I am the messenger
It is 7AM on a perfect September morning. I am sitting in a cafe right across Kings Cross Station, drinking a coffee, munching a croissant and staring at life. I do not think I will write a book review at this hour and place ever again.
I sip the coffee and watch the crowd. A gargantuan african-american (is that the correct word in England?) jay-walks, much to the alarm of a cabbie. A lady with bright blue eyes, a huge “tan” handbag proclaiming “Gucci”, a cigarette in her right hand and her cell-phone pressed firmly to her year walks past the door in a smattering of French. A stockbroker in a suit mutters “fooking something” in an accent I’m as yet unused to.
Enough dilly-dallying. I picked up “I am the messenger” from half-priced books. It would be easy to miss the small, red, non-descript cover had it not had the name “Markus Zuzak” on the cover. “Markus Zuzak” is the same gentleman who wrote “The Book Thief” which if you haven’t read you must go read.
“I am the messenger” is far simpler to read. It does not have long words that you will stare at agape. It does not have melancholy descriptions of scenes that will cause such a brainfreeze that you will realize that your jaw had dropped a full minute ago. Of course, I do not mean to imply that the wording is regular. The descriptions of the scenes, the world, the characters and the mood are still spot on. Consider:
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.
Yes, they are not flowery or verbose or long. However, they do pack quite a punch. The entire book is written like that – it just flows.
The story is predictable, you know what is going to happen after the first few chapters. The “how” is what makes it fun to read. In a nutshell it describes a layabout, a jobless soul and how he transforms his life or rather how his life gets transformed. The mechanism used to achieve this (aka the plot) is well-crafted. Every turn of events makes sense. There is no feeling of surprise towards the end. There is no sudden twist. The thing that makes this book an enjoyable Sunday afternoon read is how you get to the end. Infact this is what every Hollywood director/screen-writer/writer should take inspiration from – this is what a feel good movie should be.