One of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists
From the prizewinning young writer of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours and 2019's Gingerbread, a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration.
Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, the celebrated writer Mr. Fox can't stop himself from killing off the heroines of his novels, and neither can his wife, Daphne. It's not until Mary, his muse, comes to life and transforms him from author into subject that his story begins to unfold differently.
Mary challenges Mr. Fox to join her in stories of their own devising; and in different times and places, the two of them seek each other, find each other, thwart each other, and try to stay together, even when the roles they inhabit seem to forbid it. Their adventures twist the fairy tale into nine variations, exploding and teasing conventions of genre and romance, and each iteration explores the fears that come with accepting a lifelong bond. Meanwhile, Daphne becomes convinced that her husband is having an affair, and finds her way into Mary and Mr. Fox's game. And so Mr. Fox is offered a choice: Will it be a life with the girl of his dreams, or a life with an all-too-real woman who delights him more than he cares to admit?
The extraordinarily gifted Helen Oyeyemi has written a love story like no other. Mr. Fox is a magical book, endlessly inventive, as witty and charming as it is profound in its truths about how we learn to be with one another.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Penguin Group|
|File size:||242 KB|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
What People are Saying About This
A sly, tender, and elegant novel, graced with a magical charm that makes this novel's wisdom about love and loss all the more captivating to read. Mr. Fox is a novel for those who love stories and who believe in their singular power to alter and heal our fragile souls."--(Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and How to Read the Air)
"A wonderfully original novel, full of images and turns of phrase so arresting, so vivid and inventive, its pages almost glow with them. Helen Oyeyemi has given us a work of playful charm and serious narrative pleasure."--(Sarah Waters)
“Oyeyemi’s writing is gorgeous and resonant and fresh . . . a shimmering landscape pulsating with life.”—Aimee Bender, The New York Times Book Review
“Oyeyemi has an eye for the gently perverse, the odd detail that turns the ordinary marvelously, frighteningly strange.”—The Boston Globe
“Dazzling.”—The Washington Post
“Cheeky and imaginative.”—The New Yorker
“Startling, beautiful . . . [Mr. Fox] should not be ignored.”—Chicago Sun Times
“Mr. Fox is a wonderfully original novel, full of images and turns of phrase so arresting, so vivid and inventive, its pages almost glow with them. Helen Oyeyemi has given us a work of playful charm and serious narrative pleasure.”—Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger
"A sly, tender, and elegant novel, graced with a magical charm that makes this novel’s wisdom about love and loss all the more captivating to read. Mr. Fox is a novel for those who love stories and who believe in their singular power to alter and heal our fragile souls."--Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and How to Read the Air
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This novel is about a mentally disturbed man who is a writer. I did not like it and would not recommend it. I gave it two stars because some of the images were unusual and grammar and punctuation were in good order. There were places in the story where I did not know who was speaking. Mary Foxe is a creature of Mr. Fox's imagination but she is seen by his wife and she eats -- doesn't she? Or is Daphne, the spouse, also nuts? Or maybe she is humoring her husband? The story switches in the latter half to short stories and except for foxes being included I didn't know what the connection was to the crazy story that takes place at the opening and "finishes(?)" somewhere in the middle. Somewhere around page 86 (Nook version) Oyeyemi provides a clearer story that includes the name of the mental condition she writes about. Maybe she has the mental condition she writes about in this novel or maybe she knows someone who does? Had I done some research before buying I would not have purchased this -- even on my Nook.
Book DescriptionConsidering that I¿m still not really sure exactly what was going on, writing this summary shall be a challenge. Let¿s see ¿ as best as I can tell, the story is about a writer (Mr. Fox) who is married to a woman named Daphne but is having an affair of sorts with his muse (Mary Foxe), who is slowly taking corporeal form in the real world. But when I tell you that this story is not told in a straightforward way, trust me on thatMy ThoughtsThe story of this love triangle is told in a series of short stories, vignettes, fairy tales, letters, and narratives by the three characters and jumbled together in a blender of sorts so that the reader must be on the very tip-top of their game to keep it all straight. It was very A Visit from a Goon Squad-ish but even more confusing. Stories would abruptly end and one of the characters would start talking and half the time I wouldn¿t know what was going on.For instance, there would be a story about Mary Foxe, and I¿d be completely unsure if she was a character in a story written by Mr. Fox, one she made up herself, or just a character in the bigger story being told by Helen Oyeyemi. Then characters would appear in fantastical fairy tale-like stories and then show up later as real people in the real world. Getting all this straight was really difficult, and I¿m not actually sure I did keep it straight.To be 100% honest, my main reaction to the book was ¿WTF??¿ I found myself thinking this over and over again throughout the book. And when I got to the very end, I remember thinking to myself: ¿Your entire review should just be WTF?!¿ As a service to you, I¿m struggling to provide a bit more information.The writing itself isn¿t bad. I found myself getting sucked into the various stories that Oyeyemi was telling via Mr. Fox or Mary Foxe or Daphne, but I just couldn¿t connect the puzzle pieces together in a satisfying way. Now this could definitely be my fault as a reader. I read this book at night before going to bed, and I realize now this isn¿t a book to be read for relaxation or when tired. It requires a bit more commitment from the reader.In the end, I just didn¿t have it in me to go back and try to make the book fit together for me. In fact, I had to go back to Zibilee¿s review to get a better understanding of what was going on.One last thing, this had the most awful ending I¿ve read in a book in a long time. I just HATED IT. But at least the book was over.Recommended ForReaders up for a challenging read, fans of the fractured storytelling form a la A Visit from the Goon Squad. (And hey, if you read this book and ¿get¿ it, can you explain it to me?)
I think that Mr. Fox is a book that could benefit from a tutored read. I am absolutely sure that there are many many illusions that I have not gotten. Nonetheless, I found myself easily immersed in this magical real world -- and loved trying to figure out who was the most reliable narrator if anyone was.