Wednesday, February 10, 2010

i'm really sorry markus...

...but the messenger kinda sucked.

in case you've missed all of the 18 million times i've mentioned it, the book thief by markus zusak is the most amazing read of all time (according to me, of course). so i was excited but nervous to give the messenger a crack.

i've just finished it*. i closed the cover on the final page and exhaled a little 'eh'. it was so uninspiring. which couldn't be further from how the book thief made me feel.

and i guess that's part of the problem. the expectation. but while i certainly had high hopes, i never thought it would, never thought it could, match the book thief.

the thing is, the messenger was still superbly written. i was continuously struck by zusak's unique style. his blatant risks. but the story line was so....juvenile.

then i wondered: did zusak intended for me to read the messenger?

see, the book thief was billed as a novel for young adults. i didn't know this before i read it which is good because it would have turned me off. instead i was inspired to the core. it's just so damn amazing.

a quick wiki search and i found the problem. the messenger, a multi-award winner might i add, is a children's book.

ahhh, thanks for sharing, markus.

on the surface, nothing about this book - it's cover, it's marketing, it's prime position at borders - indicated i was barking up the wrong tree. and i am disappointed because the cynical me reckons that was calculated. that it was a ploy to rake in cash off the back of the book thief.

and hey, i'm sure it's working and making you big bucks. but is it worth harming zusak's reputation? mmmm.

i can't even be bothered reviewing this. why relive when it was such a bland experience in the first place? i have moved on and alice in wonderland is the beneficiary.

if i want to read a children's book, i'll do it properly, thank you very much.

*where just equals weeks ago.


Kellyansapansa said...

What a shame. I definitely have The Book Thief on my "to read" list though, after your recommendation. I'll let you know what I think.

...Mrs.P! said...

My girlfriend has been harping at me to read the Book thief ever since she finished it a few months ago, she loved. It's on my TBR list. However I do own the messenger and read the first chapter about a month ago and couldn't get into it, it just didn't grab me. Now I have an idea of why...a kids book???I had no idea! It's sold from the bloody 'literary fiction' section of most bookstores! Sneaky sneaky!

livemorenow said...

Don't you just hate that! I get caught from time to time persisting with a book just because I hope it will improve and its time you just don't get back.

It would be nice if the genres (ie YA, fantasy, sci-fi etc) would be marked more clearly.

Back to a great classic however, enjoy Alice :)


Moragg said...

I love love love love YAF. Maybe it's the whole teen wrangler thing I do, but I really enjoy teen books. I have something that may shock you though. The Book Thied lacked something for me. I enjoyed it. It was well structured, well written and quite compelling. I knew it didn't 'get' me when I didn't cry at an important part. (no spoilers 'ere)

Unlike the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas where I sobbed, snot and everything, for over half an hour - but the movie sucked.

kate said...

@moragg a book club with the two of us in it would be interesting. i was disappointed with the boy in the striped pjs in book form. i didn't love the movie either but prefered it. although i have a theory on this.

Cat said...

Oh Kate - how disappointing. The Book Thief is one of my top 10 faves. I wish it were not so. I'll put this on my TBR file but not for ages and ages. Thanks for letting us know your thoughts though (& sorry for late response - I'm going through your archives!) :)

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