Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Humans: A Novel by Matt Haig

A mathematician has proofed the Riemann Hypothesis, which would unlock the mysteries of the prime numbers. Aliens from another galaxy (!) consider this is so threatening that they kill him and replace him with one of them, who is supposed to kill everyone who knows anything about the discovery. The alien slowly adjusts to life on earth and to what it is to be a human, and starts to value things he didn’t know even existed before. He learns to love his wife and son and to enjoy the good things in human life – many things the man his is replacing did not do.
Especially the first half of the book was very good and well written. Towards to the end the naïve philosophizing started to be pretty irritating. Once more the message from the aliens is “be nice and friendly and stop the wars”. Not to mention the incredible hypocrisy of the aliens: they supposedly abhor violence and consider even eating meat as an abomination, but are ready to execute several human with the slightest reasons. Also, the aliens seem pretty dense on many levels – if they were able to learn about the mathematical discovery as soon it was made, how are they were SO unfamiliar with earth and humans in every possible way? All in all, the book was an enjoyable read, but it doesn’t stand much logical scrutiny. Strange for a book where one of the main points is mathematics.

304 pp.

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