The Humans by Matt Haig
I started reading this and was convinced I was going to struggle to carry on, never mind complete it.
“Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University, one of the great mathematical geniuses of our time, has just discovered the secret of prime numbers, thereby finding the key that will unlock the mysteries of the universe, guarantee a giant technological leap for mankind and put an end to illness and death
Alerted to this amazing breakthrough on the other side of the universe, and convinced that the secret of primes cannot be entrusted to such a violent and backward species as humans, the super-advanced Vonnadorians dispatch an emissary to erase Martin and all traces of his discovery” The Guardian
And so the alien enters the man.
I couldn’t cope with the explanations he started off using for every new thing he encountered…very much like the game Taboo…explain what a cup is without using the word cup. And suddenly he has learnt the whole of the English language by reading a copy of Cosmopolitan…hmm! But he learns very slowly to be a man. Not simply replacing the man he has inhabited, but becoming a better husband, father, man than the one he replaced. He starts to experience emptions, empathy and love.
As the tale progressed so did my fondness for him, but, predictably his repulsion for this backward, decaying society and those within it, turns to love and a desire to stay.
He learns that despite his previous life being never ending, controlled, free from decay and sickness and empty of problems, life on earth pulls him more. ” The things you don’t need to live – books, art, cinema, wine and so on – are the things you need to live.”
At times I felt that the author used his story as an opportunity to ridicule everything he found distasteful about life , but why shouldn’t he…it’s his book. Those things he ridiculed were often turned around to become positives. Life here may be limited and fraught with pain , but he desired that… because of love.
If you fancy a little bit of intelligence – injected Mork and Mindy, this is for you.