Review: Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

mrfoxThe premise for Helen Oyeyemi’s novel Mr. Fox is an intriguing one. The title character is a writer who has a penchant for writing horrific outcomes to the women in his stories. His imaginary muse appears one day and challenges him & his writing. What follows is a series of short stories/scenarios that explores all the different facets of love & relationships.

The appearance and story of Mary Foxe, the imaginary muse, reminded me of A Christmas Carol, where Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present & Future. She shows up to try and change his way of storytelling, questioning his constant choices to have his heroines meet such dreadful ends.

Unfortunately, that’s probably about the most I really gathered from the overall novel. Oyeyemi’s writing is beautiful and descriptive, the short stories disguised as chapters jumping off the page and completely captivating. Her imagination for this complex tale shines through in her work. However, I struggled with how all the stories tied together. The book isn’t really marketed as a collection of short stories, so I was expecting more of a connecting link than just the characters of Fox (Mr.) and Foxe (muse) as the main characters in all the tales. Perhaps Mr. Fox was just not for me, as this novel has garnered quite an esteemed buzz (like this NPR review)

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ (2.5/5 stars)

Goodreads | Book Depository

Helen Oyeyemi’s upcoming events:

  • October 28, 8:00 PM – Toronto – IFOA Reading
  • October 29, 7:00 PM – Port Hope – IFOA Ontario
  • October 30, 2:00 PM – Toronto – IFOA Round Table

Other Stops on the Blog Tour!

ARC was provided by Penguin Canada for the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Comments

  1. I would have bought it just for the cover! I’ve got one of her books and have another coming in the mail, but I should wait to see if I like her style before getting any more because my impression is that she’s not everyone’s cup of tea?

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