The Humans

The Humans

by Matt Haig
4.6 16

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Overview

The Humans by Matt Haig

“I know that some of you reading this are convinced humans are a myth, but I am here to state that they do actually exist. For those that don’t know, a human is a real bipedal life form of midrange intelligence, living a largely deluded existence on a small waterlogged planet in a very lonely corner of the universe.”

The bestselling, award-winning author of The Radleys is back with what may be his best, funniest, and most devastating dark comedy yet. When an extraterrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a prominent mathematician at Cambridge University, the visitor is eager to complete the gruesome task assigned him and hurry back home to the utopian world of his own planet, where everyone enjoys immortality and infinite knowledge.

He is disgusted by the way humans look, what they eat, their capacity for murder and war, and is equally baffled by the concepts of love and family. But as time goes on, he starts to realize there may be more to this weird species than he has been led to believe. Disguised as Martin, he drinks wine, reads poetry, develops an ear for rock music and a taste for peanut butter. Slowly, unexpectedly, he forges bonds with Martin’s family, and in picking up the pieces of the professor’s shattered personal life, he begins to see hope and beauty in the humans’ imperfections and begins to question the mission that brought him there.

Praised by the New York Times as a “novelist of great seriousness and talent,” author Matt Haig delivers an unlikely story about human nature and the joy found in the messiness of life on Earth. The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable tale that playfully and movingly explores the ultimate subject—ourselves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476727929
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 07/02/2013
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 10,164
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Matt Haig is the bestselling author of several children’s books and novels, including The Radleys, winner of the ALA Alex Award. An alumnus of Hull University and Leeds, his work has been translated into twenty-nine languages. He lives in York with his wife, UK novelist Andrea Semple, and their two children.

Customer Reviews

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The Humans: A Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
lovelybookshelf More than 1 year ago
While reading The Humans, I'm sure I'm not the only one who was reminded of the television series 3rd Rock from the Sun, and at one point, of the ST:TNG episode Encounter at Farpoint. There's a bit of The Doctor in our alien protagonist as well. But don't be fooled into thinking this novel is some sort of knock-off: the execution is fabulously unique. Matt Haig takes us on a brilliant and imaginative journey through the human experience, the best and the worst. With short, easy-to-devour chapters bearing titles such as Detached Nouns and Other Early Trials for the Language Learner and The Melancholy Beauty of the Setting Sun, I raced through this book. I could not wait to read more, but I didn't want to miss a thing. And may I just say, I am completely jealous that the Vonnadorians can consume books in capsule form! Seriously?! I can't rave about this book enough. It's thoughtful. Wise. Funny. Tender. Uplifting. Thrilling (there was an awesome unexpected twist!). I was hanging on every word, each moment for its own reason, all the way to the very end. The Humans swept me away; it is by far my new favorite read of 2013.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this funny and thought-provoking book and would highly recommend it. This book has a place on my all-time top 10 list.
Anonymous 12 days ago
A fun, light book and an easy read that nevertheless captures some of the challenges and wonders of being human. Certainly recommend!
Anonymous 3 months ago
A weird litte book that startsslow but stick with it. It is worth it though maybe too sappy and sentimental for some. The story is told from an Alien's point of view but it is all about being human. I highly recomend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
an amazing book that really changed my perspective about the world and human race itself, i extremely enjoyed this book and have already recommended it to so many friends and peers. a must read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looking at human life from the point of view of an alien, sometimes hilarious, sometimes made me wince. Somewhat illogical ending but overall a good sweet story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could have been a bit more daring but, then again, it's British. Can an alien be a better father, husband, dog owner and teacher than the man he replaces? Pathos, humor and hints of Douglas Addams. Enjoyed it, mostly, but wasn't seriously impressed.
loritatarsmith More than 1 year ago
"The Humans" is an astonishing and unique novel on what it means to be human. The story is told in the first-person narrative through the eyes of an alien who, after first looking at people with scorn but gradually experiencing and witnessing positive attributes of people, chooses to join humanity. The plot is entirely character-driven. You don't have to be a sci-fi lover to love this book. The author, Matt Haig, plumbs the depths of human-ness, the good, the bad and the ugly, with a tremendous amount of insight and compassion. It earns a solid five out of five star rating.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book as told through the eyes of an alien having a human experience. I frequently laughed out loud while reading it. While much of the book is very funny, it is not without depth, heart or longing, and the final chapters do turn a bit more somber and reflective. But, it is overall uplifting. I found myself talking to anyone who would listen about this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ceceWA More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and the narrator's view of humans. It was humorous, enlightening and engaging.
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
An Alien is sent to Earth to take the place of Andrew Martin a professor that has solved Riemann's hypothesis. It seems like no big thing to humans but to the aliens they know it is the first step in humans discovering their world and about them. The alien has to find the answer and destroy it. He knows all about humans how they have let war, disease and more ruin their lives. What he learns is there is so much more to these humans and what it is like to be one. The author has written this book in a way that gives it a spin unlike other books you may read. The alien who is a clone for Andrew Martin is detailing you what he is going through on his search. He has to act human to find where the professor has put the answer. You get to see what we would look and act like to an alien. He has several hard times as he doesn't understand us as you see from the start he provides a few laughs as he gets to understand what we are. He learns to bond with Andrew's teenage son and wife and in a way fixes personnel problems the professor has. This book isn't the usual alien book but one that you will either love or hate. I really enjoyed it as the author has a wonderful way with words.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was funny, sad, inspirational, thought provoking, alien and human. It is on my favorites list. Thank you Mr. Haig.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago