When an extraterrestrial being arrives on Earth, he’s tasked to eliminate the threat posed by Cambridge professor Andrew Martin. Disguised as the prominent mathematician, the visitor is at first disgusted by the human race: the way they look, and how they interact with one another. However, the longer he is around other people, he slowly realizes that he’s developing a bond with them and begins to question the mission at hand.
What a delightfully entertaining read! This book came into my radar after attending an event at Harper Collins Canada’s office with the author, about his book A Boy Called Christmas. His other novels had been brought up, so when I happened across this one at the library, I had to check it out. The premise was so unique, and I don’t recall many other books I’ve read that took such an interesting point of view to narrate from.
The protagonist’s observations are, understandably, naive and curious making an interesting way for self reflection. Why do we do the things we do? How strange would that seem to an outsider looking in? In the visitor’s simplistic views of people, it also allows for us to appreciate those smaller moments that normally might get overlooked.
What I initially thought would be a lighthearted fun read proved to be much deeper than that. While it was certainly sweet and earnest, there were also some darker moments as well. The story takes a look at the imperfections of humans and it’s in those imperfections that contribute to what society, and humanity, is. A George Orwell quote I found sums up this sentiment quite astutely: “The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection.”