Saturday, January 23

film-noir fairy tale

he's got a really cool name, this Markus Zusak.

back in August, friend Elsie blogged about The Book Thief. it's beautiful. sad and beautiful.

I Am the Messenger is not sad. nor would I call it beautiful, exactly... this one is subtle, and absorbing. here is one of the reviews random house stuck on the author's website:
“Zusak’s characters, styling, and conversations are believably unpretentious, well conceived, and appropriately raw. Together, these key elements fuse into an enigmatically dark, almost film-noir atmosphere where unknowingly lost Ed Kennedy stumbles onto a mystery–or series of mysteries–that could very well make or break his life.” { School Library Journal, Starred }

reading it made me a bit jealous, like many great books tend to. its voice said to me, this place is different. it's a place you've never been. so they aren't real people--but they're so carefully, raggedly cut that they look real. they could be there, waiting in the streets of some city in Australia. it makes me want to go there and see if they are.

an interview I read over here asked Zusack about the pieces of himself in his characters. he said:
“It’s unavoidable I guess when you write anything. There’s probably a piece of me in Liesel and a piece of me in Death. If you look at Ed or even at Cameron Wolfe, the protagonist of my first two books, there’s definitely a lot of me in them. I think I was a lot like Ed. I lacked confidence severely for a long time, and that was a fundamental part of Ed’s character. Underneath it all I wanted Ed to be like a superhero, but without superhero powers. I think that’s when you find out who you really are. What if you had to do amazing things and you had to reach into your humanness for that? That’s what Ed is doing in that book.”
the ending is the fairy tale part. the thinnest, most fragile slice of fairy tale laid down around the edges of this smudgy, uncertain set of lives.

go read it.

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