Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book review: The Humans by Matt Haig

I recently read The Humans by Matt Haig, and since the main character is an extraterrestrial, I thought I should review it for my blog.  This alien is from a planet called Vonnadoria and has come to Earth to assume the identity of Professor Andrew Martin, a mathematician who may have discovered something that could change the world; the real Martin has already been killed, and it is this extraterrestrial's job to dispose of anyone Martin may have told about his discovery.  This Vonnadorian starts out thinking that humans are hideous and is generally disgusted by everything about them, but as he gets to know Martin's family (wife Isobel and son Gulliver), he begins to understand the human race and realizes that he does not want to kill Isobel and Gulliver, even though his superiors keep insisting that he must get rid of them.  At the beginning of the story, our otherworldly narrator states that The Humans is a book "about the meaning of life and nothing at all," but more than anything, it's the story of an alien who learns what it means to be human.  He learns that "caring is what makes you human," and he is turning out to be a better human than the man he's pretending to be. 
I really enjoyed this book, and even though it's about a visitor from another planet, it seemed believable.  I especially enjoyed the alien's interactions with Newton, the family dog, who he thinks is needy and annoying at first.  Of course it doesn't take long for him to love the dog...because even an alien can't resist a cuddly canine.
My score: 8.5/10

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