8. The Messenger by Marcus Zusak
I love the way Marcus Zusak writes. The way he paints characters is simply beautiful and this book is where I think he really nailed it. Everyone has a flaw, but that’s what makes you love them. Right from the first chapter you care about the main protagonist which is a major part of getting reader buy-in in any story.
On the surface this is a story about Ed Kennedy, a young man who works as a Taxi driver who lives in a poorer part of Sydney. At the beginning of the novel he is in a bank which gets held up, and not intending to be a hero, Ed gets involved, which changes his life forever. The real message of this story is about the great things that ordinary people can do. As such I think it works very well and is actually a very empowering story. It certainly motivated me to get out and do more with my life! Funnily enough Ed is not a highly motivated individual, which just goes to show just how well Marcus writes to be able to get this message across so (apparently) effortlessly.
I had been forewarned that there was a twist in this novel, so I was practically taking notes along the way, given the almost ‘whodunit’ set-up. I loved the book so much as I was reading it that I didn’t want to not understand the end when I got there. Early on, however, I decided the end wouldn’t matter; I loved the book anyway.
I am happy to say that the ‘twist’ is not so impossible to work out (assuming I got it right) and even if you don’t really get it, I don’t think it will ruin your enjoyment of the story. This is an excellent novel that I will read again, and for anyone who enjoyed ‘The Book Thief’ I would recommend you check this one out.