The Humans

The Humans

A Novel

eBook - 2013
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The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien abduction, mathematics and that most interesting subject of all: ourselves. Combine Douglas Adams' irreverent take on life, the universe and everything with a genuinely moving love story, and you have some idea of the humour, originality and poignancy of Matt Haig's latest novel. Our hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book even begins. As it turns out, though, he wasn't a very nice man—as the alien imposter who now occupies his body discovers. Sent to Earth to destroy evidence that Andrew had solved a major mathematical problem, the alien soon finds himself learning more about the professor, his family and "the humans" than he ever expected. When he begins to fall for his own wife and son—who have no idea he's not the real Andrew—he must choose between completing his mission and returning home, or finding a new home, right here on Earth.Praise for The Humans"A brilliant exploration of what it is to love, and to be human, THE HUMANS is both heartwarming and hilarious, weird, and utterly wonderful. One of the best books I've read in a very long time." —S. J. Watson, author of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP"The ever-imaginative Haig has created an extraordinary alien sensibility and, though writing with a serious purpose (the future is at stake), has great good fun with the being's various eyebrow-raising blunders as he struggles to emulate human behavior. Haig strikes exactly the right tone of bemusement, discovery, and wonder in creating what is ultimately a sweet-spirited celebration of humanity and the trials and triumphs of being human. The result is a thought-provoking, compulsively readable delight." —Booklist
Publisher: 2013
ISBN: 9781443423670
Branch Call Number: e-book
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Library2Go


From Library Staff

Our hero, Professor Andrew Martin, is dead before the book begins. As it turns out, though, he wasn’t a very nice man, as the alien imposter who now occupies his body discovers.

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May 13, 2019

There are some insightful and poignant observations about humanity in the book, but the story is otherwise unremarkable.

Award-winning author Matt Haig explores the relationships that make us human in his 2014 title The Humans. An extra-terrestrial arrives on Earth to prevent a great mathematics discovery that will change the universe; however his initial disgust of the human species mellows as he becomes acquainted with some of the inhabitants of Cambridge, England, and, ultimately, he questions the need to eliminate friends and family of Professor Andrew Martin in order to protect the mathematical secret. It could be seen as a gentle first foray into Science Fiction (with alien life, spaceships, and telepathic abilities), but can equally be read as a piece of fiction which illuminates the importance of relationships to the human experience. Pick it up for a quick read that will stay with you, and an introduction to an author who is attracting great reviews with all his titles. (Submitted by Jennifer).

Aug 28, 2018

A good former librarian friend of mine recommended I read "How to Stop Time". What a good novel that was. Both amusing and entertaining with shades of "the Time Travellers Wife" and Heinlein's Lazarus Long (am I reaching back too far into the annexes of Sci Fi when it was still called science fiction for you?)
So "Humans" is part science fiction (easy on the science); less melancholy than Stop Time; plot line that seems sometimes to border on the adolescent; and sometimes whimsical. But it's good. Good enough to be worth a good read: very much on my liked list.

Mar 24, 2018

I almost jettisoned this novel after twenty pages or so for being too kitschy -- just so self aware of how cute it was being. I pushed on because some of the lines were genuinely amusing and others were genuinely thought-provoking. Happily that continues throughout the book. While technically I guess this is a comic sci-fi novel (Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut) it really doesn't feel like it. It's about family, the human condition and poetry. It's definitely the only book ever written that can't shut up talking about mathematics without being off-putting, if you can imagine that. It's a breezy, enjoyable read.

Feb 24, 2018

Favorite book in a long time. Gave me something to think about. Loved the characters and the setting. On the waiting list for other books by this author.

ArapahoePamelaH 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 :(

ArapahoeLesley 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!

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.

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Mar 05, 2018

ravenschild thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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