59 pages 1 hour read

Markus Zusak

I Am The Messenger

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2002

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Part 1, Chapters 1-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 1: “The First Message”

Part 1, Chapter 1 Summary: “The Holdup”

As the novel opens, 19-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy and his friends Marvin, Ritchie, and Audrey are held hostage during a bank robbery. Due to the gunman’s obvious incompetence, Ed and Marvin are more irritated than frightened by the situation. The two bicker about Marvin’s dilapidated Ford Falcon, drawing the robber’s attention. The gunman’s getaway vehicle is spotted by the police, so he takes Marvin’s keys. The robber drops his weapon as he exits the bank, and Ed astonishes himself by picking it up and holding the robber at gunpoint until the police arrive. The officer who takes Ed and Marvin’s statements insults the Falcon, but Marv claims that he has more important priorities than buying a new car. As they exit the police station, reporters swarm around Ed. He imagines the next day’s headlines reading, “Local Deadbeat Makes Good” (14). A few days later, Ed receives a message that he states, “changes everything” (14).

Part 1, Chapter 2 Summary: “Sex Should Be like Math: An Introduction to My Life”

Ed often berates himself for not achieving more with his life. He feels that he has “[n]o real career. No respect in the community. Nothing” (15). Legally, taxi drivers must be at least 20 years old, so he and Audrey lie about their age.