I'd like to start off talking not about the book, but the writer. Markus Zusak wrote I Am The Messenger in 2002, four years before he received major literary success with the publication of the popular teenage novel The Book Thief. It was, in fact, through The Book Thief that I stumbled upon this story. Zusak, in my opinion, is one, if not the, least appreciated writer of this time period. He has a unique way of weaving a story, and although his language and characters aren't Shakespeare level they have a wonderful ability to sneak up and surprise you. An interesting thing about Zusak was that his earlier writing was, quite frankly, a bit sloppy. This, if anything, is meant to be a compliment, not an insult. Zusak isn't a prodigy; his way of writing was an acquired skill. It is refreshing to realize that not all writers were born with a pencil in one hand and a mind full of extensive vocabulary. Writing is work, and needs to be polished, practiced, and eventually can turn into an exquisite art. Zusak shows this beautifully in I Am The Messenger. The plot centers around a single 19 year old cab driver named Ed, who is thrown into a bizarre series of events, starting with a bank robbery. Made a sudden hero, Ed is sent a series of anonymous messages in which he discovers different people and different stories, all of which are tied together and all of which he is meant to somehow change. The story, in short, is about a young man who is suddenly shoved into a role he wasn't prepared for but was meant to fulfill. In this novel, Zusak fits together the pieces that were previously only roughly held together, and truly shines. A interesting and almost daring mix of characters and morals are tossed about and woven together. Overall, it's a very unique read, and the blunt truth is you won't find anything like it on shelves today.