Summary

Professor Andrew Martin, a star Cambridge mathematician, is not what he seems. Hes actually an alien from a utopian society of wise, immortal creatures, and hes disgusted with humans. Soon, though, hes enjoying wine and Emily Dickinson, which might make his mission-apparently idealistic but actually rather bloody-minded-more difficult to achieve. From the author of the wise, witty The Radleys.


The critically acclaimed author ofThe Radleysshares a clever, heartwarming, and darkly insightful novel about an alien who comes to Earth to save humans from themselves.

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. He drinks wine, reads Emily Dickinson, listens to Talking Heads, and begins to bond with the family he lives with, in disguise. In picking up the pieces of the professor’s shattered personal life, the narrator sees hope and redemption in the humans’ imperfections and begins to question the very mission that brought him there. A mission that involves not only thwarting human progress…but murder.

Praised byThe New York Timesas “a novelist of great seriousness and talent,” author Matt Haig delivers an unlikely story about human nature and the joy found in the very messiness of life on Earth.The Humansis a funny, compulsively readable tale that playfully and movingly explores the ultimate subject—ourselves.