The Humans, Matt Haig

When I finished this book, I’d written a 3-page review, so here’s the condensed(ish) version.

It is official. Matt Haig is definitely in my top 3 authors (I can’t decide the order, so don’t question me).

I cried, I laughed, I was shocked, hurt and am now in awe. There’s so much to take away from The Humans, focusing on mental health and humans (appropriately titled novel, Mr. Haig).

The plot:

An alien is sent to earth to destroy the work of Professor Andrew Martin, who has discovered the secret of prime numbers, unlocking the mystery of the universe.

The alien narrator attempts to fit into society with this mission in mind, but as the story develops, the alien starts to change. Originally disgusted by humans, the alien begins to become attached to the Professor’s wife and son, where he gets another mission to kill the two.

This isn’t a book about maths, aliens or anything alike, but instead about mental health (and there’s a wonderful thriller-like-feel to it). Here’s my take away:

– Firstly, it was about learning how to defeat the monster. Whether this is the monster inside you or a mathematical genius, who knows.

– You may have to cause yourself pain in order to help others. Whilst this may not be as extreme in real life (hopefully!) as it was in the book, it makes a valid point.

– Our actions may have an effect on other people. There’s a piece in this book which may trigger this for you. When I explained my hypothesis to a friend, it clicked for them.  I don’t want to give too much away because you need to read this book, but when managing mental health issues, we may not converse with people and in turn, affecting them.

– Most importantly: Be human.

“You’ll be seeing a lot more of Matt Haig on this website. This is one author to remember.”

Let’s talk about Matt Haig, because this is important. I have nothing but praise for this author – he has put into words what the battle of mental health is like. With his experiences at the forefront of his mind, this book provides what you need to hear if you are suffering/ have ever suffered with depression. It showed us that these monsters – or aliens – can be tackled, and people can change.

I don’t know Haig personally, but there are some phrases in here which sounds like what he needed to hear during his past, embedded into the text so plainly and discretely, it makes this book a true, heart-warming piece of art: “Because happiness is possible for me now. It exists on the other side of the hurt.”

Tip: If you don’t want to sob uncontrollably, miss out pages 271-277. You’ll cry before these pages but take it from someone who has experienced this. Genuinely sobbing. Mascara running, puffy face, the lot. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Matt Haig has said here: “I have never written anything like [The Humans] and probably never will again.” 90% of me is upset about this because it was so wonderfully brilliant and I need another right now, but the other 10% is happy because this is the only book that has brought me this much feeling to my life, and I can’t review Haig every week, can I? (Can I???).

Yes — you’ll be seeing a lot more of Matt Haig on this website. This is one author to remember.

Bookmark that now. Right. This. Second.

The Humans, Matt Haig, RRP £8.99/ £12.99 (paperback/ hardback); Waterstones

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