Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Humans by Matt Haig

Dear Humans, after studying your kind by reading a varied cross section of literature, I have finally found a book written by one from my own planet that clearly defines what it means to be human... just kidding (obvs) although this book is narrated by an alien.

The nameless narrator is the replacement for Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University, whose solving of the world’s greatest mathematical problem was also the cause of his murder and otherworldly substitution. On his arrival, the new Andrew Martin is found wandering naked along the motorway but is soon returned to his ‘family’, a wife called Isobel and a teenage son called Gulliver, both of whom repulse him. He does however make friends with the family dog Newton.

The newcomer’s mission is to eradicate all evidence of the solved maths problem including the people in the know but the longer he spends interacting with humans and living as one of them he finds the task proving harder than he first thought.

I’d heard a lot of things about this story before reading it, both good and bad; I think this is the sort of book you either love or hate. I happened to love it. The alien Andrew Martin was very endearing as he fumbled his way through his new life. Outside of the charming storyline, the prose is incredibly intelligent; who knew prime numbers could be so interesting?

This is not only a wonderfully weird tale but it is also an articulate and heart-warming study into what it means to be human. I truly enjoyed this book and I urge anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of The Humans to give this expressive and meaningful book.

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