“Maybe everyone can live beyond what they’e capable of.”
Markus Zusak is known for his powerful and poignant historical fiction novel, The Book Thief but not many know that he has published other types of novels, a well. I’m going to be reviewing his novel, I Am The Messenger , without spoilers for those who are interested in seeing more of this writer’s work. Although some readers may not be to keen on how Zusak has a tendency to write stand alone sentences, either way, this writer does show off the impact his craft to readers like myself, who have a strong emotional response to the end of his book—at least enough to make another book-related blog post .
The Power in Zusak’s writing comes from his ability to speak to a reader’s struggles without overtly trying hard to making his main character relatable. But Ed, our main character, can be related to regardless, especially to those who are in a similar transitioning point our life.
Ed is in his late teen years but is transitioning to adulthood. He works as a cab driver and lives a mundane live, driving and playing cards with his friends until he stops a bank robbery. Soon after, he receives a playing card in the mail from a stranger with a vague note and finds out that it is his mission to help others , strangers and friends, by giving them messages of healing—one’s he does know himself. Many of the characters are also in a difficult chapter of their life, whether it be a priest who struggles to fill his church, or a young man who like Ed, does not know what to make of his future.
Ed is not a perfect person. He is very uncertain about what his own future may hold. He is afraid of the unknown. Sometimes, he can be quite vulgar. Yet, he does have a kind side to him shown by the way he takes on sharing the messages and paying it forward.
Zusak’s book reminded me how one person can have a ripple effect on others. Small, genitive acts of kindness do matter and sometimes if at the right moment, can even change a person’s perspective on life.
I write with kindness in mind, using my words to help others. It is a big reason as to why I write. Words are powerful and do make a difference. They can hurt, as they do to Ed on his own story, but also can help heal.
If you are a fan of Zusak’s The Book Thief, this book may or may not be your cup of tea. There is a good amount of profanity in it, especially in the beginning, yet there is still power in Zusak’s writing that comes from strong and memorable quotes that are haunting and powerful, even after the book is finished and put away.