Matt Haig biography and books reviewed

Matt Haig was born in 1975. He is the author of The Last Family in England (2004), and the forthcoming children's novel, Shadow Forest. His website is at

Matt Haig was born in Sheffield in 1975 and grew up in Nottinghamshire. He now lives in Leeds. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the Independent, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Face.

His novels are often dark and quirky takes on family life. The Last Family in England tells the story of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 with the protagonists as dogs. It was a bestseller in the UK and the film rights have been sold to Brad Pitt's Plan B production company. His second novel Dead Fathers Club is based on Hamlet, telling the story of an introspective 11-year old dealing with the recent death of his father and the subsequent appearance of his father's ghost. His third adult novel, The Possession of Mr Cave, deals with an obsessive father desperately trying to keep his teenage daughter safe. His chidren's novel, Shadow Forest, is a fantasy that begins with the horrific death of the protagonists' parents. It won the Nestlé Children's Book Prize in 2007.

"Weaves horror and humour into a terrific tale" The Times

Matt Haig reviews

The Radleys by Matt Haig

Life with the Radleys: Radio 4, dinner parties with the Bishopthorpe neighbours and self-denial. Loads of self-denial. But all hell is about to break loose. When teenage daughter Clara gets attacked on the way home from a party, she and her brother Rowan finally discover why they can't sleep, can't eat a Thai salad without fear of asphyxiation and can't go outside unless they're smothered in Factor 50. With a visit from their lethally louche uncle Will and an increasingly suspicious police force, life in Bishopthorpe is about to change. Drastically.

"Pointed, clever and witty." Independent

"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." Fantasy Book Review

Read our review

Echo Boy by Matt Haig

Echo Boy by Nestlé Smarties Book Prize winner Matt Haig is a stand-alone science/speculative-fiction novel set exactly 100 years in the future. It offers a vision of what day-to-day life may be like in the next century, exploring the likely advancements in technology and artificial intelligence while telling a tale of love, loss, betrayal and corruption.

"Echo Boy is an effortless read, which is precisely what I expected, and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to ages young-adult and up who love futuristic, cautionary tales."

Read our review

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Read our review

Shadow Forest by Matt Haig

Right now, he and his sister Martha are in the back of his parents' car. He has no idea a giant log is about to fall from the sky and change his life forever. He doesn't know that he and Martha will be forced to move to Norway and eat their Aunt Eda's smelly brown cheese. He hasn't the slightest clue Martha will disappear into Shadow Forest. A forest full of one-eyed trolls, the sinister huldre-folk, deadly Truth Pixies and a witch who steals shadows. A forest ruled by the evil Changemaker. A forest so dangerous that people who enter never return. No. Samuel Blink doesn't know any of this. So don't tell him. It might ruin the book...

"Shadow Forest features lots of humour mixed in with with some superbly gross parts (such as exploding heads). Matt Haig's quirky style of writing make this an exciting and most enjoyable read."

Read our review

The Runaway Troll by Matt Haig

The Runaway Troll continues the story of Samuel Blink, his sister Martha and his Aunt Eda and Uncle Henrik who, now safely home after their adventures in Shadow Forest, find that a certain Troll-son has decided to pay them a visit causing untold headaches for everyone. Little do Samuel and his family realise that Troll-son is not the only visitor about to call and that they will soon be introduced to the Betterer, the main reason Troll-son has run away from his village of Tollhelm in the first place. To add to these problems Uncle Henrik’s sudden reappearance after 10 years lost in the forest (although he’s really spent them as an Elkhound) has come to a number of people’s attention (including the postman’s!), not least his nemesis Magnus Myklebust who employs his devious and downright spoilt daughter Cornelia to befriend Martha and find out exactly what happened to Henrik. Deciding it’s too dangerous for Troll-son to stay the decision is made to escort him home, but not before tragedy strikes!

Read our review