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The Mr. Fox of the title (and there are plenty of other Mr. Foxes here) is a novelist who kills off his heroines. He is living in 1930s New York with his younger wife Daphne, whom he tends to neglect while creating his fiction—a neglect akin to adultery since he is visited with increasing frequency by his imaginary but alluring muse Mary. Mary is dissatisfied with Mr. Fox's treatment of women and challenges him, very vaguely, to a contest. Soon stories are appearing—it is never quite clear whether composed by Mr. Fox or by Mary—in which the roles of Lover/Murderer and Beloved/Victim go through a host of variations which bring to mind bits and pieces (as in body parts, pun intended) of various classic tales of misogyny. The serial killer Bluebeard casts a long shadow, as do the Grimm Brothers' sorcerer Fitcher and the French fox Reynardine, as well as less familiar characters from Yoruba folktales. In the first, simplest story, a man chops off his wife's head, thinking he can reattach it; he does but with problematic results. In more complex stories, women named Mary and men named Fox sometimes love each other but often commit gruesome acts of violence, physical and emotional. In the story"The Training At Madame de Silentio's," roles are somewhat reversed as young boys are schooled to become perfect husbands. Mingled among the titled stories are snatches of the growing marital crisis between Mr. Fox and Daphne, who is understandably jealous of Mr. Fox's devotion to his muse.
The language is crystalline and the images startling, but forget any resemblance to linear logic in what is ultimately a treatise on love (with a clever borrowing from Cappelanus' 12th centuryThe Art of Courtly Love), on male subjugation of women and on the creative experience.
Posted December 21, 2014
Posted August 29, 2014
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 12, 2013
I have never even heard of this book but i love the song so i felt like posting this.
0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2013
Posted July 26, 2013
Posted July 26, 2013
Posted March 30, 2012
I hope this book is like the movie from roald daul or someone like that but i dont have this book yet but its probably a good book
0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 15, 2012
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