By: Matt Haig
“Your existence is as close to impossible as can be. To dismiss it is to dismiss yourself.”
The Humans is only the second book I’ve read by Matt Haig (first being How to Stop Time) and let me tell you he’s fast shot up onto my all-time favorite authors list. I loved The Humans- a sweet and meaningful story about an alien assassin and how dogs, music and poetry might be our best shot at galactic diplomacy.
Our unnamed alien narrator has come to Earth in the body of one Andrew Martin a man who, unfortunately for him, just solved a math equation that will change our species forever and shoot us into the future and the galaxy. So that definitely can’t happen. The new Andrew has to not only destroy the evidence but anyone that might have heard about the evidence including Martin’s wife and son.
He does not exactly go about this well and the asides and his studying and trying to emulate us were actually really funny and (as much as he was a fish out of water) dead on about human nature.
“Oh, and let’s not forget the things they do to makes themselves happy that actually make them miserable. This is an infinite list.”
But it’s not long before he falls in love with the dog, and hears music, and reads poetry and starts to see the beauty in this life. Even, much like the narrator of How to Stop Time, in it’s mortality.
I don’t want to give too much away and I have to admit in a lot of ways- it goes where you think it’s going to go. But the writing is so fun. Haig has a way of making his point about humanity while still being funny and meaningful and deep and making me nod a yes instead of roll my eyes or get annoyed. It’s not preachy in other words. And he manages to be sincere without being cloying or over-the-top. There’s a long list of advice for the teenage son that I highlighted so much of it was all color!
It’s just one of those fast, fun reads that make you stop and think… and then in my case go for a walk or two and try to see things as an alien from another planet would. There’s so much beauty and like the alien says the idea that any of us are here, now, considering the immense variables…
Since I’m making so many lists right now I suddenly want to go do a what would sell us to an alien species hence leaving this post at that before I ramble on. 🙂