The Humans

By Matt Haig

The point was also to forget meaning. To stop looking and start living. The meaning was to hold the hand of someone you cared about and to live inside the present. Past and future were myths. The past was just the present that had died and the future would never exist anyway, because by the time we got to it the future would have turned into the present. The present was all there was.”

The Humans has a very intriguing plot which allows the author to share his ruminations on the human condition. It allows the opportunity for much humor and relationship development.

An alien comes from a galaxy far far away to inhabit the dead body of a professor and mathematician, Andrew Martin, who that day has solved the key to the mysteries of prime numbers which humans have been working on for centuries. (who knew?) By doing so, it will lead to providing humans with the keys to more power than they are capable of handling wisely. That is why Andrew Martin had to die. For the good of the cosmos, the Alien has been tasked to infiltrate Andrew’s life and kill anyone that Andrew may have shared his success with. He must erase all evidence of the solution. While trying to complete his mission, the Alien falls in love with Andrew’s wife and son, who the real Andrew has treated badly and neglected for years. He also learns that despite their silliness and dangerous tendencies, humans do have some value and abilities he learns to appreciate: The ability to laugh and to love. To care and be cared for. Poetry. Pleasure. Peanut Butter. Pets. Aspects of life on Earth that his painless and immortal species has “progressed” beyond.

I liked this book very much. It was thought provoking, funny, and even moving at times. But, like How to Stop Time, which also had a very bright and promising premise, I wish it had gone deeper and taken more time. Filled in more gaps, so to speak. It did make for a fast moving read, but it could have been epic.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

March 24, 2018

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