The Radleys: A Novel

The Radleys: A Novel

by Matt Haig
3.7 122

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The Radleys 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 121 reviews.
BookBobBP More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Dr. Peter and Helen Radley, accompanied by their teenage children Clara and Rowan, move from swinging wild London to quiet sedate Bishopthorpe. Believing blood thirst is a simple addiction, the parents adhere strictly to The Abstainer's Handbook rules that strongly suggest living like a human while living amongst humans. However, they have also neglected to inform their fifteen years old daughter and seventeen years old son that they are purebred vampires. The offspring suffer form nightmares that each conceals from their parents. However, everything changes when an intoxicated Stuart Harper attacks Clara a vegetarian. His assault causes the dormant thirst for blood (and meat) to arise in his female classmate as her fangs surface. Peter asks his brother Will an overt vampire to help them with their problems. This is an entertaining dark vampire family drama with a powerful twist to the relationships. Character driven, the cast makes the tale fun to read as none of the extended Radley family come across as vampiric stereotyped; instead ironically the four Radley suburbanites are stereotypical: repressed and must behave in accordance with the middle class rules of order while Uncle Will prefers the bloody life of a swinger. Intelligent this is a witty satirical spin to the recent vampire lives amongst us craze. Harriet Klausner
ManderDuck More than 1 year ago
The Radleys is great. I loved that the vampires in this book were completely opposite of any others I have read and I have read lots of vamp novels. I adored the change in Clara after the accident. And the evil yet wonderfully charming Will. I dont have a bad word to say about this. Do yourself a favor and pick this up.
Griffon_Shadowslayer More than 1 year ago
This was the best non - cheesy vampire book I have ever read! The concepts in this book were completely original and unique (as far as I know). The characters are completely believable (except for the vampire part) and you can't help but fall in love with them. The conflicts in this book are believable as well. It was great to finally read a vampire book that wasn't completely fantasy romance.
BrandimDabbs More than 1 year ago
This is one of those you want to be a series. You can't stop reading and want to know where the characters go after the ending. This isn't your average "running away from your true self" type book. There are things there very unexpected and with an ending that will shock you to your core! I give this book 5 stars for originality and keeping my attention 100% at all times!
GothamCity06365 More than 1 year ago
How a family of vampires in rural England try to be good abstaining vampires after a horrible incident brings their "safe" world crumbling down is the story of Matt Haig's wonderful take on vampires in The Radley's. With great characters and page turning storytelling Matt Haig has been able to take the now overdone vampire legend and make it fresh. What happenes when we try to stop ourselves from being what nature tells us we should be are some of the questions Haig answers in frightening yet beautiful prose. I certainly would suggest this to any horror fiction fan but also anyone looking for an engaging well written story.
irishbookworm21 More than 1 year ago
Meet the Radleys: Peter, the patriarch. Peter is a physician in a small town where everyone knows everyone and is interested in their lives (obsessively so). He wishes for more in his home, doesn't get it, so he begins to fantasize about what could be with his neighbor. Helen, the matriarch. Helen tries to keep the family on the straight and narrow, hanging on to habit and tradition with a ferocity that would make a rabid wolverine proud. Rowan, the son. Sensitive, artistic, and Lord Byron's biggest fan. Rowan is subjected to the bullying of his classmates. He is also secretly in love with his sister's best friend. Clara, the daughter. Clara starts out seemingly in the background. She is Eve's friend, the beautiful newcomer who has enraptured Rowan (and most of the male teenage population of Bishopthorpe). But Clara will not stay in the background long. One fateful night, a young man decides that he is going to ignore the fact that no means no. It is his decision that will change the fates of this, well, boring middle-class family. You see, the Radleys are vampires. Granted, Rowan and Clara do not know this, and Peter and Helen have been abstaining for the last 17 years. However, that night changes everything for them. Rowan and Clara learn their true natures, Peter's long lost brother returns with his past on his heels, and this nuclear family goes atomic. And all of this happens in the span of a week. Matt Haig's tale of family and what happens when secrets are finally revealed is one of the best books I have read in quite some time. He is in turn humorous and serious. Haig captures the nature of repression with sparkling clarity. His unique voice is one that I find refreshing. Haig expertly captures the disconnection that his characters are experiencing between what is right and what is nature. When I first started the book, I was a little put off by the seemingly erratic change in topic in the first few tiny chapters (some as short as a few paragraphs on one single page). However, as I continued reading, the book and its format began to make sense. As in real life, we never get the full impact of a situation all at once. Haig mirrors that in his writing. As with all that I read, I gauge how much I like a book based on if I would read it again. The answer: over and over! This book is fantastic! The only con I can really post is that I would have liked to have heard more from Clara throughout the novel. She tended to take a backseat to everyone else, and she is really the character who put the major part of the story in motion. Outside of that, the novel was great! My next step will be to seek out Haig's other novels. I can only imagine they will be just as grand as this one. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kplivermore More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed. The E-version must have excluded the darkly hilarious spins, because I could not find any really funny bits.
BookwormBrandee More than 1 year ago
**4.5 Stars** I really, really liked this book! It's a satire on family, society, culture, and it's brilliant! The Radleys seem your typical, middle-class family. They live in a modest neighborhood, drive a modest car, dress like other average families, and suffer the same trials and tribulations as any family. But they Radleys are different in one very important aspect. They're vampires. I delighted in the way Mr. Haig uses vampirism as a metaphor for the troubles all family endure. Peter and Helen, the parental unit in the Radley family, are suffering the same issues many married couples experience. Rowan and Clara, the Radley children, are affected daily by the stereotypical struggles all teenagers encounter. It's only that, as abstainers, Rowan and Clara live with ailments caused by abstaining, that heighten their issues to extremes. And Rowan and Clara aren't privy to why they have these ailments. Once Rowan and Clara are made aware of their true nature, they face an entirely new set of problems. That of whether to embrace their nature, continuing denying it, or find a compromise. This decision is complicated by the arrival of Uncle Will, who is a practicing vampire. He provides an example of living life in the extreme opposite of Peter and Helen. There is so much going on in this story that I can't explain it all. But Mr. Haig has constructed a clever tale, full of dark humor. It's definitely a thrilling read which also speaks to the strong bonds of family and the importance of being true to yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tometourist More than 1 year ago
This was a very light, entertaining read. I am NOT a vampire-lover, even though that's the craze these days. But, The Radley's is not your usual blood-thirsty vampire story. It's different in that it actually tells the story of a family of "abstainers" - those who are vampires, but who don't care for all the murder and blood, so they try to live "normal" lives amongst other "normal" people. They even have an abstainers' handbook to guide them on their life of abstinence. Abstinence works for a long while for the Radleys, until one unfortunate and unforseseen incident. The story goes from there. I really loved reading The Radleys and would like more books of this genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A vampire's American Beauty.
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7hir7een More than 1 year ago
The Radleys is an intriguing look into the life of a family of vampires trying to fit in as a normal family in a small, normal town. The vampire mythology in this novel is different than what readers are used to, and is quite interesting. First off, vampires aren’t immortal. They can subsist on human blood, vampire blood, or abstain from both. Those who do their best to ignore their cravings for blood are part of a vampire subculture known as abstainers, who work diligently to live uneventful, human-like lives, denying the callings of blood and the imagination. The Radleys are abstainers. Helen and Peter have kept their children, Rowan and Clara in the dark for seventeen years. For years, these teens have tried to live unassuming lives in a small English town. However, they have always stuck out; have always been picked on by others who, subconsciously, realized that the Radleys are different. Nothing challenges this status quo until Clara is followed home and assaulted by the bully at school. He forces himself on her, and in a panic, she defends herself to keep herself from getting raped. This is the night that changes everything, that brings into question whether or not the Radleys can ever truly live normal lives again. I thought the novel, overall, was quite well done. It really brings to light the issues of family, fitting in, guilt, temptation and identity. It may be a story about vampires, but there are messages applicable to real life. The general premise and themes remind me of “The Gates”, an American television show about a suburban gated community of supernatural beings, and their struggle to lead somewhat normal lives. I liked that show, and I liked this novel. I’d recommend it to fans of vampires and fans of books about the struggles of domestic life.
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pen21 More than 1 year ago
The Radleys is a well written and fun family vampire story. The family lives in the suburb and is fitting into the neighborhood. They are trying to abstain and truly be 'human'. But the Radleys must deal with jobs, neighbors and teenage children. I hope to see more from this author.