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The Humans

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  88,802 ratings  ·  10,579 reviews
After an 'incident' one wet Friday night where Professor Andrew Martin is found walking naked through the streets of Cambridge, he is not feeling quite himself. Food sickens him. Clothes confound him. Even his loving wife and teenage son are repulsive to him. He feels lost amongst a crazy alien species and hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton, and ...more
Paperback, 291 pages
Published April 3rd 2014 by Canongate (first published May 9th 2013)
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Mommooshka The basic premise is a little predictable, but it is so well written and complex on multiple levels that it quickly rises above the "obvious". If you …moreThe basic premise is a little predictable, but it is so well written and complex on multiple levels that it quickly rises above the "obvious". If you are open to exploring human behavior, motivation, and emotional bonding on a deeper level you will love this fun but also thoughtful book. If you are looking for pure Sci-Fi adventure, you will find other books more to your liking.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  88,802 ratings  ·  10,579 reviews


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Karen Cole
May 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In August 2012 my brother committed suicide. In the dark days and weeks immediately after his death I read almost incessantly. I couldn't sleep because when I closed my eyes all I could see was his body (I had to go to the mortuary with my father to formally identify his body.) When I was awake I read so I could bear the raw grief ripping at my heart. I believe that it's thanks to books I survived those days, I'm not sure how I'd have coped without books giving me a respite from my at times over ...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
4.5? This book totally surprised me!

DON'T READ THIS IN PUBLIC THOUGH

I started reading this on the bus and couldn't stop giggling like a madwoman! In this book, you're following an alien sent to stop human mathematical progress. He steals the body of the human he's sent to kill and we get to discover humans through his eyes. His mission is to kill anyone that might know about the mathematical equation but things don't go as planned...

It quickly becomes more than just a funny book and I don't wan
...more
B Schrodinger
Mar 22, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Riku Sayuj
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-fiction

“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.”


Encountering the Alien

This must be one of the most muted and personal alien invasion stories that you will come across. As the narrator admits, this is more magical realism than
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Humans, Matt Haig

The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable novel about alien abduction, mathematics, and that most interesting subject of all: ourselves. Combine Douglas Adams’s irreverent take on life, the universe, and everything with a genuinely moving love story, and you have some idea of the humor, originality, and poignancy of Matt Haig’s latest novel.

When an extra-terrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the for
...more
Annet
Peanut butter sandwiches go perfectly well with a glass of white wine. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise...

Funny, hilarious, sad, loving and wise story with a message. An alien comes to earth to destroy evidence of Professor Andrew Martin who has supposedly solved a major mathematical problem. Martin is killed and the alien takes his place. At first he looks with disdain and surprise at the 'weak' and 'unwise' 'Humans'. But then he starts liking and loving his wife, gets involved in the strain
...more
Farrah
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
⭐ 5 Is A Prime Number Stars ⭐

𝙄 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠! 𝙎𝙤 𝙢𝙪𝙘𝙝!

Wanna laugh out loud while simultaneously crying? This book can make that happen!

Andrew Martin is a brilliant mathematician who solves the Riemann hypothesis which will change the world as we know it.
But the universe decides we aren't ready for such massive knowledge and sends an alien to kill, then inhabit the body of Andrew, with the mission to remove any evidence of his findings.

But this alien doesn't know anything about us, or our c
...more
Phrynne
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Matt Haig is now up there in my list of favourite authors. Each time I read one of his books I am so impressed by its originality and his amazing imagination.

The Humans is told from the point of view of an alien sent to Earth to dispose of new mathematical understandings which could help the human race to make significant scientific advances. The fun in the book is due to this alien's opinions of us, the way we look and the way we live.

Problems occur when our friendly alien finds he cannot car
...more
Regina
Apr 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Earmuffs, family members.)

You know how you think your family is pretty normal until you bring someone over to meet them and you see everything and everyone anew through his eyes? And suddenly you realize not only is your family not normal but in fact populated by circus monkeys? But they’re YOUR circus monkeys, so even if that outsider has a point or two about their weirdness he better keep his big trap shut?

That’s pretty much what happens in Matt Haig’s humorous yet heartwarming novel, The H
...more
Debbie
Why I chose to read this book:
1. I've had this book on and off my WTR list until I found (and purchased) a copy at my local library's annual book sale a few months ago (yes, my library has awesome book sales!), so back onto the List it went; and,
2. it fits perfectly with my "Fantasy and Science Fiction Month" reads!

Positives:
1. plot - funny yet thought-provoking (i.e. a dark comedy). I was invested throughout the story, from its hilarious beginning, its riveting middle to its hopeful ending;
2. c
...more
Helene Jeppesen
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars.
I. Loved. This. Book.
Granted, the plot is somewhat unrealistic and silly - it is after all about an alien who is put on Earth to complete a mission - but said alien’s observations on humans are spot on and very interesting as well as hilarious. We humans do weird things all the time without thinking about it, and it’s books like this one that make you realise that and make you stop to wonder why.
I found this novel to be very clever, observant, and highly thought-provoking. Matt Hai
...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think Matt Haig is going to be one of my new favourite authors.
Mark Matthews
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The world is divided into those who have read this book and those who have not. Those who have read this book are shaking their heads in the affirmative right now.

It is not so much the story, but read it for that. It is not so much the characters, but read it for that too. It is for the statement it makes on the flawed yet wondrous nature of humans. This book will resonate with you long after you read it. (if not, we can't be friends.) You will be convinced the author himself is from another wo
...more
Gabby
My full review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shEKa...

This fucking book! I picked this book up because I saw it recommended by a booktuber, and I wasn't expecting that much going into it. But I can honestly say this is a new favorite book of all time. This story follows an alien who gets put into the body of this man named Andrew Martin. The reason he gets put in his body is because Andrew Martin has a made a mathematical breakthrough and the aliens have determined humans are not ready for the
...more
Kayla Dawn
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was awesome. I chuckled so much and I barely ever do that while reading a book. "Andrew" as a character is absolutely genius. I don't really know what to say, y'all should just read it!!! ...more
Jill
Aug 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Premise: A socially awkward alien lands Earthside, naked on a Cambridge street…

And for a while, as Matt Haig builds from this premise, it’s funny! The Humans begins quite wonderfully with the arrival of an alien who can barely disguise his contempt towards humans and believes clothing is optional. The humor works because of our extraterrestrial narrator's terrific voice, which is matter of fact and superior. For example, the first piece of “literature” he reads is an issue of Cosmopolitan, which
...more
Swrp
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all.
~ Emily Dickinson

B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l! This is a wonderfully written and well narrated book. A book for everyone, especially the humans.

"For those who don't know, a human is a real bipedal lifeform of mid-range intelligence, living a largely deluded existence on a small water-logged planet in a very lonely corner of the universe."

This book is all about why are Humans, so human...
...more
Caro (Bookaria)
This book is a wonderful, funny, and insightful look at humans from an alien perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

I appreciated it even more after reading the author's acknowledgments at the end of the book.

UPDATE 01/03/18: It's been four years since I read this novel and it still remains one of my all-time favorite books.

It's original, imaginative, and profound. I highly recommend it. Hope it brings you as much joy as it has brought me over the years.
...more
Emma Blackery
Nov 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible. Absolutely incredible.
Whitney Atkinson
Jul 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2021
If you'd have handed me this book without telling me the author, I probably could have guessed it was from Matt Haig because it feels so distinctly Him. But although I liked this book for being about humans from a non-human angle and the insight that allowed, sometimes the tone of it felt overexplainy and most of the time I was a little bored. I definitely plan to read more from Haig but this didn't quite hit the mark for me, partially because I prefer to feel like i'm "one" with the narrator an ...more
Beverly
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
exploraDora
**5 Stars**

The humans is a funny story about an alien who is sent to Earth to take over the body of a mathematician who has proven a major hypothesis, that's said to be dangerous knowledge for an immature species such as us humans. The alien is supposed to eliminate all traces of that hypothesis by any means possible.

The extraterrestrial comes in with a distorted view of humans and through his eyes, we see the absurdity of some mundane things like jobs, news and so on. He also takes us on a cr
...more
Virginie
I liked it, but not that much.

There were some nice reflections about living here, on Earth, and the purpose of it all. I just didn't find myself laughing that often (please don't hate me for that!) nor being touched. I prefered How to Stop Time and Notes on a Nervous Planet. I like how Haig's books turn around similar themes that are important to me, but I think they were better exploited in these two, although the concept of The Humans was interesting.
...more
emily ☂︎
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
therapy
- expensive
- months to years of hard work
- emotionally draining

reading a book by matt haig
- significantly cheaper
- immediately super effective
- also emotionally draining but like in a good way
Chesca (thecrownedpages)
THERE IS HOPE IN HUMANITY.

Told through the romantic and curious perspective of an unnamed alien, Matt Haig’s The Humans is an honest and mostly-optimistic view on humanity, showing that hope and greatness could be found in our imperfections as individuals and as a whole.

Let this book help you rethink about life and see its beauty. Give it a moment and you would not regret it!

“Humans, as a rule, don't like mad people unless they are good at painting, and only then once they are dead.
...more
Andrew Smith
Oct 05, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-finished
I don't mind taking a gamble on Audible Daily Deals - they're usually only a couple of quid and if they don't work out then it's less than the cost of a cup of coffee wasted.

I usually know quite early doors if a book is going to excite me, bore me or simply get on my nerves. This one was of the last variety. I'm sure this is a great book for the right person: its ratings are high everywhere, so it's obviously floated a few boats. But for me it just became irritating, very quickly.

The basic set-
...more
Woman Reading
4.5 ☆

At face value, The Humans is about an alien assassin who experiences an inverted version of Stockholm Syndrome while on assignment on earth. The nameless hitman hails from a planet that is "far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far away" and whose inhabitants are called Vonnadorians, which is why I'm calling him "V" in my review. V had angered the hosts, the leaders of his peoples, with his blasphemy or his so-called crime against mathematical purity. Since punishment still exists even with "
...more
Barbara
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction, sci-fi
4.5 stars I loved this book, like I I loved “Third Rock From the Sun”. Remember the comedy series with John Lithgow? If you didn’t like that sitcom, then stay away from this book. That said, the storyline is that an alien is sent down from his planet, Vonnador, to eliminate a professor who found the solution to the Riemann Hypothesis. This hypothesis involves prime numbers and the rate at which the amount of prime numbers become smaller as numbers get larger(which numbers grow to infinity). At a ...more
Vikki VanSickle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy
If you can't overlook scientific inaccuracies or take a step out of your belief zone, this book is probably not for you. I decided not to look too deep into the technicalities and to focus on the deeper message and as a result found I enjoyed this story. The unique perspective of an alien who goes through a range of human emotion adds depth to some of the issues and imperfections of our kind. He discovers, learns, loves, makes mistakes, and finds his way in this complicated world. I liked the dr ...more
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27,901 followers
Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist.

Articles featuring this book

The concept of “the page-turner” has always been a little slippery. Typically, the term refers to books with gripping, plot-heavy narratives....
233 likes · 52 comments
“Humans, as a rule, don't like mad people unless they are good at painting, and only then once they are dead. But the definition of mad, on Earth, seems to be very unclear and inconsistent. What is perfectly sane in one era turns out to be insane in another. The earliest humans walked around naked with no problem. Certain humans, in humid rainforests mainly, still do so. So, we must conclude that madness is sometimes a question of time, and sometimes of postcode.

Basically, the key rule is, if you want to appear sane on Earth you have to be in the right place, wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and only stepping on the right kind of grass.”
349 likes
“Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.” 309 likes
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