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Month in review

Reviews:
Alphabet Mystery by Audrey Wood
The Best Friend I Ever Had by David Nuffer
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon by Frederik Pohl
Black Rainbow by Barbara Michaels
The Bomb That Followed Me Home by Cevin Soling
Catalog by Eugene Mirabelli
The Chemist by Janson Mancheski
Culture Shock! California by Mark Cramer
The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
Heechee Rendezvous by Frederik Pohl
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo
Keeping Hannah Waiting by Dave Clarke
Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
Love in 90 Days by Diana Kirschner
The Night We Buried Road Dog by Jack Cady
Of Dreams and Reality by Frank L. Johnson
Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
Purplicious by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann
School Days by B. G. Hennessy
The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay
Sister Margaret by Rhonda Parrish
A Surprise for Rosie by Julia Rawlinson
Texas Bake Sale by Charles Coleman Finlay
There's a Wolf at the Door by Zoë B. Alley
Tiger Burning Bright by Theodora DuBois
Venice by Adrian Stokes and John Piper
Winding Broomcorn by Mario Milosevic
The Whole Shebang by Timothy Ferris

Ulysses:
Episode 2: Nestor: Kif
Episode 3: Proteus: Georgia Nicholson
Episode 4: Calypso: Parasites Lost
Episode 5: The Lotus Eaters: Down to the River to Pray

Miscellaneous:
Historical Fiction

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for The Dead Father's Club

The Dead Father's ClubThe Dead Father's Club: 03/08/09

The Dead Father's Club by Matt Haig is written in diary form making it a very typical British young adult novel. All of these novels have a hook to set them apart; The Dead Fathers Club is a retelling of Hamlet.

To be Hamlet a story needs: a dead father, a lecherous uncle, a mother, and a depressed girl friend. Philip Noble, the eleven year old protagonist doesn't just have the icky fact that his uncle is now dating his mother, he also has the ghost of his father demanding revenge by his next birthday.

Fathers who are murdered, his dad's ghost explains, join the Dead Fathers Club. If their deaths are avenged before their next birthday they can move on to heaven. If not, they are forever doomed to suffer Terrors and stay ghosts forever. (p. 19) What Philip has to do is decide whether he wants to believe his father and take up the call for revenge or ignore him and let life go on regardless of whatever horrors might exist in the afterlife.

As The Dead Father's Club is a full length novel, and not a play, Philip has more time to think and it does give him longer moments of clarity over the Danish prince. His mother and uncle, also not constrained to the cliches of tragedy are more fully fleshed than the Bard's characters allowing more options in the narrative beyond the usual ending. That's not to say that everything ends rosily, there are unfortunate consequences to actions taken but I don't want to give anything away.

Like David Almond's The Savage, The Dead Fathers Club is written to reflect Philip's voice including a lack of sensible punctuation, strange capitilizations and words running together. It takes some getting used to before the story will start to flow. The familiarity of Hamlet makes the process easier.

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