Meet the Radleys: Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in a typical suburban English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But, as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain - and lose - when we deny our appetites.
©2010 Matt Haig (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I heard this book reviewed on a BBC program. Everyone on that show just loved it, so I thought, even though I'm over my (long ago) teenage obsession with vampires, I would give it a try. It did not live up to my expectations.
I liked the premise, your basic middle-class vampires trying to live "normal" lives, but I just didn't care about anyone in this story. If I had been reading it, I would not have finished.
Do not expect "Interview with the Vampire" which is, in my humble opinion, still the best vampire book ever written.
"You never know who you neighbours really are...."
Mr and Mrs Radley are a bored middle aged couple. Mum is indifferent to her husband and he is contemplating an affair. Their teenage children are struggling with skin problems, ill advised dietary restrictions and unrequited love. A typical family until one night something terrible happens and they are forced to call on Uncle Will for assistance.
This is a brilliant story of people finally facing up to their true natures after keeping them repressed for many years. Uncle Will is an unforgettable tour de force. Although he is a monster he is also witty, charismatic and deeply tragic. Other reviewers have already exposed this as a vampire tale however this is like no other vampire story I have ever read. After reading another book by Matt Haig 'The Humans' I can't wait for him to write some more adult fiction.
This book is also read by my favourite narrator, Mark Meadows, and yet again he does a brilliant job of bringing all the characters to vivid life.
If you want to read something that is exciting, heartwarming and totally unpredictable
You should give this a try.
A quirky and engaging story that gives you a window into how "other" people live. If you're looking for a light-hearted, entertaining story... this is it.
"Not what I expected"
I wasn't expecting a book of his kind at all to be honest. The write up is quite vague and that was probably a good thing. The book has a different edge to others of its kind and I can now say I'm glad I read it. Very nice work!
Very entertaining, humorous and well written with the perfect narrator. The author has a great way of leading you through the story with great characters and descriptions. It’s really a book about family relationships that almost everyone could relate to. Set in a typical English village we get to know a family which, other then one, have the same worries and concerns as us. Teenage angst, undesirable relatives we'd all like to avoid and skeletons we keep shoved in the airing cupboard behind all the old linen we don't really know why we still keep. Great escapism. I recommend it.
This is such a different vampire book that doesnt turn into a slushy teen book! I really enjoyed the fact it was every day life.
I've read several of Matt Haig's books, and absolutely loved "The Humans", so this was a shocking disappointment.
Once I started, I thought perhaps this was a children's book, but the swearing and sexual references indicated otherwise. It's so bad, it's embarrassing. Farcical and pointless, the whole tentative premise of the 'odd' Radley family quickly unravels and falls apart. It reads like a teenager's fantasy, lacking depth and any real emotion.
I could rip it to pieces by giving examples, but as a rule, I don't like to reveal 'spoilers' though I would strongly recommend you read "The Humans" instead - give this a very wide berth.
"Really gets you hooked!"
Brilliant!!!! Matt Haig is my new favourite, his writing style is so engrossing and engaging it's very hard to stop listening! I would also recommended The Humans, you won't be disappointed by either book! The narration is also fabulous!
Vampires are ultra chic with young folk these days, I believe, like CND and boycotting S Africa and other unpleasant regimes were for my generation. The Radleys are outwardly a "nice" middleclass family living in a "nice" Yorkshire village, trying to fit in, avoid drinking neighbours' blood, leaving corpses on the cricket pitch, etc. But even the Addams family have dodgy relatives - Uncle Will in his campervan, summoned in emergency from his usual stomping ground in the lively vampire scene of Manchester, acts as catalyst for total change.
It's comic Gothic horror, a bit Kafka's Grigor Samsa, but harder to empathise with characters, they are an unwelcome minority, but also objectively dangerous, more equivalent to human constructions of the feared "other" than real life provides.
"Did not like it at all"
Not really, this book was just not to my taste. It's slow, veeery slow. I quit 5 hours in and nothing remarkable had happened. I thought the story would get started when they discover the secret but no, after a exciting two minutes it all went back to dull, dull, dull. I decided to rather spend my time on some other book.
Have something happen! The book itself is very well written, I must give him that! It seems effortless for him to write, the dialog is perfect and he never seems to be trying to hard (to be funny/dramatic/quirky/whatever) but man it's boring!
I did like it! The voices were never strained (of course, there are not that many character) and it just flows out of him.
If you are into drama, angst and absolutely nothing happening in a very long time then go for it! This is NOT a vampire book-it's a family conflict with some vampires in the background. Of course I haven't listen to all of it so maybe something spectacular happens right at the end-but I doubt it will be worth waiting 9 hours for it.
I 'read' this very quickly. The novel's elements are such a great and obvious combination that you quickly know the book is going to be an entertaining read - a family of vampires repressing their urges, living in the leafy green enclaves of England and leading a seemingly, ordinary life... what a great hook!
Rowan - weak, mild, photophobic, bullied, no girl friend, sensitive and into Byron - all the hallmarks of being gay but he's far more sinister.
I think it's a sad thing about good narrators, they are often so good you don't remember them!
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