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The Humansby Matt Haig
If asked to host and invite anyone of my liking to a dinner party, a seat would most definitely go to alien Andrew. This endearing fella is what makes The Humans sing with charm and humor. As readers see the world through Andrew's eyes, there is confusion and ugliness but also beauty and wonder. And it is that wide-eyed wonder and optimism for humanity that makes Andrew and his story so inspiring to read but never too cloying. And with a winsome character like that fighting on our side, how can you not save a seat for him?
An absurd, comic, and touching examination of the human condition. An alien has a mission on earth to destroy new mathematical developments that would lead to human interdimensional space travel. They don't want our nonlinear thinking with them in outer space. This may sound sci-fi, but as the title implies, it's all about humanity and what makes us tick. The alien at first finds us repulsive, but grows to begrudgingly appreciate our quirks and even learns to love us for all of our frailty. An enjoyable read about the meaning of life, with plenty of hilarious one-liners tossed into the mix.
Synopses & Reviews
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.
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.
"In 1859, German mathematician Bernard Riemann put forth a hypothesis that prime numbers have a pattern. In 2012, an unnamed alien is sent to Earth to ensure the hypothesis is never proven. The Vonnadorians wish to prevent humans from gaining knowledge before they are psychologically prepared for the advancements that would ensue. The invader inhabits the body of Andrew Martin, the arrogant and selfish mathematician who discovered the proof to Riemann's hypothesis; at first disgusted and confused by his human shell, the alien is eventually transformed, and the more time he spends with Andrew's wife and son, the more he comes to doubt his mission. Haig (The Radleys) creates a delightful sense of displacement in 'Andrew' and draws the reader into the experiences that make us human, ugly, wonderful, and mundane by turns. 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. Agent: Andrea Joyce, Canongate. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"The Humans is a laugh-and-cry book. Troubling, thrilling, puzzling, believable and impossible. Matt Haig uses words like a tin-opener. We are the tin." Jeanette Winterson
"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
“Lovely stuff. So heartfelt, touching and funny.” Patrick Ness, author of The Crane Wife
"Funny, poignant and full of heart." Entertainment Weekly
"A thought-provoking, compulsively readable delight." Booklist (starred review)
"Quick-paced, touching, and hilarious." Library Journal (starred review)
"A surprisingly touching and often hilarious tale....Haig elevates the premise with his deft, humor-rich storytelling skills. A reverence for mathematics and history also runs through the book, cutting through some of the sentimentality with a healthy dose of intellectualism. The Humans is an engaging summer read." Bookpage
"A funny and touching tale about an alien who visits and experiences the weird and often frightening beauty of being human." Shelf Awareness
"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.
About the Author
Matt Haig is the bestselling author of several children's books and novels, including The Last Family in England, a UK bestseller, and 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 New York with his wife, UK novelist Andrea Semple, and their two children.
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