Excerpt from The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Dead Fathers Club

By Matt Haig

The Dead Fathers Club
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Feb 2007,
    336 pages.
    Paperback: Dec 2007,
    336 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

The First Time I Saw
Dad After He Died

I walked down the hall and pushed the door and went into the smoke and all the voices went quiet like I was the ghost.
Carla the Barmaid was wearing her hoop earrings and her tired eyes. She was pouring a pint and she smiled at me and she was going to say something but the beer spilt over the top.
Uncle Alan who is Dads brother was there wearing his suit that was tight with his neck pouring over like the beer over the glass. His big hands still had the black on them from mending cars at the Garage. They were over Mums hands and Mums head was low like it was sad and Uncle Alans head kept going down and he lifted Mums head up with his eyes. He kept talking to Mum and he looked at me for a second and he saw me but he didnt say anything. He just looked back at Mum and kept pouring his words that made her forget about Dad.
Nan was sitting on her own with her silver sticks on the seat and she was drinking red juice like blood in her glass.
Her eyes went in a squint and made her face more wrinkly and she saw me. Her skeleton hand said Come here come here so I went and sat with her and she just stared at me and didnt say anything at first. She just looked round at everyone and went Sssss because of her pains like she had a puncture.
After a bit she said Ee now come on pet dinny you fret. It will be all right son.
Nan lives in Sunderland and she speaks Sunderlanguage. Mum used to live in Sunderland but she hates it and says it is a Ghost Town and she doesnt talk Sunderlanguage only a bit when she talks to Nan but most of the time she talks normal.
Nan said Youre not a little bairn now son. Youre the man of the place.
I am 11 so I am not a little bairn and I am not a man but I didnt say anything I just nodded my head a bit and Carla came and gave me a glass of Pepsi.
Carla said in her croaky frog voice Theres a glass of Pepsi duck.
She put it on the table and smiled at me with her thin lips and she itched the dryness on her arm and then smiled at Nan and she went back to the bar.
Nan kept on saying things and I just drank my Pepsi and looked round at the people. I think most of them were happy that the Pub was open and they were talking louder than at the funeral because funerals make voices quiet and beer makes voices loud so now they were speaking about normal.
I moved my eyes and watched Mum and Uncle Alan and I wanted Uncle Alans hands to stop holding Mums hands and they did stop when Renuka went and talked to Mum. Renuka is Mums best friend who goes to Step class with her on Mondays and Thursdays where they step on boxes for an hour to make their bums smaller. Renuka had been with Mum lots this week and she had made 700 cups of tea and Uncle Alan looked cross now because when Renuka talks no one can fit words in because she doesnt have any spaces.
I kept looking round the bar and Nan kept talking to me and that is when I saw him. That is when I saw Dads Ghost.

King of the CASTLE

You are meant to be frightened when you see a ghost but I was not frightened because it felt completely normal which is weird because I had never seen a ghost before. He was just standing there behind the smoke of Big Vics cigar and he was looking at me and not scared of my eyes like everyone else was.
Carla was next to him serving drinks but she didnt notice him and I looked round and no one noticed him apart from me. After she had served the drinks Carla walked through Dads Ghost to go and see herself in the mirror which says Castle and Falcon because that is the name of our Pub.
Dads Ghost was wearing the same clothes Dad was wearing the last time I saw him which was at breakfast on the day he died when I made him cross because I wanted the PlayStation. He was wearing his T shirt which said King of the Castle with the word CASTLE written in red capital letters like on the sign outside the Pub. But now all the colours were more faded because Dad was pale and see through like the ghosts at the Haunted Mansion in Disney World and he had blood running down from his hair.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig, © 2007 by Matt Haig. Excerpted by permission of Viking Press, a division of Penguin Group. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...
  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin
  2.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois

All Discussions

Who Said...

A book may be compared to your neighbor...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.