The Dead Fathers Club
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The Dead Fathers Club

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3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  1,209 ratings  ·  274 reviews
Eleven-year-old Philip Noble has a big problem. His dad has appeared to him as a member of the Dead Fathers Club, a club for "ghost dads" whose murders are unavenged. His father's road accident, it turns out, was no accident at all. Uncle Alan is responsible for his dad's death, and if Philip doesn't succeed in killing his uncle before his dad's birthday, just ten weeks aw...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 420 pages
Published January 8th 2007 by HighBridge Company (first published 2006)
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Neal
An update on the Hamlet story, this reads much like "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime" (I think that's right) with a yound narrator set to avenge his father's death at the hands of his uncle. And while that voice worked well for the autistic narrator of "Nightime" at times I felt this kid was really stupid for an 11 year old. Perhaps my standards are too high for preteens or perhaps he was just overwhlemed with grief, but that's not my point. Except it might be my point, because I...more
Meagan
I selected this book because the idea and the voice interested me. The cover boast that it is kind of like a modern day Hamlet adn in a lot of ways it is.

It begins with the death of Phillips father, shortly followed by the appearance of his ghost saying that Phillip's uncle killed his father and Phillip must take revenge. Phillip tests the truth of this the same way Hamlet does, only with a DVD instead of personally directed play.

The book is written in first person train of thought. Haig follow...more
Deirdre
This was on my booklist. I found this to be an entertaining book to listen on tape. The prose is comical. The point of view is amusing. It is indeed "more than a nod to 'Hamlet'," yet light. The narration was both charmingly well done. Unlike other Audio Books, my attention was never lost. I think in many ways if I had read this book, the tone would have felt repetitive and the narrator would have seemed darker. The book is fun for what it is. I suggest the audio cd over the book.
Meagan
This story, set in modern-day England and narrated by an eleven year-old boy, is a clever and subtle retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The story opens when Philip, the Hamlet-narrator, sees his father's ghost after the funeral. His father's ghost informs him that he was murdered by Uncle Alan, and that he will be stuck in eternal torment unless Philip kills his uncle before his father's next birthday in a few months. When I say that I don't want to give more than that away, you may think to you...more
Trin
A retelling of Hamlet set in modern day England, with a young boy as the protagonist. The whole thing is told in the first person in prose reminiscent of the first chapter of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man—run-on sentences and a blatant disregard for apostrophes. I found this both effective and annoying, often several times within the same page. The writing's certainly powerful, though, and a wonderful-horrible sense of doom and dread pervades the narrative. I appreciated Haig’s decis...more
Sara
My Take:
Interesting. I enjoyed the convention of writing from the 11-year-old's point of view - the story drew me in and kept my attention. But the ending left me cold – it felt unresolved. Is there really such a thing as the Dead Father's Club, or did Philip make it up as a grief mechanism? There were some things that couldn't be explained (such as the guidance from his father when being chased, or when looking for Leah) but then finding out about the natural death of Ray Ray Goodwin, and the r...more
Hester (putsomestankonit)
Hamlet with chavs

To be honest I've never read "Hamlet" or even suffered through a theater production or film version of it. The play maybe the thing, but Shakespeare just ain't my thing. Matt Haig's "The Dead Fathers Club" is a modern day version of "Hamlet"and his Hamlet is an eleven year old boy named Philip Noble.

Philip's father comes to him in ghost form and tells him he must avenge his murder by murdering his murderer and brother, Alan. That's a lot to lay on an eleven year old boy. Philip...more
Alison Livingston
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maya Rock
Jan 29, 2008 Maya Rock rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maya by: Andrew D.
This book is a lot like CURIOUS INCIDENT DOG MIDNIGHT (sorry i can't recall the title correctly off the top of my head.)

That is to say there is a narrator with a distinctive, childlike voice, simple way of observing. And there's a mystery. It's patterned after Hamlet and just made me want to read Hamlet again. Good things about this book:

1) Fast read
2) Good dramatic question
3)At times, funny
4) The effects of the dead on the living are really interesting and how mistaken ideas of what the father...more
Alex
Sep 22, 2007 Alex rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hamlet lovers
This is a decent Hamlet tribute. The story verges onto its own path just at the point when the reader wonders if it is a complete rewrite. The book labels itself a "tween" book - which can be read and enjoyed by adults and young adults alike. This classification annoys me - can't young adults enjoy most every kind of book? The classification is likely due to the fact that the novel's protagonist is an eleven year old boy. His thoughts are brought to us as they (presumably) appear in his head: vo...more
Dale
This is the twenty-second book I read on my commute, and I'm reasonably certain that this book falls in the modern-lit category. But not 100% sure. It's highly amusing to me that as soon as I laid out the four categories books I read tend to fall into, I spend so much time trying to explain why no book ever aligns perfectly with any of the categories. Except non-fiction. Although there have been exceptions there too.

So, The Dead Father's Club. This book is very cute and charming, and simultaneou...more
Shannon
Aug 04, 2009 Shannon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime, Shakespeare Fans
The Dead Father's Club is populated by an eleven year old boy, his widowed mother, his uncle, various peers and several ghosts. Loosely based on Hamlet, this book left me wondering almost throughout its entirety whether the narrator was sane or not. For me, the puzzle of the narrator's sanity or insanity was what kept me reading.

The style of the book was unique. Haig didn't follow conventional grammar rules and the lack of punctuation was sometimes confusing and definitely took a while to get us...more
Karis
This is a very entertaining book. It is told from the point of view of an 11 year-old boy trying to come to terms with the unexpected death of his father. The story plays off themes from Hamlet, but with less distrust of "Mum" and a heightened sense of confusion for Phillip, the main character. It has a rather odd sense of suspense and curiosity and Haig did an exceptional job assuming the voice of a young and slightly troubled boy. I almost lost patience with that voice, and others might, but a...more
Caitlin
I really enjoyed this modern rendering of the "Hamlet" story - with the young Philip coming to terms with not just losing his father, but having his father all-too-present, demanding revenge on the uncle who has taken his place.

I understand the comparisons to "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" in that although this is a book has a young adult as a central character, much happens beyond Philip's understanding (such as what is happening with his mother and uncle in the early stages.)...more
Kaitlin
This reimagining of Shakespeare's Hamlet is narrated by an 11-year-old boy, Philip. Shortly before the start of the novel, Philip's father dies in a car accident. Philip begins seeing his father's ghost, who explains that Philip must kill Uncle Alan before the father's birthday. Otherwise, his father's ghost would be doomed to experience "The Terrors" for all eternity.

Seeing his father's ghost interferes greatly with Philip's life. Others (especially his peers) notice a change and tease him for...more
Louise
enjoyable enough......... intersting idea, that started off more lighthearted and got darker as the story went on.
Kaion
The Dead Father's Club is a passable, if not particularly memorable, retelling of Hamlet.

Matt Haig moves the plot elements of Hamlet to a modern British setting, with the part of Hamlet played by a confused eleven year old boy whose dad has just died in a car accident. The conflict is set up to be read on two levels: the classic level in which Phillip's dad goads him on to seek revenge on his Uncle Alan and on another level where perhaps Phillip is making this all up in order to deal with the tu...more
Candy Wood
In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet can be any age from around 20 to the 30 the gravedigger says he is, but Matt Haig's Hamlet is 11, not a character in a play but the narrator of his own story. The parallels are enjoyable: "Dads Ghost" says Uncle Alan caused the car wreck that killed him, Uncle Alan is taking over Philip's Mum and the Castle and Falcon pub, Philip's attempts at revenge cause the death of his friend Leah's father, and Philip even has untrustworthy friends called Ross and Gary. The dif...more
Audra
I had this book in my library because I got the hardcover as a bargain book (3 bucks or something). Well, just because it's on sale doesn't mean its any good. Or rather, because it was on sale I should have been forewarned that nobody wanted to buy it at full price and steered clear. The ghost dad is kind of a jerk. His kid is only 11 years old and the dad expects the poor kid to kill his uncle. Kill him Phillip, Kill him Phillip, killlllll him!!!! I got a little tired of his harping. And the en...more
Paula
I read ‘The Dead Father’s Club’ when it was released in paperback in April 2007 and decided to have a reread.

Again with most of my rereads I enjoyed the book more second time around. The story is based loosely on ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare with the main character Philip Noble faced with his Dad’s ghost telling him that was not killed in a car accident but he was murdered by his brother and Philip’s Uncle, Alan who according to his Dad’s ghost tampered with the brakes of the car causing the...more
Rebekah
Suspenseful, psychological, and at times humorous, this neoclassic revival of Hamlet challenges readers to rethink the gravity of revenge. Eleven-year-old Philip Noble feels numb after his father dies in a car accident...or was it more than an accident? His father's ghost claims that Uncle Alan tampered with the car and begs Philip to avenge his death. Told through the words of a deeply confused, pre-adolescent boy, this book reads almost like a stream of consciousness. Although other reviews cr...more
Rebecca Grace
Ugh. This book was terribly depressing, but I suppose it was clever. I'm mad at whichever reviewer suggested this as a book that "both adults and older children" would enjoy, because I started reading it with my 12-year-old son and was unpleasantly surprised to run smack into a chapter where the main character, a young boy, is listening to his mom having sex with Uncle Al. Umm-hmm. And I had selected this book to read with my son because we had really enjoyed some of Matt Haig's other books, whi...more
Andrew
I'm very ambivalent about this book. First and foremost, I must confess that I never would have gotten past page 25 or so if I weren't reading it for a book club. The author is writing from the point of view of an 11 year old boy, and in order to increase verisimilitude, or something like that, he utilized the old Faulkner trick of throwing out conventions of grammar. Specifically, there are no quote marks or apostrophes, and quite a few things are misspelled or badly constructed or whatever. I...more
Esti
Baca ini setelah sebelumnya baca Ghostgirl The Homecoming.
Terus terang awalnya agak skeptis. Aku mengira ini kisah-kisah hantu biasa, Tetapi ternyata The Dead Fathers Club ini mengangkat tema psikologis serius.
Ceritanya tentang Phillips, 11 tahun, yang ayahnya tewas karena kecelakaan mobil.
Tak lama setelah ayahnya tewas, Phillip merasa dikunjungi sang ayah yang mengatakan bahwa dia dibunuh oleh Paman Alan, adiknya sendiri.
Hantu Ayah meminta dendamnya dibalaskan. Namun Phillip bingung, karena pa...more
Christina Frey
Eleven-year-old Philip's father is dead, but not gone.

It's just after the funeral when Philip sees his dad for the first time after the accident. Dad--or Dad's Ghost, rather--begs Philip to avenge his death and send him to the peaceful afterlife. How? By telling him to kill his Uncle Alan, who Dad's Ghost insists staged the accident and who clearly has designs on both Philip's mother and the family business. Channeling shades of Hamlet, this unique and entertaining story will keep the reader won...more
Stephen Ziegler
.
For humor's sake, I was almost tempted to write a review with the apostrophes removed.

I hope it doesn’t spoil the story for anyone to point out it is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This fact seems to be widely known, and it was my reason for reading it. The book is required reading for 7th Grade students in my school who are studying the famous play, and experimenting with retellings. It is a fine piece of literature, although I had some problems with it.

For one, it seemed to take forever...more
Melissa
Great modern Hamlet adaptation, Philip's struggle with his father's death is much like the original Hamlet by Shakespeare. From the very beginning you are wrapped up in did the uncle really kill Philip's father, is Philip really crazy? This book treads a wonderful line, keeping you on your toes guessing as to whether Philip will listen to his father's ghost. Whether you loved the original Hamlet, were confused by it, or just tolerated it for class, you will love this story! It will keep you turn...more
Janice
the lack of questioning by most of the characters in this book really disturbed me, especially when you consider that this retelling of hamlet made the hamlet character 11 years old. that said, i really liked the character of phillip and thought he had a really strong voice, especially since the lack of correct grammar and punctuation accurately mimicked the excited speech of childhood. comparisons of this book with "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" seem strange to me -- the bo...more
Donald
Sometimes, when reading a book (or in this case, listening to it), it takes a bit to get into it. Each book has its own unique rhythm; it has its own marching order. For some inexplicable reason, I just didn't like this one at first. I stuck it out as I usually do and in this case found the story to be a good one.

This one is told in the voice of an eleven year old boy who has just lost his dad in an auto accident. His dad comes back to tell him that his Uncle Alan set it up to look like an accid...more
Melanie
The title intrigued me because my father is dead, so I was excited to read this for my book club. Phillip's Ghost Dad believes that his brother killed him and to have piece revenge is necessary. Since 11 year old Phillip is the only one who can see him he must be the one to do it. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone interested so I'm not going to go into any more detail.

I know that this is suppose to be a take from Hamlet. But do we really need to "remake" classics? I have not read Hamlet...more
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76360
Matt Haig was born in Sheffield, England in1975. He writes books for both adults and children, often blending the worlds of domestic reality and outright fantasy, with a quirky twist. His bestselling novels are translated into 28 languages. The Guardian has described his writing as 'delightfully weird' and the New York Times has called him 'a novelist of great talent' whose writing is 'funny, rive...more
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