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The Radleysby Matt Haig
Synopses & Reviews
Just about everyone knows a family like the Radleys. Many of us grew up next door to one. They are a modern family, averagely content, averagely dysfunctional, living in a staid and quiet suburban English town. Peter is an overworked doctor whose wife, Helen, has become increasingly remote and uncommunicative. Rowan, their teenage son, is being bullied at school, and their anemic daughter, Clara, has recently become a vegan. They are typical, that is, save for one devastating exception: Peter and Helen are vampires and have — for seventeen years — been abstaining by choice from a life of chasing blood in the hope that their children could live normal lives.
One night, Clara finds herself driven to commit a shocking — and disturbingly satisfying — act of violence, and her parents are forced to explain their history of shadows and lies. A police investigation is launched that uncovers a richness of vampire history heretofore unknown to the general public. And when the malevolent and alluring Uncle Will, a practicing vampire, arrives to throw the police off Clara's trail, he winds up throwing the whole house into temptation and turmoil and unleashing a host of dark secrets that threaten the Radley's marriage.
The Radleys is a moving, thrilling, and radiant domestic novel that explores with daring the lengths a parent will go to protect a child, what it costs you to deny your identity, the undeniable appeal of sin, and the everlasting, iridescent bonds of family love. Read it and ask what we grow into when we grow up, and what we gain — and lose — when we deny our appetites.
"Funny, scary and wickedly familiar....Reading The Radleys proved an unpredictable experience, its themes crafted through a pleasurable switch of tones. On the one hand it's a parochial comedy of manners in a...suburban setting, but it quickly gathers poison and then effortlessly enters the supernatural without ever betraying its worldly concerns." Alfonso Cuarón, director of Y Tu Mamá También, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Children of Men
"The Radleys is, first and foremost, the remarkable story of a family, born of denial and deceit, learning to tell the truth. That the family in question happens to be Undead is secondary, because in Matt Haig's masterly hands vampirism is much more than blood lust. It is a yearning for love, truth, passion, and authentic connection." Allison Burnett, author of Undiscovered Gyrl
"A sharp, bloody tale of abstinence and indulgence (and trying not to eat the neighbors)." Steven Hall, author of The Raw Shark Texts
"Matt Haig writes a wickedly clever and completely addictive vampire novel, delicious from beginning to end. Teens and adults alike will be absolute gluttons for The Radleys." Lisa McMann, author of the New York Times bestselling Wake trilogy
"Delightfully eccentric comedy about a family of suburban undead...a strangely moving portrait of a marriage in which both partners are compelled to deny their own instincts and longings." Financial Times
"Witty and humane...Haig writes in addictive, bitesize chapters that pump the action along. He has fun with all the Vampyre lore...while keeping his characters convincing, original and likeable." Daily Mail
"Haig has managed to coax something delightfully new and, unusually, rather English from a saturated genre...nifty revelations...it becomes an enjoyably twisty and self-aware tale. Haig combines strong dialogue with a healthy sense of self-parody in a novel that should appeal to all vampire fans, whatever their age." Metro
"The Radleys...switches deftly between a classic Carrie-style narrative of teen difference, in which the kids are teased for their outsiderness, and a parental tale of mid-life crisis." The Herald
"A dark domestic drama about a loving but dysfunctional family that just happens to be vampires, though delicious moments of gore maintain its horror connection. Excerpts from The Abstainer's Handbook...cleverly mimic self-help manuals, and Haig's sly digs at suburbia's forced banality and conformity are on target....A white-picket-fence-style happy ending caps off this unusual blended story." Booklist
About the Author
Matt Haig is the bestselling author of several children’s books and novels, including The Radleys, winner of the ALA Alex Award. An alumnus of Hull University and Leeds, his work has been translated into twenty-nine languages. He lives in York with his wife, UK novelist Andrea Semple, and their two children.
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