To Cure the Humans by Douglas Lewis popped up on Goodreads as a suggestion for something I might like. I’ve said it before, but the machines are getting closer to taking over, because they were spot on. I did like it!
The story is well paced and filled with a cast of well-developed characters, this rather long novel (456 pages) kept me entertained from beginning to end. It’s funny without trying too hard (for the most part). The length took me by surprise (I didn’t look at how long it was before I grabbed it), so I was about half-way through when I thought the plot was wrapping up, only for it to take off in a direction I wasn’t expecting.
After wrecking his car on the way to work, Dr. Benjamin Cotter’s day gets worse when he is abducted by Cyril, an alien bounty hunter. Cyril has landed on Earth in pursuit of Peter, a resourceful fugitive alien who just happens to possess a device (the BAT) than can cure any disease in any species.
When Peter innocently uses the BAT on humans, he draws the wrath of dangerous and powerful adversaries – a pharmaceutical start up, a major health insurance corporation, and a super-secret governmental agency. Their attempts to capture Peter and steal the BAT are thwarted when Peter receives help from a cynical liberal-arts major administrative assistant and her retired steel-worker father. When Dr. Cotter escapes Cyril’s clutches, he joins forces with Peter. But in the end it takes a more powerful force to save the BAT – and to cure the humans!
The story mostly revolves around an alien, Peter from Blutaark who has stolen a device (the BAT) that can cure pretty much every malady in the universe. Peter, being a nice guy, uses it on everyone he meets, much to the annoyance of its developers. Cyril, a particularly unlikable bounty hunter, is on his tail.
Ben, a human, gets abducted by Cyril on the pretence that he could thwart Cyril’s plans by going to the authorities. Along the way, evil health insurance executives join the chase when they learn they could quickly be out of business thanks to the meddling Peter, and a dodgy pharmaceutical company who want the device to make squillions of dollars.
So they, along with a bumbling secret government department responsible for monitoring aliens, are all working against each other in their attempts to find Peter and the BAR.
The story rockets along at a good pace, and I found myself quickly absorbed in its nonsense. The Douglas Adams-esque universe Mister Lewis has created is fun without being over-the-top alien.
A fun read that doesn’t need a whole lot of brain energy.