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?
Ed is a very likable character even though he at first seems a bit hopeless. He feels very human and realistic to me and I really want things to work out for him. His three best friends Audrey, Ritchie and Marvin are also interesting and somewhat fun to read about. Because even though they all have their issues and are presented as almost pathetic characters it is done with both warmth and humor and therefore it is imposible not to like them. Maybe I'm a little dissapointed not to get to know more about Audrey who is such an important character to Ed. In the book we also meet a lot of other people in the different stories and most of them made an impression on me. For instance the old lady Milla that doesn't remember that the love of her life no longer lives, is a touching story.
The plot and construction:
The plot and first of all the construction in this book is really original and is what makes this book stand out. Ed receives his missions on each of the Aces and the chapters of the book are all following the playing cards in a regular deck. This gives the book a drive that keeps the reader interested all the way because you know the story is going somewhere. I think all the stories where Ed plays a part are mixed well together and it is never too much or confusing. The mystery is of course who's sending these cards to Ed, and I did not see this one coming. I even had to read the ending again to get it which might say more about me than the ending being to complicated:-).
The language is quite simple with short sentences that makes it an easy read. As I read this in norwegian I can't really say anything about the original language, but in norwegian it seemed a little simple, but not enough to take too much away from the good experience. The book has an uncomplicated but important message about caring and doing things for each other and that the small things matter. I think Zusak is a very interesting writer and I have to read more books by him soon.
Gift from the norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm as part of a book blog tour