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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of Lincoln in the Bardo, a darkly comic short story about the unintended consequences unleashed by our quest to tame the natural world.

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”.

©2013 George Saunders (P)2013 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Fox 8

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sly Foxes, Wise Owls, Mean Dudes

This title appeared in Howard Polskin's (CEO & Editor in Chief of Thin Reads) 2013 Best Summer Reads. The criteria for selections were: the stories had to be published within the last year, short--between 100-200 pages, something light, engaging--quote: "easy to finish, sort of like a cold Amstel beer on Main Beach in the Hamptons." If I could spend the summer on any beach in the Hamptons (or for that matter any beach anywhere)...the warm slobber-infused water left in my bulldog's bowl would be easy to finish, but what has that got to do with books...

I would toss into that equation: well-written, thought provoking, enjoyable. $1.95/George Saunders/ 37 minutes, you can't go wrong. I found this funny, charming, then alarming and sad (as is always the case when animals go head to head with *Yumans*), but always crisp and entertaining, and for any audience. Use your cash, save your credit, and if for some reason you don't like it...close your eyes and pretend you're on Main Beach--you'll still have $$ left for a cold brewski. *Highly recommend.


28 people found this helpful

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A quirky modern-day fable

The thing I liked most about Saunders' quirky fable is how innocent and honest his writing can be without becoming saccharine. He manages with his simple narrative and his prose ticks to walk up to the line of absurdly sentimental and overdone, but then slinks backs down.

Obvious comparisons should probably be made to David Sedaris' modern bestiary: 'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk' and Dahl's 'Fantastic Mr Fox'. Saunders's story 'Fox 8' seems to belong to that same family group descended from the Aesopica. Not my favorite genre, but Saunders could write a phone book and I'd go out and buy it and read/listen to it.

While Saunders might consider his narration style to Leo Kottke's singing voice ("geese farts on a muggy day"), I think his voice is a perfect compliment to his writing.

25 people found this helpful

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I cried

This was much sadder than I expected it to me. I loved it a lot.

6 people found this helpful

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Crafty Story

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?"

4 people found this helpful

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Perfectly Sad

This is a well written modern parable. Saunders reads it himself, and I don't think anyone else could have done as good a job. It is worth listening to as well as reading.

Not the happiest story, but truth hurts!

2 people found this helpful

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Saunders is my favourite.

Fox 8 is a beautiful work on perspective and the destructive force of human development.

2 people found this helpful

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It's, like, kind of annoying

I really could have enjoyed this book. Talking animals, particularly those with a sense of humor, are among my favorite literary characters. But when every other sentence includes the word "like" I have to throw in the towel. Too bad! It could have been fun.

4 people found this helpful

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  • VM
  • 06-21-20

Could not settle on one voice

This story begins with an apology for any flaws in the English because it is written by a fox. And it was written like you would expect a new English speaker to write - mostly restricted vocabulary during the dialog. Because of the repetition that occurs when you restrict vocabulary, this got a bit tedious but since the writing is part of the story, you just roll with it.

Until the word "très" found its way into the story. Then idioms started dropping. Idioms are particularly difficult to pick up & use correctly when learning a new language. I would not expect to hear them in this context.

I'm not trying to be difficult but if the reader must persevere through dialog so très simplistically written (Ex. 'I was like' then 'he was like' and 'I was like') then commit to that writing style throughout the piece. And if having the writing style be consistent with primitive English really isn't that important to the story, then please do something about the dialog.

1 person found this helpful

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Be prepared to cry

I cried. Pretty hard. On an airplane. Pretty sure the person sitting next to me felt a little uncomfortable.

1 person found this helpful

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Oh George

You continue to break my heart and restore it. There is no one like you in the whole wide world. I am your aging groupie. You are one of the reasons to keep going and dreaming. I love you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wras
  • 01-05-18

If we could see ourselves


A terrible depiction of humanity, a sad truth well told.

I would not say that this is a child's tale but maybe a and early adolescent confrontation with an uncomfortable truth, the violence is real and the pain Fox 8 fills is very real.

A bittersweet tale that revives that child in us and shames the adult for forgetting the magic around us.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 02-05-18

Short and exceptionally sweet.

Fox 8 is such an endearing book with a lot of heart. It makes articulate points about human nature, cruelty and, err, foxes. It'll have you hooked from the start and will keep you there until that final and utterly remarkable line.

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  • Shila
  • 06-11-17

I love George Saunders. There. I said it.

This story is so compelling. It was a priviledge to listen to it being read by its author.