From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo, a story about the unintended consequences unleashed by our quest to tame the natural world—featuring black-and-white illustrations by Chelsea Cardinal.
There is no writer who gets our vanity, and our endless capacity for hope and cruelty like George Saunders does. Fox 8 is a cautionary tale rolled up in a comic romp rolled up in a fable. The way that Yumans (and Foxes) behave is hilarious and tragic, all at the same time. Saunders’ license with our language has always been part of what makes him unique and daring, and it’s in full throat in this magical book. Fox 8 may be short, but I dare you to read it only once.
A story that can and will be read by children – but it’s also a book of deep, complex truths ... The language takes a bit of work initially. Fox’s malapropisms are often very funny, though, and you soon get used to the linguistic tics by which he represents the contemporary American idiom ... Above all else, it’s a story packed with the kind of moral didacticism that we expect to get from a certain type of children’s story – all about respecting others and the importance of basic decency.
In Fox 8, Saunders’ climate message is... bluntly stated; what elevates it is a linguistic innovation that brings adult playfulness and archness to the storytelling ... [Saunders'] narrative is a beguiling jumble of bad grammar and phonetic spellings ('Par King' for parking; 'mawl' for mall), and his tone alternates from childlike naivety to sly adult knowing ... This mash-up of language is beguiling and gives the book a doubleness that tempers the simple didacticism of Saunders’ message ... Fox 8 has an undeniable charm and its artwork, by Chelsea Cardinal, beautifully reflects the subject matter with its clean-lined, woodcut quality. And Saunders typically builds a mountain of emotion out of a few pages so that the central tragedy — Fox 7’s death — is truly affecting ... If Serota is right and art can inspire activism, Fox 8 is not just a handsome little stocking-filler but can help to transform the world in its own small, beautiful way.