Books + Brews

books + brews: The humans


Book review of The Humans by Matt Haig Book review of The Humans by Matt Haig

Book review of the Humans by Matt Haig


BREW: standard Sunday decaff Yorkshire tea (I promise the Brews will get more interesting)
BOOK: The Humans – Matt Haig

The Humans was one of those books I’d had on my TBR list for what felt like yonks, and yet I’d never somehow gotten round to reading it. I’d followed the author on Twitter. Then unfollowed. Then seen a retweet and followed again. Then eventually…well, you get the drift. Then the truly lovely Jo got in touch and said did I fancy coming along to a book club? Oh and the book is The Humans. Perfect!

So, perhaps I’d built this book up a bit too much in my head already, but I have to say I was a little disappointed. A Vonnadorian alien is sent from his planet (where there is no pain, no death, no effort to life) to destroy a Cambridge Professor’s evidence of cracking the secret of prime numbers and thus, preventing humans from advancing far beyond their current capabilities. While I enjoyed it a little, I spent most of the book feeling as though the author had once kept a notebook of all the interesting or quirky or profound things he had ever thought about being a human and this was a fairly thin sketch of a plot that enabled him to put them all in the same place. So many loose ends or too-quickly-resolved issues would bug me while I read. If you think about it as an allegory of depression and mental health, it gets a little more interesting, but the alien himself actually discounts this two thirds into the book. He’s not a human who has a problem…no, he’s really an alien. Oh.

The best part was the burgeoning relationships between Professor Martin’s family and his alien doppelganger (though, how quickly does he overcome his initial horror of Isabel’s face? What?), but overall, I was a little sad at how little I cared for the book. Ah, expectation, you are cruel. But, on a positive note, I met some very nice people through it and had a very good couple of hours chatting (plus, first mulled wine of the season!)…so, if for nothing else, I’m rather glad I read it…

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