From the prizewinning young writer of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Gingerbread, and Peaces comes a brilliant and inventive story of love, lies, and inspiration titled Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi which is a 2011 novel by British author Helen Oyeyemi, published by Picador in the UK and by Riverhead Books in the US. Mr. Fox, Helen Oyeyemi’s fourth novel, takes its name from the English version of the Bluebeard fairytale. In Oyeyemi’s reinterpretation, Mr. Fox does not shrink away when Mary accuses him of murder in the opening chapter. This Mr. Fox is a professional writer of fiction, not a fearsome castle dweller, and Mary is merely one of his characters. To her complaint he simply replies, “It’s ridiculous to be so sensitive about the content of fiction.” So saying, he attempts to wash his hands of responsibility for his other female characters, killed off with excessive violence and gore. At the same time, while Mr. Fox claims to be in love with his invented Mary, he has a real life wife named Daphne whom he mistreats by routinely ignoring her. Perhaps because Mary is also a figment of Mr. Fox’s imagination, she empathizes with the fictional characters in his stories and challenges him to do likewise. This novel is such a great read that has received international literary recognition and so in this article, you will be able to download the pdf of Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi as well as do the following:
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Please note that the author of this book has put in a lot of effort in writing this book. It will be a good gesture and a show of support to buy the paperback version of Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi after reading the free pdf version you have downloaded.
Summary of Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don’t get complicated. In this book, the 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 in 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.
About the author Mr fox pdf – Helen Olajumoke Oyeyemi
Helen Olajumoke Oyeyemi (born 10 December 1984) is a British novelist. In 2013 she was included in the Granta Best of Young British Novelists list.She is the author of five novels, most recently White Is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, Mr. Fox, which won a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Boy, Snow, Bird. In 2013. She lives in Prague.
Information about the book (Amazon)
- ASIN : 1594486182
- Publisher : Riverhead Books; Reprint edition (November 6, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781594486180
- ISBN-13 : 978-1594486180
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.1 x 0.93 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #196,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #74 in African Literature (Books)
- #256 in Australia & Oceania Literature
- #1,651 in Magical Realism
- Customer Reviews: 4.0 out of 5 stars 215 ratings
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Editorial reviews about the book
“Oyeyemi’s writing is gorgeous and resonant and fresh . . . a shimmering landscape pulsating with life.”—Aimee Bender, The New York Times Book Review
“Oyeyemi has an eye for the gently perverse, the odd detail that turns the ordinary marvelously, frighteningly strange.”—The Boston Globe
“Dazzling.”—The Washington Post
“Cheeky and imaginative.”—The New Yorker
“Startling, beautiful . . . [Mr. Fox] should not be ignored.”—Chicago Sun Times
“Mr. Fox is a wonderfully original novel, full of images and turns of phrase so arresting, so vivid and inventive, its pages almost glow with them. Helen Oyeyemi has given us a work of playful charm and serious narrative pleasure.”—Sarah Waters, author of The Little Stranger
“A sly, tender, and elegant novel, graced with a magical charm that makes this novel’s wisdom about love and loss all the more captivating to read. Mr. Fox is a novel for those who love stories and who believe in their singular power to alter and heal our fragile souls.”–Dinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and How to Read the Air
Community readers reviews on goodreads for Mr fox by Helen Oyeyemi
Helen Oyeyemi can write voices. Men’s voices, women’s voices, English voices, American voices, Nigerian voices, French voices, human voices, animal voices.
I’d trust her to write an authentic voice from any geographical location, any time frame, any political situation, any gender, any species.
Because Helen Oyeyemi truly owns the world she lives in.
She can write stories that become novels and novels made from stories.
She can write in different styles, be it myth or modern.
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. We drag our heels a little at first and complain that we don’t want it to be like that, we simply want to read by the rules. Can’t you keep the roles clear, we protest – the reader’s role, the writer’s role, the narrator’s role, the other characters’ roles, none of this mixing and mingling, thank you very much.
Oh, come on, she says, raising her eyes to the skies. Don’t you remember anything you learned from Calvino’s traveler! So we stop struggling, and start smiling, and it’s perfect.
He shrugged. “These are our circumstances. I’m just trying to make sense of them,” he said.
Mary was silent.
“Everyone dies.” He smiled crookedly. “I doubt it’s ever a pleasant experience. So does it really matter how it happens?”
“Yes!” She put a hand on his arm, trying to pass her shock through his skin. “Yes.”
This starts off cute, then begins to cut. 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. 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. 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. 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.
“What you’re doing is building a horrible kind of logic. 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.”
I enjoyed this because it is so imaginative and clever but I found it hard to finish and didn’t feel like I “got” it. This was one of those books that was so enamored with its conceit that at times it loses the reader. Still, this is an audacious, important book well worth reading.
Mr. 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. Underneath it all are serious issues being addressed despite the playful manner in which the novel is written. The stories within this story jump with ease from one level of reality to another and back at the blink of an eye. If there is anything like a plot, it is secondary to the characters and stories they live and/or imagine for themselves and for each other. What is it about? Well, that is difficult to explain without revealing too much. The enjoyment is in the exploring of it bit by bit…
Just a few hints: Remember the story of Bluebeard? The noble man who had a track record of killing his young wives because they were too curious? Until, that is, when he came across one that was the right match for him: she fought back. There is also an ancient, similar story of a Mister Fox… and foxes are important to Oyeyemi’s story. With Mr. Fox she has created a modern version of the old fairy tale, adding modern life’s complexities through any number of original twists and turns. Her Mr. St. John Fox is a well-known writer who creates stories where, unfortunately, the heroine… well, you get the sense of it. Until a female challenger turns up and everything is up for grabs. To add another layer to the stories, there are three in this union… And yes, there is a subtle delicate structure to the novel, a bit like a jigsaw where all the pieces will fit in the end in some way.
Mr. Fox is a book that will not be great fun for readers who like a linear plot or story lines. The stories within the story lead the reader to places around the world and beyond, personal challenges are issued all the time, and the voices change (or do they?). It is quite a ride, funny, heart-warming and full of surprises.
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2013
Just when I begin to think there’s little new under the sun, along comes Helen Oyeyemi and shatters all my perceptions about how a story can be narrated. This young, brave, gifted Nigerian-born British writer is a modern day Scheherazade, weaving her tales in the form of a most unconventional love triangle: St. John Fox, a “serial killer” writer (the women in his books always die), a muse (or is she?) named Mary Foxe, and his wife Daphne.The book is loosely based on the legend of Bluebeard – a feared and shunned nobleman who murdered multiple wives after they enter his forbidden room. His last wife-to-be is able to escape her fate.
In Helen Oyeyemi’s book, the misogynous Mr. Fox is confronted by Mary Foxe and delivered a challenge: to join in on her game to engage in competition, to avoid pat endings and to create a story that breaks the mold that he’s become all too comfortable with. The stories are at first slightly self-conscious and increasingly become richer and richer as the characters (Mr. Fox, Mary Foxe and Daphne) begin to connect in surprising ways, across time periods and genres.
In fact, this book is hard to pigeonhole. Certainly, it is imaginative. It is also timeless: the tales amply leverage the romance and violence that are part and parcel of the best of our historic fairy tales. Mr. Fox, for example, bridges the gap with legendary foxes such as the seductive Reynardine and in one unforgettable story, becomes a fox of folklore, trying to escape his fox-like nature.
The stories themselves are marvelous: a young woman with violence in her past who meets a widower who challenges her ability to trust, a highly unusual prep school for perfect husbands…each tale is a joy onto itself. The themes within the stories have a lot to say about the creative process, the challenges of mature loving, the echoes of post traumatic stress disorder, the discovery and acceptance of one’s true nature, the agony and ecstasy of taking creative and personal chances. As Helen Oyeyemi leads us from absorbent fantasy to hints of the truth of Mr Fox’s struggling marriage and need for creative release, reality and fantasy often flirt with each other and sometimes even collide. Brava, Ms. Oyeyemi, for such an inventive and alluring book!
Reviewed in the United States on June 25, 2021
It’s very hard for me to rate this book. I vacillated between 2 and 3 stars, settled on 2.5 and rounded up. If this were a collection of short stories, I think I would have liked it much more. The writing is very good and the short stories mostly interesting.
Because the author chose to frame the stories with the odd love triangle of St John Fox, his wife Daphne, and his imaginary muse Mary Foxe, I found myself constantly distracted, trying to understand how the stories fit into the over-arching plot (such as it was). I understand these were different takes on the story of Bluebeard, but it didn’t work for me.
Reviewed in the United States on July 1, 2014
I picked up this book on a whim. It was on sale and I happen to really like foxes. So it was great to find out, in the end, that my purchase was worthwhile for this is a very good book. It is dark at times. And it gets confusing. If you like to passively read a story, and don’t like a little confusion then this will probably not be a good book for you.
The author tells her story with vignettes, so you are easily pushed on from one chapter to the next. However, these vignettes are not all chronological, and you do have to orient yourself a few times. Some are stories written by one of the main characters St. John Fox, other chapters are of his life and some are from the perspective of his muse Mary. Despite the changing perspective, the book was written beautifully. The stories with little bearing on the plot have actually stayed with me more than the overall story.
I don’t think this is the kind of book you will want to bring to the beach however. If you are looking for a light summer read maybe look elsewhere. This book is best enjoyed on a cloudy day with a warm cup of chai tea. At least I think so!
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