|Print List Price:||$17.00|
Save $7.01 (41%)
Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price set by seller.
The Radleys: A Novel Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"Very original spin on the myth...The bite-size chapters guide the reader from one viewpoint to another....Haig's depiction of teen politics is spot on....insightful, frightening and uplifting....Uncle Will [is] a splendidly evil yet believable character...Haig pays just about enough respect to the conventions of the genre that the average vampire fan should find lots to enjoy, but it's the blackly comic dissection of the family that makes this book stand out." —The Guardian
“This witty vampire novel from British author Haig 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.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Dark humor pervades Haig's entertaining vampire family soap opera...a refreshing take on an oversaturated genre." —Library Journal
“Terrific, droll, and touching.”
“The Radleys is effortlessly sleek and witty.”
“Haig’s contribution is freshly weird and ultimately thirst-quenching for fans of the genre.”
“As befits a vampire story, the wit tends to be sharp….Haig does justice to the effect of…betrayal on the souls of his characters—the startling pleasure and the lasting woe—proving himself a novelist of considerable seriousness and talent.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Matt Haig’s novel is not only head and shoulders above Twilight and all those other wimpy vampire romances, but, as an explorer of contemporary mores, Haig is more enjoyable company than writers with more ‘literary’ pedigrees.” —Newsday
“The genius of novelist Matt Haig’s book is that the vampirism takes a back seat—a wet, bloody back seat, but still—to the blackly comic family turmoil that’s at the center of the story….Take that, you Twilight mob. The trains of vampire lit and actual lit just met, in a glorious burst of sharp red.”
—The Dallas Morning News
“Haig classifies his books as black comedies, and The Radleys certainly fits that description…. [It’s] laced with lethal doses of humor.” —Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
“Irresistible….Full of clever turns, darkly hilarious spins….Even if you're suffering from vampire fatigue, you’ll find The Radleys is a fun, fresh contribution to the genre.”
About the Author
- ASIN : B0042ESZOI
- Publisher : Free Press; Reprint edition (December 28, 2010)
- Publication date : December 28, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 2034 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 350 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #40,316 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I like Matt Haig’s writing style. I read his Science Fiction novel, The Humans, earlier this year and loved it. So funny! The Radleys isn’t humorous, but it is a fun and entertaining read. I’ll read more of Haig’s books, I’m sure. Very good stuff.
I loved the first three quarters of this book. I could not put it down and there were some pretty dark, funny moments. Matt Haig is a brilliant writer and is love to see this made into a movie.
I have it four stars because I thought the end got a bit too jumbled. No spoilers but I'm not sure I liked the ending all that much. That said, if love to see a sequel.
Rowan Radley is an anemic teen with skin rashes, yearning for the courage to talk to his sister's friend Eva. Clara Radley's walls are covered with "Save the Whales" posters; she is a vegetarian whose only friend is the new girl at school, a beauty who she senses will probably not speak to her any more once she is fully accepted by the other students.
Helen and Dr. Peter Radley are helpless to assist their children to fit in, any more than they can assimilate themselves. They are too busy hiding their nature, not only from the neighbors, but also from their children. They are Abstainers: vampires who refuse to drink blood.
Despite years of residence in their quiet community, all four Radleys are simply existing day-to-day. Suffering, in a blunted, relentless way:
"Everyone represses everything. Do you think any of these "normal" human beings really do exactly what they want to do all the time? 'Course not. It's just the same. We're middle-class and we're British. Repression is in our veins."
In a single brutal event at an overnight party, Clara will open the gates for all of the Radleys to revert to their true nature. And the advent of Uncle Will, a long-practising blood-drinker with the power to cloud men's minds, will at first seem a blessing. He can help them divert the attention of the police:
"It is another unsolved mystery in a world full of unsolved mysteries. Now stand up and walk out the way you came, and the moment that fresh air caresses your face, you will realize that that is what makes the world so beautiful. All those unsolved mysteries. And you won't ever want to interfere with that beauty again."
As always, though, when long-held feelings are repressed, they eventually burst forth with explosive power. The secrets the Radleys have been hiding go far beyond blood-drinking. And when they are no longer suppressed, the results will change the Radleys and everyone involved with them irrevocably.
It's an intense novel, about much more than the girly cliché of vampire romance. This story is about living the life you were born to live, rather than the one defined for you by society. It's worth the read.
"That is what the taste of blood does. It takes away the gap between thought and action. To think is to do. There is no unlived life inside you as the air speeds past your body, as you look down at the dreary villages and market towns..."
And then there's a big battle and afterward the characters live much more happily. And it felt like their final solution was always available to them, and should have been known.
Not bad, just not great.
Top reviews from other countries
‘The Radleys’ reads like twilight fan fiction, or ‘The Lost Boys: the pensioner years’. I’m all for the suspension of disbelief but it has to feel vaguely realistic. Or if completely absurd at least set in a world with a history and rules that one can relate to in some way.
This however felt more like a vague idea the author had, but with no way of communicating without resorting to soap like tropes, predictable character backstories and soppy sentimental story arcs.
To summarise, forget this and jump straight to Haig’s later works as his style has matured so dramatically. I hope more of that work is in his future and not more of this.
I found the book to just flow along easily; it's light but intelligently written, witty and definitely not your run of the mill supernatural vampire book. You could probably even imagine the vampire storyline and the weakness for blood, to be replaced with a more "normal" human weakness or suppression of alcohol/drugs/gambling/sex etc. The chapters are all fairly short, making it perfect for putting down and picking up again a bit later, and I liked how the author gave each chapter a little heading with a nod to what was coming. Sure, it may be another book about vampires, but The Radleys comes with a twist and shakes the whole genre up again.
Having read a couple of excellent books by Matt Haig this was a real disappointment. It brought to mind a conversation with a publisher friend who bemoaned script synopsises that missed out that from page 50 it's all about vampires. This is that book.
What I thought might be a wry, quirky take on middle class northern England becomes a bizarre tale of a vampire family. One minute they're queuing for the bus to Thirsk, the next taking to the skies to drop dead bodies in the Nort Sea. There are vampire adoption units, a secret police anti-vampire unit and bars in Manchester selling vampire blood.
It really doesn't work on so many levels. It's like feasting on Bowie's classic 70s catalogue and then discovering his mid 80s output.
Outwardly the Radleys are an ordinary family (mother, father, son and daughter) living an ordinary life in a small village. Really, however, they are vampires living a life of abstinence and denial although at the start of the book the two children don't know that they are different from normal. When the daughter, Clara, eats a class mate who has been trying to attack her the father, Peter, calls his brother Will to come and help. Will if different from the Radleys - he's a vampire who embraces the lifestyle and is unrepentant about it. Will's coming changes the dynamics of the family, secrets are revealed and they are all faced with new choices.
The vampires in this book don't have many of the traditional issues - for a start, they can breed. They do, however, have the need for blood although they can survive without it. The book presents its characters with this moral dilemma and explores how each of them comes to terms with what they are. It's a world in which vampires are hidden from view although the government knows about them and others suspect.
I really had problems with this book, most especially around the character of Will. I could understand Peter and Helen's desire to fit in and their issues as well as the problems that the children faced but I found Will to be a very unsympathetic and difficult character and, although he represented a different way of living to offer the family as well as significant temptation, I wasn't entirely sure that his character worked well within the story - he seemed too over the top. The middle class lifestyle was well observed especially with the hints of passion and danger underneath. I also liked the extracts from the "Abstainer's Handbook", Overall, however, the story didn't work for me.
Partly it’s a Young Adult coming of age vampire novel. Partly it’s a reflection on middle age and middle-aged ennui. Partly it’s about family and relationships.
The titular Radleys (it’s difficult to imagine this is not some kind of reference to Boo Radley – or perhaps not) are a family living in a Yorkshire village. The father, Peter – a local GP – is married to stay-at-home mother Helen. Their two teenaged children are Clara and Rowan.
They’re all vampires, but Clara and Rowan don’t know this, because Helen and Peter decided, before the children were born (when did vampires become able to breed?) to abstain from ‘normal’ vampire activities and to instead try to blend in, as best as they can, with the human population.
Trouble arises when Clara is the victim of an attempted sexual assault after a party. She attacks and kills the perpetrator. Peter’s brother – who has enjoyed ‘living’ as a ‘proper’ vampire all long – is summoned to help clear up the resultant mess. Things don’t go according to plan, as you might expect.
This book left me feeling rather perplexed. I think Haig has introduced too many new “rules” as far vampire lore is concerned. Or possibly it’s more that these new rules aren’t very interesting. The attraction of vampires is that they are among us but so very different from us. What’s so interesting about vampires trying to be just like us? And when did vampires become able to exist without human blood? And when did they become able to walk about in the daytime? And when did they become visible in mirrors?
The more Haig plays with the rules, the less interesting the vampires become.
Peter’s mid-life crisis was also rather clumsily handled. It seemed more of a cartoon, or sit-com, version of events. I note that Haig was 36 when this book was published, a few years away, perhaps, from his own mid-life crisis. Give him another 15 years and he might be able to write about this subject with a little more authority!
I also made the mistake of reading a US version of the novel. Changes – like chemist to drug-store, and bin-man to garbageman – were irritating, but that’s hardly a fault of the novel or Haig.
I think Haig has tried to bring something new to the YA vampire genre but this just didn’t float my boat. And, yes, that might very well be because it’s been decades since I was a YA!