59 pages 1 hour read

Markus Zusak

I Am The Messenger

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2002

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Important Quotes

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“(My full name’s Ed Kennedy. I’m nineteen. I’m an underage cabdriver. I’m typical of many of the young men you see in this suburban outpost of the city—not a whole lot of prospects or possibility. That aside, I read more books than I should, and I’m decidedly crap at sex and doing my taxes. Nice to meet you.).”

(Part 1, Chapter 1, Page 6)

By having the protagonist directly address the audience, Zusak introduces his fourth-wall breaking style, which will be prevalent throughout the novel and instrumental in the resolution. In addition to giving a summary of Ed’s life, this passage’s painful honesty and scathing self-deprecation typify his voice as a narrator. Ed’s low estimation of himself connects to the novel’s setting in a town in Australia and his negative view of his “prospects” and “possibility” sets the tone for a story exploring the theme of Potential for Personal Growth because he has room for growth. Ed’s impulsive decision to intervene during the bank robbery in this chapter marks the end of his ordinary, mediocre life and sets the rest of the plot into motion.

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“There’s an aura to this card, and it’s been given to me. Not to Dickhead Ed. To me—the real Ed Kennedy. The future Ed Kennedy. No longer simply a cab-driving hopeless case. What will I do with it? Who will I be?”

(Part 1, Chapter 3, Page 28)

As Ed holds the first card, the ace of diamonds, his mother’s verbal abuse represented by the nickname “Dickhead Ed,” fades into the background. The questions Ed asks himself in this passage connect to the theme of Potential for Personal Growth. As he imagines the possibilities that this unexpected message may offer, he envisions himself becoming someone different, “the real