Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Humans

Author: Matt Haig

Publisher: Recorded Books

Year: 2014


Andrew, a brilliant mathematician but horrible human being, has solved a math equation that will propel mankind’s technology forward by leaps and bounds. Aliens from a far distant galaxy decide that humans will screw up the entire universe if Andrew’s breakthrough becomes public knowledge. So they kill him (not a spoiler- he’s dead before the book starts) and replace him with a look alike alien. Alien Andrew’s mission is to destroy all mathematical evidence and kill anyone who human Andrew told about the discovery. While trying to complete his mission, Alien Andrew falls in love with the real Andrew’s wife. He wants to give up his alien powers and be a human. He learns what it means to be human and all the messy feelings and emotions that come with it- love, joy, happiness, sadness, loneliness, etc. 

There’s a lot of humor in the book which surprised me. When the alien first come to earth, he has to learn how to act like a human and his observations are very funny. My explanation of the plot might sound a little complicated but the story really comes down to this: the alien learned to be a better human than the actual human being he impersonated. 

Narrator Mark Meadows does a wonderful job conveying the alien’s initial bewilderment when he first encounters earthlings and then his terror at trying to keep his human wife and son safe from his fellow aliens. 

I really enjoyed this delightful, quirky and thought provoking book. 

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