New from Simon & Schuster

The Humans

The Humans

A Novel

  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
The bestselling, award-winning author of The Radleys is back with his funniest, most devastating dark comedy yet, a “silly, sad, suspenseful, and soulful” (Philadelphia Inquirer) novel that’s “full of heart” (Entertainment Weekly).

When an extra-terrestrial visitor arrives on Earth, his first impressions of the human species are less than positive. Taking the form of Professor Andrew Martin, a prominent mathematician at Cambridge University, the visitor is eager to complete the gruesome task assigned him and hurry home to his own utopian planet, where everyone is omniscient and immortal.

He is disgusted by the way humans look, what they eat, their capacity for murder and war, and is equally baffled by the concepts of love and family. But as time goes on, he starts to realize there may be more to this strange species than he had thought. Disguised as Martin, he drinks wine, reads poetry, develops an ear for rock music, and a taste for peanut butter. Slowly, unexpectedly, he forges bonds with Martin’s family. He begins to see hope and beauty in the humans’ imperfection, and begins to question the very mission that brought him there.

Praised by The New York Times as a “novelist of great seriousness and talent,” author Matt Haig delivers an unlikely story about human nature and the joy found in the messiness of life on Earth. The Humans is a funny, compulsively readable tale that playfully and movingly explores the ultimate subject—ourselves.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476727929 | 
  • July 2013
Add to Cart
List Price $10.93
Available for immediate download

Hear an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Humans includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

On our unnamed alien hero’s home world, Vonnadoria, mathematics has transformed his people, giving them the ability to create a utopian society where knowledge is limitless and immortality attainable. But when Cambridge professor Andrew Martin cracks the Riemann hypothesis, opening a door to the same technology that the alien’s planet possesses, the narrator is sent to Earth to erase all evidence of the solution and kill anyone who had seen the proof. He struggles to pass undetected long enough to gain access to Martin’s research. But as he takes up the role of Professor Martin in order to blend in with the humans, he begins to see a kind of hope and redemption in the humans’ imperfections, and he questions his marching orders. Mathematics or not, he becomes increasingly convinced that Martin’s family deserves to live, forcing him to confront the possibility of forgoing everything he has ever known and become a human.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. In the preface, our narrator explains his purpose and asks see more

More Books from this Author

Explore

CONNECT WITH US

Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!