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The Humans: A Novel | [Matt Haig]

The Humans: A Novel

The critically acclaimed author of The Radleys shares a clever, heartwarming, and darkly insightful novel about an alien who comes to Earth to save humans from themselves. When an extraterrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. But as time goes on, he starts to realize there may be more to this weird species than he has been led to believe. Eventually, the narrator sees hope and redemption in the humans' imperfections and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.

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Publisher's Summary

The critically acclaimed author of The Radleys shares a clever, heartwarming, and darkly insightful novel about an alien who comes to Earth to save humans from themselves.

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 leading mathematician at Cambridge University, the visitor wants to complete his task and go back home, to the planet he comes from, and a utopian society of immortality and infinite knowledge.

He is disgusted by the way humans look, what they eat, the wars they witness on the news, and totally baffled by such 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. He drinks wine, reads Emily Dickinson, listens to Talking Heads, and begins to bond with the family he lives with, in disguise. In picking up the pieces of the professor's shattered personal life, the narrator sees hope and redemption in the humans' imperfections and begins to question the very mission that brought him there. A mission that involves not only thwarting human progress... but murder.

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 very messiness of life on Earth. The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable tale that playfully and movingly explores the ultimate subject - ourselves.

©2013 Matt Haig (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (68 )
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4.1 (60 )
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  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 07-07-13
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 07-07-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Adorable alien story"

    So you've seen it before: alien comes to Earth with preconceived notions of our planet only to be won over. In fact, at the beginning, even Mr. Haig's cleverness seems to be unable to pull you into the plot ("Come on," you say to yourself, "I've seen this movie a million times!")...but, ultimately, the cleverness draws you in. His observations (from the alien's point of view) are simply too funny (sometimes laugh out loud funny) -- even when they're painfully spot on. The alien is quite likable and convincing in his, well, humanness. The Humans might be nothing more than a light beach read (I actually did listen to most of it at the beach), but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am looking forward to Mr. Haig's next novel.

    Mr. Meadows does an extremely good job capturing the alien's innocence and sense of wonder. A perfect choice for the narrator.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GeeBee Charlottesville, VA, United States 11-29-13
    GeeBee Charlottesville, VA, United States 11-29-13 Member Since 2013

    GinaBee

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    "A novel to ponder..."
    Where does The Humans rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    My favorite so far and a far stretch from my preferred genre.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the way the author makes the reader think about what type of human being he or she is, without getting bogged down in all of the things that divide us like religion, racism, sexism, act. Even an alien figured out those things should not matter.


    What does Mark Meadows bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The naiveness of the alien as he starts his new life on earth. There is something about the way it is read…these nuances would not have been as noticeable when reading the book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The list of advice given to Oliver. I listened to it a couple of times.


    Any additional comments?

    Great book to listen too. I am not sure I would have finished reading the book (and I still enjoy turning pages).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dennis fresno, CA, United States 08-28-13
    dennis fresno, CA, United States 08-28-13 Member Since 2011

    Reading and listening goes straight into your medulla oblongota and you learn through thought memory. It's like being programmed into intelligence. If you read this, you just learned that the best gifts are free. Or One Credit... and that's kinda free.

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    "A study in who you are. Well not me, him."

    Step by step talk of who we might be from the perspective of an alien who becomes..well....near human.

    Great, shorter listen....stop and go chapter pace was different and odd. Albeit, in my opinion a good odd, but diary-oddness none the less.

    Of What It Means to be Human: 1-100. A bit too many lessons to be learned. Funny and overall, entertaining and..... I wanted to keep going (unlike Pandora's Star!..). Missed the lesson of if you're not with the one you love, love the one you're with.

    Of this new author I can say this. Talented and this was indeed creative. I see you penning a futuristic tale of survival and me.......us.........listening.

    And as it turns out, being human is a preferable trait.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Eastlick Coquitlam, British Columbia, CA 05-21-14
    Christine Eastlick Coquitlam, British Columbia, CA 05-21-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Great entertainment"
    Where does The Humans rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Best audiobook so far


    What did you like best about this story?

    Unusual story. I didn't want it to end.


    What does Mark Meadows bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Mark Meadows was brilliant. He nailed the characters and the tone of his voice was very pleasant. I will seek out more of his audiobooks.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me laugh and cry.


    Any additional comments?

    Please find more books like this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Garfinkle Orange County, CA United States 09-19-13
    Debra Garfinkle Orange County, CA United States 09-19-13 Member Since 2010

    author of books for teens and children

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun Plus Depth"

    I enjoyed this imaginative, fast-paced novel in which an alien takes over the body of a British mathematician and develops feelings for and complicated relationships with the man's wife and son. It's a lot of fun as the alien learns about life on Earth, makes wry, sometimes painfully truthful observations about human beings, and starts to appreciate our world. It got a bit preachy at the end, but over all this is a really entertaining novel with depth.

    Also, the narrator gave a lively, well acted performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol North Yarmouth, ME, United States 10-05-13
    Carol North Yarmouth, ME, United States 10-05-13
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    "Not worth the money or the time"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Absolutely nothing. Do not waste your time


    Would you ever listen to anything by Matt Haig again?

    no


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mark Meadows?

    does not matter, book was awful


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    that I need to get my money back


    0 of 8 people found this review helpful
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