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The Dead Fathers Club Hardcover – February 1, 2007
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The solution to this problem, according to Philip's dad, is that he must kill Uncle Alan. If he doesn't do it before Dad's next birthday, 11 weeks away, Dad will be consigned to the Terrors for all eternity. Philip agrees, in principle, but killing someone, especially without getting caught, isn't easy. But a promise is a promise, so Philip gives it a whirl, in fact, several whirls. Real life interferes in the persons of two school bullies, truly nasty and perverse thugs, who seem ready to kill Philip because they think it's funny that his father died. Philip also falls in love, and his Ophelia (named Leah) thinks that shoplifting is tons of fun. Poor Philip is in over his head in every way possible. There are many encounters with other Dead Fathers in a great sendup of ghostly dealings, Hamlet-like, on the moors, and several sly references to the play. There is even a character named Dane. The ending is not pure Shakespeare, but it is pure Haig and that is very good indeed. --Valerie Ryan
From Publishers Weekly
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- Publisher : Viking Adult; 1st Us Edition (February 1, 2007)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0670038334
- ISBN-13 : 978-0670038336
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Item Weight : 1.1 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.78 x 1.21 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,168,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The author does a fantastic job of getting and keeping you in a troubled eleven year old boy's head, which can't be an easy feat! So that you get a feel for the narrative, here is how the first chapter begins:
The First Time I Saw Dad After He Died
I walked down the hall and pushed the door and went int the smoke and all the voices went quiet like I was a ghost.
Carla the Barmaid was wearing her hoop earrings and her tired eyes. She was pouring a pint and she smile at me and she was going to say something but the beer spilt over the top.
Uncle Alan who is Dads brother was there wearing his suit that was tight with his neck pouring over like the beer over the glass. His big hands still had the black on them from mending cars at the garage. They were over Mums hands and Mums head was low like it was sad and Uncle Alans head kept going down and he lifted Mums head up with his eyes. He kept talking to Mum and he looked at me for a second and he saw me but he didn't say anything. He just looked back at Mum and kept pouring his words that made her forget about Dad.
It's really darkly funny and innocently touching, and at the end I was left with more questions than when I started, and I assume that's the point...
Top reviews from other countries
Was the Dad's ghost real?
Why did no one notice Philip was autistic - especially the doctor?
Was Alan having an affair with Carla?
How did the mum cope? Did she become independent?
Was the teacher's father murdered?
How did he get away with murder and we were meant to be ok with it as the reader?
The ending leaves lots of unanswered questions
It’s written from the perspective of a child, which is an interesting idea, but it doesn’t work. There isn’t proper punctuation for example, and just rubs on like a stream of consciousness, so I found it hard to concentrate and get into it. I had to re-read sentences on a couple of occasions to make sure I understood if someone was talking, or if something was being described.
Sorry, but this one was a miss for me.