Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Unabridged Audiobook on CD
I recently finished listening to the unabridged audio version of Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi and narrated by Carol Boyd. Listening time for this audiobook is 8 hours, 15 minutes.

Helen Oyeyemi is a new to me author... I'd never heard of her before until last month when I was browsing the audiobook section at a local bookstore. 

Essentially, I ended up selecting Helen Oyeyemi's novel, Mr. Fox, because of a reading challenge I've been participating in this year. The reading challenge is called the 2016 Authors A-Z Reading Challenge. For this reading challenge, the goal is to read books by 26 different authors throughout 2016. The name of the authors (you can choose the author's first name or last name) starts on each letter in the alphabet (A to Z). One author, one letter and you can ONLY count each author once, by using the first letter in the first name OR the first letter in the last name. The letters "Q" and "X" can be anywhere in the author's name. I've had fun with the 2016 Authors A-Z Reading Challenge and Helen Oyeyemi's last name fits for the letter "O".

Mr. Fox was a novel I really wanted to love!! I liked the premise of the novel and it sounded like an intriguing read, so I looked forward to seeing how this novel unfolded... But, in the end, Mr. Fox wasn't what I thought it was going to be or at least it didn't live up to my expectation. Sure the writing in Mr. Fox is good overall. I especially enjoyed the last 25% of Mr. Fox... But I felt that Mr. Fox was disjointed and difficult to follow in parts as I was trying to figure what the authors was trying to tell her readers. I also didn't like the dynamics between Mr. Fox, his wife, Daphne, and Mary... It just made for an odd novel to read. I felt like Mr. Fox was just too artsy for my taste.

The following is a plot summary for Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi from Audible:
Fairy-tale romances end with a wedding, and the fairy tales don't get complicated. In this book, 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 so through 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.
Overall, I thought Mr. Fox was simply an okay novel. It wasn't to my liking. I think I'll pass on reading Helen Oyeyemi's other novels. I am giving Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi a rating of 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy listening!

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