The Humans: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

It's a story that has been told many times before in many variations. A human mathematics professor on earth has discovered a formula that the human race may not be ready for. At least that is what an alien race thinks, and the reason they decide to kill the professor and replace him with an alien duplicate. The alien must find anyone else who may have learned the formula and dispose of them. We can all guess that the the alien doppelganger will end up loving his new-found human family, and their dog... and peanut butter. Well, maybe I couldn't predict the peanut butter element, but this book serves to remind us of the qualities in our fragile and imperfect lives. We may not be ready for the bigtime, as far as superior alien races are concerned, but we have love.... and peanut butter.

— From Mark B.


The bestselling, award-winning author of The Midnight Library offers 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 books including the Alex Award–winning The Radleys, Humans, and The Midnight Library. 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