The Radleys
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The Radleys

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3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  5,009 ratings  ·  1,077 reviews
From critically acclaimed Matt Haig comes a hilarious novel that asks what we gain - and lose - as we grow up
Paperback, 341 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Canongate Books Ltd
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Cyna
The Radleys is not exactly a paranormal romance. Both the back of the book and the introductory letter (in our ARC) by Free Press Senior Editor Amber Qureshi call it a 'domestic drama', or as Amber says, more of an American Beauty than a Twilight. This is an accurate description (I think - I barely remember American Beauty), and exactly the reason I fell in love with The Radleys by the end of the first chapter.

The writing here is solid. It flows, it's quick, light, and - oh God you have no idea...more
Stephanie
Excellent little story of family secrets and what happens when a tightly woven lie begins to unravel.

In this story, Peter and Helen Radley have moved out to a pleasant village in the English country-side to raise their children, Rowan and Clara. They wanted to escape their wild life in London and live a quiet, ordinary life with their children and live a peaceful, normal life... Well, as normal a life as you can have, when you are an Abstainer, a "non-practicing" vampire.

Their quiet life takes a...more
Jackie
Yes, it's true. It IS another vampire book. But with some interesting new ideas about "abstaining" vampires (they don't drink blood anymore--just eat a whole lot of rare meat) and mixing in with society that keep it fun and fresh and the pages flying by. It's a British novel, so there are some interesting quirks there, as well. The basic premise is that two abstaining vampires--one a born vampire, one converted--have become your basic suburban couple with two teenagers--two vampire teenagers who...more
Jennifer
"Twilight" eat your heart out : )

In this immensely satisfying read Matt Haig presents us with the Radleys- a typical middle class English family that just happens to want to drink your blood. But like good Britons they are fighting against their baser instincts and leading an upstanding existence in a quaint country town. Having recently read Ian McEwan's "On Chesil Beach" the portrait of the, yet again, typically repressed Brits was especially on point.

But more than poking fun at the English s...more
SJ
Let's get one thing straight here, shall we? This isn't a book about vampires.

Okay, yes. It's a book which has vampire characters. I won't dispute that. But the book itself...that's not what it's about. Not the way I see it.

This is, instead, a book about family and relationships and love and how we love the people who hurt us, and hurt the people we love. It's a book about the blurry lines between our intrinsic nature and desires the way that we cope with those things. And it's about how you pla...more
Tressa
I thought I was tired of the vampire genre, but obviously not, not if the subject is treated as interestingly as in Matt Haig's The Radleys.

The Radleys is about a well-off suburban family living in England whose Bible is the Abstainer's Handbook. Helen and Peter have chosen to eschew blood so that they can live as a "normal" family. Their children, Clara and Rowan, are pale, anemic, and prone to skin irritations. They have no idea they're part of a vampire clan, until Clara is attacked one night...more
Susan
There are way too many vampire/zombie/living dead books available right now, but The Radleys presented itself to me as a fun book about a funny and warm family of reformed vampires, including a vegan. So I bit, pun intended. And I made it to about 150 pages before I gave up.

For me, this book was neither funny nor warm-hearted.

I've read some conflicting information - was this first published as a YA book and now there is an adult version? Or the opposite? The writing, especially in the beginning,...more
Megan
The Radleys is an amazing, quirky and thought provoking story. It features (what else?) the Radley family, struggling to live as normal a life as possible in small town England. Like every family, the Radleys have their skeletons in the closet; in this case they are all “abstaining” vampires. But this book is about so much more than vamps. It is about abstinence and gluttony and maintaining a healthy balance between what you desire and what you need. It is about self-confidence vs. insecurity a...more
Karen
I fear I am going to put off some readers when I say this is a book about vampires, but for those of you anti-vamp readers, give this novel a chance. Because this is also a novel about family relationships, love, and disappointment.

Our main characters are the Radleys, a family of vampires living a false life as "unbloods" in suburban Manchester. The parents are abstainers, those who have chosen not to murder and live off human blood, and they have taken pains to hide their "otherness" and meld (...more
Jessi
The Radleys is a different look at the young adult Vampire situation that today’s literature has going on. The Radleys are a mundane young couple with 2 teenage children living in a cute exceptionally boring village.
Helen Radley is the mum, she seems to only tolerate her husband, has a bit more patience for the children and little to no interest in the emotional sanity of her family. To be honest Helen seems a bit distracted.
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Peter Radley, the Dad and Doctor. He is sharp and useless and comes a...more
Lyndz
There was something about this book that bothered me and I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it until about halfway through it. I know I have read other books that have done this before but I can’t think of any off the top of my head.
Let me give you an example:

Chapter one ~ Sally
As I walked down the sidewalk on my way to work, I felt the cool crisp October air against my skin, so I adjusted my new scratchy green wool jacket up around my neck to protect me from the wind. Off to my right I see th
...more
Darren Hartwell
Over the last few years I have become infeasibly bored of vampires. Those blood-sucking garlic-phobes are everywhere and I rarely go out of my way to read a YA vampire story these days. For some reason though this one grabbed my attention. The cover is a triumph of graphic design and the synopsis made it sound a little different from the usual post-Twilight drivel that has been flooding the market, so I decided to give it a go, and so should you.

Before I go any further, a word of warning. This b...more
Eyehavenofilter
These neighbors, living just next door, are having the usual family angst. some aching for the past...
Peter, the dad, a family doctor is exhausted, just going through the motions,
Helen, the mom, is withdrawn and feels like she is alone,
Rowan, the son, cant stop scratching his rash, and is being bullied at school,
Clara, the daughter, has become a vegan ( or is it anorexia?) and has just defended herself against an attack,
lost control, and very gratifyingly ripped one of the bullies apart with...more
Elizabeth
Black comedy about abstaining vampires or blood addicts.
Clever, that.

The pokes at middle class life, a self-help guide, and teenage unpopularity? Spot-on.
The ne'er do well uncle? So fun.
And the moral ambiguity? Haig tries to explore it.

A witty read.
GO SUMMER.

Chance Lee
There is not enough time and too many books to read for me to finish this one. Dull, dull, dull. I haven't too many books that have received the Alex Award for an adult book that's also good for teens, and if this is any indication of what to expect, I doubt I will read anymore.

Here's what you get from The Radleys:
1. Juvenile adults acting like teenagers. It seems that the entirety of Peter and Helen Radley's problems have to do from their loveless marriage. Get a divorce or get some real proble...more
Martin Belcher
I picked this book up after seeing it being reviewed on the TV Book Club on The More 4 Channel in the UK. Normally I would shy away from vampire novels, but The Radleys intrigued me as it takes the vampire genre and adds what seems to be a “normal” family trying to live under cover in a village in North Yorkshire, England.

Peter and Helen Radley and their children, Clara and Rowan have moved to the North Yorkshire village of Bishopsthorpe, Peter is the local GP and tries to blend in with village...more
Lindsey
It’s no news flash that vampire fiction has been hot for the past few years. Just take a look at how flush author Stephenie Meyer is from her “Twilight” saga, and how successful Charlene Harris has become because of her Sookie Stackhouse series, which is the basis for the hit HBO series “True Blood.”
It makes sense that other writers are lunging for the vampire bandwagon. Earlier this year, ABC premiered a television show called “The Gates,” about an upscale, gated community that turns out to be...more
Sam
The Radleys are a stereotypical, suburban, middle class British family. They listen to radio four, attend book clubs, discuss golf during dinner parties with their equally middle class neighbours and make lunch the evening before going to work. But they have some oddities - they can't go out in the sun without sunblock, a vegetarian diet makes them ill and son Rowan keeps getting a funny skin rash ...

This darkly humorous book from Matt Haig is a new take on vampire novels. There's no romance, ab...more
Helen
A very new and imaginative take on the vampire mythos, though the vampirism is arguably incidental to the main themes of the novel.
'The Radleys' is primarily about family relationships, bringing up children (though in this case dealing with the usual teen angst AND trying to prevent them nibbling necks) trying to do the right thing and sticking together as a family.
The Radleys are essentially decent people (despite the blood-lust, obviously), parents Helen and Peter trying to live as abstainers...more
Jenn
Won this book in the First Reads section. Looking forward to getting it and reading it. 09/06/11
Never recieved this book in the mail... BOO FIRST READS GIVEAWAYS! 10/17/11

Well I happened to be at the library and I noticed that this book was in. I went ahead and checked it out, even though it kind of left a sour taste in my mouth that I never recieved it nor had I heard word back from the email I sent on not recieving it either. But it's not the author's fault. At least I think.

I liked how this o...more
Heather Noble
Teenagers can be difficult: especially so when they're not in on the family secret that they are vampires. The parents have lived their lives and protected the children from the truth by living the rules of The Abstainers' Handbook which is frequently quoted.
However, it contains no advice on what to do when your repressed unknowing vampire teenage daughter becomes a vegan. The story really kicks off when Clare is assaulted by a drunken boy at a party and her vampire instincts do what comes natu...more
Christine
I received this book as a Goodreads giveaway. The Radleys is not your usual vampire love story, far from the usual paranormal romance that is so popular right now. Its the story of a family of vampires who abstain from drinking blood and try to live normal lives. Most of the book is humorous but there are some underlying issues that make it meatier than most of this genre. It comes down to being able to see what is really important in life whether you are a vampire or not. Its about learning to...more
Jillian
Overall, I did enjoy this book. It was an easy read, with some interesting and fresh perspective on the "vampire theme" we all love to read about. That being said, I found it slightly disappointing. After reading the description I expected something like "The Gates" tv show, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However, the book fell a bit short on the excitement and the captivation from the story line. Although the set-up of the book (with short chapters that span moments throughout a few days)is intere...more
Anne
4.5 stars. The Radleys is an awesome story if you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary. Which I was.
The plot is pretty crazy in the way that only something in a suburbanish setting can be. Think, American Beauty, but with fangs. Cute, huh?
It's about the lies that you tell your spouse, the lies that you tell your kids, and the lies that you tell yourself. Mostly, though, it's about the consequences of repressing yourself just to fit in. I mean, there's got to be a happy medium,...more
Smitha
A book I picked up with no expectations at all, during my lunch time library run.

It was shelved in the 'Book Club' picks and those have always appealed to me. So I picked it up, and forgot all about it, until I saw it on my book shelf and decided to give it a go. Reading the extract at the back, I was rather disappointed to see that it was all about vampires. Not something that hugely appealed to me. I don't read that sort of stuff, you know. The closest I came to them was a movie of that hugel...more
Kathryn
Am SO glad I joined our WI book group! I might never have come across this otherwise and if someone had told me the genre I probably wouldn't have picked it up, but I would have missed a treat! Loved it. Polished it off in 3 days (the 4 kids have had to feed themselves!!) Superb.
Ken
The Radleys are a pretty average middle class, British family. Except...they are vampires...and they forgot to tell their kids...and they also forgot to mention the rogue vampire that is their uncle. And then the problems start.

A pretty decent book. No sparkly vampires!

4 STARS
Nancy Yamaguchi
Fun addition to the vampires-among-us genre. The Radleys are a family of abstaining vampires who do not drink blood. They even have an "Abstainers Handbook." But it is a repressive lifestyle and they are not thriving. The daughter just tried to go Vegan--trouble is coming.
Crystal
A fascinating look at the family life of vampires. The Radleys is about a family where the parents are abstaining vampires who have chosen their life and also chosen not to tell their children they are vampires. The children are teenagers who barely fit in at school and both can't figure out why they are so different from others. Because of the treatment at school, the brother and sister are close and I liked that aspect. Recently a new girl has moved to town and has befriended Clara and Rowan,...more
Cassie
First I would like to thank Goodreads, First Reads, for giving me the chance to win this free book! I’m going to start by saying what I liked about The Radleys, by Matt Haig. This story is a domestic vampire novel, and the most unique vampire book I have read to date! The family has its own funny quirks, like a vegan daughter and geeky son that both get ridiculed at school. Come on, Vegan vampires…That’s Funny :)! The parents are struggling in their marriage and this stems from the whole family’...more
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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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“Vampire? Such a provocative word, wrapped in too many clichés and girly novels.” 22 likes
“You reach a certain age -- sometimes it's fifteen, sometimes it's forty-six -- and you realize the cliche you have adopted for yourself isn't working.” 7 likes
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