I read this book because it was picked to be the first book for the university book club that I run. Going into it I knew just the basic synopsis but having now read it I can say that it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting.
This novel is full of dark humour, insightful pondering and brutal honesty about the human condition. From the synopsis I believed that this would be a straight science-fiction novel but I think that, although there is the alien aspect, it is very much a human novel; there are some really interesting points raised about human existence and I loved how philosophical the whole thing was.
One of the most interesting things about this novel, for me at least, was the perspective. The story is told in third person perspective from the point of view of the alien that has taken over Andrew Martin’s life. Not only does this mean you get foreshadowing throughout where the narrator tells you things that are going to be important later on, but it means that you get descriptions of normal everyday things such as cars or a humans face that are completely unlike anything a human being would say. The way that Matt Haig creates distance between humans and the protagonist, and therefore the reader, through these observations is genius.
If you read this book, I would highly recommend also reading the author’s note at the back. Knowing that Haig came up with the idea for this novel whilst suffering from panic disorder and mental illness made it all the more human and gave an insight into how some of the opinions given throughout could have been thought up.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I think it got a little long-winded at points but on the whole I liked reading from an unusual perspective. This is such a creative story and inspirational in many ways. Highly recommended.
4 out of 5 stars!