Eleven-year-old Philip Noble has a big problem: His dad, who was killed in a car accident, appears as a bloodstained ghost at his own funeral and introduces Philip to the Dead Fathers Club. The club, whose members were all murdered, gathers outside the Castle and Falcon, the local pub that Philips family owns and lives above. Philips father tells him that Uncle Alan killed him and he must avenge his death. When Philip realizes that Uncle Alan has designs on his mom and the family pub, Philip decides that something must be done. But its a much bigger job than he anticipated, especially when he is caught up by the usual distractions of childhooda pretty girl, wayward friends, school bullies, and his own self-doubt. The Dead Fathers Club is a riveting, imaginative, and quirky update of Shakespeares great tragedy that will establish Matt Haig as a young writer of great talent and imagination.
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 ...
Philip, who pours out his story in a style unhindered by punctuation or the rules of grammar, is an immensely likeable character. Spending 300-pages seeing through his innocent and honest eyes as he relates his tragically-comic story is an experience not to be missed. His story is actually more tragic than anything Hamlet had to deal with. In fact, my overwhelming urge on finishing The Dead Fathers Club was to apologize to Philip for laughing at his predicament, but it is impossible not to as Haig has a keen eye for the blackly comic.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (1228 words).
It's not at all necessary to be familiar with Hamlet to appreciate The Dead Fathers Club, but for those who would like to freshen their memories, here is a quick outline:
Hamlet's father, King Hamlet of Denmark, is recently dead. Claudius, the dead king's brother, becomes King and quickly marries King Hamlet's widow, Gertrude. Young Hamlet fears that Claudius killed his father, a fear that is confirmed when he meets his father's ghost who tells him that Claudius did indeed murder him by pouring poison in his ear. Intent on ...
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