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Review: The Humans

The Humans book cover

Title: The Humans
Author: Matt Haig
Genre: Science Fiction, Family Drama
Page Count: 256
Published by: HarperCollins
Date Published: July 2, 2013
You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Solving the Reimann hypothesis – a great mathematical problem involving the distribution of prime numbers – is the greatest achievement of Andrew Martin’s life. However, aliens, from the planet of Vonnadoria, consider humanity isn’t ready for this discovery and send a member to Earth to kill Andrew Martin, possess his body, and “deal with” anyone Andrew may have told … including his wife and son.

Thus enters our unnamed alien narrator who assumes Andrew Martin’s life and begins his sinister task of hunting down anyone in possession of knowledge of the Reimann hypothesis. Completely disgusted by humanity, their large noses and confusing notions surrounding clothes, he is eager to complete his task and return home. But as time goes on, he sees that there might be more to this pathetic species than he first though – Emily Dickinson, crunchy peanut butter, and rock music for starters – and begins to question the motives of his mission entirely.

Overall Thoughts

I love observational comedy. Exposing why we as humans collectively agree to do seemingly bogus, bizarre things on repeat without fully realizing how odd it all is on a grande scale … is my absolute favourite. So the first part of this novel absolutely slayed me. I mean, laughing until I cried type of slayed me. Yes, it is an extremely predictable path that alien-Andrew Martin travels (hating humans, discovering more about humans, falling in love with humans) but it is still such an enjoyable, feel-good ride it was kind of hard to care. And yes, it did toe the line of too syrupy-sweet for me, but again, I hardly cared, because overall The Humans is a humorous, sparkle-of-light, put-a-smile-on-your-face kind of novel that provides some excellent insights into our shared humanity while doing so. In one word: charming.

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