After months of:
– little bits of big books
– large chunks of course reading*
– not-quite-finishing collections of artsy short stories
– the endless churning through the LRB…
I’ve finally finished reading a novel. A whole one. The Humans. It was good. It was good because I finished it, and I finished it because it was good. A three-night read. Perfect.
In brief, and without spoilers, this novel is about a Cambridge maths professor who has solved a mathematical hypothesis that could change the course of human history, except it doesn’t. Something happens.
The Humans becomes an examination of human history; our behaviours and beliefs, at personal and global level. About how we often fail to see how small the big picture is. How we should really just give ourselves a break and laugh more. How madness is, often, relative. Life is short and often ugly – The Humans says – it doesn’t do to take it seriously, or to take kindness or beauty or pleasure for granted, however small. We should eat more peanut butter; read more poetry. Should also mention that it’s very unassumingly funny, and that’s what makes it excellent. As with humans.
Sympathetic. Compelling. Strange. Disarming. Read, please.
I’ve already managed to recommend this to everyone I’ve come in contact with, including – funnily enough – an Oxford mathematics Professor… he seemed interested. Here’s to spreading the love.
* just started the one-year PGCE programme at Oxford. Wish me luck.