Tara Russell's Reviews > The Radleys

The Radleys by Matt Haig
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Oct 14, 11

bookshelves: fiction, reading-group
Read from October 11 to 14, 2011

I just can't make up my mind about this book. It gripped me, yes, but it also unsettled me. It wasn't the bleakly dysfunctional families, nor was it the sense of dullness that pervaded the lives of the unbloods, the non-vampires of the book but a certain distaste on my part for the descriptions of the vampire behaviour. There seemed to me to be a moral ambiguity about the actions and this ambiguity wasn't for me explored or resolved satisfactorily.

It's easy to read, broken up into short sections with multiple character viewpoints presented effectively, though I am not a fan of present tense narration in general. The Radley children were well crafted but uncle Will descended into caricature. It's a deft enough exploration of the internal stresses of family life and of presenting normalcy to the outside world but ultimately I think it lacked a depth of understanding of human feeling. Given that the central characters are vampires however what should I expect? A sense of revelation, of a different viewpoint revealing truths about the human condition? Possibly I was expecting far too much!

Part of my problem with the book is that I do have a fear of vampires and my emotion clouds my enjoyment of the story.

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