- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Picador (3 Jun. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330536265
- ISBN-13: 978-0330536264
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 838,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Mr Fox Paperback – 3 Jun 2011
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'An outstanding addition to an impressive body of work, this is Oyeyemi's best, most beautiful novel yet.' Independent on Sunday
'Her depiction of Mr Fox's hard-boiled swagger and Mary s life as a lonely English governess is funny and fresh.' --Daily Telegraph
'The dialogue zips along and Oyeyemi reveals a twinkling sense of humour . . . Lovers of metafiction, magic realism and all things fabulist will find Oyeyemi's energetic imagination a delight.' Independent
'funny, deep, shocking, wry, heart-warming and spine-chilling. She offers a phantasmagorical rendering of the deepest emotional truths, not least among which is a razor-sharp dissection of the topsy-turvy logic of misogyny that blames women for the violence inflicted on them. She's not real, honey, St John assures Daphne about Mary. 'She's only an idea. I made her up.' Oyeyemi breathes life into ideas like nobody else.' Guardian
'this prodigiously talented writer s take on the Bluebeard myth is a piece of modern magical realism that is not just vibrantly imaginative but filled with wit and wisdom . . . Oyeyemi's remarkable gift for depicting multiple worlds populated with the living, ghosts, of the dead and creatures of the imagination makes Mr Fox her best book so far.' --Metro
A love story like no other: ‘so vivid and inventive, its pages almost glow’ Sarah Waters --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
A happy marriage can be hard to achieve at the best of times but, with the delectable Miss Mary back on the scene, it's no wonder that Daphne Fox, St John's long-suffering wife, is more worried than usual. Concerned about her [still imaginary] rival's reappearance in her husband's life, Daphne throws herself into the storytelling ring.
The narrative of Mr Fox switches between St John's everyday life and his storytelling duel with Mary. The transition may initially be a little puzzling, but it quickly becomes apparent that chapters with titles cover Mr Fox's fantastical fictional voyages while the nameless chapters are rooted within the realm of his reality. As the stories progress, it becomes clear that St John is a slave to his imagination and that Daphne has ever reason to be worried - it seems that her husband is incapable of being satisfied with what he has already got. Not all of the tories told by St John and Mary completely gel together within the context of he novel as a whole, but they are still great vignettes.Read more ›
Stories within stories, slipping times and locations, where do memories and fantasies collide and divide? If you prefer a linear narrative, this is not the book for you. It reads like a dream, fragmenting when you try to make sense of it, but coming together in an inexplicable but satisfying way. Thankfully, Oyeyemi is cleverer than her potentially pretentious premise (and structure), and while I began reading sceptically, by the end I was hugely entertained by the way she turned the tables. (Although I was not quite convinced by the actual final chapter, feeling that the narrative had already reached its natural conclusion by that point.)
The plot stems from the contrived premise of a character coming to life with accusations against her creator. But as St. John writes and re-writes, constructs, deconstructs and reconstructs Mary's life (/lives) more and more is revealed about him and his own life. At first I was unconvinced by what seemed like a thin framing device for a collection of short stories. I was marginally annoyed by that, because I really enjoyed the individual short stories (and I am not usually a fan of story collections) and thought framing them as a novel was something of a cheat doing neither novel nor stories justice. The stories have a different rhythm to the connecting tissue of St John Fox's `real' life and interaction with Mary, echoing the formula of fairy tale.Read more ›
I say that's a good thing, because I'm now left to make up my own mind about something that's very hard to make up my mind about. I know for definite that I liked the book - it was almost impossible to put down at times - but understanding it is another matter.
To parrot what so many other reviews have said, this is more a collection of short stories connected by a theme (one which is at times so thin that it takes a few pages to find) than a coherent linear novel. We are presented with the recurring characters of novelist St. John Fox and his long-suffering wife Daphne who, we think, he probably loves despite his not seeming too sure of it himself. To confuse both us and them we also meet Mary Foxe, a figment of St. John's imagination who initially appears to be the intelligent, strong-willed (not to mention sensual) match, and sometimes complement, to St. John's intellect that his wife simply cannot be.
Mary is cast as many different characters, and sometimes does not appear at all, while facets of her and the others seem to appear in new characters to tell stories that are almost, but not quite, entirely unrelated to the St. John / Daphne / Mary narrative.
The whole thing is bound together by a sort of dream-logic, with recurring themes that are more like patterns and insinuations than solid plot points.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not my sort of thing. Bought it as it was on my reading list at uni and it just didn't resonate with me. Decently written if a bit slow.Published 2 months ago by Phillip Carter
Great condition and all, but very strange storyline. I did enjoy it, but it wasn't what I expected after reading one of her other booksPublished 19 months ago by T L DICKSON
Written in her mid-twenties, Helen Oyeyemi's "Mr Fox" is not so much a fully-fledged novel as a delicious entertainment. Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2014 by Marius Gabriel
Loved the period detail of this novel, and the relationship between the two key characters. For me the dips into other narratives were less successful, so I was left wanting more... Read morePublished on 15 May 2013 by Amazon Customer
If you're good with language yourself, you'll enjoy how it's taunted, pulled and played with here. If you're not so good, you may learn a thing or three.Published on 9 Jan. 2013 by David Gibbons