Fox 8 by George Saunders
An enchanting and darkly comic fable of human greed and nature, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo, exquisitely illustrated by Chelsea Cardinal
Fox 8 has always been curious, and a bit of a daydreamer. And, by hiding outside houses at dusk and listening to children’s bedtime stories, he has learned to speak ‘Yuman’.
The power of words and the stories built from them is intoxicating for a fox with a poetic soul, but there is ‘danjur’ on the horizon: a new shopping mall is being built, cutting off his pack’s food supply. To save himself and his fellow foxes, Fox 8 will have to set out on a harrowing quest from the wilds of nature deep into the dark heart of suburbia.
This was an impulse buy. I mean, it has a fox, was signed by the author and it looks gorgeous and has some illustrations on the top of the pages. How could I resist? (Just in case you were wondering, I couldn’t, literally as soon as I was shown this book I went and preordered).
The story starts by Fox 8 introducing himself and explaining that his English may not be best written but he has learned it and well, what did you expect, he is indeed a fox.
But not just any fox, but a smart fox that likes bedtime stories and watching humans. And as such, he learns, not only to “spell” but to talk human. And he tries to use this to his advantage, as he can read it so he can help his friends.
Then they find out a mall has been built in the middle of their grounds, and they have to figure out how to find food and water and not die. So Fox 8 goes to the mall and tries to find a way to help.
This is the story about that, and it is cute, and sad, and so real, and it made me feel so many feelings as I read this.
I should read more fox stories! But meanwhile go read Fox 8. It’s good, and the illustrations are superb.