Saturday, February 12, 2011

Matt Haig

Matt Haig is the author of The Labrador Pact, a UK bestseller narrated by a Labrador; The Dead Fathers Club, a widely acclaimed update of Hamlet featuring an eleven-year-old boy; and The Possession of Mr. Cave, a horror story about an overprotective father. His work has been translated into twenty-four languages.

Haig's new novel is The Radleys.

Recently I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I'm reading Roald Dahl's biography at the moment. It is called Storyteller and is by Donald Sturrock, who knew Dahl personally. I think that is what stops this book from feeling like another dry, academic biography. He really makes Dahl's life breathe in all its complexity. What is interesting is not only the sensational stuff (killing as a Royal Air Force pilot in WW2; the death of his young son in a traffic accident; the visits to prostitutes; speaking out about the Salman Rushdie affair), but also the stuff about his writing.

What I didn't quite realise was how late in his career he started properly writing for children. Before that he was chiefly an adult writer, working on novels, plays and short stories (though it was Dahl's adult short stories - dark and sexy and twisty and often very funny - which I love even more than his kids' stuff, and which has always been a big influence on me). And what was also interesting to read was about the uproar that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory created on its first release. All the self-appointed moral guardians of the day were in uproar. People said it had a terrible effect on their childrens' behaviour, as if it was a violent video game of today.
Read an excerpt, watch a video trailer, and learn more about the novel at the official The Radleys website. Visit Matt Haig at his official website.

The Page 69 Test: The Dead Fathers Club.

My Book, The Movie: The Dead Fathers Club.

The Page 69 Test: The Labrador Pact.

The Page 69 Test: The Radleys.

--Marshal Zeringue