THE HUMANS BY MATT HAIG
The Humans is quite simply one of those novels that you wish you had written. Remarkably inventive, heart-warming, very funny and gripping right up to the last page. Matt Haig’s fifth book is really something special.
One Friday night Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge. He feels lost amongst his new species. He is repulsed by human food, clothes, their appearance – and even by his wife and teenage son. In fact he hates everyone and everything except his dog, Newton.
But as he sets about the tasks that he has been sent to Earth to complete, he gradually starts to change his mind about the human race. Haig uses this fantastic story to explore what it is to love and be human and all that is weird and wonderful about that. Like looking at our planet through an outer body experience (from outer space).
One of my favourite scenes is when the Professor is taken to a football match and from an alien perspective we see just how strange a concept sport is and in particular signing up to root for the same failing team week in, week out! It’s really hilarious stuff and actually quite thought-provoking. As is the immortal Professor’s ongoing quest to understand why we worry about seemingly trivial matters like power, money, love and sex when we are all careering towards a certain death. His findings are summed up in the heart-breaking and very funny Advice For Humans near the end of the book.
This is such a great story, everything a novel should be. Even down to the tiny chapters which make for easy reading at train stations and during the odd commercial break. A must for a book you won’t want to put down for long. Loved it.
SOUTHSEA BOOKWORM RATING: 9/10
Notes on the author – Matt Haig
- Best-selling author of five books
- His book The Radleys won Channel 4’s TV Book Club in 2011
- He lives in York and London
*gratuitous use of a Morrissey lyric/song title