Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Release Date: June 3rd, 2011
Pages: 336
Format: Advance Reader Copy and Audiobook
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Source: Publisher and Personal Shelf
Narrator: Carole Boyd
Buy It: Book Depository
It’s an ordinary afternoon in 1938 for the celebrated American novelist Mr. Fox, hard at work in the study of his suburban home – until his long-absent muse Mary Foxe (beautiful, British and 100% imaginary) wanders in. Mr Fox has a predilection for murdering his heroines. Mary is determined to change his ways. And so she challenges him to join her in stories of their own devising, and the result is an exploration of love like no other.
I had a hard time putting my thoughts together for this book in a way that reminded me greatly of the short story collection Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner because when the truth of the matter is, Mr. Fox was simply not the book for me. Oyeyemi method of storytelling felt too disjointed, there were individual stories that worked on their own but often the endings felt abrupt and I'd be confusedly thrown into a new scenario. I honestly had a hard time following the narrative and the portions of the book I enjoyed most were those that were "real" and took place between Mr. Fox and Mary Foxe as opposed to the stories they tell each other.

When I first began reading it I found Mr. Fox strange but intrigued, Oyeyemi's language is articulate and elegant in a way. Unfortunately, as the book progressed it just befuddled me to the point that by the end I was severely disliking it. I listened to the book on audio which had a lovely narrator but only emphasized the disconnect between sections of the novel.

From the reviews I have seen of Mr. Fox this seems to be a love-it-or-leave-it type of book with most people falling under Oyeyemi's spell but unfortunately for me the most magical moment was when it was over and I could pick up a novel better suited to my own taste.

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