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The Radleys: A Novel Hardcover – December 28, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; First Edition edition (December 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439194017
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439194010
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This witty vampire novel from British author Haig (The Possession of Mr. Cave) provides what jaded fans of the Twilight series need, not True Blood exactly, but some fresh blood in the form of a true blue family. Dr. Peter Radley and his wife, Helen, have fled wild London for the village of Bishopthorpe, where they live an outwardly ordinary life. The Radleys, who follow the rules of The Abstainer's Handbook (e.g., "Be proud to act like a normal human being"), haven't told their 15-year-old vegan daughter, Clara, and 17-year-old son, Rowan, who's troubled by nightmares, that they're really vampires. A crisis occurs when a drunken classmate of Clara's, Stuart Harper, attacks her on her way home from a party and inadvertently awakens the girl's blood thirst. Peter's call for help to his brother, Will, a practicing vampire, leads to scary consequences. The likable Clara and Rowan will appeal to both adult and teen readers. (Dec.) (c)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Despite the saturation of vampire books, television, and movies, the reviews of The Radleys suggest that readers everywhere have not yet tired of these bloodsucking (or, in this case, mostly abstaining) beings. Although each vampire novel differs from the next, critics quickly pointed out that Haig’s offering, at heart a family drama, contains some unique elements, including references to vampire pop culture both old and new as well as thoughtful inquiries into the nature of morality and identity. Yet though smart and witty, the novel often overstates its case in its presentation of right and wrong. Still, fans of the genre will rejoice in this new addition to vampire lore—and its planned sequels.

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Customer Reviews

Excellent writing - I really cared about the characters.
Diane Rauber
Although it's not a sophisticated piece of work, it is well written.
Arretamador
The Radleys is unlike any vampire book I have ever read.
Library Girl Reads

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Much like the Harry Potter books, there are two editions of this book. The first one is for adults and the other one is for teens. They have radically different covers and cover blurbs. I really did not think something new could be written about vampires that would be unique enough, and a different enough take on old tales and legends and the plethora of vampire literature out there, to surprise me. I could not have been more wrong. This book not only surprised me but left me with a hunger for more. Matt Haig reshapes vampire mythology; there are two classes of vampires and two types of vampires in his re-imaging of this genre. First, someone is either born a vampire from a family of vampires or they are turned by a vampire. The two types of vampires are those who practice abstinence and those who are full-blooders. Enter the Radleys, a quiet if somewhat sickly family living in the small British village of Bishopthorpe. Meet the Radleys: Peter, Helen and their two teenage children Clara and Rowan. They seem to be the typical dysfunctional family, but with a few more medical conditions than the most of their neighbors. But their family secret blows wide open when Clara not only tastes blood but devours the first person she tastes. When the Radleys need to cover up this incident, Peter calls his older brother Will, and soon everything seems to be falling apart.

This book is creative and unique, which as stated earlier, in this genre is truly amazing. It is well written; you find yourself cheering for the vampires and hoping they can pull it all together and figure out a better way to live. You have a mix of vampires, curious neighbors, a special police unit dedicated to controlling and negotiating with the vampire hierarchy and a family just trying to protect each other.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By BookBob on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When I received this book I thought oh another vampire book. But then I started to read it and it was so much more. What I liked most about this story was how human the vampires were in the story. They fall in love they marry they have children and they eventually die. This story is about the vampire family the Radleys at the begining of the story their two children do not even know they are vampires. The Parents want to be a typical middle class normal British family and they think by not telling their children about their heritage it will cause them to be normal. This will serously back fire and that is the begining of this wonderful story. I really enjoyed this story because as a middle age man who has been married for 20 years and has teenage children I found Peter very easy to indentify with. If you want something good to read that will make you think this is the book to read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Desert Rat on April 16, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was intrigued by this plot description, very different from the spate of other vampire films and books. So I gave it a try by getting the Kindle Sample. The beginning was quite clever and amusing, so I went ahead and bought the book.

The plot was sufficiently interesting to keep me going, but unfortunately, between any action, there were countless pages of boring vampire lore, none of which was in the slightest interesting or germane to the plot. Why the author felt this was necessary I don't know, but possibly to satisfy the teenager vampire fans.

Had this been edited out, the book would have been far better. Of course, that problem was solved by just quickly paging though these sections.

A fun read, but not really worth the price.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Altner on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Dark humor pervades this entertaining vampire family soap opera. While Helen was engaged to Peter Radley, his rougish brother Will secretly whisks her off for one sex filled, "vampire conversion" night in Paris. Helen discovers she is pregnant and tells Peter the baby is his. This happened 17 years ago. That is when the Radleys (Helen and Peter) decided to live like normal people and follow the guidelines set down by the Abstainer's Handbook, a book written for those who no longer wish to live the traditional vampire life. Complications arise as their two children Rowan - biological son of Will, and daughter Clara begin to acquire vampire characteristics. Clara is the first to change when one night a thuggish classmate attacks her. The fangs erupt on their own and Clara does what any vampire lass would naturally do - she drains him dry. This is when Helen finally agrees with Peter that it is time to explain their heritage to the children.

At first the Radleys seem to be a terribly dysfunctional family, but soon enough each of them shows a depth not apparent in the beginning. They learn to pull together when outside forces attempt to destroy them. Ultimately this is a story about family and love.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sara E. Bauer on April 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Ah, the cleverness of Mr. Haig! The Radleys tackles a similar subject as a couple of its modern contemporaries (ie Twilight series): that of vampires who do not drink human blood---vampires who are trying to fit in with society. This one is a bit different, though, because the Radley family is fully immersed in modern society and fully immersed in their delusions that their ploy could actually stick. What I found most interesting was the children; the Radley parents have hidden their vamp identities from their kids, which makes the kids wonder why they get sick when they go out in the sun, why they can't be vegetarians, etc, etc. And the writing is excellent. Example: "His lower intestines spilled out of him, like escaping eels." Ooo ... that's pretty.

This is a character-focused book, as the reader is left to wonder, when the daughter accidentally kills someone, what will the Radleys do? Not only do you wonder, but you want to know, because the characters are excellent. Dad Radley is dealing with his own American Beauty-esque questions of how did I end up here? Mama Radley is desperately trying to appear normal, but she ... just ... can't. Son Radley is creepy, but you root for him, despite his goth persona. Daughter Radley is kind of evil and blood-thirsty, but hey, she's a vampire right? This is just a clever, clever book, written by a British dude who really knows how to write. Gorgeous ... and gory.
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