The Zusak Book You Don’t Know


I think nearly the entire world by now has read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (every single one of my thumbs up), or at least seen the movie (oh dear god please no). If you haven’t done either, then I sincerely suggest you climb out from that rock you’ve been under since at least 2005 and join us out here in the real world!

Today, however, is in honor of one of Zusak’s forgotten works. Believe it or not he has other books and they are just as good if not better and WAY less depressing. Alright, let’s get started.

I am the Messenger is about this guy, Ed Kennedy, who, let’s face it, is already a deadbeat at the ripe age of 19. He drives a cab for a living, fantasizes about his best friend way too much even though she’s pretty much family zoned him (if you don’t know what that is then imagine the friend zone but include one of those really annoying yippy dogs, bad reception, and the feeling of having to pee and not being able to on top of that. Yeah, it’s that bad) and still tries to gain admiration and acceptance from his mother. Ed has been the town loser up until his 15 minutes of fame when he and his imbecile friends start having it out in the middle of a bank robbery and end up saving the day or something or other; it really isn’t important. So here’s the cool part: he finds a card in the mail.

I know what you’re thinking, A card?? He stops a bank robber and you’re going to skip on over that and talk about some CARD he got in the mail?! Why yes, yes I am. Ed starts receiving playing cards in the mail, each with an address or time scribbled on it; each with a mission (Better?). There aren’t any battles or mythological creatures or murders or anything but the story is beautiful and it’s worth reading even if you aren’t into the coming of age/changing the world kinds of stories merely for the way that Zusak writes. His characters are unbelievably bewitching and if you don’t fall in love with Sophie and her part in Ed’s mission then you’re obviously not from this planet.

The reason this book has endeared itself to me as much as it has is due to the perplexing ending. It actually took me several times reading through the book to understand who he (you’ll see) is and for those of you who have read it and think you know the answer, think again because it’s not God (or at least not the religious one).

Get on your shoes (or don’t), get in the car (I mean is easier so…), and buy this book! Be prepared to meet your new favorite Zusak novel.

~ OMW (Babblings of a Bibliophile)

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