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The Radleys
Matt Haig

9781406330281 - resizedOstensibly about a family of vampires living in suburbia – which doesn’t sound a particularly interesting premise – it was more about a family in crisis, each member struggling in their own ways with life not going exactly as they might have liked; the frustration of living with desires that can’t be fulfilled, the need to appear to conform without losing your individual identity, troubles fitting in with neighbours/work/school, the lure and freedom of breaking the mould and the consequences of addiction. And lots of funny bits too.

Of course a lot of the actual vampire stuff was a bit hard to swallow – absolutely laughable when they all started flying through the air! I was fine about it up to that point, but my inner logician needed to know exactly how that was possible. A great deal of time and effort had until then been put into explaining how they could live in sunlight, sustain themselves by having a meat-heavy diet, how the merest drop of human blood could make them feel alive and full of fire with a new found intensity of sense. But the flying about was all a little ridiculous, and the killing off of the ‘bad’ vampire and the rescuing of the girlfriend by ‘turning’ her was all a little obvious. And all agreed that the ending was a bit of a cop out, where they all decided to have a weekly binge at a blood bar.

But the subtleties of family and relationships were extremely well drawn, and really involving.

Publication Information

Publisher: Walker Canongate
ISBN: 9781406330281

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