Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Trailer Park Tuesday: The Humans by Matt Haig

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

"Don't worry about your abilities.  You have the ability to love.  That is enough."  That's just one of 97 pearls of wisdom found in the chapter called "Advice for a Human" in Matt Haig's newest novel, The Humans.  Some of the pieces of advice are pithy, some are full of pathos (and a little bathos), but they all taken on a extra layer of meaning when you realize they are typed by an alien sent here to observe human life forms, with the primary mission of destroying proof of the Riemann Hypothesis (which has something to do with the pattern in intervals between prime numbers).  The alien slips into the human skin of one Andrew Martin--father, husband, philanderer, Cambridge mathematician--and while it is initially disgusted by the way we live, it soon (predictably) starts falling in love with Andrew's wife and the poetry of Emily Dickinson.  The chapter called "Advice for a Human" comes late in the novel and thus carries its own narrative weight.  For the simple, clever book trailer, Haig put out a call on Twitter and Facebook, asking friends to film themselves reading their favorite piece of advice from the list.  The most popular seems to have been "Your brain is open.  Never let it be closed."  But there's also this: "Peanut butter sandwiches go perfectly well with a glass of white wine.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."  I'll drink to that.  While reading the list, I found myself nodding in agreement several times.  One of my favorite pieces of advice: "Tragedy is just comedy that hasn't come to fruition.  One day we will laugh at this.  We will laugh at everything."  So, what about you?  What advice would you give to the human race?  Pick one from the video, Haig's novel, or come up with one of your own.  School us in the comments section below.


  1. This is very well done and very lovely...you have some amazing fans and followers, Matt!

  2. This book was way out of my typical genre, but the review sounded interesting so I bought it on a lark. Wonderfully warm story, peppered with dark comedy as well as a few very interesting facts. Mr. Haig's characters are quite likable and fully developed. I would highly recommend "The Humans" to anyone, no matter what their preference in fiction.

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