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The Humans

A Novel
By: Matt Haig
Narrated by: Mark Meadows
Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (948 ratings)
Regular price: $16.96
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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 Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Light Sci-Fi Fare--You'll Love It!

It was really a fun and enjoyable listen for me. If you are looking for techy stuff or military battles, you must look elsewhere. This book is more about human emotions, what makes us humans tick, and how we might look to an extraterrestrial species. It makes you feel things, take a new look at our purpose in this world, maybe even it could inspire you to reassess and rearrange your priorities. Not your typical sci-fi story, that's for sure.

Along the way, I found myself frequently laughing out loud at our disguised alien protagonist and his so-accurate and sometimes very misguided observations. I maybe even had damp eyes in a spot or two. It had me glued to the story all the way through with a very satisfying ending.

Even if you are not a sci-fi fan, maybe even more so, you will really enjoy this light-hearted, thought-inducing story about a possible first contact scenario.

Go for it! (If I haven't convinced you, scroll back up and re-read the Publisher's Summary. It is great, too.)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Like listening to same joke over and over again. Funny at first but please

I kept waiting for it too get good. To get past the initial dialogue of how strange these humans are and I don't understand. By chapter 15 I had to wave the flag. Too bad because so much that author could have done with this unique plot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Spielbergesque

Like a Spielberg movie, this was heavy handed on on the moralizing and sentimentality, explicitly telling you what you should feel instead of letting emotions arise naturally through depiction. Still it was entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating concept that left a lot on the table

The concept of the book is fairly interesting, but it's wasted on the story of the characters essentially just being humans... I'm striving for a spoiler free point, so I'll use this generic example.

If you were reading a book about an alien visiting our planet would you rather read about the interesting things that alien could be involved in, or about generic challenges of life?

I think the fact that one of the characters is an alien was pointless the way the book was written... they may as well have just been some person.

Absolutely great performance by Mark Meadows though...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Meh

Narrator was great, but while the synopsis seemed interesting, it never really seemed to go anywhere. Doesn't really feel like much of a sci fi novel, more of a social commentary with a thin veneer of sci fi dressing to set the stage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not my cup of tea, but others might like it.

Started out strong. It was funny and I was genuinely interested in where the main character was going in his quest. By the end it was a romance novel I wasn't interested in and positivity sappy, saccharine, and trite.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Clever and engaging

It's so hard not to get immediately sucked into the story of a realistic and modern ET on earth. A great way to think about the paradoxes of being human and a study of what is innate and what is learned. All wrapped up in a heartwarming and humorous narrative. Great story, a must listen!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful