Earth is the loneliest planet of all*

the humas

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). Continue reading

Advertisements

Captivating and intense epic

THE INTERESTINGS BY MEG WOLITZER

In short, I couldn’t leave this book alone. From the first page I was drawn deeply into the world of the Interestings – perhaps even a little too much! For the week that I was reading this exhilarating novel I felt completely absorbed in its unfolding drama to the point that I lay awake worrying about some of the characters and their actions. Sad, I know!

In the summer of 1974, six talented teenagers sit together at summer camp drinking vodka, smoking weed, being ironic and vowing to always be interesting. From there we follow the lives of Jules, Jonah, Ethan, Ash, Cathy and Goodman over the next few decades as the hopes and dreams they had that summer unravel, some slowly, some spectacularly.

Envy, depression, talent, loss, disappearance and disappointment put their friendships under intense strain.

Wolitzer’s writing is as compelling as I’ve ever read. This really is a “one more chapter then bed” kind of book. It feels massive – like it tackles everything that happens in life. The themes are big, epic and sprawling but it’s the real human moments, the touching scenes that stay with you more than the major events. Continue reading

Oldies art heist lost in translation

THE LITTLE OLD LADY WHO BROKE ALL THE RULES

BY CATHARINA INGELMAN-SUNDBERG

Translated from Swedish by Rod Bradbury

 thelittleoldladywhobrokealltherules

I picked up this international bestselling novel as the cover art reminded me of Jonas Jonasson’s excellent ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.’ Unfortunately this book contained few of the belly laughs and galloping plotlines that that did.

This is the story of five old age pensioners in Sweden who are tired of the way society treats them. They leave their care home in a bid to launch new careers as thieves as they notice that prisoners are treated better in jail than the elderly in old people’s homes.

Egged on by central character Martha, the League of Pensioners become a daring and cunning gang of criminals carrying out a high profile art theft and even serving time behind bars. Continue reading