Published by Simon and Schuster on 7/2/2013
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It is in the early, fumbling moments of the narrator’s journey that Matt Haig’s keen sense of observation stands out the strongest. Naked and hungry, but unable to properly handle either situation according to Earthly standards, “Professor Andrew Martin” ponders the rules humans have established to govern their species. These hilariously critical anecdotes fill almost every page in the first few chapters of The Humans, giving readers endless quotes to highlight and share.
“As things stood, there weren’t even two fun days. They only had Saturdays, because Mondays were a little bit too close to Sundays for Sunday’s liking, as if Monday were a collapsed star in the week’s solar system, with an excessive gravitational pull. In other words, one seventh of human days worked quite well. The other six weren’t very good, and five of those were roughly the same day stuck on repeat.”
While the entirety of The Humans has subtle notes of humor, there is a shift in tone as Professor Martin navigates his way toward his home, family and ultimate mission. What starts as a funny satire of our ridiculous quirks becomes a careful examination of the very things that make us human: sacrifice, forgiveness and love. Certainly not the sci-fi novel it might look like at first glance, Matt Haig has written a book that causes readers to consider the flaws in humanity while also appreciating its powerful beauty.