Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, 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 so through 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.
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A Great Novel, just Poor for Audio
Helen Oyeyemi has spun a very clever tale about a man, his muse and his wife. But the novel has a challenging structure, switching voices between the three main characters, and adding in a number of clever fairy tales in between chapters.
It was difficult to listen to the book because of the shifting narrators. Ms. Boyd uses different voices, but I didn't catch on to what was really going on until 2/3rds of the way through the book. I just think a complex book like this one would be better read than listened to.
I'm sure the book is excellent. I have listened to Boy Snow Bird, another Oyeyemi book, which only has two voices, and I really enjoyed it. I intend to get a copy of the book someday and re-read it.
- James A. Dittes
The narrator was excellent and made this book enjoyable. I doubt if I had read the book that I would have finished it.
I found the plot to be non-existant. It was more a collection of short stories. I wish it had been marketed that way.