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Fox 8 {story} (2013)

by George Saunders

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3842350,278 (4.15)37
Idealistic Fox 8's ability to communicate in "Yuman" cannot save his pack when their den and food supply are destroyed to build a mall, so he writes a letter asking for an explanation of human's cruelty.
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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
For such a slim volume, the story contained in the pages of Fox 8 is powerful beyond measure. Through the eyes of a self-educated fox we are forced to confront the encroachment of humanity on the natural world, as we first witness the slow destruction of Fox 8's pack's habitat, his attempt to adapt, and the climax that forces a drastic change in view. Through his interactions with people Fox 8 has become hopeful that he will be able to lead his pack to coexistence with the humans, since his intereactions with them thus faqr have been neutral and have led him to a false sense of positivity. This all changes when Fox 8 and his friend strike out from the pack, thinking that they will be able to find food and help their pack adapt to the changed environment. As someone who would never hurt an animal (barring bugs in my food or too close to my bed...), I was absolutely horrified at the scene where Fox 8's friend is mercilessly murdered by two construction workers. It's no secret that the world is full of cruel people, but their casual violence was a shocking climax to the explorative adventure (largely full of hope) that had dominated the beginning of the story. Fox 8 spends some time wandering the world, depressed and disheartened after this point, but he eventually finds a new place in the world with a pack of foxes whose territory has not been damaged by humans. This ending is seemingly positive, but like Fox 8 we are left with questions: will Fox 8's pack be able to live peacefully; will humans learn to coexist with the natural world; and most importantly: why do we nfeel the need to control and expand into the world in such a way that destroys everything else? Like all fables, Saunders has touched on some crucial themes for humanity, but he leaves us with a deeper sense of dissatisfaction by the finale with his darker themes. Hopefully this darkness is eough to spark a light of change in some readers, so that we can move towards a brighter world. ( )
  JaimieRiella | Feb 25, 2021 |
What an enchanting little jewel of a book! A few years ago, I read through George Saunders' novel, Lincoln in the Bardo (such a strange book, set in a cemetery as Abe Lincoln and his son are pulled back and forth in a dark netherworld), but I was unprepared to be so charmed by this tiny novella. Our protagonist, a little fox, teaches himself English by listening underneath the window of a family whose parents tell their children bedtime stories. He also peruses the letters on the spines of their bookshelves and makes the connection. Voila! We have a literate fox! Sadly, there are major plans afoot in the area around our hero and his merry band of fellow fox denizens. Or, as he would write, "Soon we are standing before a sine, and upon that sine are some Yuman letters like the ones I had been lerning...I cud reed it...'Coming soon, FoxViewCommons." Yes, a mall ('mawl') is plopped down right over the world where our fox families reside! "Those werds caused many suden questions in all our branes." I will leave it at that, but I will put it this way: you will not see me wearing fox fur scarves or fox fur trousers when we cross paths again! ( )
  larryking1 | Oct 31, 2020 |
For Fox’ Sake - what a disaster!

What an unholy mess of a novella! Our protagonist, Fox 8, who is, you guessed it, a fox, gets a quick glance of what humanity is capable of.
This is a promising premise and, if excitedly well, could lead to an interesting story.

Unfortunately, it turns out foxes don’t “speak” English very well and I don’t have much patience for sentences like this:

“But I was fast and nated by those music werds, and desired to understand them total lee.”

The entire booklet is written like that and the story is just as “meh”. In Fox 8’s own words:

“Reeding my Story bak just now, I woslike: O no, my Story is a bumer. There is the deth of a gud pal, and no plase of up lift, or lerning a leson. The nise Fox’s first Groop stays lost, his frend stays ded. Bla.”

Yes, bla. Read something else. This is bollocks.


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  philantrop | Sep 25, 2020 |
A charmingly told, sad commentary about ourselves from the kind perspective of a fox. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
dis a book by jorj sonders ( )
  Ruy_Blanes | Aug 1, 2020 |
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Dedication
First words
Deer Reeder:
First may I say, sorry for any werds I spel rong.
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Why did the Curator do it so rong, making the groop with the gratest skils the meenest?
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Please do not combine with the single title book or any book containing this story. Thanks.
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Idealistic Fox 8's ability to communicate in "Yuman" cannot save his pack when their den and food supply are destroyed to build a mall, so he writes a letter asking for an explanation of human's cruelty.

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