Fox 8
From the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Tenth of December comes a darkly comic short story, a fable about the all too real impact that we humans have on the environment—now available for the first time as an eBook.   Fox 8 has always been known as the daydreamer in his pack, the one his fellow foxes regarded with a knowing snort and a roll of the eyes. That is, until Fox 8 develops a unique skill: He teaches himself to speak “Yuman” by hiding in the bushes outside a house and listening to children’s bedtime stories. The power of language fuels his abundant curiosity about people—even after “danjer” arrives in the form of a new shopping mall that cuts off his food supply, sending Fox 8 on a harrowing quest to help save his pack. Told with his distinctive blend of humor and pathos, Fox 8 showcases the extraordinary imaginative talents of George Saunders, whom the New York Times called “the writer for our time.”  Praise for George Saunders and Tenth of December   “The best book you’ll read this year . . . more moving and emotionally accessible than anything that has come before.”—The New York Times Magazine   “Saunders is a complete original, unlike anyone else.”—Dave Eggers   “Affecting [and] wincingly funny . . . It’s no exaggeration to say that the short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.”—The Wall Street Journal   “Subversive, hilarious, and emotionally piercing.”—Jennifer Egan   “Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny.”—Zadie Smith   “George Saunders makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We’re lucky to have him.”—Jonathan Franzen   “Tenth of December isn’t just [Saunders’s] most unexpected work yet; it’s also his best . . . as weird, scary, and devastating as America itself.”—NPR   “An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times.”—Thomas Pynchon   “The best short-story writer in English alive.” —Mary Karr

Fox 8 Details

TitleFox 8
Author
ReleaseApr 9th, 2013
PublisherRandom House
ISBN-139780812995329
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Animals

Fox 8 Review

  • Garrett Zecker
    January 1, 1970
    The first work by Saunders I have ever read was his bestselling Tenth of December this past year, and I was blown away by his literary prowess, mesmerized with the word dance and structure of reality he portrays in his work. Fox 8 was a little Kindle Single impulse buy, and for 99c I could enter into a Saunderian world once more. I bit like a sly… er… you get the point.The thing about this text is that there really was nothing special about it on the surface. It is small, simple, and in terms of The first work by Saunders I have ever read was his bestselling Tenth of December this past year, and I was blown away by his literary prowess, mesmerized with the word dance and structure of reality he portrays in his work. Fox 8 was a little Kindle Single impulse buy, and for 99c I could enter into a Saunderian world once more. I bit like a sly… er… you get the point.The thing about this text is that there really was nothing special about it on the surface. It is small, simple, and in terms of the writing, a collection of atrocious spelling and grammar that makes one dizzy at the prospect of even being able to pick it up - I mean, what were his editors thinking? What is he thinking? Who edited this? and...…it is exactly what I love about it. I meen, it is a story of a fox. Fox 8 in particular, and I was absolutely enamoured from page one. It is beautefel. A short, simle lettel text that is a hymn to liff, nature, and love. But what is best of the Fox 8 story iz itz ability tu pull yu in and mak yu part of the little furry, warm ten acre world of our littl foxee. Lik stepping intu a reflecshun in a pond aftr seeng yur littl fox face, fur and wet nose, and step in but thru? And there yu ar.Real. Truth. A mirror into our own world by our little furry four footed friends, but it isn't moralistic. It steps back from the editorializing a little - save for one scene - and allows the story to play out. Is it about the environment? Is it about deforestation and natural resources? Consumerism? Neglect of animal welfare? Or is it about love, and existence, and happiness, and living in the moment? The beauty of the text is the very thing that I imagine that many readers hate about it - its honesty in the face of a small impulsive little animal who learns something extraordinary. I loved this story, and its simple illustrations, and I appreciate it as one of the times in my life where I found myself truly mystified and pulled into a narrative that reminded me of my childhood - picking up a Narnia book for the first time, say. It is elementally beautiful, and I appreciate its simplicity and lack of much more than a portrait of a brand new word, fresh from the den meeting and ready to scamper through all of the danger and love, life and struggle,...to just be.
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  • Bob Wake
    January 1, 1970
    According to the L.A. Times literary blog Jacket Copy, George Saunders chose to leave “Fox 8” out of his recently published collection Tenth of December because he felt it was “asking one stretch too many from the reader.” I get that. In fact, I much prefer reading the occasional Saunders story in The New Yorker rather than compiled in short story collections. His stories, artfully spun and eccentrically self-contained, can seem overly precious and “worked up” when set side by side. That said, h According to the L.A. Times literary blog Jacket Copy, George Saunders chose to leave “Fox 8” out of his recently published collection Tenth of December because he felt it was “asking one stretch too many from the reader.” I get that. In fact, I much prefer reading the occasional Saunders story in The New Yorker rather than compiled in short story collections. His stories, artfully spun and eccentrically self-contained, can seem overly precious and “worked up” when set side by side. That said, he’s written more than his share of masterful short stories. “Fox 8,” which began life as a failed children’s book, is as memorable as anything Saunders has written, which is to say it will stay with you because of qualities it shares with timeless, even mythic storytelling. It’s narrated by a visionary fox unable to convince his starving den comrades that their only chance for survival is to strike out in quest of food at the newly constructed shopping mall that has displaced their habitat. “Fox 8” is actually an epistolary fable, written as a beseeching letter to the humans whose language Fox 8 has learned, if not precisely mastered, as a kind of earthy Chaucerian Middle English: “Stay in your awesum howses, play your music lowd, however you make it play so lowd, yap your Yuman jokes, sending forth your crood laffter into the nite.” Also worth noting about this very cool 99-cent ebook are the wonderful illustrations by graphic designer Chelsea Cardinal (the sharp cover design is hers as well).
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  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    I read a snippet of this from the New Yorker (I think?) and then tracked down the full story from a library download because I had to have it now. It starts in a whimsical way, a story of a fox and the Yumans in his world. But, of course, this is George Saunders. And I always make it a rule to read whatever he wants to write. Everyone should. That is all. Don't quote me, but I think this was an original considerations for Tenth of December. I like that thought.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    Fox 8I've been wanting to read George Saunders for a long while now and I'm glad I started with this story. For a short story it says so much. I wish everyone would read this and learn from it.
  • Shaun
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars because I'm not sure I liked it even though I can appreciate the creativity involved.Let mee start bi saying that wile reeding this it ocurd to mee that when yoo become famus yoo can doo no rong. Yoo can rite short storees and use fonetic speling becuz after al, yoo are famus and sum won wil always bi yoor book/storee and clame it is geneous, becuz anee thing rittin bi Jorj Sawnders is bi deefawlt brileant.Fox 8 by George Saunders is a short storee abowt a fox called Fox 8 hoo lurns to 2.5 stars because I'm not sure I liked it even though I can appreciate the creativity involved.Let mee start bi saying that wile reeding this it ocurd to mee that when yoo become famus yoo can doo no rong. Yoo can rite short storees and use fonetic speling becuz after al, yoo are famus and sum won wil always bi yoor book/storee and clame it is geneous, becuz anee thing rittin bi Jorj Sawnders is bi deefawlt brileant.Fox 8 by George Saunders is a short storee abowt a fox called Fox 8 hoo lurns to speek and rite. When hee tris to obtane food for his starving frends bi rading the mawl, things do not kwite work owt. The yumans dis appoint him, end hee desides too rite them a letter in hopes uf fineding cawmun grownd beetween the yumans and the foxes. Okay,I think I've made my point. Interestingly, the story, while annoying to read, is somewhat clever and does have a poignant message. Still, reading it was a chore and the payoff was rather weak. So maybe a solid 4 stars for creativity but 1 star for execution. That said, at only 99 cents and twenty pages (roughly 20-30 minutes of reading time depending on how good you are at reading phonetic spelling)it's okay. This is only my second experience with George Saunders' writing, the first being Tenth of December , which I also had mixed feelings about. So if you are a fan of Saunders' edgy writing, maybe this will appeal to you. I'm still undecided.
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  • Books, Vertigo and Tea (Danielle)
    January 1, 1970
    I have no previous experience with this author but have seen mention of a collection entitled Tenth of December. I chose this story based upon the synopsis while flipping through shorts on my Kindle. It is a small tale told through the letter of a fox named Fox 8. He is a curious fox who has ventured out and managed to pick up the Yuman language and speech. So the story telling is presented in an odd narration that includes the Fox 8's own interpretation of spelling and speech. I personally enjo I have no previous experience with this author but have seen mention of a collection entitled Tenth of December. I chose this story based upon the synopsis while flipping through shorts on my Kindle. It is a small tale told through the letter of a fox named Fox 8. He is a curious fox who has ventured out and managed to pick up the Yuman language and speech. So the story telling is presented in an odd narration that includes the Fox 8's own interpretation of spelling and speech. I personally enjoyed this element, as I felt it really helped establish character and a strong connection with Fox.What ensues is a heartfelt and saddening look into the coexistence or lack of between two species when the construction of a shopping center comes to threaten the very livelihood of Fox and his pack. Fox decides to set out on an adventure seeking answers and is introduced to the world of man. The letter that follows is the recap and result of that experience.I found this to be a clever and effective approach that left me mentally running through the many effects of mankind upon this Earth and the lives of its many other inhabitants. A valuable message that is worth reading.Review can also be found on Books, Vertigo and Tea
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  • Benjamin
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, let's get this out of the way. There are two main obstacles in the way of a reader's enjoyment of Fox 8: 1st, The fact that it's written by George Saunders, an author I personally love but who seems to draw a particularly "love it or loathe it" response from readers I know. 2nd, the riting stile, wich iz a fonetik repreesentashun of how a Fox wuld rite. As to the second part, I had no problems witht he style. Letting my eyes relax, I found the faster I read it the easier it became to clear Okay, let's get this out of the way. There are two main obstacles in the way of a reader's enjoyment of Fox 8: 1st, The fact that it's written by George Saunders, an author I personally love but who seems to draw a particularly "love it or loathe it" response from readers I know. 2nd, the riting stile, wich iz a fonetik repreesentashun of how a Fox wuld rite. As to the second part, I had no problems witht he style. Letting my eyes relax, I found the faster I read it the easier it became to clearly hear Fox 8's voice without tripping over the text. But your mileage may vary.As to the story; it's simple, funny, heartbreaking, and moralistic but without being saccharine. It's got talking animals. I loved it. Take that for what you will.
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  • Carol Horton
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, Fox 8, I wish I could talk to you.What an inventive story/POV. Fox 8 learns some painful lessons about the "Yumans" that intrigue him so. This story hit me on several levels:The idea that one of my favorite animals, a clever Fox, could learn to tall with me!The deep regret that in the name of progress, we ruin the lives of so many, without a second thought.The disgust and shame that some of our species are so heartless cruel.As a psychotherapist, it's a great explanation of PTSD, from the po Oh, Fox 8, I wish I could talk to you.What an inventive story/POV. Fox 8 learns some painful lessons about the "Yumans" that intrigue him so. This story hit me on several levels:The idea that one of my favorite animals, a clever Fox, could learn to tall with me!The deep regret that in the name of progress, we ruin the lives of so many, without a second thought.The disgust and shame that some of our species are so heartless cruel.As a psychotherapist, it's a great explanation of PTSD, from the point of view of the victim.At the end, I wanted to write back and answer Fox 8's letter! Invite him and his friends over for dinner!
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  • Barry
    January 1, 1970
    Initially I was surprised at how much dislike this has garnered from reviewers on Goodreads, this is a George Saunders after all, one of the hottest authors to brown-nose in 2013!But then I read the reviews and I'm not surprised at all. They are all looking for deeper hiding means, comparing the style to a million previous weird uses of language and looking for meta-meta-meta-fiction.My opinion: This is a great little tale, clearly a experiment but one that undeniably works, it had me laughing a Initially I was surprised at how much dislike this has garnered from reviewers on Goodreads, this is a George Saunders after all, one of the hottest authors to brown-nose in 2013!But then I read the reviews and I'm not surprised at all. They are all looking for deeper hiding means, comparing the style to a million previous weird uses of language and looking for meta-meta-meta-fiction.My opinion: This is a great little tale, clearly a experiment but one that undeniably works, it had me laughing all the way through, it was actually slightly poignant, and that some people have lost the ability to just enjoy a good story when it's in front of their eyes.
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  • Dylan Perry
    January 1, 1970
    This was a good follow-up to Congratulations, By the Way, further showcasing Sauders' craft, and his odd yet touching style. I won't say much about the story itself, because it works well to go in blind, though I recommend using whispersync for this one. (it'll cost ya like $5 total) The way the prose is written might distract if you read the story by itself, and yet if you listen to the auidobook alone you'll miss part of that charm. It's worth getting both for the best experience.3.5/5
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  • Sanne (TheBookDutchess)
    January 1, 1970
    I listened to this on Audiobook, which means I didn't have the experience of the phonetic writing.. Which probably helped with the rating because I read some parts like that in reviews and it's really, really, really annoying.
  • Jennie Palin
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed this as it is so unlike anything else I have read!
  • Elliot de Vries
    January 1, 1970
    I well and truly hated this story. Even more so because of the brief glimmer of potential insight which it ignores.To start with the uncomplicatedly awful, there is Saunders’ fox dialect. Fox 8 writes curiously like the way the teenagers in Victory Lap speak, with the addition of nonstandard spelling. Literary tics proliferate, including a particularly ugly affectation involving colons (“You are neerly all eyes, due to: super hungry.”) Saunders loves the word “très” (Fox 8 is variously “Tray emb I well and truly hated this story. Even more so because of the brief glimmer of potential insight which it ignores.To start with the uncomplicatedly awful, there is Saunders’ fox dialect. Fox 8 writes curiously like the way the teenagers in Victory Lap speak, with the addition of nonstandard spelling. Literary tics proliferate, including a particularly ugly affectation involving colons (“You are neerly all eyes, due to: super hungry.”) Saunders loves the word “très” (Fox 8 is variously “Tray embaras[ed]”, “tray stunned” or “tray mad”). He also loves “like” and “woslike” (i.e. “was like”) — which would not have been problematic in the context of more naturalistic language, but here only adds to the quirky-grandpa-the-academic feel of the writing. In a word, the language is neither justifiable in terms of the narrative nor attractive in its own right.The story’s premise is that Fox 8 becomes entangled in the human world when he teaches himself English by listening to bedtime stories through a window. Contact between man and nature leads predictably to conflict, and the story is built around a central trauma which involves an utterly unmotivated act of man-on-fox cruelty. The tragedy forever changes the perspective of Fox 8, leading to an eventual plea to the reader for an explanation of why we cannot be nicer.The problem may already be apparent: establishing the central act of cruelty as one of otherwise unmotivated evil makes the final plea necessarily futile. Evil simply is, we are told, and why aren’t humans nicer? To even ask the question, one needs to be willing to see malevolence as something other than self-sufficient, self-caused. The final letdown is that Saunders laid the groundwork for, but then neglected, an interesting way out of this contradiction.By far the most charming and thought-provoking aspect of Fox 8’s character is his penchant for daydreams of grandeur, in equal parts absurd and ambitious. These range from imagining going off to college with the baby of the human family he visits and receiving a mortarboard to single-handedly saving the other foxes from hunger. But even with all their absurdity, Fox 8’s fantasies remain uneasily plausible and throw a faint shadow over him — the daydreams are what connects Fox 8 to the humans. Once this connection between Fox 8 and humanity was made it would have been possible to ask a more serious and interesting question about the source of evil: can we have fantasies and ambitions without it? Unfortunately, the daydreams remain only characterization, divorced from the question the story asks its readers, a question it allows them no answers.
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  • Jami
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this story; I listened to it on my ipod, so I can't comment on the grammar style used in the written form that seemed to bother many reviewers. This is a very short story told from the point of view of Fox 8; he's a fox who was named that way because his pack used numbers as their names. He starts out thinking that humans are smart and kind; however, do to circumstances created by humans and after witnessing an act of cruelty by humans, his thinking evolves in this regard. As I listen to I loved this story; I listened to it on my ipod, so I can't comment on the grammar style used in the written form that seemed to bother many reviewers. This is a very short story told from the point of view of Fox 8; he's a fox who was named that way because his pack used numbers as their names. He starts out thinking that humans are smart and kind; however, do to circumstances created by humans and after witnessing an act of cruelty by humans, his thinking evolves in this regard. As I listen to the news and go about my daily life, I find myself also asking the very same question that Fox 8 asks in his letter to the humans: "What is WRONG with you people?"
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  • Lydia
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a cool short story!I listened to it this morning, which I think is a really good way to experience it. From what I can tell, a lot of the language in it is a little bit more difficult, the spelling is consistently inconsistent, because this short story features a little fox trying to learn to speak human.I really enjoyed the narrative. It's a bizarre little story and I loved that Fox 8's voice was so strange that it became recognisable. I don't really want to go into it too much mo This was such a cool short story!I listened to it this morning, which I think is a really good way to experience it. From what I can tell, a lot of the language in it is a little bit more difficult, the spelling is consistently inconsistent, because this short story features a little fox trying to learn to speak human.I really enjoyed the narrative. It's a bizarre little story and I loved that Fox 8's voice was so strange that it became recognisable. I don't really want to go into it too much more but if you're looking for a strange and wonderful little short story, this might be the one for you. c:
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  • Leah Polcar
    January 1, 1970
    I love George Saunders. Let me get that out of the way before I review -- I may be totally biased. However, even factoring in my fan girl status, Fox 8 is an adorable little parable. It is not nearly as controversial or scathing as most of Saunders' work, but I think that works to the story's advantage. It is to the point and funny and unlike much of Saunders, doesn't leave you devastated. Fox 8 is awesome and I hope he learns Yumans aren't all bad. Give his little tale a chance to see another s I love George Saunders. Let me get that out of the way before I review -- I may be totally biased. However, even factoring in my fan girl status, Fox 8 is an adorable little parable. It is not nearly as controversial or scathing as most of Saunders' work, but I think that works to the story's advantage. It is to the point and funny and unlike much of Saunders, doesn't leave you devastated. Fox 8 is awesome and I hope he learns Yumans aren't all bad. Give his little tale a chance to see another side of foxes.
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  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    While I haven't read George Saunders before, I truly enjoyed this short story told from the point of view of a fox, enamored with human culture. Written with phonetic spelling in the innocent, idealistic voice of this fox, I found this story truly charming and captivating, though was as disappointed as Fox 8 at human behavior.
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  • Drew Hammond
    January 1, 1970
    Playful language, feels like an appetizer. Some really fun appropriation of the English language (foxlish?) but more than a little didactic and ultimately reads more like a writing exercise.
  • Andrew Martin
    January 1, 1970
    george saunders's "efficacious anti-selfishness medicines" project continues, only this time written from the POV of a fox who wonders why humans do such awful things. very weird and voicey. if this is what kindle singles are for I am all about it.
  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    For some people the intentional misspellings of this short story will get people annoyed, but it is quite a charming story of a fox and his discover of language. If you like Watership Down, you should enjoy this.
  • Sheena
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, it's a bit affected and moralizing, and the fox-talk can be tiresome (and Fox 8's misspellings not all that logical), but it's an enjoyable little read. Some really funny lines, and you can't help but like the foxtagonist.
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Gimmicky, but not in a bad way. A really delightful little story told from the perspective of a fox. I would like more stories narrated by foxes, please.
  • emmilina
    January 1, 1970
    I laughed, I cried. Mr. Sanders never ceases to amaze me!
  • Netanella
    January 1, 1970
    I've never heard of George Saunders, which isn't surprising considering I don't follow the bestseller lists, New York Times or otherwise. I was drawn to this story for its cover and title, and I originally thought it might be some sort of Japanese fox parable tale. I was very pleasantly surprised by Fox 8, the foxish narrator of our story, who's learned to speak 'Yuman' by eavesdropping on a human mother reading her children bedtime stories. Fox 8 is enamored with human culture, he is innocent a I've never heard of George Saunders, which isn't surprising considering I don't follow the bestseller lists, New York Times or otherwise. I was drawn to this story for its cover and title, and I originally thought it might be some sort of Japanese fox parable tale. I was very pleasantly surprised by Fox 8, the foxish narrator of our story, who's learned to speak 'Yuman' by eavesdropping on a human mother reading her children bedtime stories. Fox 8 is enamored with human culture, he is innocent and idealistic and sweet until his warren is torn apart by the arrival of a shopping mall. Fox 8 relates his encounters with Yumans, and in particular one brutal encounter that takes the life of his good friend Fox 7. The story is a cautionary tale for humans who can so easily disregard the lives of other animals on this planet in our quest for expansion. A note: as the story is written by Fox 8, it included his peculiar phonetic spelling and word usage, which I found entertaining. At first I stumbled over his words, but I found that if I read very quickly and tried not to overthink it, I could read Fox's words much more easily.Very recommended.
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  • Jonathan
    January 1, 1970
    Love love love me some George Saunders (see my Lincoln in the Bardo review) but this one didn't quite do it for me. Saunders shows off the same wit and cleverness in this piece, as it's basically the story of a Fox writing a letter to humans to stop being complete garbage (a worthwhile message for sure) and act respectful towards one another. The Fox himself goes through quite a bit of hardship as well.I dno, it's just kind of "there", I guess? It's not bad by any means and is like $0.99 on Kind Love love love me some George Saunders (see my Lincoln in the Bardo review) but this one didn't quite do it for me. Saunders shows off the same wit and cleverness in this piece, as it's basically the story of a Fox writing a letter to humans to stop being complete garbage (a worthwhile message for sure) and act respectful towards one another. The Fox himself goes through quite a bit of hardship as well.I dno, it's just kind of "there", I guess? It's not bad by any means and is like $0.99 on Kindle so you can't go wrong for enjoying it as a quick read. But still, eh.
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  • Nikola Jankovic
    January 1, 1970
    Kratka priča dobitnika prošlogodišnjeg Bookera. Nekako za 99 centi na Kindlu nisam mogao da je propustim - jeftin prvi susret sa autorom.Priča je originalna, kao basna ispričana iz prvog lica lisice, na čudnom i na početku teško razumljivom engleskom. Lisice koja je zaljubljena u ljude i želi da uveri i ostalo lisičje društvo u našu dobrotu.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    And now I love George Saunders.
  • Aurélie
    January 1, 1970
    So comical at times (I actually laughed out loud) but also darkly serious - posing some very important questions.
  • Shoumik
    January 1, 1970
    It blows my mind that this is a debut. Engrossing, has you sniggering and 'Awww'ing all the way!
  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome short story. Takes us inside the mind of a witty fox and how his world changes when it collides with "yumans", from his initial admiration to profound puzzlement at mankind's darker side. Spot on satirical social commentary (cell phone conversations, lip waxing, merry-go-rounds in "mawls", dance moms, etc), but important messages also underlie Fox8's encounters with man (rampant over-development and resulting environmental destruction; a culture of consumerism; and why humans do the stup Awesome short story. Takes us inside the mind of a witty fox and how his world changes when it collides with "yumans", from his initial admiration to profound puzzlement at mankind's darker side. Spot on satirical social commentary (cell phone conversations, lip waxing, merry-go-rounds in "mawls", dance moms, etc), but important messages also underlie Fox8's encounters with man (rampant over-development and resulting environmental destruction; a culture of consumerism; and why humans do the stupid and senseless thing we do.) The phonetical spelling throughout was hilarious.
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