The Dead Fathers Club

The Dead Fathers Club

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
3
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Eleven-year-old Philip Noble has a big problem: His dad, who was killed in a car accident, appears as a bloodstained ghost at his own funeral and introduces Philip to the Dead Fathers Club. The club, whose members were all murdered, gathers outside the Castle and Falcon, the local pub that Philip's family owns and lives above. Philip's father tells him that Uncle Alan killed him and he must avenge his death. When Philip realizes that Uncle Alan has designs on his mom and the family pub, Philip decides that something must be done. But it's a much bigger job than he anticipated, especially when he is caught up by the usual distractions of childhood, a pretty girl, wayward friends, school bullies, and his own self-doubt.
Publisher: London : Penguin Books, 2007
ISBN: 9780143112945
0143112945
Branch Call Number: FIC HAIG 2007
Characteristics: 328 pages ; 20 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

A ghost story with a twist; a suspenseful and poignantly funny update of the Hamlet story.

“A ghost story with a twist; a suspenseful and poignantly funny update of the Hamlet story.”

What to do when the ghost of your father implores you to avenge his murder by your villainous uncle? 11-year-old Philip is not so sure he wants to follow in Hamlet's footsteps.


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DBRL_IdaF Apr 19, 2017

11-year-old Phillip finds himself in a very Hamlet-like situation. His father recently died in a car accident. Or was it murder, as his father's ghost tells him? Phillip is the only one who can see and speak with the ghost, who is urging him to take revenge on Uncle Alan, his dad's brother and alleged murderer. Opportunities shouldn't be difficult to come by, as Alan is making a play both for Philip's mother and for the family business.

What a pickle for a recently-orphaned adolescent! Oh, and there's a deadline, so to speak. If the murder is not avenged before the father's birthday, then his spirit will never be allowed to rest in peace, but will spend eternity in "the terrors."

The voice is well-done, and Phillip is an insightful, if somewhat unhinged, kid. Shakespeare references abound but don't overwhelm the story. This telling is funnier than the original Hamlet, but also, if possible, even more tragic in some ways

t
TicketyBoo2
Nov 17, 2011

I had no previous knowledge of this book or author. I just saw it and thought, “Huh, that looks interesting.” It was. Haig uses the play Hamlet to hang his tale on but with a twist or two. Haig’s Hamlet is 11 year old Philip Nobel who can see his dead dad. Like Hamlet, Philip has to avenge his dad’s death. But things don’t go as planned. The chapters are short and while Haig uses minimal punctuation it doesn’t make the book difficult to read. The story whips along and it’s fun to spot the Hamlet references. (Though, you don’t need to know the play to enjoy the story.) For the first half of the book I kept wondering if this was a kid’s book and it was just in the wrong place. Rest assured it isn’t. However, an older teen would enjoy it.

i
itstartswithano
Apr 30, 2011

Haig has given 11-year-old Phillip Noble an authentic voice. A charming, funny and perceptive story of a boy grieving his father.

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