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Reynard the Fox

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  261 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
What do a weak lion king, a grief-stricken rooster, a dim-witted bear, and one really angry wolf have in common? The answer is they’ve all been had by one sly fox named Reynard. Originally bursting forth from Europe in the twelfth century, Reynard the Fox—a classic trickster narrative centered on a wily and gleefully amoral fox and his numerous victims in the animal kingdo ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 9th 2015 by Liveright (first published 1250)
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The Prose Edda by Snorri SturlusonThe Nibelungenlied by UnknownThe Travels by Marco PoloSumma Theologica, 5 Vols by Thomas AquinasParzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach
Best Books of the 13th Century
21st out of 32 books — 118 voters
Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald DahlWhat Does the Fox Say? by YlvisThe Hounds of the Mórrígan by Pat O'SheaThe Midnight Fox by Betsy ByarsWhat The Fox Learnt by Aesop
Children's Books About Foxes
68th out of 93 books — 15 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Fredrick Danysh
Feb 12, 2016 Fredrick Danysh rated it liked it
Shelves: children-ya
This collection of stories evaluates the struggle between good and evil, right and wrong with hypocritical dark humor. Similar to Briar Rabbit and Aseop's Fables.
Apr 23, 2015 Ben rated it really liked it
After finishing this book, I'm not sure who the intended is that the author & publisher had in mind. The plot is quite simple and all the characters are woodland animals, so the book definitely seems like it should be for children. But the satire on political power and the gullibility of those who have more greed that good sense is certainly geared toward a more adult readership; and the violent parts -- such as when a bear get his head stuck in a tree and ends up tearing all of the skin off ...more
David Dinaburg
Jul 01, 2015 David Dinaburg rated it it was amazing
Imagine you have the chance to read a story that was such a cultural touchstone nearly everyone who could read had read it. A story that was once so popular that it integrated itself into the very essence of language. A story that isn't the bible; one of which you've probably never heard, let alone read:
The Reynard literary material was so popular in medieval France that the French word for “fox” changed from “goupil” to “reynard” (the word still used in French for “fox”).
I chose to verify thi
Logan Plonski
Apr 01, 2016 Logan Plonski rated it really liked it
When I first started reading this book, I was expecting something more along the lines of a typical folk tale, where a flawed character gets its comeuppance at the hands of a lovable rogue. I was unprepared for the manipulative and bloodthirsty Reynard, who frequently enacted grevious harm on completely innocent animals. By the time I finished reading it, I realized that Reynard wasn't the hero, but was representative of the kind of person to watch out for in politics and in your daily life. ...more
Bryan Camp
Jul 22, 2016 Bryan Camp rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Started this for both research and because I love Trickster tales, finished it just for the research. The introduction and the message from the translator at the end turned me off, as I don't think he quite understands the value of Trickster as a mythic figure. But then, I'm biased. The language straddles the line between being a full on modernization and staying true to the original, (which the translator states in the intro was intended) and I think it would have better served to go fully one ...more
Unlike what the title suggests, it is not a novel ("Roman") but a collection of fables which narrates the story of Renart (or Reynard in the English translation) and the mean tricks he plays on everyone.
Written by more than twenty authors between a.d. 1175 and 1250, it was so popular in its time that it changed the French word for fox, from goupil it became renard.

If you are familiar with the Fables by Jean de la Fontaine, you will find some stories in common. Five hundred years separate them b
Sarah Bilodeau
I love the idea of this, but not so much the actual reading of it . . . It is a series of storieswritten during the 12th and 13th centuries. It consists of a tablea de la societe HUMAINE peint a travers les histoires de sanimaux qui representet des types et des couches dans la societe reelle de l'epoque. Par exemple, le loupysengrinus et le renard (le nom renard vient du nom propre du personnage, car l'histoire etait tellement populaire) C'est un receuil syncretique avec des influences variees . ...more
Lara Hoffmann
Mar 05, 2016 Lara Hoffmann rated it really liked it
I had never read the story of Reynard the Fox before, probably because these stories are read but not extremely popular in Germany. When preparing a presentation on hunt as a literary motif in the novel Blue Fox, or Skugga-Baldur in Icelandic, I stumbled upon an interesting translation issue where the English translation read "a daughter of Reynard" but the word Reynard was not used in the original. I think there is no proper way of translating the original"skolli" into English.
What does the wor
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Sep 10, 2016 Jon(athan) Nakapalau rated it it was amazing
Think Quentin Tarantino writing Loony Tunes and you are there!
Czarny Pies
Dec 22, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Des amateurs de la belle litterature des moyennes ages.
Shelves: french-lit
Le renart est un mechant epouvantable et joyeux qui a raison de tous ses enemis. Il tue. Il vole. Il seduit la femme de son meilleur ami et il mange les enfants d'un autre. Surtout, c'est un menteur inveteree. Ses mensonges ne semblent pas etre trop convaincant mais le Renart comprend tres bien que les gens veulent croire du bien de tout le monde et que tout le monde souhaite le repentir du pecheur. Donc il fait et refait des mauvais tours a tout le monde, mais il reste toujours impuni.

Cette ouv
Mar 03, 2016 Deanna rated it liked it
From the back of the book to what it actually was is a hugeeee difference. I thought this was a whimsical tale of a crafty fox similar to that of Aesop's fable, but with so much violence it was a little upsetting just because of how much I love animals. I mean, the more I read the more it was easy to overlook because of how similar to humans they were - but still, not very happy, was it? More gore and disgusting nonsense in this than in any of the other "horror" books I've read lately. Ergh.
Elli (The Bibliophile)
Sep 24, 2015 Elli (The Bibliophile) rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, 2015
This was a very pleasant read that I was expecting to be quite tame, but ended up being quite violent! Overall it was very entertaining and I would say I liked the translation! I would have liked to learn a bit more about the significance of Reynard the Fox in the introduction, but that is definitely something I can research on my own!
Le monde de Renart est peuplé par les animaux, qui jouent les humains, alors que ceux-ci font les animaux... Ainsi, Renart est l'animal le plus haï à la cour de Noble le lion. A chacun, il a déjà joué plus d'un mauvais tour, et tous comptent bien se venger ! De chaque méfait, il échappe à la punition grâce à une ruse, mais pourra-t-il toujours éviter la sentence ?
Jul 29, 2011 Mathieu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent texte, qui reste lisible même aujourd' hui, tant les situations restent burlesques. La personnification des animaux est particulièrement rafraîchissante... Brun l' ours, Ysengrin le loup, Thybert le chat... autant de figures qui émaillent le récit et le rende vivant. Un classique de la littérature médiéval.
May 05, 2015 William rated it liked it
A fun little book and kind of interesting for something first written in around the 12th century. The lessons in it are still pertinent today. It was a good translation from middle English to modern English. It makes fun of kings, clergy and everyone in between so it was a wonder that it wasn't completely burned out of existence at some time in the past.
Rebecca Schwarz
Mar 03, 2016 Rebecca Schwarz rated it liked it
Shelves: to-sylvia
Started out strong, but became a bit talky and repetitive in the second half. This is likely due to the nature of the source materials, which would be told orally over time. It is definitely an interesting view into the medieval idiom of trickster tales always witty, often quite cruel.
Jul 20, 2015 Erin rated it really liked it
This book is an intriguing look at popular medieval literature. It is well packaged and modernized for today's reader. I think I might prefer the older, more flowery language personally, but this translation makes it a tad more accessible for the average reader. Recommended.
Apr 10, 2015 Morgan rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Really enjoyed it. Very disappointed that Reynard wasn't exposed for what he was in the end but such is life. Justice isn't always served and sometimes those with silver tongues prevail in the end despite thier crimes.
Mar 19, 2015 Christopher rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I loved the modern day translator's introduction comparing these folk tales to a kind of peasant/working class allegory of Machiavelli's The Prince. It made reading this translation of the 15th century text more enjoyable.
Feb 19, 2016 Alicia rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this old European tale but it was too repetitive and read like a legal dossier instead of a fantastical fable. Boring.
May 11, 2011 Rea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french
De temps en temps un humour très subtile. Parfois je me suis rendue compte que je suivais plus le récit.

A relire.
Kaj Lund
Kaj Lund rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2016
Patti rated it it was ok
Mar 23, 2015
Debs rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2015
Aug 13, 2011 Noémie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, school
Cours: PIL 1
Alexandra Gold
Alexandra Gold rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2015
Dee Dee
Dee Dee rated it it was ok
May 01, 2016
Derek Eisenhoffer
Derek Eisenhoffer rated it it was ok
Mar 06, 2013
Nuxbal rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2015
Paraph rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2009
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