quarta-feira, 14 de novembro de 2012

I Am the Messenger - Markus Zusak

Ed. Only Ed. The nobody, the skinny scrawny guy that is no good in bed, has only four friends and a crappy job as a taxi driver. 
And yet one day it all changes. Out of the blue Ed receives an envelope in his mailbox. An envelope with three addresses. Nothing more, nothing less. 
As time goes by Ed discovers that he needs to help these people - the people in the card - be it giving a mother a very much deserved ice-cream, taking a woman abuser to the bushes with a gun and a warning in his head, surprise Christmas lights or even by receiving a beating. 
The cards continue coming. The good deeds as well. At first only with strangers and totally unknown people. Before he knows it he is face to face with his mother, then his best friends and Audrey - the woman he loves and who doesn't give him a chance.
This is a beautiful, beautiful story. A story that made me want to see the little things, the little people and notice the importance of the ity-bitty hugs, compliments, smiles, and love gestures - that's what makes the world go round. And not only the small things...the big things as well. The ones that take up that extra dose of courage, time, guts and sacrifice. Yes, personal sacrifice. Those things are the ones that make us go on. 
Reading this story I totally related to Ed. Only Ed. Nobody Ed. But that in the end became more than any Big Ben, Great Josh, Huge Joe, Cool Carl and all those "oh-so-big-guys". If only we had more Only Ed's, Nobody Nancy's, Little Laura's, Happy Helen's and Unknown Ana's...

Book Review:

The Messenger is a 2002 novel by Markus Zusak, and winner of the 2003 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award. The Messenger was released in the United States under the name I Am the Messenger. The entire story is written through the eyes of the main character, Ed Kennedy, who describes and comments on the story throughout the book.

Plot summary

The story begins with an introduction to the character of Ed Kennedy, a down-and-out underage taxi driver who is hopelessly in love with his best friend Audrey, who, to his dismay, feels that she cares about him too much to date him. Ed is standing in a bank queue when a robbery takes place. He accidentally foils the robbers' escape, and is proclaimed a hero. Shortly after, he receives an Ace of Diamonds in the mail. The ace is from an unknown source. On the ace is written a list of addresses and times. These represent a series of tasks that Ed must complete.
His tasks are as follows:
  1. He must save a woman who is raped by her husband almost every night.
  2. He must comfort a lonely old lady.
  3. He must show a teenage girl how to take control of her life and become more confident.
Throughout the book, Ed receives different playing cards in the mail. Each card is a different ace, and each ace contains a series of tasks, often in the form of cryptic clues. On the second to last card, he receives a list with movie titles on it and deciphers the names of his three best friends. From these cards he learns the greatest message of all: That he isn't the messenger, but instead the message.
The last card is a Joker and has his own address written on it. But as it is made clear in the last lines of the novel it's all about the realisation of chances and potential because as Ed finally says:"I'm not the messenger at all. I'm the message."

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