The Humans is the tale of an extra-terrestrial who takes the form of esteemed mathematician Professor Andrew Martin. Sent by the ‘Hosts’, the alien’s mission is to destroy all evidence of the professor’s game-changing solution to a mathematical hypothesis. However, through interactions with the professor’s wife, son, and best friend, the nameless alien discovers what it’s like to be human and begins questioning the justification of his assignment.
|Versions:||Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, E-book, Audio CD|
|Genres:||Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Humor|
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster|
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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.
Matt Haig is an author of fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. His award-winning novels for adults include How to Stop Time, The Radleys, The Humans, and The Midnight Library. His children’s book, A Boy Called Christmas, has been translated into over 40 languages and was adapted for film in 2021.
At age 46, shortly after the publication of The Midnight Library, Matt Haig received a diagnosis of autism and ADHD.
Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht ND RP
I loved most all of this book. Pretty quickly into reading it, I exclaimed to Kendall, Matt Haig must be autistic! Matt’s version of the world through the eyes of an alien was so relatable to me as an autistic.
I enjoyed the first three quarters of the book more than the ending, but the ending was fine, just not as fun.
Can an extraterrestrial, in the guise of Professor Andrew Martin, save the universe from future humans by destroying all evidence of the professor’s recent mathematical breakthrough? The Humans, by Matt Haig, is humorous, dark, contemplative, sometimes startling, and often whimsically absurd.
Mark Meadows voices the Audible version to excellent effect. The dialog is rendered with expression but stops short of doing full-character voices—a practice I find distracting and annoying in an audiobook.
Lest I give too much away, prime numbers are a featured concept in the story. As I have a fascination with their mystical nature, that was appealing. I liked that my every question about the alien’s home planet and way of life was not answered. There is just enough description to create conjecture regarding other aspects. I enjoyed The Humans and would recommend it to fans of science fiction.
Table of contents presents an overview of what is in the book. Note: that they are not links.
|§||Section title||Chapter title|
|Preface:||An Illogical Hope in the Face of Overwhelming Anxiety|
|I Took My Power in My Hand||The Man I Was Not|
|Detached Nouns and Other Early Trials for the Language Learner|
|The Cubic Root of 912,673|
|The World as Will and Representation|
|4 Campion Row|
|The War and Money Show|
|Starting the Sequence|
|A Moment of Sheer Terror|
|The Distribution of Prime Numbers|
|A Large House|
|Where We Are From|
|The Dog and the Music|
|Crunchy Wholenut Peanut Butter|
|I Held a Jewel in My Fingers||Sleepwalking|
|I Was a Wasn't|
|Wider Than the Sky|
|A Few Seconds of Silence over Breakfast|
|The Zeta Function|
|The Problem with Equations|
|The Possibility of Pain|
|Sloping Roofs (and Other Ways to Deal with the Rain)|
|The Things with Feathers|
|Heaven Is a Place Where Nothing Ever Happens|
|Two Weeks in the Dordogne and a Box of Dominoes|
|Forever Is Composed of Nows|
|The Taste of Her Skin|
|The Rhythm of Life|
|How to See Forever|
|A King of Infinite Space|
|The Art of Letting Go|
|The Hat and Feathers|
|The Ideal Castle|
|Places Beyond Logic|
|The Wounded Deer Leaps the Highest||An Encounter with Winston Churchill|
|The Ultimate Crime|
|The Nature of Reality|
|A Face as Shocked as the Moon|
|The Second Type of Gravity|
|Advice for a Human|
|A Very Brief Hug|
|The Melancholy Beauty of the Setting Sun|
|When Galaxies Collide|