In I Am the Messenger Ed Kennedy is an underachieving Joe Schmo who is admittedly wasting his life as a cab driver. Aside from his job, Ed spends his free time playing cards with his three friends and hanging out with his very old, very smelly dog, the Doorman. He’s also irreparably in love with one of his three friends, a fellow taxi driver named Audrey. Ed’s leads a pitiful existence, but then one day he receives an ace of diamonds in his mailbox.
Three addresses and times are written on the ace, his curiosity piqued, Ed unknowingly embarks on a journey that will alter his life and the lives of every person represented on the cards by observing the people at each address. Ed begins to understand that his mission is to help them. Solving other people’s problems can be tricky business.
Ed finds himself in a number of uncomfortable and even dangerous circumstances which cause him and the audience to question the motives behind these mysterious assignments.
The novel progresses as Ed receives each of the four aces. He begins to take charge of his own life and to go after what he truly wants. This is clearly the message of the novel, and while this is all well and good, a number of questions are left half answered.
First of all, how in the world would a person be able to intuit the exact solution to the problems of each of these people? Second, the way these tasks have to be carried out is not always on the up and up. Ed is required to do some rather immoral things like beating a guy up. Ed gets beaten up himself, his dog gets kidnapped, and his apartment gets ransacked by mobster type people working for the mailer of the aces. Strange tactics even if they are effective.
Third, there is never a satisfactory answer to the identity, purpose, and reasoning behind the puppeteer’s motives. If he is a saint, he’s certainly one that dances to the beat of his own harp. I Am the Messenger which was awarded the Michael L. Frintz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature will appeal to older teens. Word of warning: there is a surprising amount of four letter words.
Although his voice is clearly not that of a twenty year old, Marc Aden Gray’s presentation of I Am the Messenger definitely embodies Ed’s irreverent narration. This audio book will keep your attention from start to finish.