Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Fox 8 by George Saunders

So came bak nite upon nite, seeted upon that window, trying to lern. And in time, so many werds came threw my ears and into my brane, that, if I thought upon them, cud understand Yuman prety gud if I heer it!

~from p. 4 of Fox 8 

I'm not certain but I think Fox 8 would be classified as a novelette or a long short story at 49 pages; it's small of size and a super quick read (even with the horrible fox spelling). And, in spite of the lovely illustrations by Chelsea Cardinal, it is most definitely not a children's story. 

Fox 8 (that's the fox's name) has spent time outside the houses of "Yumans" and learned how to speak and read their language.  But, he doesn't necessarily understand context, so when he sees a sign saying "Coming Soon, FoxViewCommons" he has no idea what's coming. Then, the bulldozers arrive. The forest home of Fox 8 and his friends is razed, they lose their homes and their food sources disappear, so they begin to starve. They look for their neighboring fox pack but are unable to locate them. And, then they begin to die off. 

Eventually, a mall is completed and Fox 8 goes exploring with one of his friends. There, they discover the joy of the food court and the danger of humans. If you're an animal lover who is distressed by man's cruelty to animals, you'll definitely find your stomach in knots for a time. This is a rough little read because it's an honest viewpoint of losing your home, your food, your family and friends through the eyes of a fox who does everything he can to survive. 

It's also funny at times because it's by George Saunders. He has a wicked sense of humor that he always uses to good effect to poke his finger in man's chest and remind him of the stupid, senseless things he does. 

Highly recommended - Fox 8 will wreck you but I love how George Saunders can horrify and entertain you at the same time. Also, it's written in the vernacular of a fox, as you can see from the quote above. Or, at least George Saunders' imagining of a literate Fox's thoughts and dialogue. And, yeah, there's that vernacular again. At times I had to stop to untangle a word but, A.) The book is short, and B.) It's George Saunders, one of my favorite authors, so . . .  Frankly, I'll put up with any wringer he puts me through. I'm a fangirl. 

©2021 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Oh, I do want to read this one!

    1. The friend of a friend called it a "devastating little read" and I agree with that. You will cringe at a scene of animal abuse but it has a great theme and . . . well, George Saunders. I just love him.


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