Mr. Fox


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She can play around wit Helen Oyeyemi can write voices. She can play around with form so that the frame is the story and the story is the frame. She can step through the fourth wall and reach out to pinch the reader awake. Hey, she says, you weren't expecting that, were you? And she takes us by the wrist and yanks us into the narrative. Oh, come on, she says, raising her eyes to the skies. View all 25 comments. Shelves: person-of-everything , 4-star , pure-power-of-gr , person-of-reality , wm-added , antidote-think-twice-all , 21st-c-proposed , bookception , reality-check , r I'm just trying to make sense of them," he said.

Mary was silent.

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So does it really matter how it happens? It's metafiction, but in the sense of reality feeding books feeding reality, the recursiveness of ideology as word turns work in the most co 4. It's metafiction, but in the sense of reality feeding books feeding reality, the recursiveness of ideology as word turns work in the most common sensical and, indeed, the most insidious of ways.

Until 20 Apr 12222

Tropes in one, taken for granted on the other, and our balancing act in between. There's a story here, a fairy tale, one of those modern takes on the age old whimsy and atrocity of Grimm and Perrault and even further back. Rather, the fairy tale is the most cohesive trend, as inspiration births inspiration and the effort to transcribe both plot and its endless commentary brings forth the pages. For the author has a message for you, reader, but do not fret.

This candy house is not the one you should be fearing, as all its clever treacle and discomforting tart have nothing on the love and languor of Bluebeard and Co. Yes, and Co.


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Bluebeard kills his wives because, because, because. Because they discovered the bodies of his victims?

Because they disobeyed him? Because he loved them too much? Because, because, because. You'd be amazed at the reasons why men kill women, except, perhaps, you won't be. To a horrendous degree, you won't be, for a crime of passion, for the girlfriend in the refrigerator, for the 'the death of a beautiful woman', you have been immured for as long as life. I didn't sign up for this, you say. What happened to the fairy tale? The meta?

The cute? Oh, were the myriad twists and turns and delving into a deepening complexity of the story and its storyteller not enough? Can your entertainment not be thematic? Can there not be a deeper meaning to it all, an all to acute commentary on an all too terrifying truth, a message of importance broadcasted to each and every flipper of the pages? One would have to wonder, then, whether the matter of a 'classic' is in fact a huge misnomer, and the 'elitists' are truly out to get you. Oh, they are. Just not like that.

Come back when you've stretched your senses a little in the theoretical manner, eyed what makes sense and excruciatingly probe that making of sense, and reason out the logic of honor killing, murder-suicide, and femicide.

Ratings and reviews

The first two may target males and the latter has the alternative form of androcide, but ask yourself what immediately comes to mind. Then wonder why. People read what you write and they say, 'Yes, he is talking about things that really happen,' and they keep reading, and it makes sense to them. You're explaining things that can't be defended, and the explanations themselves are mad, just bizarre—but you offer them with such confidence. It was because she kept the chain on the door; it was because he needed to let off steam after a hard day's scraping and bowing at work; it was because she was irritating and stupid; it was because she lied to him, made a fool of him; it was because she had to die, she just had to, it makes dramatic sense; it was because 'nothing is more poetic than the death of a beautiful woman'; it was because of this, it was because of that.

It's obscene to make such things reasonable. View all 13 comments. This is not a book for the light of mind, or faint of heart. There is such a haunting, beautiful Every body else seems to think it's a good read, and so I must be missing something, right? But the majority of those who say what a good book it really is don't seem to know why.

Let me suggest a Poem : I heard of a man who says words so beautifully that if he only speaks their name women give themselves to him. If I am This is not a book for the light of mind, or faint of heart.

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If I am dumb beside your body while silence blossoms like tumours on our lips it is because I hear a man climb stairs and clear his throat outside our door. Once into the woods, she lost me completely, however, and like Little Red Riding Hood I made a valiant attempt to extricate myself from the misery by bolstering my courage and carrying on by the strength of bread crumbs and the light of the faint, faint moon.

Surely the path that led me into the woods would eventually lead me out. Not so. Everyone in the woods was on a self-medicated high, more interested in navel-gazing than looking above their heads to find a compass direction; nor were they there to offer guidance to the others who stumbled around in the darkness. Ostensibly a re-writing of the Bluebeard fairy tale, Mr Fox is a clever little conceit that doesn't quite work.

Fox, persona, is a bore. It feels like Oyeyemi is working too hard to give the old fairy tale a new writing without being able to bring to it the weight and substance of the original. I didn't find any particular depth to the exploration of relationships: it's all quite mundane.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Oyeyemi's allegory looks very much like real life to me, and hence the tale falls far short of addressing greater truths in love and marriage. The purpose of a fairy tale is to provide the readers with a useful tool which can be used to navigate the pitfalls of life. A meta-tool, if you will: something greater and more powerful than oneself which gives us the power to fight the evil lurking without. Thus, the rapist, the bully, the controlling partner, the manipulative companion, the murdering spouse are all dealt handily, and modes of directing the situation are offered.

Quite simply: problem presented and solved. A fairy tale is a guide book to the psyche. Nothing in Mr Fox suggests to me that Oyeyemi has provided such a "moral chaperone", if you will.

Rather, hers is merely a reflection of the problem. Mirrors don't solve problems; they only reproduce and copy what's already there -- and so what's the point? Why would you want to make the monster "more scary", as children will say, by making more copies of him in the funhouse mirror? Wouldn't you want to neutralize the situation, at the very least?

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Pun not intended! Oyeyemi is a brilliant, brilliant writer because she is able to seduce you into the unintended. I look forward to her other novels, but in this case, I'm the lady on the sidelines of the parade whispering, the Empress has no clothes. View all 17 comments. Fox is about the most enchanting and captivating book I have read in quite some time. Helen Oyeyemi is a highly inventive and multi-faceted storyteller.

Her characters are both anchored in reality and in the worlds of fantasy and fairy tales. They can be serious or funny and ironic, they can fall in love beyond bounds or hate with a passion, they can be docile and subdued or vicious and violent.

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