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The Humans by Matt Haig
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The Humans (2013)

by Matt Haig

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9627113,219 (3.78)57
  1. 00
    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (baystateRA)
    baystateRA: Unreliable narrators observing "normal" human behavior create a lot of the humor in both of these books. The comedy in The Rosie Project isn't as dark as in The Humans.
  2. 00
    The World of the End by Ofir Touché Gafla (fugitive)
    fugitive: Two very odd works using satire and pathos to explore what it means to be human and alive. Two different versions of mortality.
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» See also 57 mentions

English (64)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
This is a rare book that manages to be both light and deep. I really loved it. It made me laugh and think. ( )
  3njennn | Nov 25, 2018 |
An alien comes to earth & takes the place of Andrew, a Cambridge mathematician. And then he has to live with Andrew’s neglected wife & her depressive teenager.

Funny, light-hearted, heart-warming and thought-provoking.

The alien asks lover what it means to be h uman, I love her take on it as being a child and receiving a castle on Christmas Day. A perfect picture on the box, but there are no instructions & you don’t understand it, and neither can Aunt Sylvie.

Fascinating ideas: “Humans existed inside their own delusions and laughing was a way out - the only possible bridge they had between them”

List of helpful advice at the end, like this one: “don’t think you know. Know you think”. ( )
  LARA335 | Nov 10, 2018 |
It really is three and a half stars. The humanity from an alien's perspectiv is fun, however kind of feels like Star Trek has done that to death. To me the strong point of the book is examining a relationship from the inside out - like what would happen if a self-absorbed, cheating, needy and unappreciative husband and father was replaced by one that is observant and caring. It is not an earth shattering book, but it has its moments of fresh perspective, humor and insight. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
An alien life form comes to earth to save humans from the implications of solving the mathematical Riemann Hypothesis. The alien takes the form of (destroyed) Professor Anderson to infiltrate and destroy anyone with this knowledge. Told from the alien's perspective, the book becomes a riff on what it means to be "human"; the alien turns from loathing and disgust to love and acceptance. At turns dark and light, this is a terrific romp that makes you think. ( )
  mjspear | Sep 20, 2018 |
The Humans by Matt Haig was my first book by this author but I promise you that it won’t be my last. This book is a skillful fish-out-of-water send up, where an alien comes to earth in order to prevent us, the inferior race, reaching a certain skill level that we are not ready to handle. This alien has come to earth to replace Professor Andrew Martin who has solved the Riemann hypothesis as this extremely difficult hypothesis would place Earth on the brink of huge technological advances. His mission is to remove any evidence that this equation has been solved and to remove any witnesses.

At first the alien’s experiences are humorous as the author gently pokes fun at what we humans are all about but eventually he finds himself enjoying certain aspects of humanity. Starting with music, poetry and peanut butter. It turns out that the original Professor Martin was an arrogant jerk and the alien is actually a better fit. When he forges an unbreakable bond with Professor Martins wife, son and dog, he learns the value of experiencing pain, love and loss.

The author deftly uses humor to keep the book from becoming too sweet and sentimental and this look at humanity through alien eyes made The Humans an engaging reading experience. ( )
1 vote DeltaQueen50 | Aug 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 64 (next | show all)
Proving once again that it's often necessary to take an outsider's view into consideration to fully understand something familiar, The Humans is a treatise addressed to the alien's race, describing the messy, repulsive, delightful and humane nature that makes us human. The alien, who actually prefers a dog to people—a perfectly sensible decision to many humans—discovers one of the greatest dangers of anthropology: the temptation to go “native.”
 

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haig, Mattprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferguson, ArchieCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meadows, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weinberg, JuliusForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I have just got a new theory of eternity.

--Albert Einstein
Dedication
To Andrea, Lucas, and Pearl
First words
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.
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Book description
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.

“I was not Professor Andrew Martin. That is the first thing I should say. He was just a role. A disguise. Someone I needed to be in order to complete a task.”

The narrator of this tale is no ordinary human—in fact, he’s not human at all. Before he was sent away from the distant planet he calls home, precision and perfection governed his life. He lived in a utopian society where mathematics transformed a people, creating limitless knowledge and immortality.

But all of this is suddenly threatened when an earthly being opens the doorway to the same technology that the alien planet possesses. Cambridge University professor Andrew Martin cracks the Reimann Hypothesis and unknowingly puts himself and his family in grave danger when the narrator is sent to Earth to erase all evidence of the solution and kill anyone who has seen the proof. The only catch: the alien has no idea what he’s up against.

Disgusted by the excess of disease, violence, and family strife he encounters, the narrator struggles to pass undetected long enough to gain access to Andrew’s research. But 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
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Regarding humans unfavorably upon arriving on Earth, a reluctant extraterrestrial assumes the identity of a Cambridge mathematician before realizing that there's more to the human race than he suspected.

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