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The Radleys [Paperback]

Matt Haig
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.00
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Book Description

1 July 2010
Meet the Radleys - Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in a typical suburban 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. In this moving, thrilling and extraordinary portrait of one unusual family, The Radleys asks what we grow into when we grow up, and explores what we gain - and lose - when we deny our appetites.

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The Radleys + The Humans + The Last Family In England
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; Main edition (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847678602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847678607
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 410,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Matt Haig suffered a breakdown in his early twenties. After battling depression for a long while he turned to writing. He now believes that reading and writing books saved his life, and believes that 'in a world trying to increasingly isolate us from our environment and our true selves, books are our route to freedom, and to each other'. His novels include the bestsellers The Last Family in England, The Radleys and The Humans. His books have been translated into 30 languages. All his novels for adults have been optioned for film. He has also written novels for children, including Shadow Forest, To Be A Cat and the new YA novel Echo Boy. His next book is about his experience of depression, called Reasons To Stay Alive.

He won the TV Book Club 'book of the series', and has been shortlisted for a Specsavers National Book Award. The Humans has been chosen as a 2014 World Book Night title. His children's novels have won the Smarties Gold Medal, the Blue Peter Book of the Year, been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal three times.

His books have received praise from Jeanette Winterson, Joanne Harris, Patrick Ness, Ian Rankin and SJ Watson, among others. The Guardian summed up his writing as 'funny, clever and quite, quite lovely' by The Times and the New York Times called him 'a writer of great talent'.

Product Description


A sharp, bloody tale of abstinence and indulgence (and trying not to eat the neighbours).
--Steven Hall, author of The Raw Shark Texts

Book Description

A sharp-toothed page-turner for all fans of urban gothic and vampire-lit. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More adult vampires 3 July 2011
By Jackie
Format:Kindle Edition
On deciding to have a look at the books being reviewed on the TV Book Club, I saw this book and on reading the description, found I was intrigued.

This is a vampire story, but for a change not all about the angst of teenagers. The family, the Radleys, mum and dad with teenage son & daughter, are just living normal if somewhat boring lives in their small village. The kids having a hard time at school, the father a local GP and mum a housewife. However, the parents are actually vampires who have made the decision not to be practising vampires, and the teens don't yet know.

All this is, of course, about to change, as in one moment in time the daughter discovers what she really is capable of. We then go on the journey of how they tell their children what they are and what it means. A long missing relative visits and all sorts of memories and feeling are stirred up for the couple, and as will happen in a book, matters come to a head and decisions have to made.

I don't want to spoil any more of the story, but I will say that I really enjoyed the book, it was all about vampires, which I love, but with a difference. There were teen vamps but the book was not all about them, there was plenty of more adult themes and concerns. Because of this I would recommend this book, in particular, to any one who enjoys vampire books, but who is getting a bit tired of the young age of all the main characters.

I will watch the episode when this book is discussed with interest, and investigate other books by Matt Haig
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit too cool to be chilling... 16 Aug 2010
By Mr. Steve Jansen VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Witty, clever and inventive, Matt Haig's The Radleys shines a light on contemporary mores by superimposing our everyday foibles onto a surreal situation. In this case, The Radleys of the title are vampires. Vampires attempting to live a normal suburban life. However, there is a twist. The parents of the family have chosen this way of life - they are abstainers, dosed up on supermarket painkillers attempting to keep their sickness at bay - whereas the children are - despite the factor 30 sunblock and controlled diets - unaware of their true natures. That is until something happens causing the proverbial curtain to be pulled back, and the truth to be revealed.

I enjoyed Haig's tale, holding at bay the obvious relationship to so many other vampire stories of the moment. The author doesn't necessarily add anything to the bloodsuckers legend, but then I'm not sure that was ever the case. My only criticism is Haig's rather affected prose style, which I found too often stood between me and a suitable pace; it's as if the author is holding the story at arm's length. That said, style is obviously a matter of taste, and there's still much to enjoy in The Radleys.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a fun read 10 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Most families have the odd skeleton in the closet; closets in the Radleys household seem to be more likely to be filled with pale corpses.

I will confess, I have not read any of the vampire chronicles that currently fill the nation's bookshops, nor have I been drawn to the profusion of vampiric sagas shown around the clock on satellite and cable channels. In part this is due to the fact I am no longer an angst ridden teenager and I am not, indeed am unlikely ever to be, a middle aged woman who fills her house with cats, incense and ethnic art. Any book including one or more of the following words: Dark, Moon, Red, Blood, Twilight in its title is unlikely to find its way onto my bookshelf (I am more likely to break my knees with a claw hammer). The Radleys however promised a different perspective and to a larger part it delivers.

The Radleys: the parents are abstaining from their proclivities through choice, the children abstaining because they don't know they're vampires, merely that they have some odd allergies and need to wear sunblock at all times of the year. Inevitably it all goes a bit pear shaped, the daughter is a bit low on haemoglobin having recently turned vegan, she has a confrontation and erm...'sees red' literally and figuratively. As you would expect, having a confrontation with a vampire is typically short lived and terminal, as it proves in this case. Cue some angst, self discovery, rejection and acceptance. Unable to cope with this episode in his otherwise all too dull suburban life, the father calls on his brother for assistance - his brother has something of a reputation and a lot of `history' - cue some more twists. Now, none of these twists are truly revelatory, they are all reasonably signposted; however, this doesn't really matter to the reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars yet another vampire book 30 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a book club choice, and I had forgotten the subject matter when I first started and thought it was going to be quite funny. But it just seemed to be jumping on the vampire bandwagon without really having a good story to tell. The best stories make you suspend your disbelief, because you become engrossed in the story,but this one didn't. A real disappointment.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood's The Thing 16 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Of the vampires I have known the Radley's are untypical of their
kind until Clara, the youngest member of this otherwise rather
ordinary suburban family, is overtaken by her instincts when a
particularly objectionable youth called Harper follows her home with
unwholesome intentions after a party. He gets his just deserts and
Clara gets a three course feast. This can only mean trouble however.

If blood is your thing (and it's here by the bottle and bucket load)
then you will find much to enjoy in this deliciouly sanguinary
narrative. The horror is enlivened by Matt Haig's dark sense of
humour and he has made a worthy contribution to a popular genre,
the public appetite for which shows little sign of abating just yet.

In Mr Haig's world it would seem that the many undead who live
unnoticed amongst us are, for the most part protected by the police,
until their feeding habits become too public and too messy.

Uncle Will (uncle to Clara and Rowan, brother to their father
Peter and old flame to Helen, Peter's wife) is a particularly
well-drawn character. Reluctantly recruited by Peter to help sort
out the mess generated by Clara's unwitting self-actualization his
presence makes more than a few skeletons leap out of the closet!

Just when you might have thought there were enough vampire books
in the world along comes 'The Radleys'. There's certainly room
for one more, however, with a story as inventive and enjoyable as this!

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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beguiling and unusual
In less skilled hands the multi-viewpoint, short chaptered structure probably wouldn't work. Matt Haig uses a light touch to tell a dark story. I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miss A Huskisson
3.0 out of 5 stars vampire nonsense
Another vampire story but well written and interesting story. This would have been so much better if this was a real family looking at a tragic family incident.
Published 1 month ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars An original Vampire Story
Vampires in the suburbs, who would have thought it could be so exciting! A mixture of family secrets, coming of age,teen romance - (not yukky Twilight type), and a nice bit of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Atom bomb
5.0 out of 5 stars The Radleys
I found this book so compelling, I finished it within a couple of days! I couldn't put it down! I found it dark and edgy and completely gripping. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Flynn
5.0 out of 5 stars A good quick read
I enjoyed this light read it was very gripping and entertaining as the characters were very believeable (although they were a faniily of fictional vampires). Read more
Published 2 months ago by sam
5.0 out of 5 stars So funny! Very different vampire story
Loved the Radleys! Simply hilarious! This is completely different from Twilight or Interview with a vampire. I just loved the fun of it... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Laura82
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing Change
Not my usual kind of read but have to say i thoroughly enjoyed it. Read due to other reviews and glad i did, it was a refreshing change to the normal vampire type stories.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A new slant on the life of vaampires
Quite a different subject -almost made you feel sorry for them being vampires. It was a good read,and as vampires and their activities,life style etc, interest a lot of people,it... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr VA Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern gothic novel
Original, a gothic novel with a modern twist. Interesting characters, and unexpected moral dilemma that get resolved in a "credible" way.
Published 3 months ago by marta cecilia nunez
4.0 out of 5 stars A new perspective on an old genre
I saw Matt Haig interviewed a few months back about his new book The Humans and The Radleys was mentioned a few times throughout. I'm not a huge fan of the whole vampire genre ie. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kym Hamer
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