The Radleys by Matt Haig - BLOG TOUR/BOOK REVIEW/GIVEAWAY - {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}

1/06/2011 07:46:00 AM

The Radleys by Matt Haig

Title:  The Radleys
Author:  Matt Haig
Publisher:  Free Press, a division of Simon and Schuster
Publish Date:  December 28, 2010
Hardcover, 384 pages
ISBN 10:   1439194017
ISBN 13:  9781439194010

Goodreads description:

Just about everyone knows a family like the Radleys. Many of us grew up next door to one. They are a modern family, averagely content, averagely dysfunctional, living in a staid and quiet suburban English town. Peter is an overworked doctor whose wife, Helen, has become increasingly remote and uncommunicative. Rowan, their teenage son, is being bullied at school, and their anemic daughter, Clara, has recently become a vegan. They are typical, that is, save for one devastating exception: Peter and Helen are vampires and have—for seventeen years—been abstaining by choice from a life of chasing blood in the hope that their children could live normal lives. 

One night, Clara finds herself driven to commit a shocking—and disturbingly satisfying—act of violence, and her parents are forced to explain their history of shadows and lies. A police investigation is launched that uncovers a richness of vampire history heretofore unknown to the general public. And when the malevolent and alluring Uncle Will, a practicing vampire, arrives to throw the police off Clara’s trail, he winds up throwing the whole house into temptation and turmoil and unleashing a host of dark secrets that threaten the Radleys’ marriage.

The Radleys is a moving, thrilling, and radiant domestic novel that explores with daring the lengths a parent will go to protect a child, what it costs you to deny your identity, the undeniable appeal of sin, and the everlasting, iridescent bonds of family love. Read it and ask what we grow into when we grow up, and what we gain—and lose—when we deny our appetites.


My Take: 

The Radleys - Helen, your typical, stay-at-home suburban wife; Dr. Peter Radley, a general practitioner;  Rowan, 17-years-old, pale and poetic; and Clara, 15-years-old, newly vegan and feeling a lot of ill effects from it.  They all live at 17 Orchard Lane in Bishopthorpe.

Clara loves animals and hates the fact that they all run away from her.  She has switched to a vegan diet in an effort to make animals like her better.  Her best (and only) friend is Eve Copeland, the new girl at school.   Eve's father is Jared Copeland, a former CID officer whose wife went missing.  After spending time in a mental institution, he was stripped of his duties and now works as a garbage collector for the town of Bishopthorpe.

Rowan is teased and bullied unmercifully by the "mean boys" in his school -  his neighbor at 19 Orchard Lane, Toby Felt, and Toby's friend Stuart Harper (Harper).  He has a mad crush on Eve, his sister's friend, but is far too shy and insecure to do anything about it.

All of the Radleys must wear SPF 60 in order to go outside, and are allergic to garlic.  The elder Radleys have more than their fair share of aches and pains, and Rowan in particular suffers from a skin rash that worsens with exposure to sunlight.

One evening, Clara, having left early from a party because she was not feeling well, is walking home when she is attacked.  Before the attacker can overpower her, he's laying on the ground and Clara is covered in blood.  She telephones her parents, who are entertaining Lorna and Mark Felt, the next-door-neighbors.  As her parents rush to her in their car, in spite of Helen's protestations, Peter calls someone - his brother, Will Radley, for help.

Helen and Peter have been keeping a secret from their neighbors and their own children - they are all vampires.  In an effort to give the children a normal life and not cross moral lines, they have been living by the code of "The Abstainer's Handbook".  As more secrets come to life, the children try to deal with their new reality, and with the arrival of Will, Helen has a deeper secret to hide.

This is a darkly humorous look into the life of a normal suburban family who happen to be vampires.  The family dynamics play out well, and the interactions between the siblings, the temptations of the parents, and teenage social life will keep you turning the pages.  The insights into famous vampires (Jimi Hendrix, and the poet Byron among others), will make you think, "Hey!  It could happen!"  You will find your fair share of intrigue and suspicion, and you will find yourself rooting for "the bad guys" in this one.  Definitely one to put on your shelves.

QUOTES

"We promised lots of things.  But that was before our daughter went Bela Lugosi on a boy at some party in the middle of nowhere.  I don't know why you even let her go in the first place."

Then, once the wall is bare, she has fun in the mirror, transforming herself, watching her canine teeth lengthen and sharpen.
Dracula.
Not Dracula.
Dracula.
Not Dracula.
Dracula.

But Peter and Helen were completely besotted with each other. They were so happy, and Will couldn't stand to be anywhere near that happiness.  Not without planning to destroy it.

BOOK RATING: 4.0 out of 5 stars








If you are unable to view embedded video, the trailer can be seen at this link.

Browse Inside the Book


Visit the Book's Website (very cool site!)

OTHER REVIEWS:

Bibliofreak



BUY IT:  At Amazon, through the publisher's website, and through other on-and-off-line booksellers.

WIN IT:  Thanks to Meredith at Free Press, I was sent a hardcover copy of this title to give away to one of my readers!  I am making the giveaway international (if it costs more to ship it to you than it costs for me to send it from The Book Depository, I will order a copy for you from there and have it shipped.)

MANDATORY ENTRY:  Visit The Abstainer's Handbook (you'll like it!) and tell me something about it (a location and it's relevance, a recipe, a rule, a chapter and it's heading) - Try not to copy anyone else's answer!

EXTRA ENTRIES:

Follow Helen Radley, Rowan Radley,  or Simon and Schuster via Twitter (one entry/comment per follow; if you already follow, leave an entry stating so)

Follow Knitting and Sundries via GFC (left sidebar), follow via Twitter, subscribe via RSS, subscribe via email, enter another giveaway that is current. (1 entry/comment per method per giveaway) 
Current subscribers/followers receive 2 entries - please leave 2 comments

Include the name or email address you follow or subscribe under


Spread the word!:

Tweet (maximum of ONCE daily - include @jewelknits and @simonschuster in the tweet. To make it easy, you can use the "Share" button at the bottom of this post!  - or -  you can cut and paste the following:

The Radleys by Matt Haig - Internat'l through 1/20/2011 http://t.co/CJRjUrR via @AddThis @simonschuster #bookreview #giveaway @jewelknits

ALL ENTRIES:  Please leave your email address in all comments like this:  knittingandsundries(at)gmail(dot)com or even knittingandsundriesATgmailDOTcom (this discourages spammers).  If I can't reach you, you can't win!

ELIGIBILITY:  Open Internationally

End Date:
Thursday, January 20, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST


Disclosure:  I  received a  complimentary copy of this title from Free Press to facilitate my review.  No other compensation was received and I was not required to post a positive review.  I am an Amazon affiliate; as such, any purchases through Amazon links from this site may result in a small stipend.
Julie

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143 comments

  1. I like the blood pudding recipe. I have always wondered what it would taste like.
    twoofakind12 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a email subscriber.
    twoofakind12 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am a gfc follower.
    debbie
    twoofakind12 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the quote about Florence, Italy..."Everything about Florence seems coloured with a mild violet" wrote Henry James "like diluted wine." Or blood. And worst time to cisit is August -- when honeymooners make such easy prey. lol

    BellaMarie(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a GFC follower - Marie Kacerosky

    BellaMarie(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I follow the Radleys on twitter - BellaMarie5

    BellaMarie(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I follow you on twitter - knitting & sundries aka @jewelknits - BellaMarie5

    BellaMarie(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I tweeted your contest

    http://twitter.com/#!/BellaMarie5/status/23076545480359936


    BellaMarie(at)tampabay(dot)rr(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm a GFC follower (for some time now!). Judith (Leeswammes)

    jh303015ATgmailDOTcom

    I noticed that the writer lives in York, England. I lived there for a while - I don't remember Matt, though! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Another comment since I'm an old follower.

    Judith (Leeswammes)

    jh303015ATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  11. It says Manchester, UK has a population of 8600 vampires O_O!

    headlessfowl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm following on GFC as 'headlessfowl'.

    headlessfowl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm following Simon and Schuster on twitter @headlessfowl.

    headlessfowl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm following you on twitter @headlessfowl

    headlessfowl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mandatory Entry:
    In the Abstainers Handbook, Chapter 1, I liked where it referred to appropriate clothing and suggested wearing turtlenecks to keep fellow abstainers that you live with from being tempted by your neck.
    blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. longtime followr of @jewelknits on Twitter
    blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com
    entry #1

    ReplyDelete
  17. longtime follower of @jewelknits on Twitter
    blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com
    entry #2

    ReplyDelete
  18. longtime follower via GFC (Carole Spring)blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com
    entry #1

    ReplyDelete
  19. longtime follower via GFC (Carole Spring)blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com
    entry #2

    ReplyDelete
  20. longtime email subscriber: blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com
    entry #1

    ReplyDelete
  21. longtime email subscriber: blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com
    entry #2

    ReplyDelete
  22. Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/cspring31971/status/23297738040938497
    blondie_31971(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  23. Synthetic clothes are the best thing to wear, but if you get sun rashes, stick to cotton underwear.

    natalie23{at}hotmail[dot}co[dot]uk

    ReplyDelete
  24. I follow on GFC as natalie23

    natalie23{at}hotmail[dot}co[dot]uk

    ReplyDelete
  25. I follow on GFC as natalie23

    natalie23{at}hotmail[dot}co[dot]uk

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hahaha, I visited the website and took the quiz, discovering I'm probably not a Radley! It is a great website!

    Thanks for adding your book giveaway to the B-Y-G-B linky list so I could find it and enter to win!

    ruthcox at abitosunshine dot net

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm one of your GFC Followers!

    ruthcox at abitosunshine dot net

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've been a GFC follower for some time now!

    ruthcox at abitosunshine dot net

    ReplyDelete
  29. i learned that a key to staying safe is to layer your clothes. :-)

    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  30. i follow via gfc

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. i follow you on twitter - shootingstarmag


    lauren51990 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like commandment number 3 - Get a job. LOL! So much like a human.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Following Helen on Twitter @tessaa99

    ReplyDelete
  34. Following Rowan on Twitter @tessaa99

    ReplyDelete
  35. Following Simon and Schuster on Twitter @tessaa99

    ReplyDelete
  36. Already a GFC follower 1

    ReplyDelete
  37. Already a GFC follower 2

    ReplyDelete
  38. Following on Twitter @tessaa99

    ReplyDelete
  39. Subscribed via email

    ReplyDelete
  40. Tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/tessaa99/status/23823744271130624

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I can't believe they have a recipe for Czarnina, Polish Duck Soup...only they use goose blood.
    I grew up with this soup, my Mom called it chocolate soup and it was delicious.
    Luv to read this book, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  42. current GFC follower with katklaw777. #1

    ReplyDelete
  43. current GFC follower with katklaw777. #2

    ReplyDelete
  44. I think it' s rather hilarious that Wuthering Heights is listed as a book to avoid reading and Gone With The Wind is a film to avoid watching!

    sarah.setar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. I am a current GFC follower (Identity Seeker)

    sarah.setar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am a current e-mail subscriber

    sarah.setar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  47. I am a Twitter follower (@SweetNSensible)

    sarah.setar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  48. I am a Twitter follower of Helen Radley (@SweetNSensible)

    sarah.setar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. I am a Twitter Follower of Rowan Radley (@SweetNSensible)

    sarah.setar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I am a Simon and Schuster Twitter follower (@SweetNSensible)

    sarah.setar@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Donatello and Botticelli were forebears?! O_o! eheh! awesome!
    Thank you for this chance!

    aseregna[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  52. I've tweeted
    www.twitter.com/#a_seregna

    ReplyDelete
  53. I'm Following Knitting and Sundries via GFC (serena)
    aseregna[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I'm following Helen Radley on twitter (a_seregna)
    aseregna[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  55. I've entered the New Year's Reading Resolutions Challenge - giveaway!
    (and I forgot to specify my email adress :|)
    aseregna[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I like the clothing notes for abstainers. Layer your clothes, go synthetic, wear Polo-necks, & dress conventionally.
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  57. Follow Simon & Schuster on Twitter:minibea
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  58. GFC follower
    #1
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  59. GFC follower
    #2
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  60. e-mail subscriber
    #1
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  61. e-mail subscriber
    #2
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  62. Follow you via twitter:minibea
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  63. Tweeted
    http://twitter.com/#!/minibea/status/24374849765904384
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Rss feed subscriber
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  65. I learned that there's a bloody secret at 17 Orchard Lane...

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  66. Follow Helen Radley via Twitter @aikchien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  67. Follow Rowan Radley via Twitter @aikchien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  68. Follow Simon and Schuster via Twitter @aikchien

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  69. Follow Knitting and Sundries via GFC

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  70. Follow Knitting and Sundries via Twitter

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  71. Current blog follower

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  72. Current Twitter follower

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  73. I thought it was kind of funny that it says in the guide to lovemaking, "Do not play music by practising blood-suckers. If music must be played, make it Vivaldi. Or soft rock, such as Bon Jovi."
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  74. I follow Helen Radley on Twitter (@Melanie_2006)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  75. I follow Rowan Radley on Twitter. (@Melanie_2006)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  76. I follow Simon and Schuster on Twitter. (@Melanie_2006)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  77. I'm an old GFC follower - Melanie L (entry #1)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  78. I'm an old GFC follower - Melanie L (entry #2)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  79. Old email subscriber (entry #1)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  80. old email subscriber (entry #2)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  81. old Twitter follower - @Melanie_2006 (entry #1)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  82. old Twitter follower - @Melanie_2006 (entry #2)
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  83. Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/#!/Melanie_2006/status/24670161994776576

    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  84. I subscribe to the RSS in Google Reader.
    peacelily_2006(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  85. My internet connection is not that good. But I still can the cover The Abstainer's Handbook and the words inside. I love the mantra.

    aleethaDOTallyATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  86. I follow your tweet (@aleetha)
    aleethaDOTallyATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  87. I subscribe via RSS
    aleethaDOTallyATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  88. I subscribe via email
    aleethaDOTallyATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  89. I tweet
    http://mobile.twitter.com/aleetha/status/25269997529993216

    ReplyDelete
  90. I tweet
    http://mobile.twitter.com/aleetha/status/25269997529993216

    aleethaDOTallyATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  91. Omg this book sounds fantastic if I don't win I have to buy or borrow from library. I loved the Films to avoid watching from Chapter 4
    Young Guns 2 : Blaze of glory lol and dont read Danielle Stelles Wonderlust too funny.
    frellathon(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  92. I like Chapter 7 - The Abstainer's Commandments
    It's interesting! :)

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  93. @joannej1982 follow Helen Radley on twitter

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  94. @joannej1982 follow Rowan Radley on twitter

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  95. @joannej1982 follow Simon and Schuster on twitter

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  96. I follow Knitting and Sundries via GFC as joanne.j

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  97. I follow Knitting and Sundries via GFC as joanne.j #2

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  98. @joannej1982 follow you on twitter

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  99. @joannej1982 follow you on twitter #2

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  100. I subscribed via RSS

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  101. I subscribed via RSS #2

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  102. I subscribed via email using this same email address

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  103. I subscribed via email using this same email address #2

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  104. Tweet http://twitter.com/joannej1982/status/26710653884440577

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  105. Tweet http://twitter.com/joannej1982/status/26710653884440577

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  106. Tweet http://twitter.com/joannej1982/status/26934061888962560

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  107. Tweet http://twitter.com/joannej1982/status/27279849001320448

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  108. I like Chapter 7, The Abstainer's Commandments - especially DO NOT DWELL ON THE PLEASURE YOU ONCE KNEW!

    TaraTagli at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  109. I scored 27% on the "Could You Be a Hadley" quiz on the website. Guess not!

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  110. I follow helen radley on Twitter!

    @Taralin

    TaraTagli at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  111. Follow Helen Radley on Twitter

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  112. I follow rowan radley on Twitter!

    @Taralin

    TaraTagli at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  113. I follow simon and schuster on Twitter!

    @Taralin

    TaraTagli at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  114. I follow you publicly on Google Friend Connect

    TaraTagli at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  115. I follow you on Twitter!

    @Taralin

    TaraTagli at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  116. Follow Rowan Radley on Twitter

    nfmgirl AT gmail DoT com

    ReplyDelete
  117. http://twitter.com/TaraLin/status/27529360156131329

    tweeted!

    ReplyDelete
  118. I follow Simon and Schuster on Twitter

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  119. I already follow via GFC

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  120. I already follow via GFC #2

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  121. I subscribe via RSS

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  122. I subscribe via RSS

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    #2

    ReplyDelete
  123. I already subscribe via email

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  124. I already subscribe via email

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    #2

    ReplyDelete
  125. I follow via Twitter: @nfmgirl

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  126. Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/#!/nfmgirl/status/27530696104873985

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  127. Tweet http://twitter.com/joannej1982/status/27657747470221312

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  128. http://twitter.com/TaraLin/status/27795713232474112

    daily tweet!

    TaraTagli at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  129. I like the blood pudding recipe!

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  130. Follow Helen Radley on twitter - @yeahww

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  131. Follow Rowan Radley on twitter - @yeahww

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  132. Follow Simon and Schuster on twitter - @yeahww luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  133. Follow Knitting and Sundries via GFC

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  134. Follow Knitting and Sundries via GFC 2

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  135. Follow u via Twitter

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  136. Follow u via Twitter 2

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  137. subscribe via RSS

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  138. subscribe via RSS 2

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  139. subscribe via Email

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  140. subscribe via Email 2

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  141. I tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/yeahww/status/27983747244630016

    luvwendy87 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  142. Tweet http://twitter.com/joannej1982/status/28001572290039808

    joanne.j at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  143. You obviously really enjoyed The Radleys! I have to admit I was not quite as positive (http://tinyurl.com/3veqxet). I look forward to the movie coming out, sounds like they have some good people working on that already.

    ReplyDelete

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