I Am the Messenger (Anglais) Broché – 9 mai 2006
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The gunman is useless.
I know it.
He knows it.
The whole bank knows it.
Even my best mate, Marvin, knows it, and he's more useless than the gunman.
The worst part about the whole thing is that Marv's car is standing outside in a fifteen-minute parking zone. We're all facedown on the floor, and the car's only got a few minutes left on it.
"I wish this bloke'd hurry up," I mention.
"I know," Marv whispers back. "This is outrageous." His voice rises from the depths of the floor. "I'll be getting a fine because of this useless bastard. I can't afford another fine, Ed."
"The car's not even worth it."
Marv looks over at me now. I can sense he's getting uptight. Offended. If there's one thing Marv doesn't tolerate, it's someone putting shit on his car. He repeats the question.
"What did you say, Ed?"
"I said," I whisper, "it isn't even worth the fine, Marv."
"Look," he says, "I'll take a lot of things, Ed, but . . ."
I tune out of what he's saying because, quite frankly, once Marv gets going about his car, it's downright pain-in-the-arse material. He goes on and on, like a kid, and he's just turned twenty, for Jesus' sake.
He goes on for another minute or so, until I have to cut him off.
"Marv," I point out, "the car's an embarrassment, okay? It doesn't even have a hand brake--it's sitting out there with two bricks behind the back wheels." I'm trying to keep my voice as quiet as possible. "Half the time you don't even bother locking it. You're probably hoping someone'll flog it so you can collect the insurance."
"It isn't insured."
"NRMA said it wasn't worth it."
That's when the gunman turns around and shouts, "Who's talkin' back there?"
Marv doesn't care. He's worked up about the car.
"You don't complain when I give you a lift to work, Ed, you miserable upstart."
"Upstart? What the hell's an upstart?"
"I said shut up back there!" the gunman shouts again.
"Hurry up then!" Marv roars back at him. He's in no mood now. No mood at all.
He's facedown on the floor of the bank.
The bank's being robbed.
It's abnormally hot for spring.
The air-conditioning's broken down.
His car's just been insulted.
Old Marv's at the end of his tether, or his wit's end. Whatever you want to call it--he's got the shits something terrible.
We remain flattened on the worn-out, dusty blue carpet of the bank, and Marv and I are looking at each other with eyes that argue. Our mate Ritchie's over at the Lego table, half under it, lying among all the pieces that scattered when the gunman came in yelling, screaming, and shaking. Audrey's just behind me. Her foot's on my leg, making it go numb.
The gunman's gun is pointed at the nose of some poor girl behind the counter. Her name tag says Misha. Poor Misha. She's shivering nearly as bad as the gunman as she waits for some zitty twenty-nine-year-old fella with a tie and sweat patches under his arms to fill the bag with money.
"I wish this bloke'd hurry up," Marv speaks.
"I said that already," I tell him.
"So what? I can't make a comment of my own?"
"Get your foot off me," I tell Audrey.
"What?" she responds.
"I said get your foot off me--my leg's going numb."
She moves it. Reluctantly.
The gunman turns around and shouts his question for the last time. "Who's the bastard talking?"
The thing to note with Marv is that he's problematic at the best of times. Argumentative. Less than amiable. He's the type of friend you find yourself constantly arguing with--especially when it comes to his shitbox Falcon. He's also a completely immature arsehole when he's in the mood.
He calls out in a jocular manner, "It's Ed Kennedy, sir. It's Ed who's talking!"
"Thanks a lot!" I say.
(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.)
"Well, shut up, Ed!" the gunman screams. Marv smirks. "Or I'll come over there and shoot the arse off you!"
It's like being in school again and your sadistic math teacher's barking orders at you from the front of the room, even though he couldn't care less and he's waiting for the bell so he can go home and drink beer and get fat in front of the telly.
I look at Marv. I want to kill him. "You're twenty years old, for Christ's sake. Are you trying to get us killed?"
"Shut up, Ed!" The gunman's voice is louder this time.
I whisper even quieter. "If I get shot, I'm blaming you. You know that, don't you?"
"I said shut up, Ed!"
"Everything's just a big joke, isn't it, Marv?"
"Right, that's it." The gunman forgets about the woman behind the counter and marches over to us, fed up as all buggery. When he arrives we all look up at him.
And all the other hopeless articles like us sprawled out on the floor.
The end of the gun touches the bridge of my nose. It makes it itchy. I don't scratch it.
The gunman looks back and forth between Marv and me. Through the stocking on his face I can see his ginger whiskers and acne scars. His eyes are small and he has big ears. He's most likely robbing the bank as a payback on the world for winning the ugliness prize at his local fete three years running.
"So which one of you's Ed?"
"Him," I answer, pointing to Marv.
"Oh no you don't," Marv counters, and I can tell by the look on his face that he isn't as afraid as he should be. He knows we'd both be dead by now if this gunman was the real thing. He looks up at the stocking-faced man and says, "Hang on a sec. . . ." He scratches his jawline. "You look familiar."
"Okay," I admit, "I'm Ed." But the gunman's too busy listening to what Marv has to say for himself.
"Marv," I whisper loudly, "shut up."
From the Hardcover edition.
Revue de presse
"Zusak doesn’t sugarcoat anything, but he makes his ostensibly gloomy subject bearable the same way Kurt Vonnegut did in Slaughterhouse-Five: with grim, darkly consoling humor.”
- Time Magazine
"Elegant, philosophical and moving...Beautiful and important."
- Kirkus Reviews, Starred
"An extraordinary narrative."
- School Library Journal, Starred
"Exquisitely written and memorably populated, Zusak's poignant tribute to words, survival, and their curiously inevitable entwinement is a tour
de force to be not just read but inhabited."
- The Horn Book Magazine, Starred
"One of the most highly anticipated young-adult books in years."
- The Wall Street Journal
From the Hardcover edition.
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"La Voleuse de livres" paru en 2005 est un best-seller international, traduit dans plus de vingt langues. Son adaptation cinématographique sort sur les écrans français au 1er trimestre 2014. Markus vit toujours à Sydney où il écrit et enseigne l'anglais à l'Université.
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Ed, un jeune homme sans ambitions, se voit confier des missions très étranges par un inconnu. Les missions peuvent se relever très agréables, comme tenir compagnie à une vieille dame seule ou très dangereuses, comme empêcher un homme de violer sa femme. Mais pas question de reculer car sa vie en dépend... de plus d'une manière.
Zusack a un style d'écriture très particulier - des phrases courtes qui en disent long.
L'histoire qu'il nous raconte est simple, sans un suspense haletant ou des scènes d'actions à couper le souffle, mais pourtant ... plus on avance, de plus on a du mal à mettre le livre de côté.
La fin est superbe, doublée d'une réflexion sur sa propre vie... qui dit mieux ?
Malheureusement, il paraît que le livre n'a pas été traduit en français (du moins, on ne le trouve pas sur amazon), mais il ne faut pas avoir peur, un anglais moyen suffit amplement. Alors lancez-vous !!!!
A conseiller et consommer sans modération !
One day, Ed and his friend stop at a local bank, but a robbery begins while they are in line. And Ed stops the guy.
So then he becomes a local hero. He is just trying to live a normal life, and then he gets a playing card in the mail with three addresses and times on it. Ed doesn't know what to do. Should he just throw the card away, like his friends instruct, or should he go to the first address to see what this is all about?
This book would be a good recommendation for fans of THE DA VINCI CODE and the movie National Treasure.
Ed is such a cool character! He seems like such a normal guy, who does things that normal guys do, and lives a very ordinary life. Until he gets the card in the mail, and he's not so ordinary anymore.
Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Winner of the 2003 Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Award and nominated for best young adult book at the 2006 L.A. Times Festival of Books, I AM THE MESSENGER (or THE MESSENGER in Australia) tells the story of Ed Kennedy, nineteen-year-old taxi cab driver and all-around average guy. In fact, he's the epitome of average -- faithful friends, stinky dog, dead-end job, and girl who loves someone else.
That's why it's such a big deal for Ed, Marv, and Ritchie to get trapped in a bank during a stickup. One of the thieves gets spooked, drops his gun, and somehow Ed ends up with the weapon and the town's praise. That might be a winning hand for Ed if he doesn't receive the first mysterious playing card, the Ace of Diamonds in his mailbox. It's a card with a message for him to deliver. Or else.
Messages like Ed's will change a person, if he or she lets them. That's the beauty of Zusak's story. Ed discovers the changing power in simple, personalized messages of love, even if they're ones he's forced to deliver. While I could imagine a cynical reader calling Ed's 12 messages a tad forced, I would differ with them on every case. Ed's stories are simple proof that if a "guy like him can stand up and do what he did, then maybe everyone can. Maybe everyone can live beyond what they're capable of."
-- Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens
Is the story particularly gripping? No.
Is the pacing appropriate? No. There are many scenes that seemed irrelevant. In fact I once read that a "tight story" is one where no scene or character could be removed without the whole thing falling apart. This is not a tight story.
Is the ending satisfying? Sort of. Yes. No. Although I give him credit for balls. The ending is a ballsy cop out.
I also wonder why this is classified as a young adult novel. If "young" means that most of the main characters are "young" and they are struggling to find their way in the world, then yes it is properly classified. However the reality is that this is a fairly adult book and I wonder what criteria the editor ultimately used to put it in the YA category. The heavy emphasis on alcohol and sex (even rape) seems a bit ragged for the generally softer category of YA. Does this book fit in with the Twillight series? I don't think so....
However I don't want my review to sound as negative as I fear it does. This is a fascinating work by a talented individual. Keep an eye on him, I think he has great work in him.
Oh, well. Obviously many people have enjoyed the book, and I did as well, but the tacked-on ending just left me unsatisfied and disgruntled.
Even though the character's actions---and the plot in general---continued to become increasingly far-fetched and unbelievable as the book went on, the story still held my attention. Well, right up until the big twist ending and reveal, that is! Literally within the last five pages, the author introduced an incredibly stupid and annoying deux ex machina plot device to solve the mystery of who exactly is sending the notes. This shoddy, lazy finish to the story had me ready to throw the book right across the room. I certainly had a lot of choice words to say about the conclusion (some of which I had learned from this very book!) which I cannot print out in this review. Ha!
So, a mixed-to-negative review on this one from me. The good points of the book, and the writing skill of the author, were overshadowed by an increasingly convoluted and illogical plot progression in the second half of the manuscript, and a crappy, crappy ending. I'm still so ticked off by it, in fact, that I don't know that I'll bother to seek out anything else the author has written...