The Radleys: Book summary and reviews of The Radleys by Matt Haig

The Radleys

A Novel

By Matt Haig

The Radleys
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2010,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

Just about everyone knows a family like the Radleys. Many of us grew up next door to one. They are a modern family, averagely content, averagely dysfunctional, living in a staid and quiet suburban English town. Peter is an overworked doctor whose wife, Helen, has become increasingly remote and uncommunicative. Rowan, their teenage son, is being bullied at school, and their anemic daughter, Clara, has recently become a vegan. They are typical, that is, save for one devastating exception: Peter and Helen are vampires and have—for seventeen years—been abstaining by choice from a life of chasing blood in the hope that their children could live normal lives.

One night, Clara finds herself driven to commit a shocking - and disturbingly satisfying - act of violence, and her parents are forced to explain their history of shadows and lies. A police investigation is launched that uncovers a richness of vampire history heretofore unknown to the general public. And when the malevolent and alluring Uncle Will, a practicing vampire, arrives to throw the police off Clara's trail, he winds up throwing the whole house into temptation and turmoil and unleashing a host of dark secrets that threaten the Radleys’ marriage.

The Radleys is a moving, thrilling, and radiant domestic novel that explores with daring the lengths a parent will go to protect a child, what it costs you to deny your identity, the undeniable appeal of sin, and the everlasting, iridescent bonds of family love. Read it and ask what we grow into when we grow up, and what we gain - and lose - when we deny our appetites.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Very original spin on the myth...The bite-size chapters guide the reader from one viewpoint to another....Haig's depiction of teen politics is spot on....insightful, frightening and uplifting....Uncle Will [is] a splendidly evil yet believable character...Haig pays just about enough respect to the conventions of the genre that the average vampire fan should find lots to enjoy, but it's the blackly comic dissection of the family that makes this book stand out." - The Guardian (UK)

"Starred Review. This witty vampire novel from British author Haig provides what jaded fans of the Twilight series need, not True Blood exactly, but some fresh blood in the form of a true blue family." - Publishers Weekly

"Dark humor pervades Haig's entertaining vampire family soap opera...a refreshing take on an over-saturated genre." - Library Journal

"This is a dark domestic drama about a loving but dysfunctional family that just happens to be vampires, though delicious moments of gore maintain its horror connection." - Booklist

"Delightfully eccentric ccomedy about a family of sburban undead...a strangely moving portrait of a marriage in which both partners are compelled to deny their own instincts and longings." - Financial Times

"Witty and humane...Haig writes in addictive, bitesize chapters that pump the action along. He has fun with all the Vampyre lore...while keeping his characters convincing, original and likeable." - Daily Mail (UK)

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Author Information

Matt Haig Author Biography

Photo: Jerry Bauer

Matt Haig's writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Independent, and The Sydney Morning Herald. The Dead Fathers Club was his American debut but his second published novel following The Last Family in England (2004), a reworking of Henry IV, Part I from the point of view of a black Labrador named Prince.

Shadow Forest, his first book for children, was published in the UK in May 2007; and in the USA as Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest in June 2007 His next book for adults was The Possession of Mr Cave in May 2008, followed by The Radleys.

He now lives in Leeds but ...

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