The Humans: A Novel (Paperback)

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Sent to Earth on a mission to prevent humans from attaining certain mathematical knowledge at all costs, an alien takes the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a leading mathematician at Cambridge University. The Humans is his attempt to explain the irrationality of humanity to his native planet; a world where there’s no war, no famine, no death. In her jacket blurb, Joanne Harris (Chocolat) calls The Humans “a kind of Curious Incident meets The Man Who Fell to Earth” and I cannot think of a better comparison. With irony and wit, a zany plot, moral and emotional complexity, and some simply lovely turns-of-phrase, The Humans is one of my favorite books this year.

— Sara, Atlanta


The bestselling, award-winning author of The Radleys is back with his funniest, most devastating dark comedy yet, a “silly, sad, suspenseful, and soulful” (Philadelphia Inquirer) novel that’s “full of heart” (Entertainment Weekly).

When an extra-terrestrial 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 home to his own utopian planet, where everyone is omniscient and immortal.

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 strange species than he had thought. 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. He begins to see hope and beauty in the humans’ imperfection, and begins to question the very 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.

About the Author

Matt Haig is the bestselling author of several children’s books and novels, including The Radleys, winner of the ALA Alex Award. An alumnus of Hull University and Leeds, his work has been translated into twenty-nine languages. He lives in York with his wife, UK novelist Andrea Semple, and their two children.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781476730592
ISBN-10: 1476730598
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: August 12th, 2014
Pages: 320
Language: English