Monday, 18 October 2010

The Radleys- A(nother) vampire novel

When I was down visiting my parents in the school holidays, my Mum slipped me a book she thought I would enjoy. It was called The Radleys by Matt Haig and is (another) 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?


Maxabella said...

Haven't. Can I have it next? x

Quadmama said...

I haven't read it, but I now I definitely want to. I thought the Twilight books were decent and the Sookie Stackhouse novels are pretty good. I guess I'm a sucker (LOL) for vampire novels.

life in a pink fibro said...

Hmmm. I was supposed to read it. But I left it on Mum's table by mistake and - voila! - it was gone. LOL. Funny how that happens. I'll wait patiently until it makes its return to Fibrotown. Glad it's good!

Suzie G said...

Hmm. I gave in to Twilight a few months back, after objecting strongly to becoming swept up in the vampire series phenomenon. And guess what? Loved it. So perhaps this book will be my next foray into the world of bloodsuckers :)

Gill@OurParklife said...

I haven't read it - but always on the look out for new books to read...Perhaps a trip to the library is in order!

Gill xo

DancingInTheRain said...

Your blog makes me want to read a vampire book! Definitely not what I normally read but look forward to giving it a go. What happened to Swag?!

x0xJ said...

I might have to check it out.
I am currently caught up in the Vampire Academy books. Another series i swore i would not get into, yet it is very captivating and well, it eat up every word on each page, lol.
You should check them out and lmk what you think.
I'm not super into vampire stuff. I read Brum's "Dracula" in high school, it was meh, and other than watching the Buffy the Vampire series on TV growing up, and enjoying a movie here and there (Underworld, VH) i've never really gotten into the vampire thing.

Kelly said...

It sounds right up my alley. I will have to get myself a copy stat. I heart vampire books!

Lizeylou said...

I have just started a book ... but this one is now at the top of my list! Will let you know what I think, but am guessing I am going to love it too!

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