My friend Jane suggested a great book to me during her families annual tree trimming get together last weekend.
The book, The Humans, by Matt Haig offers lessons on our mortality, what is important and the gift of love. It is not a Christmas story, but the basic tenants of living a respectful, christian, loving life are underscored throughout the novel.
Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University, one of the great
mathematical geniuses of our time, has just discovered the secret of
prime numbers, thereby finding the key that will unlock the mysteries of
the universe, guarantee a giant technological leap for mankind and put
an end to illness and death.
The advanced Vonnadorians do not think we are ready for this type of power. They feel we cannot be entrusted to such a violent and backward species so they dispatch an assassin to erase Martin and all traces of his discovery.
The alien narrator is that assassin. He finds himself in the body of the professor, whom he has just assassinated but learning the unique "human condition" impacts the Vonnadorian in unanticipated ways.
I laughed, reflected on the purpose of life and nearly cried while reading this novel. It is a wryly humorous look at the human condition. The highlight is a letter of advice he bequeaths to Martin's son – a 97-point list six and a half pages long.
There are many other jewals to be found in this book. The author, who suffers from depression and panic attacks used the novel to question how humans - a supposed advanced civilization treat their mentally ill.
With the Western Worlds current focus on mental health he offers some droll observations on the
shortcomings of medicine such as the absolute separation of illness of body and mind.
On feeling sadness for the first time, our Vonnadorian says "sadness seemed to me like a disease, and I worried it was contagious". I also liked this observation " "Humans ... don't like mad people unless they are good at painting, and only then once they are dead."
Love is truth!