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The Humans [Hardcover]

Matt Haig
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, Large Print 19.05  
Hardcover, 9 May 2013 --  
Paperback 3.50  

Book Description

9 May 2013
This is the signed edition of the new novel from the author of The Radleys. It's hardest to belong when you're closest to home...One wet Friday evening, Professor Andrew Martin of Cambridge University solves the world's greatest mathematical riddle. Then he disappears. When he is found walking naked along the motorway, Professor Martin seems different. Besides the lack of clothes, he now finds normal life pointless. His loving wife and teenage son seem repulsive to him. In fact, he hates everyone on the planet. Everyone, that is, except Newton. And he's a dog. Can a bit of Debussy and Emily Dickinson keep him from murder? Can the species which invented cheap white wine and peanut butter sandwiches be all that bad? And what is the warm feeling he gets when he looks into his wife's eyes?

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; Signed ed edition (9 May 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 178211209X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1782112099
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 16.2 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,491,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Haig suffered a breakdown in his early twenties. After battling depression for a long while he turned to writing. He now believes that reading and writing books saved his life, and believes that 'in a world trying to increasingly isolate us from our environment and our true selves, books are our route to freedom, and to each other'. His novels include the bestsellers The Last Family in England, The Radleys and The Humans. His books have been translated into 30 languages. All his novels for adults have been optioned for film. He has also written novels for children, including Shadow Forest, To Be A Cat and the new YA novel Echo Boy. His next book is about his experience of depression, called Reasons To Stay Alive.

He won the TV Book Club 'book of the series', and has been shortlisted for a Specsavers National Book Award. The Humans has been chosen as a 2014 World Book Night title. His children's novels have won the Smarties Gold Medal, the Blue Peter Book of the Year, been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal three times.

His books have received praise from Jeanette Winterson, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Ian Rankin and SJ Watson, among others. The Guardian summed up his writing as 'funny, clever and quite, quite lovely' by The Times and the New York Times called him 'a writer of great talent'.

Product Description


* 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 * Utterly wonderful -- Mark Billingham 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 * Excellent ... very human and touching indeed -- Patrick Ness

Book Description

The new novel from the author of The Radleys, the TV Book Club hit of 2011 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Letter to Humanity 20 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was my first exposure to Matt Haig's writing, and I've fallen in love with his voice, his honesty and remarkable insight. It's an important novel that doesn't read like an important novel. Overall, I think it's best described as a love letter to humanity.

It follows the account of a nameless alien who takes over the body of a mathematician who's discovered something the alien civilisation doesn't believe the people of Earth can yet handle. So he comes to Earth with the mission to destroy the evidence of the discovery and to kill everyone who knows about it.

Something funny happens along the way. He begins to interact, to have his curiosity engaged. He learns what it means to be human, and in sharing this insightful and funny account, also tells a love story.

I'd seen other readers saying the book made them cry. It made me wary at first, because I don't like tragedy. After having read it, I can report that I did cry at the end, but not because it was tragic, but because it was perfect and beautiful, the way a person might cry at a wedding, the birth of a baby, or at receiving good news. The ending was perfect and gave a message of love and hope that was never sappy, never self-important, but sweet and subtle, like first love.

I would recommend this book to anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious! 26 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When somebody says a book is a "must read", I am tempted to give it a wide berth. Sorry, I'm only human. And now, in true human fickle fashion, I am going to urge you (yes, YOU!) to read this book. It is immersive and beautiful and strange and it sparkles and fizzes and shines. I read it in two sittings. I laughed and cried and cheered. It made me glad to be human - we are amazing and weird - and it almost made me want a dog, but I'm going to stick with a house full of fellow humans and cats for now.
Thank you, Matt Haig.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book review in twenty words 18 Feb 2014
You must read this book! It is an astonishing achievement. Matt Haig confronts the pressing issues of our time brilliantly.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars astonishing 10 Jun 2013
This was like no other book I have ever read - it's extraordinary - wonderful, enlightening, uplifting, I actually felt something like joy when I was reading it - perhaps it was joy. I think Matt Haig has one of the most brilliant voices in contemporary literature. I read it in just one day but will remember it and return to it. An absolutely gorgeous cake of a book.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hitchhiker's Guide to Humanity 11 May 2013
The Humans is one of those rare books that makes writing look effortless. There is no strain in reading it. Nothing is forced, it's just pure unadulterated storytelling. It's the sort of book that makes you think you could be an author, 'There's nothing complicated about this, I could do it, no bother.', belying just how much talent you have to have to write something this good.

The story is beguiling in its premise. Andrew Martin, professor of maths at Cambridge solved one of maths' great unsolveables. At which point he was exterminated. He was then replaced with an alien life-form tasked with eradicating any evidence of his new theory, up to and including murdering anybody Martin had told. The imposter comes from a supremely intelligent species that operates through pure logic. They have decided the human race is not psychologically equipped to cope with the ramifications of Dr Martin's discovery, and so, for the good of the universe, they decide to put the boot in.

This plan goes wrong from the outset, when Professor Martin's doppelgänger finds himself naked, running down a Cambridge street. Instead of carrying out his mission, he becomes entangled with the law and processed into the mental health system. From here he starts to learn more and more about the humans.

'Humans as a rule don't like mad people unless they are good at painting and only then once they are dead.'

Much of the novel's strength comes from everything about humanity being an anathema to its narrator. The alien questions all our basic assumptions and calls us on life's absurdities.

'A cow is an Earth-dwelling animal...which humans treat as a one-stop shop for food, liquid refreshment, fertiliser and designer footwear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic, original novel 11 Jun 2013
By Jeannie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Brilliant! Funny and thought provoking. A thoroughly good read. More of the same please from this intellident and entertaining author
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down 18 Feb 2014
The first couple of pages.. Alien! Maths! Not really my subject or genre at all.. But within the hour I was hooked. This deep and thought provoking story pulled me in, as he fell in love with his family, I fell in love with them all. A story of love, heartache, depression and recovery. The last few pages had me crying, not sobbing but the sort of crying where tears are falling and you don't even know it. I loved this book.. I've lent it out (and lost my copy) but I know that 3 other people have since read my copy and also loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing 7 July 2014
I wanted to like this book but I found it contrived, boring and predictable. For me it was an overlong social essay (disguised as a work of fiction) about the nature of being human. It basically states the obvious again and again and again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It is brilliant. It definitely makes you think about how we ...
You have to read this book. It is brilliant. It definitely makes you think about how we live.
Published 9 hours ago by Jan
5.0 out of 5 stars funny, thought-provoking
Moving, funny, thought-provoking. Loved it.
Published 1 day ago by Book Creature
4.0 out of 5 stars weird and wonderful
I've not read such a bizarre book in a long while, but this one had me hooked from the start. It's weird, intriguing, funny, open and most importantly, Human. Read more
Published 2 days ago by cat
5.0 out of 5 stars love this book
love this book, purchased it for a friend, one of those books you want to share. well written, funny, touching, poignant without ever being cloying, just a wonderful book. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Jayney
3.0 out of 5 stars Overall a bit long!!!
I liked the story and enjoyed his it was written by the 'alien' just felt it was a bit long, the last couple of chapters I felt added nothing to the book
Published 4 days ago by Mrs Jayne Fillery
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyed
Enjoyable read. Bit different. Not too heavy going like some books.
Published 5 days ago by lin1
3.0 out of 5 stars Very readable but not mindblowing
idea is great, not amazingly written, some very funny insight into human behaviour, but characters are a bit 2 dimensional.
Published 8 days ago by Natalia Torres
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read. Interesting insight into the alien in ...
An enjoyable read. Interesting insight into the alien in us all and the way we alienate others. Left me wanting to know more.
Published 9 days ago by J. S. Hutchinson
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
I absolutely loved this book and laughed out loud on more than a few occasions, yet on other pages my eyes were a little damp! Read more
Published 10 days ago by Nicola
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put this book down. A good read
A good story and it moved forward with pace. Has something for everyone.Good for teenagers perhaps. A Nice ending too.
Published 15 days ago by P. Collins
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