(Review) Matt Haig’s THE HUMANS

„Don’t ever be afraid of telling someone you love them. There are things wrong with your world, but an excess of love is not one.“

In THE HUMANS Andrew Martin makes a major mathematical breakthrough that could change the world forever and the aliens decide that the humans are probably going to mess up everything with so much power and progress and possibility – so they chose to have an alien take over Andrews body and consciousness. His mission is to destroy the evidence, find out as much as he can and eliminate everyone that knows something about it. And as he finds out soon enough: human life is messy. And emotional. And if you act human long enough, you start to become like one.

THE HUMANS is a character study – a giant essay about what it means to be human. How weird it may seem to someone standing on the outside looking in. How weird we seem from the outside looking in. It’s message is clear – subtlety is thrown out the window: humans are weird, aggressive, violent, hateful, spiteful, ugly yada yada yada – but they can be kind, too – and convey warmth, make you feel less alone, be empathetic. Shortly: people are more than they seem.

THE HUMANS has a second message, too – and a third, a fourth, a fifth. And so on. Shocker: stories can mean more than one thing. The second message, for me, is possibility. The ending of THE HUMANS left me with the same emotion that I felt while watching the first scene of THE NEWSROOM. In it, a guy is asked what makes America the greatest country of the world and all the other people in the discussion say stuff like „diversity“, „opportunity“ and „freedom“. Then it’s the main guys‘ turn and he half-asses his way through answering before the interviewer interrupts him and is like ‚be serious for a sec‘ – the main has a moment of clarity and fuck-it: „(…) America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. But it could be.“ It could be. It could be. It could be. Possibility.

There were things that I didn’t particulary care for in the story but overall I’m incredibly grateful and positively surprised that a novel like this – about this – exists.



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