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The Radleys Paperback – 1 Jul 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847678602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847678607
  • Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 2.7 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 802,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

From critically acclaimed Matt Haig comes a hilarious novel that asks what we gain - and lose - as we grow up

From the Back Cover

'Inevitably, if you have abstained all your life, you don't truly know what you are missing. But the thirst is still there, deep down, underlying everything . . .'
The Abstainer's Handbook

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. J W VINE VOICE on 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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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 5 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Radleys are a family of vampires - Peter, Helen and their children Rowan and Clara. But you would never guess from meeting them that they are anything out of the ordinary. They live in suburbia and try and lead normal lives by making sure they eat plenty of meat and staying out of the sun. Their `bible' is The Abstainer's Handbook'. Their lives only start to fall apart when Clara decides to adopt a vegan diet - a big mistake for an abstaining vampire. The whole idea of vampires trying to live normal lives and resisting the temptation to bite their friends and acquaintances is well imagined and described.

There are some interesting and serious points to be made about trying to deny your innate qualities and live a life which is completely false so the book works as a parable which can be applied in many circumstances. The characters are interesting; Peter trying to subsume his blood lust in his job as a GP; Helen putting her energies into home and children and living a normal human life. The children - Clara and Rowan - have problems at school and are regarded as a little weird. Some people even suspect what they are.

I found the book interesting in its unusual take on vampires. The descriptions of family life and conversations are well drawn and the dialogue is believable. I found the ending poignant but hopeful and the last third of the book is probably the best. The first 100 pages might seem difficult to get into but the book does repay perseverance.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"We're middle-class and we're British. Repression is in our veins."

The Radleys live in a village in Yorkshire. They are your typical middle class family, Peter is a doctor, Helen paints inoffensive watercolours, they have a son and a daughter, Rowan and Clara. Rowan feels like a freak at school and is subjected to daily bullying. Clara is quiet and has moved from vegetarian phase to full blown vegan. They have an uncle no one talks about and the kids don't even know he exists. To the outside world, they just seem a little odd but underneath they are harbouring a dark secret.

They keep their curtains closed on summer days, the children are painfully pale and apply sunscreen before school each day and they are pro red meat. One thing that the Radleys don't do is drink blood, because whilst you may have guessed that they are vampires they abstain.

Before you click away thinking "Oh no, not another vampire book", The Radleys is not some heady romance or action-packed fantasy yarn. No, these vampires live a fairly ordinary life. Matt Haig's prose is witty and entertaining. It's a tale about what happens when you try to be something you're not.
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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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