The Humans: Book summary and reviews of The Humans by Matt Haig

The Humans

by Matt Haig

The Humans by Matt Haig X
The Humans by Matt Haig
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  • Published Jul 2013
    304 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

"I know that some of you reading this are convinced humans are a myth, but I am here to state that they do actually exist. For those that don't know, a human is a real bipedal life form of midrange intelligence, living a largely deluded existence on a small waterlogged planet in a very lonely corner of the universe."

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, their capacity for murder and war, and 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, 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 begins to question the mission that brought him there.

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

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. While at times the novel is sentimental, the wonder and humor with which the protagonist approaches life, and the many emotions and discoveries he experiences, are worth getting a bit weepy over." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. The protagonist's genuine joy in discovering the good things the unstable human race has produced - peanut butter, Emily Dickinson, Australian wine, the Beach Boys, dogs, and love, to name a few - is contagious. Readers of all stripes will find the results quick-paced, touching, and hilarious." - Library Journal

"A saccharine novel." - Kirkus

"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 New York Times bestselling author of Before I go to Sleep

"The Humans is tremendous; a kind of Curious Incident meets The Man Who Fell to Earth. It's funny, touching and written in a highly appealing voice." - Joanne Harris, award-winning author of Chocolat

This information about The Humans was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Matt Haig Author Biography

Photo: Kan Lailey

Matt Haig is the number one bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive, Notes on a Nervous Planet and six highly acclaimed novels for adults, including How to Stop Time, The Humans and The Radleys. His latest novel is The Midnight Library and the audiobook edition is read by Carey Mulligan. Haig also writes award-winning books for children, including A Boy Called Christmas, which is being made into a feature film with an all-star cast. He has sold more than a million books in the UK and his work has been translated into over forty languages.

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