The Dead Fathers Club

The Dead Fathers Club

Book - 2007
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Baker & Taylor
Introduced to the Dead Fathers Club of murdered men by the ghost of his late father, eleven-year-old Philip Noble learns that his uncle, who has designs on Philip's mother, murdered Philip's father in order to get his hands on the family pub.

Blackwell North Amer
Philip Noble is an eleven-year-old in crisis. His pub landlord father has died in a road accident, and his mother is succumbing to the greasy charms of her dead husband's brother, Uncle Alan. The remaining certainties of Philip's life crumble away when his father's ghost appears in the pub and declares Uncle Alan murdered him.
Arming himself with weapons from the school chemistry cupboard, Philip vows to carry out the ghost's relentless demands for revenge. But will Leah, the gorgeous daughter of Uncle Alan's God-fearing business partner, Mr. Fairview, prove too much of a distraction? And can the words of a ghost be trusted any more than the lies of the living? Philip makes his decision and when the moment comes to act, he finds himself hurtling towards disaster.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2007
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780670038336
Characteristics: 328 p. ; 22 cm


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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

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.

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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