This book is an imaginative and beautiful reminder that love makes every second of this life worth living. I think that is especially important right now.
Book: The Humans
Author: Matt Haig
Pages: 304 (Paperback)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction /Science Fiction
Age Recommendation: 16+
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
“The single biggest act of bravery or madness anyone can do is the act of change.”
Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book even begins. An alien imposter now occupies his body. Sent to Earth to destroy evidence that Andrew had solved a major mathematical problem, the alien can’t wait to get away from the disgusting humans and return to his home planet where mortality and emotions do not exist. Starting with the very basics, the new Andrew must adjust to life on Earth in every way. This includes learning how to talk, eat, drink and wear clothes. Once he’s tackled the basic challenges, Andrew finds himself asking more difficult questions surrounding life, death and what it means to love in a world where everything is temporary. Soon, the alien learns more about “the humans” than he ever expected and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.
At just over 300 pages, The Humans is quite an easy read with short, essay-like chapters and only a few main characters. The plot is simple but entertaining enough to keep you hooked. It is the book’s messages and the author’s imagination that makes The Humans so beautiful to read.
The Humans is one of the most creative novels I have ever read. It’s a love story, a murder story, a comedy and science fiction. It made me laugh out loud and it made me nervous but most importantly it made me think and feel a lot. In the notes at the end of this novel, author Matt Haig says that he wrote The Humans while “in the grips of a panic disorder.” He states that through his fear and pain he came to see that “breakdown is very often breakthrough”. With this, Haig shared with the world a personal story that brings sensitive subjects such as depression and anxiety into the light and celebrates what it means to be human.
Similar to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Humans tells the story of an outsider, learning about the world from a unique perspective. As Andrew begins to grow and connect with the people around him, it becomes easier to see life as he sees it, and as the author now sees it. The Humans is an imaginative and beautiful reminder that love makes every second of this life worth living. With all the hate in the world, I think that message is especially important right now.