“If blood is the answer, you are asking the wrong question.”
The Radleys are just another family in Bishopthorpe: Clara, the vegetarian teenager who doesn’t understand why animals flee from her; Rowan, besotted with the girl a few streets over, whose dad really doesn’t like the Radleys; and Ma and Pa Radley – stuck in standard stereotypical middle-class marital strife. Only problem: they’re vampiric abstainers, trying to live a human life and avoiding blood consumption.
I really wanted to enjoy The Radleys, Matt Haig’s gentle satire of the vampire craze that has swept the literary world. Maybe my lack of prior offences with vampire books was the reason for my lukewarm reaction; often a parody is only funny if you are familiar with the object of the humour (is this why I didn’t like Northanger Abbey?).
Also – there was a whole lot of blood. This might be standard for vampire novels, and I’m no stranger to gory crime scenes from my steady thriller diet, but somehow this was far too graphic.
Haig has a really clever idea here and I’m sure that those more familiar with the vampiric genre would derive great enjoyment from the subtle and unsubtle snarks that Haig drops all over the place, but it just wasn’t for me.