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I Am the Messenger
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I Am the Messenger
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DON’T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK’S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF AND AN UNFORGETTABLE AND SWEEPING FAMILY SAGA.   From the author of the extraordinary #1 New York...
DON’T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK’S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF AND AN UNFORGETTABLE AND SWEEPING FAMILY SAGA.   From the author of the extraordinary #1 New York...
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  • DON’T MISS BRIDGE OF CLAY, MARKUS ZUSAK’S FIRST NOVEL SINCE THE BOOK THIEF AND AN UNFORGETTABLE AND SWEEPING FAMILY SAGA.
     

    From the author of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller The Book Thief, I Am the Messenger is an acclaimed novel filled with laughter, fists, and love.
     

    A MICHAEL L. PRINTZ HONOR BOOK
    FIVE STARRED REVIEWS
    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?
 

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Excerpts-

  • From the book

    the holdup


    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."

    "What?"

    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."

    "Exactly."

    "NRMA said it wasn't worth it."

    "It's understandable."

    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...

About the Author-

  • Markus Zusak is the award-winning author of The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, both Michael L. Printz Honor Books. An international bestseller, The Book Thief has sold over 4.5 million copies in the U.S. alone and has garnered worldwide critical acclaim. The New York Times called it "Brilliant and hugely ambitious. . . . It's the kind of book that can be life changing," and The Guardian (UK) said, "Unsettling, thought-provoking, life-affirming, triumphant and tragic, this is a novel of breathtaking scope, masterfully told. It is an important piece of work, but also a wonderful page-turner."

    Markus Zusak is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. He lives with his wife and children in Sydney, Australia.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine When hapless cabdriver Ed Kennedy offhandedly stops a bank robbery, someone takes notice. The Ace of Diamonds appears in his mailbox with three addresses written on it. Ed is supposed to deliver a message to these addresses, but no one is telling him what that message is. All he is told is that his life depends on it. Narrator Marc Aden Gray not only nails the fatalistic and hilarious voice of Ed, but also gives voice to the innumerable characters Ed encounters. With his unique voices, particularly those of a barefoot runner, an elderly widow, and Ed's own coffee-drinking dog, Gray seems to delight in each twist of author Markus Zusak's dialogue. The message, then, is quite clear--this is an audio experience not to be missed. K.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 11, 2006
    Two Aussie slackers stumble into a bank robbery, and inadvertently prevent it, bickering about their jalopy all the while. One of them, Ed Kennedy, a 19-year-old taxi driver, soon receives mysterious playing cards in the mail, and winds up taking on other, similarly baffling reclamation and assistance projects, prodded by an unknown guardian angel. Gray's reading accentuates Zusak's amusing tale with a series of comically elongated Aussie vowels for Ed's first-person narrative. Gray doesn't quite sound like a teenager—his diction is too precise, too well-studied for that—but he captures something of the broad humor and lackadaisical good cheer of late adolescence. Zusak's book mingles drama and comedy admirably, and Gray nimbly shifts gears—far more fluidly than that jalopy ever could. Ages 12-up.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from January 17, 2005
    Australian cabdriver Ed Kennedy is 19, aimlessly lurching into adulthood when he thwarts a bank robbery in the hilarious opening scene of this gritty, gripping and ultimately romantic mystery. Ed's 15 minutes of fame set his life in a new direction: he begins receiving playing cards with cryptic clues, such as addresses or names unknown to him. Following these clues leads him to intervene in the lives of others. In the most chilling bit, a gun appears in his mailbox, which he assumes is intended for his use in dealing with a man who is brutalizing his wife. The assignments don't get more violent but they do get more personal, such as those involving Ed's mother, "one of those tough women you couldn't kill with an axe,"and his lovable misfit mates—Ritchie, Marv and Audrey. Zusak takes the subtleties of family dynamics, previously examined in his Fighting Ruben Wolfe
    and Getting the Girl
    , to a new level here. As the novel progresses, even Ed's unsympathetic parents take on three dimensions. The author artfully pulls readers through the many plot twists, building to a startling revelation. The metafictional ending may strike some readers as a shortcut, but it's sure to spark discussion, and readers will remember the characters long after they close the book. Even Ed's rank-smelling dog, The Doorman, is well-drawn. Graphic situations (both violent and sexual) mark this as a book for more sophisticated readers. Don't start this compulsively readable book without enough time to read it straight through to the final page. Ages 12-up.

  • -USA Today

    "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."

  • Time Magazine "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."
  • The Wall Street Journal "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."

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