I came here to keep in touch with all my friends who left GR after the censorship debacle. I read a little of every genre. I co-blog at Musings of a Bibliomaniac.
Like anyone who has read The Book Thief would know (and if you haven’t read The Book Thief, what in the world are you waiting for??), Markus Zusak has that unusual ability to make you go from laughing to crying in a matter of minutes. So despite the general hilarity of the book, which had me in splits before the first chapter was even up, a small part of me was subconsciously waiting for the other shoe to drop – waiting for the tears and the heartbreak I was so sure would come.
And it never came - well, not in the way I expected. The tears I cried were happy tears and the parts that stabbed my heart didn't really break it, just pricked it enough to make me feel a weird mix of happy and sad.
In that respect, I am the Messenger is utterly different from The Book Thief - it won't make you curl up in bed and cry your eyes out. But that doesn't mean it's any less magnificent a book.
I am the Messenger tells the story of Ed - who, in his own words, is "nineteen, a cab-driver, with no real career, no respect in the community, nothing" - the utmost epitome of ordinariness. Until a bank holdup gets in the way. Ed starts receiving Aces in his mail directing him to people he must deliver messages to - only, Ed must figure out the message himself.
This book is a delightful mix of the weird and the wonderful, with a few pensive moments here and there. So many things that Ed does are ordinary (like buying an ice-cream for a young mother), yet they tug at your heartstrings in a way that's extraordinary.
The writing is... amazing. I don’t know how to describe it, except call it beautiful.
"Her voice is so sweet it’s almost ridiculous. It’s like strawberry-flavored or something, that voice."
"The sentence lands between us like a ball with no air in it."
"My heart applauds inside my ears, first like a roaring crowd, then slows and slows until it’s a solitary person, clapping with unbridled sarcasm."
"I also fear that nothing really ends at the end. Things just keep going as long as memory can wield its ax, always finding a soft part in your mind to cut through and enter."
"My voice is like a rumor. I’m not quite sure if it came out or not or if it’s true."
The way the book ends...it’s unconventional, to say the least. It catches you off-guard and takes its own sweet time to really sink in. But God, I loved it!! I think it’s the kind of ending that only a genius like Markus Zusak could come up with.
Delightful. Inventive. Beautiful. This book makes me believe that maybe, I too can live beyond what I'm capable of!! :)