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The Dead Fathers Club | [Matt Haig]

The Dead Fathers Club

Eleven-year-old Philip Noble has a big problem. His dad has appeared to him as a member of the Dead Fathers Club, a club for "ghost dads" whose murders are unavenged. His father's road accident, it turns out, was no accident at all. Uncle Alan is responsible for his dad's death, and if Philip doesn't succeed in killing his uncle just before his dad's birthday, just 10 weeks away, his dad's spirit will never rest.
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Publisher's Summary

Eleven-year-old Philip Noble has a big problem. His dad has appeared to him as a member of the Dead Fathers Club, a club for "ghost dads" whose murders are unavenged. His father's road accident, it turns out, was no accident at all. Uncle Alan is responsible for his dad's death, and if Philip doesn't succeed in killing his uncle just before his dad's birthday, just 10 weeks away, his dad's spirit will never rest.

So begins Philip's quest to avenge his dad and to save his mom from the greasy clutches of Uncle Alan, who seems intent on taking his dad's place in their lives. But Philip finds himself both uneasy with his mission and distrustful of the ghost that claims to be his father. Plus, he's distracted by Leah Polonius, the gorgeous daughter of Uncle Alan's Bible-thumping business partner. What's a young lad to do?

With more than a nod towards Hamlet, but with a quirky humor all its own, The Dead Father's Club is full of poignant insights into the strange workings of the world as seen through the eyes of a child.

©2007 Matt Haig; (P) and ©2007 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"Clearly inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet, and part of the fun for the reader is discovering the many droll and unforced parallels." (Booklist)
"Haig does an enviable job of leavening a sad premise through the words and actions of a charming, resilient young man." (Publishers Weekly)
"Humorous and original....[It] will appeal to adults and children alike." (Daily Mail, UK)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (18 )
5 star
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3.8 (4 )
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  •  
    Mary Evans tennessee 02-13-07
    Mary Evans tennessee 02-13-07 Member Since 2004

    dionistn

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    180
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Unsatisfying Ending"

    I really liked the style of writing. It reflected the 11 year old narrarator without being childish. However, I was left with a sense of incompleteness with this novel. It does not resolve Phillips problems.

    Overall, it is not a bad novel. I didn't think it was as funny as I was led to believe it would be, but the content was interesting, until the end. It reminds me of a book from a school required reading list. The kind that you have to sit and discuss the meaning and what the author meant.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl West Palm Beach, FL, United States 03-14-08
    Carl West Palm Beach, FL, United States 03-14-08 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    450
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    831
    149
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
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    Overall
    "Tough Reading for Most Young Adults"

    The book is well written but the story is a little flat. The book is aimed for young adults yet I think it might be to heavy and adult for most. The subjects include depression, murder, sex, adult language, the main character that thinks he can talk to ghost but who is a bit unbalanced, revenge, and no happy ending. For that matter the ending is not satisfying at all. Finally the reader is good but he speaks with a bit to much of an accent for most American listeners.

    I am a 53 year old adult that finds some young people literature better than much aimed at adults found it a bit slow at times and sad. It is not that I don't approve of it for young people, I think we shelter young people way to much, but I think most of them may find this disturbing and unfulfilling

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Martinsville, VA, USA 08-14-07
    Steven Martinsville, VA, USA 08-14-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
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    287
    13
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    Overall
    "Overall, Well Done"

    I very much enjoyed the book. The writing was well-done, the characters were interesting, and the story was just off-kilter enough to provide both humor and pathos. The narrator even does a pretty good job, presenting conversations in the kind of monotone that kids often use to relay such conversations. And I especially liked the way the author described and dealt with anxiety disorder and panic attacks.

    I see that other reviewers complained that the ending did not really resolve some of the issues. I didn't mind, I figure the kid has a few more years to settle those, and by then, he'll have a whole different set of issues!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Carey Columbia, MD 02-14-09
    Christine Carey Columbia, MD 02-14-09 Member Since 2007

    p_sunshine

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    102
    19
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "wonderful, from the story to the narrator"

    If Hamlet were an eight year old, how would the story play differently?
    Hilarious and full of heart from the view of a child (and read by one in the audio version - kudos to that amazing kid!), this hit on all of the best plot points in Hamlet, with a twist on a few of them. If you like Shakespeare or just want a fun ghost story, this one's a winner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette United States 05-07-08
    Annette United States 05-07-08 Member Since 2004

    I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    365
    ratings
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    283
    72
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    31
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    Overall
    "Hamlet Only New"

    At first I was afraid to finish because let's face it we all know how it ends. But give it a chance. This is how it might happen today, and what would dear Hamlet have done...i don't want to ruin it. It's nice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Blaine Los Angeles CA 05-24-07
    S. Blaine Los Angeles CA 05-24-07 Member Since 2001

    sblaine

    HELPFUL VOTES
    97
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    535
    22
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    Overall
    "Disturbing"

    I tend to judge a book by its ending as well as its content. To me, here is another book where the ending was a cop-out. Sorry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Theresa Shea Seattle, WA United States 03-23-07
    Theresa Shea Seattle, WA United States 03-23-07 Member Since 2000
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "unrealized potential and difficult narration"

    As much as I wanted to like this book, I was constantly disappointed. The concept is interesting but the story just never hits the mark. I am inclined to think it might be a more satisfying read rather than audio. I found the narration very annoying with a lot of repetitious phrases and yelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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