I am the Messenger

“If a guy like you can stand up and do what you did, then maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they’re capable of.” (I am the Messenger, Markus Zusak)

I find that I have to get off my chest what I didn’t like about this book before I move onto the good stuff. What I prize in a good book is that the language be beautiful and evocative without being too noticeable. If the prose is too flowery or too laborious, it interrupts the normally steady flow of pictures in my imagination. Some reviewers absolutely loved the language, thought it was pure poetry, but it seemed to me that Markus Zusak took the whole active vs. passive sentence lesson back in high-school a little too seriously. Sentences such as “the breeze outside steps closer,” although beautiful in its own right, are simply used a bit too frequently for my taste.

Now, if you aren’t obsessed with Jane Austen’s steady, rhythmic voice, you’re going to get a book that will pull you out of yourself and make you question the depth of your relationships. This book would be a spot-on gift for a late teen who is uncertain what to do with his/her life. You also get some pretty interesting pomo action at the end, where the author questions the reality of the book you’ve just finished eating up and then smacks you in the face with the question he’s asking you to confront.

Beverage: I can’t quite decide between sugary coffee or a cup of hot chocolate, but a high quantity of sweetness seems somehow necessary.

Reminds me… of Catcher in the Rye in terms of the voice attitude of the main character, although Markus Zusak and J.D Salinger are strikingly different writers.

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