Meet Ed Kennedy—underage cabdriver, pathetic cardplayer, and useless at romance. He lives in a shack with his coffee-addicted dog, the Doorman, and he’s hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence, until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery. That’s when the first Ace arrives. That’s when Ed becomes the messenger. . . .
Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary), until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?
This insomniac's opinion:
In typical Zusak fashion, this book was written in a very unique style. I knew that after reading The Book Thief, I would read more of Markus Zusak's novels. His writing style is arresting and original. He can weave sadness and humor together in such a flawless way that the reader is left simultaneously crying and laughing(i.e. the crazy person cry).
I must place a bit of warning in this post for people who read, love and worshiped at the alter of The Book Thief. This book is not nearly as great as that novel. Few novels are. However, if you are not comparing this novel to The Book Thief, it really is a bit of a masterpiece on its own. I read the majority of the novel in one sitting, only stopping because I could no longer keep my eyes open and wanted to savor the ending, not rush through it.
The mystery of who is sending the cards with the cryptic messages kept me reading at an almost frantic pace. However, there were typical Zusak moments of revelation and beauty in the simplest of things that would make me pause and reflect for a moment- before quickly diving back in to the mystery. The core of this novel was in finding the beauty in this sometimes bleak and lonely life. It was inspiring.
You may be reading along this glowing review and be surprised to find out that I gave this novel four, not five, stars. This was because I felt the ending, the solving of the mystery, to be a bit contrived and ruined the fantasy of the novel for me. In fact, it had me throwing the book across the room in anger(okay, not actually throwing the book across the room- that would be book abuse. But I wanted too!). The last line, however, redeemed the book. In my opinion, one of the best final novel lines I have ever read. And, no- I'm not giving you the line- you must read it for yourself, it means nothing outside of the context of the book.
Quote that sums up the novel:
Worth staying up all night to read ?
Oh yes. It most definitely is.
4 stars. Compulsively addictive and wonderfully readable.