All-in-all, I Am the Messenger was a great book. In a way, Ed reminds me of myself, going out of the way to help those in need. I help anyone that needs it and I hope to become a social worker so that I can spend the rest of my life helping those in need. The book was original in the main plot but the sub plot of Ed trying to win Audrey over is slightly over used. The book was very well written and I would recommend this book for any teenager.

    ID# 4725

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 5