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The Messenger

By Markus Zusak

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Format: Paperback, 396 pages
Other Information: illustrations, 1port
Published In: Australia, 01 October 2002
Protect the diamonds, survive the clubs, dig deep through spades, feel the hearts...Meet Ed Kennedy - cab driving prodigy, pathetic card player and useless at sex (self-proclaimed). He lives in a suburban shack, shares coffee with his dog, the Doorman, and he's in nervous love with Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence - until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That's when the first Ace turns up. That's when Ed becomes the messenger. Chosen to care, he makes his way through town, helping and hurting (where necessary) until only one question remains. Who's behind Ed's mission? "The Messenger" by the highly-acclaimed author Markus Zusak, is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists and love.


In our Best Books citation, PW called this tale of a teenage Australian cabdriver who thwarts a bank robbery and sets off an intricate chain of events "compulsively readable." Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Gr 9 Up-Nineteen-year-old cabbie Ed Kennedy has little in life to be proud of: his dad died of alcoholism, and he and his mom have few prospects for success. He has little to do except share a run-down apartment with his faithful yet smelly dog, drive his taxi, and play cards and drink with his amiable yet similarly washed-up friends. Then, after he stops a bank robbery, Ed begins receiving anonymous messages marked in code on playing cards in the mail, and almost immediately his life begins to swerve off its beaten-down path. Usually the messages instruct him to be at a certain address at a certain time. So with nothing to lose, Ed embarks on a series of missions as random as a toss of dice: sometimes daredevil, sometimes heartwarmingly safe. He rescues a woman from nightly rape by her husband. He brings a congregation to an abandoned parish. The ease with which he achieves results vacillates between facile and dangerous, and Ed's search for meaning drives him to complete every task. But the true driving force behind the novel itself is readers' knowledge that behind every turn looms the unknown presence-either good or evil-of the person or persons sending the messages. Zusak's characters, styling, and conversations are believably unpretentious, well conceived, and appropriately raw. Together, these key elements fuse into an enigmatically dark, almost film-noir atmosphere where unknowingly lost Ed Kennedy stumbles onto a mystery-or series of mysteries-that could very well make or break his life.-Hillias J. Martin, New York Public Library Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780330363884
ISBN: 0330363883
Publisher: Pan Australia
Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.4 centimetres (0.01 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
Lauren on
This book is an awosome read by Markus Zusak. It is about a taxi driver named Ed who stops a robbery and is then sent aces in the mail, telling him adress of other people he needs to help. This story is also about how Ed figures out that you don't have to be somebody special in order to help other people. One of my Favorite books ever!
Customer on
Markus Zusak is the famed author of holocaust story The Book Thief. In this tale he tells of your average young man, doing what all average 20 somethings do... drifting through life. But all of that is about to change for Ed Kennedy. The story starts when Ed gets caught up in a bank robbery and saves the day, in a somewhat unusual way. Soon after he receives the first of the cards. Each card brings him in contact with people whose lives it is within Ed's power to change.

This book carefully juggles the sometimes conflicting issues that everyone must face in life, showing that sometimes we need to make difficult choices in the name of a greater good. The Messanger won the Book of the Year - Older Readers award from the Children's Book Council of Australia in 2003.

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