The Radleys by Matt Haig
Book of the Month
Independent publishers Walker Books and Canongate have launched a co-publishing venture aimed at producing bestselling, award-winning books for the next generation of adult readers. Matt Haig, winner of the Nestle Children’s Book Prize Gold Award for his children’s novel Shadow Forest, has written his latest book The Radleys specifically for this enterprise, with the title falling in alongside Pretty Monsters by Kelly Link and Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in an 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; they are, in fact, a family of abstaining vampires...
The Radleys is a refreshing and original take on a vampire genre that has arguably become rather overworked of late, and the book’s main theme of abstinence is perfect for these debt-ridden times. Using short, sharp paragraphs and sprinkled with delightful asides from the fictional Abstainer’s Handbook, The Radleys is a coming of age story that will appeal to adults, both young and old.
The narrative provides a cutting commentary on middle England, and of how keeping up appearances can be held as more important than the enjoyment of life itself. But although there are serious issues explored most of the time Haig is simply having fun, never more so than when listing the famous vampires that have made their mark on history: Jimi Hendrix, Byron, The Rolling Stones and funniest of all, Billy Ocean.
One of Matt Haig’s strengths has always been characterization and his work always shows a sharp observational eye. He has teenagers down to a tee, and this was never more obvious than in this delightful paragraph:
“At lunch break, out on the yard, the pupils of Rosewood Upper are divided, subconsciously, according to gender. The boys are active, playing football or keepie-uppie, or engaged in mock or genuine fights, dead-arming each other or swinging each other around by their bags. The girls talk and sit, either on benches or on the grass, in groups of three or four. When they notice the boys, it is more with confusion or pity than with any fawning admiration, as if they aren’t just separate genders but distinct species. Wise, proud cats licking their paws looking with disdain at the floppy, over excited spaniels and aggressive pit bull terriers seeking to claim territory that can never be theirs.”
The Radleys: Radley Makeover Day
Already delightfully described as a “mix of Buffy and EastEnders”, the overriding message is that moderation is often a better choice than indulgence or abstinence. The Radleys is a highly recommended book for adults of ages, though possibly not one for the Puritans out there.
A film adaptation of The Radleys has already been confirmed, with acclaimed director Alfonso Cuarón (The Prisoner of Azkaban, Children of Men) set to produce.
Matt Haig was born in 1975. His debut novel, The Last Family in England, was a UK bestseller. The Dead Fathers Club, an update of Hamlet featuring an eleven-year-old boy, and The Possession of Mr. Cave, a horror story about an overprotective father, are being made into films and have been translated into numerous languages. He is also the author of award-winning children's novel Shadow Forest and its sequel The Runaway Troll. Matt has lived in London and Spain and now lives in York with the writer Andrea Semple and their two children.
This The Radleys book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read The Radleys?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Radleys reader reviews
9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
For 500 years Lenah Beaudonte has been a vampire. 500 years of seduction, blood and destruction. But she is sickened by her dark powers - and longs to feel the sun on her s...
My Swordhand is Singing
In the bitter cold of an unrelenting winter Tomas and his son, Peter, arrive in Chust and despite the inhospitability of the villagers settle there as woodcutters. Tomas di...
Cal Leandros series
There are monsters among us. There always have been and there always will be. I've know that since I can remember, just like I've always known that I was one... Wel...
The Vampire Diaries
Elena Gilbert is used to getting what she wants and she wants mysterious new boy, Stefan. But Stefan is hiding a deadly secret - a secret that will change Elena's life ...
The Immortal Rules
My Vampire Creator Told Me This: 'Sometime in your life, Allison Sekemoto, you will kill a human being. The question is not if it will happen, but when. Do you understa...
When 17 year old Isabella Swan moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father she expects that her new life will be as dull as the town. But in spite of her awkward man...
The Vampire Academy Series
After being on the run for two years Rose and Lissa have been found and are dragged (literally) back into the iron gates of St Vladimir's Academy. Rose and Lissa soon l...
Inheritance (Heir to the Blood Throne)
What's a vampire to do when he's afraid of the dark and passes out at the sight of blood? These are but two of the problems that face thirteen year old Rupert Barth...
Blood Ninja series
Taro is a boy from a coastal village in rural Japan, fated to become a fisherman like his father. But in just one night, Taro's world is turned upside down - and his de...
Great fantasy books published in 2010
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Five hundred years into the third age of flight and mighty phraxships steam across the immensity of the Deepwoods, plying their lucrative trade between the three great citi...
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky - a palace above the...
Southmarch Castle is about to be caught between two implacable enemies, the ancient, immortal Qar and the insane god-king, the Autarch of Xis. Meanwhile, its two young defe...
My name is John Cleaver. I live in Clayton County, in a mortuary on the edge of town. I have a mother and a sister and an aunt. I’m sixteen years old. I like reading,...
An indispensable guidebook to the Soul Society, Color Bleach+: The Bleach Official Bootlegtakes you behind the scenes in the shadowy world of the Soul Reapers. All Thirteen...
The Way of Kings
Roshar is a world of stone swept by tempests that shape ecology and civilization. Animals and plants retract; cities are built in shelter. In centuries since ten orders of ...
Once Walked With Gods
The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of...
Towers of Midnight
The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One's prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unravelling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to spill out o...
The Broken Kingdoms
In the city of Shadow, beneath the World Tree, alleyways shimmer with magic and godlings live hidden among mortalkind. Oree Shoth, a blind artist, takes in a strange homele...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: