Throwback Thursday – My Review For The Humans
“This book, this actual book, is set right here, on earth. It is about the meaning of life and nothing at all. It is about what it takes to kill someone and save them. It is about love and dead poets and wholenut peanut butter. It is about matter and anti matter, everything and nothing, hope and hate. It is about a forty one year old female historian called Isobel and her fifteen year old son Gulliver and the cleverest mathematician in the world. It is, in short, about how to become human.” (Quote from The Humans by Matt Haig)
I reviewed The Humans nearly two years ago and it is still my most recommended book on this blog. Matt Haig set the standard for me in fiction, having depth, serious themes and both laugh-out-loud and heartwarming humour. I still chuckle about certain moments within the book from time to time. Writing this post makes me want to read it again as soon as possible. This review is from my beginnings as a blogger (on Blogger) so bear that in mind when you read it. I can’t recommend The Humans enough so drop what you are doing and get on it!
About The Humans
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME.
OR IS THERE?
After an ‘incident’ one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton – and he’s a dog.
What could possibly make someone change their mind about the human race… ?
My Review From 25/07/16
The Humans is a cracking story. A mathematician call Andrew Martin discovers proof of the Riemann Hypothesis and an alien race who have been monitoring our progress as a species does not want earth to have this information as they believe that humans are not ready to unlock the secrets of the universe. They kidnap Martin and replacing him with an alien replica. This alien’s job is to wipe out any traces of this discovery and kill anyone who may know anything about it. As it immerses itself into Andrew’s life and human culture, it begins to challenge its orders and becomes protective of humanity. The story has copious amounts of charm, humour, sarcasm, emotion and spirit. I found myself deeply engaged with this text, it made me laugh, smile and cry. The outside perspective of the alien really works and makes the reader think about themselves and the world as a whole.
The reader spends all his time with the alien, viewing everyone through his interactions with them. The alien is a blank slate when it comes to humans, he only discovers and learns things about us as he goes along and it is amazingly funny, charming and bizarre. The alien starts off as an objective goon who wants to get his job done and get away. Over the course of the story he falls in love with what it is to be a good human and ultimately makes the right choice. The other characters in this book work well alongside this alien. Gulliver, the moody teenager, Isobel, the unloved wife who wants to be seen and many others. At no point did I feel any urgh or blahhh when I spent time with any of the characters here.
Every theme imaginable, this book is about love, about war, about family, race, sex, life and death. Everyone will find a way to connect with this material. The author has been through a lot to bring this story to us, he has put his heart and soul into this piece and it shows.
All of it (I know this is a bit of a cop out but I want to state that this is one of the best books I have read). The alien is hilarious. His interactions with us are brilliant. I did not stop smiling and this is such a quotable book. For example:
“You see, the Language of words was only one of the human Languages. There are many others, as I have pointed out. The Language of sighs, the Language of silent moments and most significantly, the Language of frowns.” (Quote from The Humans by Matt Haig)
That is was not longer….that it is not a trilogy…. a few mathematical equations that I did not understand but really wanted to. In my own opinion, there is not much wrong with this text. It is serious and silly, poetic, philosophical and literal.
This is a special book and it deserves a place on any bookshelf. Matt Haig is a true artist and talented wordsmith. I have already got most of his books on order right now and they too look amazing and will be making their way to these pages very soon. Go and buy this book, it is set in England but it is relevant everywhere, it is relevant to us all as human beings.
About Matt Haig
Matt Haig is the number one bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and six highly acclaimed novels for adults, including How to Stop Time, The Humans and The Radleys. As a writer for children and young adults he has won the Blue Peter Book Award, the Smarties Book Prize and been shortlisted three times for the Carnegie Medal. His work has been published in over forty languages.