Just another book/blog post about vampires.

April 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I just finished The Radleys by UK author Matt Haig.

*Side note:  Why is it every single time I pick up a book and I enjoy it, it turns out to be written by a European, usually a Brit?

Anyway, yes, this book is about vampires.  But what I like about it so much is that it’s not about vampires.  It’s about identity.

See, these vampires are really abstainers, meaning they don’t hunt or kill (obviously) and they don’t even drink blood.  And the parents, of course, know that they are vamps but they’ve chosen not to tell their kids what they are.  Until something terrible goes awry and they have to.

I read a lot of reviews on how Haig uses the book to talk about what normalcy really is and how it’s defined and such, because the Radleys do their hardest to be “normal” and not attract any attention.  But I think what’s so unusual about this book is not how they try to act normal, but the fact that they choose to abstain.  They choose to deny their very self, the essence of who they are.

It’s like, I’m in love with books and writing, but what if I chose never to ever act upon it.  In fact, what if I chose to not even seem as if I knew anything out of the ordinary about books or how to write or such.  What kind of person would I be?  What kind of person would you be if you ignored the very essence that defines you?

That’s what this book is about.  It’s about a family, like all families, that has their fair share of secrets.  It’s about how this family tries to decide how to balance these secrets with the life they’ve created for themselves.  All told in a vignette-type of style.  It’s a world that you don’t have to know the rules in order to follow the storyline.  And it’s a world in which these vampires are real people, with real emotions and goals and dreams.  Vampires that you can identify with.

I could go on for ages about intricacies and details and Haig’s writing style.  But really, if you’re not into vampires, you’re not going to read it anyway.  If you are, then you might pick up a copy.

I suggest you pick up a copy.

* * * * *

In other news, I’m still writing.  I’m up to page 16, and it’s the most I’ve written in a long time.  Is it good?  Probably not.  At least, probably not yet.  But it will be!

I think this is the greatest thing about being a writer: knowing that what you’re writing is good, and will be better, even if no one will publish it/love it/read it.  But at least you know what you’ve got.


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