The Humans by Matt Haig (5 out of 5)
For some reason, this book was hard for us to get in. Felicia found this one, and ordered it in. I scoffed at the nose on the cover and made a few badly timed Robin Williams jokes, but didn’t really check the book out until Tuesday. Then after reading the cover more thoroughly, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed in the slightest.
Professor Andrew Martin is not Professor Andrew Martin. He looks like him, and sounds like him, but he’s not acting like him, and unbeknownst to all, he is an alien sent from Vonnadoria to gather and delete information, and to rob humans on Planet Earth of their futures. Despite his initial negative thoughts of the planet, he grows to love its contradictions, its humans, their emotions, and the Beach Boys. Andrew has a wife and a son to add to this calamity; his wife is trying hard to reach him, while his son is doing his hardest to run from him. Friends at the university are worried, and believe he can remember nothing and is walking around stark naked because he’s had a “momentary lapse of sanity brought on by impossible hours, coffee drinking and stress.” Obviously, it’s due to the fact that he’s an interplanetary being who’s here to impersonate Professor Martin. The alien is here to infiltrate the information that Martin had uncovered about Riemann Hypothesis, a mathematical equation that had baffled for ages. The real Andrew Martin? Don’t ask. You really won’t care after you get used to the alien, or rather, the new and improved Andrew Martin. He likes poetry, rock music, and develops an obsession for peanut butter. Of course that endeared him further to me.
It’s quite a story that unravels, but ultimately, the search for the truth goes a bit by the wayside because he begins appreciating humans, the Earth, the craziness that follows many of us on a daily basis, the poetry, the woman, and of course, the most important of all of these- the peanut butter. I read Haig’s book The Radleys years ago, and I just liked it. This book? Loved it. You grow to ‘love the alien’ (David Bowie, eat your heart out! Preferably with fava beans and chianti). The book itself is a quick read. Chapters aren’t long and drawn out, and the alien’s thoughts of the planet and its inhabitants are side-splitting. Another book where I was lucky to not have pissed my pants at the end of it. Definitely on my top 10 list for 2013.