The Messenger, Book Review – Markus Zusak

My opinion on this book is pretty much what Ed thinks of himself – just alright.

I haven’t read The Book Theif yet although that is the reason I picked up this book. At first, I was shocked to find out that this was an Aussie story – which became quite evident with the repetition of meat pies and lamingtons being eaten. Also, because The Book Theif is such a classic, I kinda assumed that Markus Zusak’s style of writing would be way more formal than it is. So at the start, everything was a bit off just because it was not at all like I was expecting.

Once I got used to the style of writing and all that, the story was enjoyable enough. It took a while to get interesting but once Ed really started solving the cards I really liked the plot. The major downfall of this book, I think, is that personally I didn’t like Ed’s narrator voice, or him as a character. I get that the whole point of him was that he was ‘ordinary’/kind of a downbeat but, with the whole book being his monologue, I wasn’t a fan. Sidenote: the obsessing over Audrey did not help his cause at all.

The actual plot itself was my favourite thing. It was a touch confusing at times but I once I got into it, reading about all these snippets of other people’s lives was really interesting.

The ending. I literally just finished this book 15 minutes before writing this review so it is all fresh. Spolier: In the end, it is revealed that the person sending Ed the cards is in fact, the author, Markus Zusak himself. This broke the fourth wall and was generally pretty confusing. The whole reason behind it, I think, is to teach the reader a lesson – the last couple chapters of the book really hone in on all the moral aspects. I was disappointed with this ending. When it got to the bit about the bank robber, I thought maybe he sent the cards and I was satisfied with how that ties the whole thing together. But then, it turns out it’s actually Zusak and it creates a kind of paradox with how he wrote the book and so on. Spoiler end. Overall, the ending didn’t ruin the book, just continued the trend of “well this might as well happen.”

Conclusion: I didn’t like Ed, I liked the plot, I didn’t like the ending – fin.

Update: this review perfectly articulates everything I felt about this book!

3 stars.

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