by Matt Haig
Started: 8th September 2015
Finished: 9th September 2015
I didn’t really know what to expect with this novel, I’d seen it everywhere, heard great things but I didn’t know anything about it. I decided to give it ago and I’m so glad I did.
The novel begins with Professor Andrew Martin not quite feeling himself… In fact, he isn’t Andrew Martin at all or even considered human. He’s on a mission, it seems fairly simple at first, all he has to do is destroy information. However the longer he stays among the humans the more he feels himself begin to change and maybe this mission isn’t as simple after all.
I adored ‘Andrew Martin’ in this novel, or rather the being in control of his body. It was fascinating to see a fresh take on the human species and how someone who doesn’t know how to act human tries to fit in. Not only did this lead to moments where I couldn’t help but laugh out loud on the train to work, but there were also a few profound moments and lines of commentary on human life. I also really liked Gulliver and thought having an ‘alien’ have to understand a teenage boy was great and thought their interactions were wonderful.
The plot was simple but it was well developed as it continued and perfectly filled the pages. I was left wanting to see more of the characters but felt that I wouldn’t have wanted it to end in any other way. I never really knew what the ending of the novel would be which is always good, there were times where I thought I knew but something different came up which threw me off slightly. The novel started off in a lighthearted way and, as I mentioned, made me laugh often and progressively got somewhat darker but that lightheartedness remained in subtle ways.
Haig’s writing is simply wonderful and I felt so much reading this novel. This may seem like a slightly random thing to point out but I enjoyed the chapter titles, I don’t know why but there was something about them that stood out for me and was a lovely touch to the novel. I especially liked the advice for a human chapter towards the end of the novel. Although it was aimed at a particular character there’s so many points that would speak to any reader and was something I felt I just had to share with my mum.
Overall, I think this is a serious contender for my book of the year. I urge everyone to read it and I can’t wait to read more of Haig’s writing in the future.