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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

4.0 (192 )
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4.3 (172 )
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Performance
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  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 07-07-13
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 07-07-13 Member Since 2015
    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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Eastlick 05-21-14
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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.

    3 of 3 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
  •  
    betsy 07-19-15
    betsy 07-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "I don't give 5 stars ever but this deserves it"

    The narrator is superb the story is enlightening. Learn to live! Enjoy the book humans

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky 07-13-15
    Becky 07-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Insightful"

    A combination of science fiction, philosophy and psychiatry. I kept trying to determine a diagnosis for Andrew. I would believe the alien story for awhile and then I would find myself believing he was mentally ill. I laughed, I cried and I learned. I loved this book !!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 07-12-15
    Jonathan 07-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fun listen and provoked a few great thoughts but a bit slow."

    I enjoyed this book. It's worth listening once. The book offers an interesting perspective on the human condition while asking a few age old questions, which I appreciated. At the same time, the story seemed a bit slow, at least to me. Still worth the effort though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer NYC 06-20-15
    Amazon Customer NYC 06-20-15 Member Since 2008
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    "A most unique story"

    It's a different kind of story for those who want a little least ordinary. The lead character will both aannoy and delight you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joonas Kiviniemi 06-08-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Absolutely brilliant and beautiful"

    A great fictional story about what it is to a human being. Will consider owning it as a physical book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nasser Eldeeb Toronto, ON Canada 05-26-15
    Nasser Eldeeb Toronto, ON Canada 05-26-15
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    "Very entertaining and smart. Funny in parts."

    Very enjoyable book. I finished reading it two days ago. The author is smart. He chose a subject that opens wide doors for him to: 1. Easily introduces funny ideas for him and his readers, and 2. Allows him to criticize us as humans from outside the box, while protecting himself from the possible resulting criticism.

    Of course (ha ha, my opinion only) english humour is, almost, the best, that's one major reason why this novel was very enjoyable, but still, the author could have added some more sarcasm, and I am sure he was capable.

    To add my Very personal opinion. Strong opinion (of course) :) the author is really sunk and confused with his secular misunderstandings, such as 'evolution' and 'intelligent life out there.' Maskeen :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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