The Humans

The Humans

Book - 2013
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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, and their capacity for murder and war, and he 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, and 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 to question the mission that brought him here.

Praised by The New York Times as a "novelist of great seriousness and talent," 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.

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins Publishers Limited, ©2013.
Edition: First Canadian edition.
ISBN: 9781443423656
Characteristics: x, 294 pages ;,22 cm


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AL_PAMELAH Jan 30, 2018

Matt Haig's books examine what it means to be human. In this favorite of mine, an alien sent to earth must learn to pass as a human. He reads an issue of "Cosmopolitan" magazine to learn English, and along the way becomes entranced by us human's ability to love, in all its forms. Wonderful!

Oct 12, 2017

This was an excellent read! The plot was engaging and exciting. It questions major forces that drive humans, well written with a great lineup of characters. A story you hope will not end, but eventually does :(

AL_LESLEY Nov 09, 2016

A clever and humorous science fiction tale of the differences of what it means to live in a 'civilization' versus what it means to actually be human. I want to read some Dickenson now!

AL_CODY Aug 04, 2016

The story of an alien who tries to make sense of what being human is all about.

Jan 09, 2016

Very enjoyable and moving book. Puts things into perspective and makes us appreciate what is great about humans.

Jan 29, 2015

Any story with the great mathematical physicist G.F.B. Riemann as a plot focus is grand! Seriously though, anyone interested in Einstein should read Riemann's original papers on quantum geometry - - and note the Riemann's wording, and Einstein's theory on relativity published 60 years later, are remarkably similar?

Jan 29, 2015

I loved the irony and social commentary. Great story!

path111 Jan 26, 2015

An extraterrestrial was sent to earth to staunch math progress destined to move the human race forward. He takes on the identity of a professor. In his attitudes he carries from home his disdain for this primitive planet. Humans lack the intellect and mathematical modeling to never be hampered by suffering or even death. His observations of life on this earth are an illuminating look at ourselves. But, he discovers, there is another side of humans that gives their finite lives meaning.

Aug 04, 2014

A very insightful novel. A must read, especially on days when you wonder why you are on the planet Earth. Definitely makes you question why we do things the way we do.

Feb 09, 2014

The absolute smartest novel I have ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed the alien description of common human practices. That viewpoint from the outside looking in is poignant and enlightening. I was floored by the idiosyncrasies that we overlook like wardrobe, diet, or morals. When it's all said and done despite the countless flaws of humanity, man's existence is rivaled by none. The Alien's list for Gulliver was awe-inspiring.

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