How to Be Less Human by John Sutherland
“How to be Less Human” is an intriguing little book by a Scottish author, John Sutherland. In the introduction, Sutherland says that he decided to write this book after watching his two teenage children, one of them a star football player, and the other a budding author, grow up in the public eye. He also noticed that these two very different children seem to have a lot of trouble fitting in. It made him wonder, what is it that makes some people so outgoing and comfortable with themselves while others are so shy? He attributes his success as a writer to meeting people from all walks of life. His book explores some of those questions through the story of two unlikely friends, David and Jennifer, who become the object of their affections.
What is it that makes some people so in tune with us that we mistake their good intentions for sincerity? What does it mean to be human and other-worldly? How can you find your place in the world when the only true power you know is to give away your heart? And most important, can you make friends easily? As these questions puzzle both the characters in his books and the reader, they offer him a window into a part of ourselves that most of us ignore or don’t even recognize.
If you find that you have similar questions about yourself, that’s great! I have mine, and reading about them and understanding what they’re trying to figure out helps me to understand myself better. Reading about other people also helps. If you don’t think that you can relate to this book, that’s okay. It will still make an impression on you because it’s written by an author who cares about other people. If you think you do, you’ll keep coming back for more of Mr. Sutherland’s insightful and wonderful stories.