Mr. Spaceman by Robert Olen Butler

Mr. Spaceman - Robert Olen Butler

Desi sits in his spaceship, on the eve of the millennium, preparing to unveil his spaceman existence to a world that, despite his kind having studied us for decades, he barely comprehends. He finds the concept of language and words utterly alien (heh, see what I did there?) and tends to speak in strings of advertising slogans. He has a beloved wife he picked up from Earth, and a yellow cat, and now, one last task before the big reveal to humankind: He's abducted a bus full of tourists on their way to a casino, in order to learn about them. He's a Friendly Guy, a Regular Joe, despite being a skinny alien with cat eyes and 8 fingers on each hand. Desi thinks humanity can be summed up in one word: yearning, another thing he thinks is alien. 


Yet this really isn't a sci-fi book at all.


It's a very beautifully written book, there are passages I just wanted to read and re-read and savour. I suspect one that you will either love or hate it though. It's a typical literary plot, as in, there really isn't one, or rather there is, but it's not the point. It's really an in depth exploration of the human condition, from one spaceman's point of view, and it covers a lot of ground: Racism, war, religion, history, parents and children and children and parents. A lot of ground indeed, for under 300 pages.


Anyway I'm just going to cop out on trying to sensibly review this: I liked it. A lot. And I highly recommend you check out the sample, you'll know within 2 pages if you hate it or not.