Ed Kennedy, an unambitious cab driver receives a lifestyle change in the mail when someone leaves an ace with a message. A playing card that will predict his actions and their consequences on his life. With every card he is sent, Ed must decide what kind of a change he is to unleash into the world around him. Gradually, his life that lacked fervor, becomes an instrument of happiness not only for others but for himself. He sees his missions as bridging the gap between his uncaring old self and the confident, considerate person he is intended to become.
It was convenient when the messages were meant for people he didn’t know but what stark decisions would he have to take for those he loves? And who is the mastermind behind such carefully planned clues? Who knows him so well as to be able to determine his actions? The answers to these questions are what he seeks throughout the journey, but he finds more than he could have ever hoped for.
I started reading this with a lot of assumptions about what might happen to Ed. But it was nothing as extreme as I had in mind. Ed is guided by some force unknown, motivating him to finally accept and be the person he truly is. His estranged family, deep love for his best friend Audrey and his no prospect job as a cab driver are the reasons for his subdued personality and low self esteem. But from the very beginning we get a glimpse of the righteousness and bravery he possesses when he intervenes during a bank robbery. The book is split in five parts and in each part we are privy to Ed growing as a protagonist, and surprising us with the accuracy of his actions. Somehow everything he does warrants the exact result we could hope for. For me the best messages were that of Milla and Marv.
I found Markus Zusak’s style of writing to be different from anything I’ve read. It was a little odd at first, because of the broken manner of phrasing but soon I got used to it. There’s enough humor in the book to break the monotony of Ed’s missions. I didn’t quite get Ritchie’s character. He too didn’t seem to have a life purpose and even towards the end, I didn’t feel like he made that much of an impact on anything. Ed’s telepathic conversations with Doorman (his pet dog) were amusing and heartwarming. We don’t get a certain idea about who is planning such greatness for Ed but left to my interpretation I’d assume that it was his father, who wanted Ed to see the potential in himself. I really liked the plot and the ending, to me, was beyond amazing. Recommend this to everyone who wishes to the silver lining!
Ratings – 4 stars on 5.