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August 16, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: The Humans by Matt Haig

The Humans by Matt HaigThe Humans: A Novel
by Matt Haig
Narrated by Mark Meadows

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publish Date: July 2, 2013
Format: Audio, 8 hours | 11 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy
Rating: 4½ of 5

Quote from the Publisher:

When an extraterrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a leading mathematician at Cambridge University, the visitor wants to complete his task and go back home, to the planet he comes from, and a utopian society of immortality and infinite knowledge.

He is disgusted by the way humans look, what they eat, the wars they witness on the news, and totally baffled by such concepts of love and family. But as time goes on, he starts to realize there may be more to this weird species than he has been led to believe.

My Thoughts:

Professor Andrew Martin has solved the Riemann Hypothesis, a complex mathematical problem that will allow humans to make rapid technological advances. A member of a highly evolved alien species is dispatched to earth to take over the professor’s body and destroy his work and anyone who knows of its existence. At first the alien is disgusted by humans and everything about them. But as he gets to know them better, a transformation begins to take place.

The human body he has taken over has a wife, a son and a dog. The alien understands the dog but the son and the wife are a different story. They immediately notice a personality shift and think he has had a mental breakdown. The professor was a snob with a strained relationship with his family, but the alien begins to enjoy having a wife and son, ultimately putting his mission in jeopardy.

The story is told in the first person from the point of view of the alien. His witty, dry and humorous observations are what makes it all work. The writing is clever and funny and the story prompts the reader to think: Why do humans act the way they do? When viewed through the prism of an out-of-this-galaxy observer’s eye, I began to wonder about that myself.

I listened to the audiobook which was superbly narrated by Mark Meadows. His voice, tone and inflections were perfect for the perplexed alien pretending to be a human. It was an easy and fun listening experience.

If you like the wittiness of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or the comedy of Third Rock From the Sun, then you will love this book. This is science fiction, but only in the sense that the protagonist is from another planet. The real story is about people, and what it is to be human. Highly recommended even for those who don’t read SciFi.

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Source: Review copy
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.

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8 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Aug 16 2013 1:10 pm

    This sounds very clever and enlightening. I wonder if it would make a good book club selection.

    Like

  2. Vicki / Aug 16 2013 2:45 pm

    I wouldn’t have picked this up on my own, but your review has me considering it.

    Like

  3. Suko / Aug 16 2013 4:42 pm

    Excellent review, Leslie. This sounds like an audiobook I’d also enjoy. 🙂

    Like

  4. Shannon @ River City Reading / Aug 16 2013 6:05 pm

    This is one of my favorite books so far this year, and I was really surprised by how much I loved it. You’re right, it much more of a human than alien story. I bet it’s great to hear the audio version!

    Like

  5. Laurie C / Aug 16 2013 9:27 pm

    The audio edition sounds great! I didn’t realize what this book was about, but I’ve seen a lot of rave reviews!

    Like

  6. Leeswammes / Aug 17 2013 1:45 pm

    Sounds really good! I already had my eye on this one, and your review conforms it: this is a book for me.

    Like

  7. stacybuckeye / Sep 2 2013 12:30 am

    I love Hitchhikers Guide~ Thanks for the recommendation 🙂

    Like

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  1. 2013 Reading Wrap-Up | Under My Apple Tree

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