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
"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)
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.
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
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.
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...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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