“This book, this actual book, is set right here on Earth. It is about the meaning of life and nothing at all. It is about what it takes to kill somebody, and save them. It is about love and dead poets and wholenut peanut butter. It is about matter and antimatter, everything and nothing, hope and hate. It is about a forty-one-year-old female historian called Isobel and her fifteen year old son named Gulliver and the cleverest mathematician in the world. It is, in short, about how to become a human.”
Isn’t that just a fantastic start to a book? I got this book after hearing Becki (or thebooker) from A Word Shaker rave about it.
“Men are not from Mars. Women are not from Venus. Do not fall for categories. Everyone is everything. Every ingredient inside a star is inside you, and every personality that ever existed competes in the theatre of your mind for the main role.”
What’s it about: Andrew Martin is not Andrew Martin. What Andrew Martin is is an alien inhabiting his body in order to rid Earth of the real Andrew Martin’s recent mathematical formula which would bring about technological advances that the rest of the universe is not ready for humans to have. The fake Andrew Martins task is simple: kill the real Andrew Martin, take over his identity, and destroy all evidence of recent mathematics discoveries, and kill anyone he might have told about them. But then things do not go to plan as the fake Andrew Martin begins to enjoy his new life as a human.
“To like something is to insult it. Love it or hate it. Be passionate. As civilisation advances, so does indifference. It is a disease. Immunize yourself with art. And love.”
What I thought: I really enjoyed this hilarious study of human nature told from the perspective of an alien from a civilisation very different to our own. It is eccentric and wonderful satirical sci-fi novel that despite delving into the hypocrisy, violence, and indifference inherent in humans, somehow also has an overall sense of hopefulness. It is also absolutely full of fantastic advice for any human being.
“Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.”
Most of all this book is thoroughly entertaining, and almost every sentence is is worthy of quoting. It is fantastically well written. This is one of those little gems that you will feel the need to share with others over and over again. I think would be an absolute hit with people who love Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
“If you think something is ugly, look harder. Ugliness is just a failure of seeing.”
I actually got this as an audiobook and I must make a little comment on how fantastic the narration was for this book. It was absolutely perfect, one of the best I’ve listened to.
I rate it 4/5 stars.
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