Monday, 18 October 2010
The Radleys- A(nother) vampire novel
As you are aware, I am quite partial to a vampire but after reading the entire Twilight series a few months ago, I honestly thought I had had my fill of blood suckers with complicated love lives. Apparently not.
I loved the Radleys. Right from the beginning I was totally hooked on this humorous, familiar yet interesting story .
It is set in a middle class suburbia in Britain. Peter Radley is the local doctor. He is a man longing for the headier days of city living where sex and blood were his only pursuits. His wife, Helen is a SAHM who secretly craves the vampire who converted her but who thrives on abstinence and creating an 'ordinary' life.
Peter and Helen have two teenage children, Rowan and Clara, who attend the local highschool. The children don't quite 'fit in' but they are fairly 'typical' teenagers -she is a vegan; he is experiencing unrequited love and writing poetry in his bedroom. They do not know that they are vampires.
The secret is unveiled when Clara acts (extremely) violently when one of her classmates attempts to have his way with her. She gets her first taste of blood, an experience that changes her life, and those of her family, forever.
The book is written is short, bite sized chapters (sorry!) and punctuated by excerpts from The Abstainers Handbook (a total satire of usual addiction self-help books), which provides background to the plot. The author switches around the voice of the novel, providing different perspectives of the predicament the Radleys find themselves in. Haig also references classic literature which adds a depth to the novel that is unexpected. He presents vampire folklore in cute and unique ways.
It is a tale of marital tension, self denial, the webs that tie family together and the relationship between addiction and indulgence. All the characters are very likable.
I rated it. It is a bloody lot of fun.
Have you read it?