|The Humans by Matt Haig|
My favourite kind of story is type that can blend tragedy and comedy perfectly. The Humans by Matt Haig is one of those books that will make you laugh out loud, but will also make you reflect on serious issues.
The book is written in the perspective of an alien who is inhabiting a famous academics body. Human life is a completely bizarre concept to him as he comes from a planet that is void of emotion. His homeland is completely rational, and he views human beings as being violent, greedy and fame-hungry. However, the man who's body he has consumed has a wife, a teenage son and a dog. At first he is repulsed by all of them, but then starts to realise the importance of family.
The laughs come from the alien trying to figure out his place. He first arrives to Earth naked without any concept of money or etiquette. On his planet, spitting at people is a polite and friendly greeting - something that is not taken too kindly to here on Earth!
The books genius is that it forces you to see the 'ordinary' through a completely new pair of eyes. It makes you question your own lifestyle choices and those of others. Plus the subject of depression is handled beautiful in this book.
I had the pleasure of meeting Matt at World Book Night in April and during a Q&A session he said that his main inspiration for The Humans was his own experiences with panic attacks and depression. He felt completely alienated by the rest of the world and found it hard to relate to people. I think this is such a brilliant way of channeling those feelings into such an original idea for a story.
I'd highly recommend this book!