Fox 8
A darkly comic short story, a fable about the all too real impact that we humans have on the environmentFox 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.

Fox 8 Details

TitleFox 8
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 9th, 2013
PublisherRandom House
ISBN-139780812995329
Rating
GenreFiction, Short Stories, Fantasy, Animals

Fox 8 Review

  • Justin Tate
    January 1, 1970
    OMG! It's rare for me to literally laugh out loud, but this short story had me cracking up every page--actually more like every paragraph. George Saunders' wicked way with words is never more exemplified than here, in the point of view of a fox. His glorious misspellings and hilarious societal observations are just perfect throughout. Despite being a 30-45 minute read, this one will endure with me forever.Side note: I'm an audio lover, but you have to read this one to get the jokes. After readin OMG! It's rare for me to literally laugh out loud, but this short story had me cracking up every page--actually more like every paragraph. George Saunders' wicked way with words is never more exemplified than here, in the point of view of a fox. His glorious misspellings and hilarious societal observations are just perfect throughout. Despite being a 30-45 minute read, this one will endure with me forever.Side note: I'm an audio lover, but you have to read this one to get the jokes. After reading I listened to a sample of the audio version just out of curiosity and it killed the experience. The misspellings and tone of the text can only be appreciated by seeing the words on the page (or Kindle).
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Imagine a fox with such daydreaming power that he falls in love with human storytelling and learns to speak and write "human" by listening to stories read at bedtime, hiding behind a window. Imagine him setting out on an adventure that goes entirely wrong because he has based his idea of humanity on that wonderful skill of ours to tell stories, and not on real experience of our random cruelty.What would make the heartbroken fox heal? Understanding, answers. So he sets out to write a letter, and Imagine a fox with such daydreaming power that he falls in love with human storytelling and learns to speak and write "human" by listening to stories read at bedtime, hiding behind a window. Imagine him setting out on an adventure that goes entirely wrong because he has based his idea of humanity on that wonderful skill of ours to tell stories, and not on real experience of our random cruelty.What would make the heartbroken fox heal? Understanding, answers. So he sets out to write a letter, and what a letter it is, spelling out the confusion quite literally:"Reeding my Story bak rite now, I woslike: O no, my Story is a bumer. There is the deth of a gud pal, and no plase of up lift, or lerning a leson. The nise Fox's first Groop stays lost, his frend stays ded.Bla.If you Yumans wud take one bit of advise from a meer Fox? By now I know you Yumans like your Storys to end hapy?If you want your Storys to end hapy, try being niser."Fox 8 is rite, I think! It's worth a try!
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  • Melki
    January 1, 1970
    Fox 8 has learned to speak "Yuman" by sitting outside a house at night while a lady reads to her pups. Though sometimes he takes umbrage at what she reads, particularly that one story about a sly fox that tricked a chicken . . . We do not trik Chikens! We are very open and honest with Chikens! With Chikens, we have a Super Fare Deel, which is they make the egs, we take the egs, they make more egs. Not Sly at all.Very strate forword.But now, the foxes are starving, and Fox 8 must attempt a daring Fox 8 has learned to speak "Yuman" by sitting outside a house at night while a lady reads to her pups. Though sometimes he takes umbrage at what she reads, particularly that one story about a sly fox that tricked a chicken . . . We do not trik Chikens! We are very open and honest with Chikens! With Chikens, we have a Super Fare Deel, which is they make the egs, we take the egs, they make more egs. Not Sly at all.Very strate forword.But now, the foxes are starving, and Fox 8 must attempt a daring mission to the Fud Cort at the new Mawl.Surely the Yumans will help a fox who shares so much in common with them . . . won't they?I LOVED this book! I laughed, long and loud, I almost cried, then got angry, and wanted to punch some people, but decided to hug the book instead. Fox 8 is one of a kind. I love his take on the carousel:Why wud Old Yumans enjoy putting Yung Yumans on Fake Horses?And, then there's this . . . Once, long ago, at that Story window, I daydreemed those Yumans invited me in and let me hold there Baby. And that Baby luvved me so much, we soon jerneyed to Collage together, whering are little Collage hats! It was grate!I am hope full that someday Yumans will be all that Fox 8 daydreemed we'd be.
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  • Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
    January 1, 1970
    "Yumans wud walk by and go: Hey, look, Foxes. And drop a bit of fud at us. Soon we had karmel korn, sevral parshul biskits, plus a pare so fresh it did not even stink.I woslike: This must be Fud CortFox 7 woslike: I gess."I'm CRYING!!!It seems as though George Saunders knows exactly what Sadie Hartmann loves to DEATH. I love anthropomorphic stories like WATERSHIP DOWN with the rabbit colony or Disney's Robin Hood with the cute foxes. There's something so endearing about giving animals a human vo "Yumans wud walk by and go: Hey, look, Foxes. And drop a bit of fud at us. Soon we had karmel korn, sevral parshul biskits, plus a pare so fresh it did not even stink.I woslike: This must be Fud CortFox 7 woslike: I gess."I'm CRYING!!!It seems as though George Saunders knows exactly what Sadie Hartmann loves to DEATH. I love anthropomorphic stories like WATERSHIP DOWN with the rabbit colony or Disney's Robin Hood with the cute foxes. There's something so endearing about giving animals a human voice.Or a "Yuman" voice, in the case of FOX 8In the world George Saunders creates here, Foxes are named in numbers "Fox 8, Fox 21, Fox 48" and the specific Fox writing this story, YES WRITING this story has a particular fascination with Yumans.(us)He spies on a mother in her children's bedroom telling her "pups" stories and then "touching her snout" to her kid's faces and suddenly, Fox 8 falls in love.But things don't always go so well.As these types of stories go, the author reminds us that human beings are not always mindful of the animal kingdom and we neglect our responsibility to respect our furry friends of the wild.Fox 8 learns some hard lessons about humans and through his sweet, pure voice we get to see ourselves as he sees us. There are some major laugh out loud moments here. I love the way the Foxes talk to one another and to other animals. The exchange Fox 8 has with a dog in car parked in a lot is hilarious!I also found the odd grammar and spellings totally entertaining and experimental. It's weird to see recognizable words and just read them as fast and easy as one would when they're spelled correctly. I was TOTAL LEE entertained.The illustrations were a delight.The ending had me in tears. How sweet this little book is and what an important message without being overly so. I recommend this for all ages. And I'll be passing this along to my sister so she can read it to my nieces.
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  • 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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  • Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
    January 1, 1970
    If my review doesn't make sense, it's because I'm writing this through watery eyes. WOW this book packs a PUNCH! It's absolutely brilliant in every aspect. Adorable illustrations, the view of a fox, the writing itself.. I really could go on and on.This is a tale of innocence. A fox trying to be better to find a way to supply food to his family. One single act changes him forever. The lesson here is deep and certainly socially relevant. Things I absolutely loved was the way it was written - the c If my review doesn't make sense, it's because I'm writing this through watery eyes. WOW this book packs a PUNCH! It's absolutely brilliant in every aspect. Adorable illustrations, the view of a fox, the writing itself.. I really could go on and on.This is a tale of innocence. A fox trying to be better to find a way to supply food to his family. One single act changes him forever. The lesson here is deep and certainly socially relevant. Things I absolutely loved was the way it was written - the crude spelling because hey, a Fox is trying here. And reading it this way was actually quite fun! The interactions between the fox and other creatures, his own kind and the imagination he has was highly entertaining and had me giggling a lot in my seat.Basically, I love foxes. I hate humans. READ THIS BOOK
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  • Judith E
    January 1, 1970
    There are a lot of life lessons packed in this little ditty about a fox that learns to read and speak in ‘Yuman’. As his journey takes him from his cozy fox community, to the shopping mall, and then to a new den and life, he questions why Yumans can’t be nicer. Creative, succinct, and a bit whimsical, George Saunders’ message is loud and clear. Thanks for reminding us!
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  • Vivek Tejuja
    January 1, 1970
    There are some books that just nestle into your heart and stay there. For me, those have been the likes of An Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami, The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Capote, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. You get the drift, don’t you? These are the kind of books that can be read to soothe me, when I am feeling down. I am certain we all have these kind of books – the ones that make There are some books that just nestle into your heart and stay there. For me, those have been the likes of An Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami, The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Capote, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. You get the drift, don’t you? These are the kind of books that can be read to soothe me, when I am feeling down. I am certain we all have these kind of books – the ones that make everything alright, just by opening them and reading – over and over again. Fox 8 by George Saunders is the latest addition to my ever-growing list of “heartwarming” books. (I hate the use of the word heartwarming, my apologies).I love Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo though is my least favourite book written by him, though it won the Man Booker Prize and all that). His short fiction is par excellence, his essays even better in my opinion, and basically whatever he writes is pure gold. Fox 8 is no less of a book because of its size. If anything, after you are done reading it, you tend to agree that it had to end, where it did, even if you wanted more of it.This 64-page novella/novelette is about a fox – the name is Fox 8 who is curious about humans (poor sad fox. I for one can’t stand most humans) and also learns some of the English language, by watching parents read to their children (I love how the fox also debunks fairy tales for us with reference to the role of the fox in them). Saunders is in his full form with inventiveness of language – writing (phonetically) the way a fox would – yooman and not human, bare and not bear, and the list goes on. At first, you wonder about the writing style and when you give in, you are in love with this fantastical tale of two foxes visiting a mall (that has been built razing most of their forest) and what happens next.Before I forget, kudos and more to Chelsea Cardinal for the illustrations that go so well with the story. The illustrations are all black and white, except the foxes – they are in orange and stunning would perhaps be a lesser adjective to use. Saunders’ story is telling of our times – of the way we inhabit spaces and make of them to how endangered our wild life really is – and all of this is said with the eccentric and almost witty (in this one at least), true blue Saunders style.Fox 8 is heartwarming, also heart-wrenching, makes you look at the world we have made and why and question almost every decision – which I think we must. At the same time, it makes a spot in your heart and will not go away. I am very happy that it was the first read of the year for me. Read it. It is truly beautifully done.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    I found myself more engaged with this long short story than I thought I would be. Saunders narrates as FOX 8, the name given to a real fox by his den. It's in the form of a letter or story to "Yumans." Part of the charm is the phonetic spelling throughout, because of course a fox cannot spell but has learned "werds" from listening to Yumans tell stories. Normally I hate this gimmick, but in Saunders' hands, it shines.What is at times sweet, funny, recognizable, is at other times dark and tragic, I found myself more engaged with this long short story than I thought I would be. Saunders narrates as FOX 8, the name given to a real fox by his den. It's in the form of a letter or story to "Yumans." Part of the charm is the phonetic spelling throughout, because of course a fox cannot spell but has learned "werds" from listening to Yumans tell stories. Normally I hate this gimmick, but in Saunders' hands, it shines.What is at times sweet, funny, recognizable, is at other times dark and tragic, as Yumans encroach on the den's territory. I also read this is a parallel to how some are treating the immigrants who are crossing our borders and entering our ports.Illustrated with simple line drawings by Chelsea Cardinal. This gives it the feel of a children's fairy tale. Both beautiful and a warning of some kind.
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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    Fox 8 is truly, a story of our time, and Saunders is at his absolute finest here. Fox 8 is a fable of the cruelty of humankind. In it, we are exceptional, creative, and powerful. But we are also, egotistic, selfish, unthinking, and cruel. It is a timely reminder that we are not all that inhabit this earth, and that we must engage more carefully with the world around us. Saunders writes with both humour and tenderness, constructing a story that is as confronting as it is entertaining. I loved it.
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  • 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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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    This was a delightful and bittersweet story of a very clever fox who has managed, somewhat, to get his paws around the English language enough to write the story of his life. Once you adjust to the prose style (the fox, being a fox, spells phonetically for the most part) this really is wonderful. Fox 8 is the most precocious and adventurous fox in his tribe (hence the English learning) and when human's destroy their home and cut off the food supply he goes on a journey to save his family. At onl This was a delightful and bittersweet story of a very clever fox who has managed, somewhat, to get his paws around the English language enough to write the story of his life. Once you adjust to the prose style (the fox, being a fox, spells phonetically for the most part) this really is wonderful. Fox 8 is the most precocious and adventurous fox in his tribe (hence the English learning) and when human's destroy their home and cut off the food supply he goes on a journey to save his family. At only fifty plus pages George Saunders (of "Lincoln in the Bardo" fame) has a pretty limited window to tell this sad little fable of innocence lost and hope regained but he manages quite handily. Fox 8's voice is a wonderful one. Despite his hardships and loss he never entirely loses his awe of humans and the things they create, even as he questions why creatures capable of "wonders" like shopping malls and parking lots must destroy and even kill anything that gets in their way.I really loved this and would happily read more of Fox 8's adventures.
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  • Peter Tillman
    January 1, 1970
    Well, it's not bad, but the fake fox dialect gets old fast, as does the heavy-handed message. The best part was the illustrations, by Chelsea Cardinal. And it's an attractive small book. I read an almost-new library copy in about 15 minutes. With some skimming. 1.5 stars, rounded up for the cool art. OK, it really is pretty bad. Saunders has fallen into the old trap of playing in someone else's genre, and he's just not very good at it. The story that instantly came to mind, was "The Coon Rolled Well, it's not bad, but the fake fox dialect gets old fast, as does the heavy-handed message. The best part was the illustrations, by Chelsea Cardinal. And it's an attractive small book. I read an almost-new library copy in about 15 minutes. With some skimming. 1.5 stars, rounded up for the cool art. OK, it really is pretty bad. Saunders has fallen into the old trap of playing in someone else's genre, and he's just not very good at it. The story that instantly came to mind, was "The Coon Rolled Down and Ruptured His Larinks, A Squeezed Novel by Mr. Skunk" by Dafydd ab Hugh. This wonderful novelette was nominated for both the Hugo & Nebula Awards in 1991. Not online, sadly. Most easily found in Dozois #8, and highly recommended. A great, and very entertaining, story. More details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Coo...
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  • Stacey
    January 1, 1970
    I found this on the 'lucky day' shelf at the library. It's short so I thought why not? I'm not familiar with George Saunders, but recognize a few of the titles of his other books.This is written from Fox 8's pov. It's an animal so how can it have a pov you might ask. Saunders was very clever at giving Fox 8 a voice. It was effective and a little obnoxious, but it's a short story so I continue on. Fox 8 learns the Yuman language by peering into windows at night and listening then translating to a I found this on the 'lucky day' shelf at the library. It's short so I thought why not? I'm not familiar with George Saunders, but recognize a few of the titles of his other books.This is written from Fox 8's pov. It's an animal so how can it have a pov you might ask. Saunders was very clever at giving Fox 8 a voice. It was effective and a little obnoxious, but it's a short story so I continue on. Fox 8 learns the Yuman language by peering into windows at night and listening then translating to all the other foxes. He sneeks into to the mall that replaced his den in the woods and on his way out witnessed animal cruelty by the Yumans. It made me think about the effects development has on the environment and animals of all kinds. In the end Fox 8 pleads to the Yumans to just be nice so we can live in harmony together.
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  • Betsy Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    This illustrated short story broke my heart. It is a plea for compassion and goodness. Thanks to my Goodreads friends for reviewing this beautiful little book and letting me know about it. Without you, my reading life would be so bland.
  • Laura Noggle
    January 1, 1970
    ⁉🦊8 ... 🧐😱☠ ... 💔‼48 page fable.It took me a minute to adjust to a talking fox, I admit. Still, there's a heartfelt sentiment/moral to the story. The spelling is a bit of a hurdle, but it's atmospheric in its own way:“I know life can be gud. Most lee it is gud. I have drank cleen cold water on a hot day, herd the soft bark of the one I luv, watched sno fall slow, making the wuds kwiet.” ⁉️🦊8 ... 🧐😱☠️ ... 💔‼️48 page fable.It took me a minute to adjust to a talking fox, I admit. Still, there's a heartfelt sentiment/moral to the story. The spelling is a bit of a hurdle, but it's atmospheric in its own way:“I know life can be gud. Most lee it is gud. I have drank cleen cold water on a hot day, herd the soft bark of the one I luv, watched sno fall slow, making the wuds kwiet.”
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  • 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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  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    This book has given me dichotomy.After reading it, I felt simultaneously delighted and irritated with the whole thing.It's written from a fox' perspective after he learns to speak "Yuman" (which to us out-westerners makes no phonetic sense because we pronounce the H in Human). The fox wants to tell the story of how he was happily living in nature with his kin until Yumans came along and kleered a forest to bild a Mawl.If that last bit of sentence gave you a migraine, don't read this. The entire This book has given me dichotomy.After reading it, I felt simultaneously delighted and irritated with the whole thing.It's written from a fox' perspective after he learns to speak "Yuman" (which to us out-westerners makes no phonetic sense because we pronounce the H in Human). The fox wants to tell the story of how he was happily living in nature with his kin until Yumans came along and kleered a forest to bild a Mawl.If that last bit of sentence gave you a migraine, don't read this. The entire book is written like that. If you thought that was hilarious and wonderful, maybe read this but be prepared for some heavy-handed message-imparting.I'm not sure this is going to enlighten anyone on how bad people are at taking care of the environment and how we generally don't care who is displaced when we refurbish the land in ways we see fit. I'm pretty sure this is common knowledge by now and one chooses to believe that we’re doing a crappy job or that we’re progressing like humans should. Developers have different ideas than conservationists and while I am on the conservationist tree-hugger save the whales side of things, the overall message in this one was crammed so hard down my throat that I gagged. Add to that the lessons that sometimes everyone else is wrong and you’ve got to do what you know is right, that real friendship is precious and fleeting, and that once you’ve been harmed, it’s hard to trust the world again, it’s...a bit much.At the same time, I had a hard time hating a fox who believes foxenkind and chickens have worked out an equitable arrangement: But guess what the Fox was? Sly! Yes, true lee! He trikked a Chiken! He lerd this plump Chiken away from its henhowse, claming there is some feed in a stump. We do not trik Chikens! We are very open and honest with Chikens! With Chikens, we have a Super Fare Deel, which is: they make the egs, we take the egs, they make more egs. And sometimes may even eat a live Chicken, shud that Chiken consent to be eaten by us, threw faling to run away upon are approche, after she has been looking for feed in a stump.You'll note the fox' written Yuman isn't consistent. Like, why spell “eaten” correctly? Why not put two "k"s in Chiken? I don't know. It probably doesn't matter unless things like that bother you (things like that obviously bother me)So I liked this but also, I found it offputting.I think I need a nap so I can reset my brain.
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  • Ron Charles
    January 1, 1970
    Small but powerful. Everything about George Saunders’s new book, “Fox 8,” is unusual. It was published Tuesday in a tiny hardback edition with illustrations by Chelsea Cardinal, but it’s been available as an ebook for years, and the story first appeared in McSweeney’s back in 2010, long before Saunders won the Booker Prize for “Lincoln in the Bardo.” It’s about a fox who learns to speak “Yuman” by listening to children’s bedtime stories. (“First may I say, sorry for any werds I spel rong.”) When Small but powerful. Everything about George Saunders’s new book, “Fox 8,” is unusual. It was published Tuesday in a tiny hardback edition with illustrations by Chelsea Cardinal, but it’s been available as an ebook for years, and the story first appeared in McSweeney’s back in 2010, long before Saunders won the Booker Prize for “Lincoln in the Bardo.” It’s about a fox who learns to speak “Yuman” by listening to children’s bedtime stories. (“First may I say, sorry for any werds I spel rong.”) When the construction of a shopping mall destroys his forest, Fox 8 learns a horrifying lesson about human cruelty. “It was about trauma,” Saunders tells me, “the fact that genuinely bad things can happen to genuinely nice people (or, in this case, a genuinely nice fox). There was something shocking about that – when that terrible thing happened to that fox with such an innocent and sweet-hearted voice. And I found myself thinking: Right, exactly, that’s what violence really is: a brutal action that is not camouflaged (as it so often is in pop culture) by any glamor in the presentation -- the worst thing happening to the dearest person. Now it occurs to me that it might also be read as an immigration fable -- how terrifying it is to be adrift and then be met with violence, and how nice it is to be adrift and be greeted with hospitality.”
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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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  • Ana
    January 1, 1970
    “Deer Reeder:First may I say, sorry for any werds I spel rong. Because I am a fox! So don’t rite or spel perfect. But here is how I lerned to rite and spel as gud as I do!”And I woslike: Fox 8, this Yuman reeder is complete lee luvving this buk!2019 Read Harder ChallengeTask #12: A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
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  • Jessica Sullivan
    January 1, 1970
    “Why did the Curator do it so rong, making the groop with the gratest skils the meenest?”Saunders has done it all, this time writing a short story from the perspective (and poor spelling) of a fox. This brief fable is a funny, sad and ultimately hopeful meditation on humans and their interactions with the natural world. I was not prepared for how touched I would be by the final pages.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    (3.5) Fox 8 learned human language by sitting outside windows and listening to children’s bedtime stories. Now he has a story of his own to tell, and it’s full of accusations of what humans have done to his kind, starting with destroying their habitat to build a mall and parking lot. “I woslike: Why did the Curator do it so rong, making the groop with the gratest skils the meenest?” There’s a couple of scenes here that will be hard for animal lovers to take (this seems inevitable in any book in (3.5) Fox 8 learned human language by sitting outside windows and listening to children’s bedtime stories. Now he has a story of his own to tell, and it’s full of accusations of what humans have done to his kind, starting with destroying their habitat to build a mall and parking lot. “I woslike: Why did the Curator do it so rong, making the groop with the gratest skils the meenest?” There’s a couple of scenes here that will be hard for animal lovers to take (this seems inevitable in any book in which an animal is a main character), but the voice is irresistible and funny, and the phonetic spellings a delight. This lovely Christmas-stocking-sized volume is enhanced by red and black line drawings by Chelsea Cardinal. I really need to read a whole Saunders story collection.
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  • Kusaimamekirai
    January 1, 1970
    “Fox 8” is a short story by George Saunders about a fox who has taken a liking to hanging outside of windows and listening to humans talk. After doing this for a period of time, Fox 8 (himself and his friends and family are similarly named) has developed the ability to understand certain English words and developed an admiration of humans. Believing them to be wonderful creatures, he follows some to a shopping mall where he experiences something that shakes his belief in them and changes his wor “Fox 8” is a short story by George Saunders about a fox who has taken a liking to hanging outside of windows and listening to humans talk. After doing this for a period of time, Fox 8 (himself and his friends and family are similarly named) has developed the ability to understand certain English words and developed an admiration of humans. Believing them to be wonderful creatures, he follows some to a shopping mall where he experiences something that shakes his belief in them and changes his world forever. The story’s concept is very intriguing and the message, man’s inhumanity to its fellow creatures, is an important one. And yet, the story never really resonated like I was expecting it to. Perhaps part of the reason is that fox 8 tells his story phonetically. Human is “yuman”, food is “fud”. I know what Saunders was trying to do here but rather than adding to the story, it becomes a distraction as if Saunders was too clever for his own good. Finally, the message he wants to convey here is a bit heavy handed. In fairness, it’s a short story and there is precious little time for character development, but his humans are grotesque caricatures of human beings while his foxes are pure and seemingly represent the best of earth. In short, I like what Saunders tried to do here, and applaud him for his ambition, even if the end result fell a bit short.
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  • Rachel (rachandbooks)
    January 1, 1970
    “If you want your Storys to end happy, try being niser.”Oh my heart, what a sentimental story. This short story is told from the perspective of a fox, hence why the above quote includes misspelled words. It's pretty adorable. Fox 8 learns some English from listening to people tell bedtime stories, and decides to use it for good for his group. But what Fox 8 learns is terrible--they're going to be misplaced by a mall. Throughout the story, Fox 8 questions why humans can be so terrible, and why th “If you want your Storys to end happy, try being niser.”Oh my heart, what a sentimental story. This short story is told from the perspective of a fox, hence why the above quote includes misspelled words. It's pretty adorable. Fox 8 learns some English from listening to people tell bedtime stories, and decides to use it for good for his group. But what Fox 8 learns is terrible--they're going to be misplaced by a mall. Throughout the story, Fox 8 questions why humans can be so terrible, and why they're prone to destruction, especially when he knows that they are also capable of good. I got emotional by the end because I wonder the same thing. Why can't we be more respectful to nature? Be more open-minded and empathetic? Be BETTER to one another? George Saunders is wondering these same things, too, and this is why he wrote this book. In addition to the more serious undertones of the book, it's littered with humor, sweetness, and some laugh-out-loud moments because of how the foxes speak to each other. I actually wish this book were longer so I could get more of this!I really enjoyed this story and the adorable illustrations every few pages. This is my first snippet of work by George Saunders and now I know "fur" sure (I'm sorry) that I need to read his other books.I wish Fox 8 all the happiness in the world!!!!!
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  • Danielle N
    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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  • Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
    January 1, 1970
    This short story might only take you 20 minutes or so to read, but it will definitely stay with you on a deeper level. With a timeless mythic quality, this fable digs to the core of what's wrong with the way people interact with the world today. George Saunders has this highly artistic and brilliant writing style—all of his stories are wildly different and take a little digesting. If you're reading a Saunders story, you know it. Plus, you're going to fall in love with this fox!My thanks to Rando This short story might only take you 20 minutes or so to read, but it will definitely stay with you on a deeper level. With a timeless mythic quality, this fable digs to the core of what's wrong with the way people interact with the world today. George Saunders has this highly artistic and brilliant writing style—all of his stories are wildly different and take a little digesting. If you're reading a Saunders story, you know it. Plus, you're going to fall in love with this fox!My thanks to Random House for sending me a copy of this one to read and review.
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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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  • Mariana Ferreira
    January 1, 1970
    Adorable and heart-breaking. This is a tiny book written as a letter from a fox to humanity. Saunders is so brilliant that his fox has a more distinct voice than most characters in other fiction books out there. Recommended, but sad as fuck at parts, so be warned.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Made me feel really sad and conscious about what we are doing in the world. Very cleverly done and I loved the play with the language.
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