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 in USA  Jul 2013
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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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

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Author Information

Matt Haig Author Biography

Photo: Jerry Bauer

In the author's own words:

I am a writer. The stuff I've written includes novels, screenplays, children's novels and journalism. My novels have now been translated in 29 languages.

My first novel, The Last Family in England (2004) was a UK bestseller. It was an honour when one of my favourite writers, Jeanette Winterson, called it 'among the great animal books.' It was a Daily Mail Book Club selection, and the film rights have been sold to Brad Pitt's production company. The very talented New Zealand film-maker Taika Waititi has written a brilliant screenplay and plans to direct the film.

Since that book I've written The Dead Fathers Club (2006) and The Possession of Mr Cave (2008), which have been ...

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