Thursday, October 27, 2011

(Blog Tour) Mr.Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (review)

Genre:Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism
Publication.Date  September 27th 2011
WebsiteMr. Fox - Goodreads
My review copy:Review copy provided by the publisher (*Thank you!*)
Where to get: Chapters | Amazon

An exhilarating new direction for Helen Oyeyemi with a mischievous story of love, lies and inspiration

It’s an ordinary afternoon in 1938 for the celebrated American novelist St John Fox, hard at work in the study of his suburban home – until his long-absent muse wanders in. Mary Foxe (beautiful, British and 100% imaginary) is in a playfully combative mood. “You’re a villain,” she tells him. ‘A serial killer . . . can you grasp that?”

Mr Fox has a predilection for murdering his heroines. Mary is determined to change his ways. And so she challenges him to join her in stories of their own devising, and the result is an exploration of love like no other.

It isn’t long before Mrs Daphne Fox becomes suspicious, and St John is offered a choice: 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. Can there be a happy ending this time?

Mr Fox is a magical book, as witty as it is profound in its truths about how we learn to be with one another.

And she walked away, and she walked away, and that was that, and that was that.
“And without further argument he unsheathed the sword and cleaved Miss Foxe's head from her neck. He knew what was supposed to happen. He knew that this awkward, whispering creature before him should now transform into a princess - dazzlingly beautiful, free, and made wise by her hardship.

That is not what happened.”

     In her latest novel, the acclaimed bestselling author, Helen Oyeyemi, takes us on a magical and utmost bizarre journey into the depths of one's imagination. Mr.Fox is a fascinating and inventive blend of stories, skillfully layered together to create a truly phenomenal work of fiction. Bursting with flavors, charming and thrilling at the same time, beautifully written - it's a novel one can't afford to miss out on. You haven't read literature, if you haven't read Helen Oyeyemi's books.

      I wasn't sure how to approach writing this review. After finishing Mr.Fox I sat a long time in silence, slightly light-headed and with no clue what to think about it. I still don't know to be honest. I feel like I need to read it again to fully grasp the message that's undoubtedly hidden between the lines. In fact, I think I'd need to re-read it not once, but a couple of times more. There are just so many details, so many nuances that are all to easy to miss, and I feel that I ought to collect them all to get the whole picture. There's so much going on on the pages of Mr.Fox, so many different stories are being told here, so many shifts - in narration, time, even reality! This is a novel that requires 100% of your focus and sponge-like brain to absorb all that.

      I won't even try to summarize this novel. There's no way I could do that without giving away too much. And in case of this novel, anything I'd tell you about the plot or characters would be way too much. The complexity of this novel totally overwhelmed me at first, I felt lost and confused. Every time I thought I knew what was going on, there was another shift in the narration, or the characters were all of a sudden someone totally different then before (and I don't mean that their mood changed or they behaved weird, they really turned into different people). Having read the whole book, I understand what was going on now. All the missing pieces are now collected and in the right places. The fog has lifted and there's a clear view ahead. But at the same time, I don't feel that my journey is over, quite the opposite - I want to go back and explore all the places I've previously missed. Now that I know, I desire to know more, to re-read this book and apply my knowledge in all the places that previously confused me. And that, my dear book lovers, makes this book even more wonderful to me. I love books that keep you coming back to them. There aren't many books like that out there and that makes Mr.Fox even more precious.

      One thing I definitely need to talk about is Helen Oyeyemi's writing style. If you had the pleasure of reading any of her previous books, you know that we're talking some serious awesomeness here. She's not talented. She's the definition of what talent is. Talent learned its meaning from Helen Oyeyemi. The way this woman takes an insanely difficult subject or idea and then builds a whole fictional world around it, connecting all the dots and leaving no loose ends - it's beyond phenomenal. Every word, every gesture, smile, movement, description - everything is assigned a role to play, a meaning. There's no coincidence in Oyeyemi's writing. I'm tempted to say that she painted a picture with her evocative language, but that wouldn't be 100% correct. It's not a single picture, it's more like a brilliant collage, a picture made of a thousand smaller pictures. Each and every single one of the small pictures tells a powerful and unique story.

      This book touched my soul, squeezed my heart, took me on a very emotional ride. I was amused, thrilled and heartbroken, all thanks to one 324-page novel. I'm glad I picked it up, it was absolutely worth it.

About the author

Helen Oyeyemi was born in Nigeria in 1984 and raised in London. She is the author of three novels: The Icarus Girl, which was completed before her nineteenth birthday; The Opposite House, which was nominated for the 2008 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; and White is for Witching, which was nominated for a 2009 Shirley Jackson award and won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award. She is also the author of two plays, Juniper’s Whitening and Victimese.

If you'd like a sample of Helen Oyeyemi's talent, here you can read one of her short stories:

Blog Tour Stops 
(make sure to visit them all!)

Tales of a Ranting Ginger Oct 24
Snowdrop Dreams of Books Oct 25
Just a Lil’ Lost Oct 26
In the Next Room Oct 27
Evie Bookish Oct 28
Florence in Print Oct 31
A Bookworm’s World  Nov 1
Krystal’s Stellar Book Blog Nov 2
The Indextrious Reader Nov 3
Hands and Home Nov 4

    Thank you Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for organizing this fantastic blog tour! :)

    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
    About the Author
    Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
    She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
    You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


    Bonnie said...

    This is an absolutely brilliant review Evie! I have to admit that this book is intimidating me a little bit right now but reading your final thoughts is the encouragement that I need to push through. And I have to say, you are right about the writing style... *sigh*

    James said...

    kesari tours - Kesari Tours Pvt Ltd,kesaritravels, holidays,vacations,trip,trips,yatra,spiritual,pilgrimage, journey,holy places,Marigold tours.

    Fenny Wong said...

    The first thing that enticed me to this book was the cover. And the name of the author, which I firstly thought as sounded a little bit Japanese. I am proved wrong, but nevertheless I am eager to search for this book next time I visit the bookstore. Thank you for the review!

    E_V_E said...

    so funny cover 8D
    it could be interesting story 8)

    Anonymous said...

    Whoaaa what a good review... Makes me want to read this book :|

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...