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The Radleys

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  10,269 Ratings  ·  1,543 Reviews
Meet the Radleys

Peter, Helen and their teenage children, Clara and Rowan, live in an English town. They are an everyday family, averagely dysfunctional, averagely content. But as their children have yet to find out, the Radleys have a devastating secret

From one of Britain’s finest young novelists comes a razor-sharp unpicking of adulthood and family life. In this moving, t
Paperback, 337 pages
Published July 5th 2010 by Walker Canongate (first published July 1st 2010)
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Holly Hell, yes. Addictively delicious. Unlike Twilight, it doesn't make me hate any of the main characters (are they protagonists or anti-heroes? does it…moreHell, yes. Addictively delicious. Unlike Twilight, it doesn't make me hate any of the main characters (are they protagonists or anti-heroes? does it matter?).(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kirsten Herman Rowan is Helen and Will's child. Clara is Peter and Clara's child.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I was looking for a scary vampire story. You’re probably thinking, “duh, Salem’s Lot, you idiot!” Well smartypantses, that was my first choice too . . . and then “The Cloud” ate it.

Commercial Photography

Whoever decided we should put our faith in clouds anyway? They aren’t very stable.

Anywho, since the geniuses at Amazon (all hail Amazon!) couldn’t solve my problem all lickity splitty like I demanded (don’t they know who I am? I have fives of followers wh
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books
Matt Haig is turning into my newest favourite author! I especially love that he is English and that one of the major scenes takes place in a cinema in Thirsk. I always like it when I can say "Been there"! I did not meet any vampires though. Not that I know of anyway.

I thought this was a very amusing book with a slightly different take on the vampire life style. I enjoyed our insights into the Radley family and their attempts to live a life without drinking blood. Some of the quotes from The Abst
Nov 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Το βιβλίο Ράντλεϋ δεν είναι ένα συνηθισμένο βιβλίο φαντασίας. Ο Haig εχει βάλει τους ήρωες του, μια οικογένεια βαμπίρ που προσπαθούν να γίνουν οι τέλειοι συνηθισμένοι συμβατικοί άνθρωποι, να ζουν στο τέλειο μικροαστικό περιβάλλον, ή τουλάχιστον να προσπαθούν να ζήσουν. Το ενδιαφέρον φυσικά είναι ότι όταν διάβαζα αυτό το βιβλίο, δεν είδα τους Ράντλεϋ ως βαμπίρ, αντιθέτως τους είδα σαν όλους εμάς…. Και με έπιασε μια μικρή θλίψη. Είναι γεγονός πως ο συγγραφέας δημιούργησε μια σάτιρα, κατά όλων αυτώ ...more
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,
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
"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
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
Mar 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I can control myself. Look, for God’s sake. Look at everyone. Everyone represses everything. Do you think any of these ‘normal’ human beings really do exactly what they want to do all the time? ‘Course not. It’s just the same. We’re middle-class and we’re British. Repression is in our veins.”

The Radleys is the third adult novel by British author, Matt Haig. Another novel featuring abstaining teenaged vampires? Well, yes, but this is Matt Haig’s creation, set in a North Yorkshire village: a worl
Susan (aka Just My Op)
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,
This book is a library book. Little note to myself there incase I go looking for it on my bookshelves and can't find it at a later date.

Loved it. It is not your typical book about vampires. The ending was a bit of a surprise.
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
You've got your suffocating suburbs with white picket fences and book clubs, and you've got your average blood-sucking family. Boom. (bnr. More of a worrying sizzle with a smell of burning flesh.)

Nice exploration of the issue (you can clearly see the issue, can't you?), but I could have done with some more in depth character development wrt the kids (who, as always, become overdramatic, simple-minded cardboard slabs when in the hands of a non-YA literary fiction writer) and Peter and less dillyd
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Radleys are a normal suburban family with the typical problems such families have in novels: the parents live meaningless and boring lives and feel trapped and stifled by their marriage but don't have the courage to do anything about it, while their teenagers are disaffected and self-absorbed. They're also vampires, which I thought would add excitement and interest. 174 pages in, and this hope was not met. Instead it was page after page of characters' boring internal workings as they wish fo ...more
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Radleys is an enjoyable comedy about a family of vampires who tried hard to deny and hide their nature, but as their two children coming of age, keeping those kids ignorant is an impossible thing to do and the parents' denial and lies are backing fire...with a bloody, messy result. I enjoy the book, but I don't really like how in the end the blame has been put entirely on the 'evil, selfish vampires' and the supposedly 'good, conforming' vampires get off the hook without much soul-searching ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read many vampire novels (excluding the teen ones) that I felt I could not do anymore. However the Radleys renewed my faith that an original one could still be written. I usually shudder at pop culture references but this was so good I didn't even mind them.
Maria Hill AKA MH Books
It's tough being a repressed middle-class British vampire. Review to follow soon I hope.
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Ναι ωραία οι Ράντλευ βρήκαν το νόημα της ζωής όλα ωραία και καλά ζουν τώρα ακολουθώντας τους στίχους του τραγουδιού ''Σε όποιον αρέσουμε για τους άλλους δεν θα μπορέσουμε'' αλλά με την μάνα αυτού του παιδιού που κατασπάραξε η μικρή κορούλα των Ράντλευ τί ακριβώς έγινε;;; Τί συνέβη με αυτήν την οικογένεια;; Ο γιόκας της δεν ήταν κανένας άγιος και για αυτό που πήγε να κάνει ήθελε κρέμασμα αλλά μια μάνα έχασε το παιδί της. Τί της είπαν;; Θα μείνει για πάντα εξαφανισμένο και μια ζωή θα βασανίζεται
Chance Lee
Aug 09, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.

Astrid Langeveld
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ik was erg benieuwd! Het is gelukkig geen afgezaagd verhaal over vampieren. Het leest heerlijk weg!
Darren Hartwell
Jul 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, vampires
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
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the outside, the Radleys are a normal middle-class family. Parents Peter and Helen struggle with their marriage that has started to taste like cardboard, and their children Rowan and Clara struggle with teenage problems in a small town community. The kind of small town I personally have experience from: growing older, you start to escape from it in different ways, until you realize buses and internet connections are in danger of diluting your life into a half existence. You can never come and ...more
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (
Sep 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, own, reviewed
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
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
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy 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
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Vampires 4 34 Nov 28, 2016 09:55AM  
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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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