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I am the messenger
Markus Zusak
Teen Fiction ZUSAK

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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main characters Ed Kennedy
Male
Age: 19
Father died of alcoholism; lives in a run-down apartment with his smelly dog; drinks and plays cards with his friends; stops a bank robbery one day; begins receiving playing cards marked with code in the mail; goes on a series of missions followed by the cards' instructions; Ed begins to search for meaning in his life.
Cab driver



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