I took a bit of a chance with Inappropriately Human, 21 Short Stories by Andrew Heaton and I am very glad that I did so. Short stories can be hit-and-miss at the best of times, and without knowing anything about the author besides what was in the blurb, I figured I’d give it a shot. Audible had recommended it as an also-read alongside others, so I figured it was worth a try.
Each story is distinct, so there is no over-arching plot that joins them all together. From AI robots resurrecting the human race using social media profiles for their Disney-like robotic theme park to an inexplicable and baffling series of time-travelling events while trying to kill Hitler, there’s a lot to keep you laughing.
It’s important to note that while not all of the stories were home runs, some had me laughing hard enough to get strange looks from my family members. The story involving time travel and Charlie Chaplain, in particular, I’ve gone back to relisten to already.
Some of the stories are at a slice-of-life tempo, with no pressing urgency, just an interesting premise being seen to its inevitable conclusion. Others pick away at what-if type scenarios or just poke fun at the quirks of humanity.
Self-narrated by the author, Heaton did a decent job of it. Some very minor background noises and the occasional oddly long pause, but otherwise easy to listen to. Obviously, knowing the stories by heart helped nail the beats.
So if you like plenty of non-sequiturs and tightly written stories, then this is for you. Bitter NASA astronaut trainers, post-zombie apocalypse tobacco merchants, and why aliens shouldn’t make contact with the French await!
I do hope that Heaton does another volume of short stories like these, as I’d snap it up in a heartbeat. I’ll be relistening to the whole thing again very soon.