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The Blue Fox

by
3.74  ·  Rating details ·  5,088 ratings  ·  724 reviews
WINNER OF THE NORDIC LITERARY PRIZE AND NOMINATED FOR THE ICELANDIC LITERATURE PRIZE

The year is 1883. The stark Icelandic winter landscape is the backdrop. We follow the priest, Skugga-Baldur, on his hunt for the enigmatic blue fox. From there we’re then transported to the world of the naturalist Friðrik B. Friðriksson and his charge, Abba, who suffers from Down’s syndrome
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Paperback, 112 pages
Published March 2008 by Telegram (first published 2000)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Read the blurb up there under the title. Read a few reviews.
Read the book.

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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,088 ratings  ·  724 reviews


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s.penkevich
Jun 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mike Puma
'I have seen the universe, it is made of poems.'

All things change—nothing perishes.’ – Ovid

It always astonishes me when a book can create a vast amount of power and meaning out of such little story and length. Set amid the snow and ice of an Icelandic winter, Sjón’s The Blue Fox, winner of the 2005 Nordic Council Literature Prize, is as still and quiet as a coffin yet holds a horrific truth inside. Sjón masterfully laces two stories together, one of Reverend Baldur’s fateful hunt for a blue fox
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karen
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pagehabit
jeff vandermeer's drawing of the cover:

 photo IMG_2107_zps6al0womn.jpg

the first sentence of the book’s description on the back cover of my copy is:

Set against the stark backdrop of the Icelandic winter, an elusive, enigmatic fox leads a hunter on a transformative quest.

which is itself an elusive, vague sentence, but it is also the most cheekily appropriate summary; one you don’t really appreciate until after you’ve read the book. which you should do. because i’m not sure how to review this responsibly, without giving away th
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Jan-Maat
Transformation.

I was getting worried in my own way. I had finished two books and written reviews for neither, started on a third, was reading test pages from a fourth (view spoiler), and had taken receipt of a fifth (view spoiler) which was dauntingly longer than I had expected - but with the unexpected potential benefit of being able to use it as a foot stool, when in the middle of doing a task that no-one else could do for me I
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Whitney Atkinson
Hmm. I bought this just because it sounded interesting, and it made me remember why I stopped doing that. The synopsis was better than the book. There were so many characters with different names that it got confusing, the format was discombobulated, it was pretty hard to understand and in general I just didn't understand the cohesiveness or significance of any of the events. I was glad it was short, and even more glad that I was able to finish it quickly. I wouldn't recommend this one unless yo ...more
Araz Goran
أعجبتني أجواء الرواية والغموض الذي يسري في كلماتها وتفاصيلها.. رواية تنبض بالتشويق والغموض،، كما أنها لاتخلو من رؤى فلسفية وبعض الخرافات التي كانت بمثابة حجر الاساس التي بنيت عليه الرواية..
لا يمكنك ان تستمتع بالرواية أذا لم تصب تركيزك فيه وتغوص في أجواء الجبال الايسلندية والثلوج المتساقطة والاجواء الباردة والكهوف المظلمة..
العيش في جو الرواية هو ما يتطلبه لكي تفهم الرواية وإلا ستجد انها مملة وبلا أي هدف أو معنى...
Greg
Aug 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, foxes
A Self-Righteous Aside
Searching for images of a Blue Fox is disturbing. Here is a non-disturbing picture:



but for just about every photo of fox in the wild, there is a creepy drawing of cartoonish blue vixen with big boobs, or even worse pictures of fattened and depressed looking foxes being kept in cages awaiting their murder for their fur, dead foxes having been killed for their fur, or well the end result of their murder. Now murder might be a harsh word, and some people believe fur is right t
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Sue
This Icelandic novella set in the late 19th century, is part historical fiction, part folktale or fantasy (that blue fox does some amazing things), part morality tale in recounting a two-fold story of the Reverend-hunter and Herbalist Fridrik. Also integral is Abba, or Hafdis, a young woman with Downs, who lives with Fridrik. Their story is the warm heart of this tale.

There is also some beautiful, and sometimes humorous, prose.


The night was cold and of the longer variety. (p 14)

The rim of daylig
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Sara Zovko
Ovo je lijep i poetičan, kratak roman, ali bio bi još i bolji da je duljeg formata. Taman kad sam se uživjela u knjigu, pohvatala likove i surovi islandski krajolik, puf, kraj.
Pa sad ne znam, jedna od onih knjiga kojima bi istovremeno dala i 1 i 5, što me prilično frustrira.
Pa zato zlatna sredina.
Salma
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
بعيدا مع الثعلب الأزرق!ه

في سهوب آيسلاندا القاسية و المكسوة بثلوج شتاء قاتم، كان هناك صياد يلاحق ثعلبة زرقاء...ه
بينما في قرية آيسلاندية عشّاب يقوم بتحضير جنازة لفتاة مصابة ببلاهة منغولية كان يرعاها مذ عـُـثر عليها مقيدة قبل سنين في سفينة ضخمة مهجورة جنحت للشاطئ ذات عاصفة...ه
هاتان القصتان المنفصلتان تتداخلان و تسيران جنبا إلى جنب في سرد مشوق لا يخلو من ظرف... و يتمازج الواقعي مع الخرافي لتجتمعا أخيرا في نهاية واحدة...ه
الثعلب الأزرق رواية ساحرة غريبة تحملك إلى أعماق الحياة في آيسلاندا القرن التاسع
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Madara
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Katra rindkopa kā glezna.
Fantastiski.
Baudāmi.

Un Tu esi Islandē.

Un mistikā, un ziemā, ledū, ielejās un sniegā, un apdomājot, vai caur spuldzi, elektrībai cauri, mājās ienāk Dievs.

Vai arī - esi ēnu lapsa.

Izcils tulkojums.
Larnacouer  de SH
"Evreni gördüm! Şiirden yapılmış!"


Kuzeyi haliyle soğuğu ve sadeliği sevenlere özellikle hitap edecek, flashback - flashfoward'lı umduğumdan çok daha güzel bir kitaptı Mavi Tilki.

Farklı kültür ve coğrafyalara değinen kitapları zaten seviyorum da, ölmeden önce yapılacaklar listemin ilk sıralarında Kuzey Işıklarını görmek olunca insan kitabı böyle bağrına basmak istiyor cidden.

Bilmiyorum ben çok sevdim ama herkese hitap edeceğini düşünmüyorum.
Doug
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5, rounded down.

This is my second sojourn with Sjón, and I think it safe to say that nobody writes like him. His short historically based Icelandic novellas sweep one into another time and place, and for the few brief hours it takes to read them, one is transported. As in my first Sjón, book, 'Moonstone: the Boy Who Never Was', this takes place in the 19th century and is loaded with fascinating details. And as in that previous book, the ending, although aptly fitting, is both a surprise and a
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Helena (Renchi King)
Kraj 19.-og stoljeća,Island,svećenik,djevojčica s Downom,snijeg i Plava lisica.Ima sve elemente da roman bude zanimljiv.Dobitnik vrijedne književne nagrade Nordijskog vijeća i preveden na 33 jezika.
Malo stranica i puno literarne ljepote.Moje preporuke za zimske dane...
Austra
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: iceland
Lielisks apliecinājums tam, ka mazāk ir vairāk.

Zvaigznēm ir vienalga, kam viņas spīd - svētajiem, slepkavām, nevainojamajiem baltajiem cilvēkiem vai pamuļķiem. Vai lapsām.

Interesantas eksistenciālas pārdomas rosinošs stāsts koncentrētā formā ar Islandes skaisto, bet skarbo dabu otrā plāna lomā. Tik koncentrēts, ka tā pa īstam par to neko nevar stāstīt, citādi uzreiz maiteklis sanāk.
Hanan Al_Jbaili
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
آيسلندا فضاء جديد على قراءاتي،لكنها على ما يبدو موطن شون لذا متعلقة بذاكرته .رواية صغيرة لها بعد خرافي . أحببت بشكل شخصي جدا جدا"أبّا"لأنها تعاني متلازمة داون. متلازمة أطفال الكرامات والبركات من الله
Carla
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tendo como cenário a gélida e luminosa Islândia da segunda metade do século XIX, assistimos ao desfile de vidas humanas marcadas pela perda, pela salvação, pela temeridade, pelo abandono, pelo horror.

Abba…

A maior prova do domínio da natureza sobre o homem, é esta permitir que o homem se convença que pode conversar com uma raposa azul sobre electricidade impunemente. O homem pode apanhá-la desprevenida mas no fim, é ela que dele se apodera (ou será o regresso do homem ao seu estado natural?).
Natalie
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
"U tvom svijetu možda ovo ne bi bila velika vijest, ali ovdje jest: jedna je žena umrla, a jedan je čovjek nestao".

Kratak roman o maloj zajednici sa mjestom radnje negdje na rubu svijeta davne 1883.g. na Islandu.

...jedna žena sa Downovim sindromom, jedan svećenik, lov na rijetku plavu lisicu i puno onog po čemu je Sjon postao drugačiji u pripovijedanju. Sve mi je tek na kraju postalo milije. Preporuka!
Elena Druță
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Romanul este magic, deoarece prin stilul său de a scrie, autorul apropie cititorul de miezul acțiunii; m-am simțit de parcă aș fi stat în spatele unui geam de sticlă și aș fi văzut cu ochii mei munții înzăpeziți, vulpea albastră, cu privirea ei enigmatică…
Recenzia completă, aici.
Elīna Jurberga
pavisam necila izmēra grāmatā ietverta īsta dzīves patiesības un Islandes mežonīgās dabas esence. man tā patika, ka gribas lasīt vēlreiz no jauna.

vairāk šeit - http://naktsskapitis.blogspot.com/201...
Mohammed  Ali
قصة جميلة وباردة أيضا :)
Sam Quixote
May 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
This should be called The Blah Fox because that’s all I felt after reading it: blah!

Set in 1883 Iceland for no reason, a dickhead hunts a rare blue fox in the snow, eventually shooting it. Cut to a different time for no reason and we’re introduced to a dead girl called Abba who had Down’s Syndrome. Then it’s back to the present where the dickhead is covered in snow after his shot caused an avalanche. Mamma mia, what the hell’s the story, my, my, what a crappy novel!

Sjon (you think you’re like
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Nehirin~
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kuzey hikâyelerini seviyorsanız harika bir kitap. Biraz doğaüstü, biraz gerçekçi enteresan bir hikâyeydi.
Tavsiye ederim.
Кремена Михайлова
Най-често си избирам книгите заради авторите, но понякога и заради преводачите - в случая Стефан Паунов („Между рая и ада“ и др.). Но от време на време обичам да опитвам и „световно неизвестни“ книги (а може и да е известна тази, не знам). Сигурно изглежда като мъник на фона на гигантите „Ние, удавниците“ и „Морска книга“ (свободно сравнение), но знаем силата на някои мъници, на северната краткост. Тя наистина е много наситена – в нея са концентрирани човек и природа, бит и фолклор, човечност и ...more
Missy J
I have a flu and it's very cold where I live now. Yet, I still need to go to work and this short book was perfect to read during these hectic times.

The beginning of "The Blue Fox" reminded me a lot of "The Old Man & The Sea". We encounter a man trying to hunt down a blue fox. However, then the story changes and is about a woman with down syndrome who was found on a shipwreck. The last part of the book has a magical undertone - the fox comes back to life after being hunted and the conclusion
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Antonomasia
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nordic, 2011, novella, iffp, iceland
Sept 2011
It may have the cutest cover of any book I've read as an adult, be described as a "fairy tale", with a recommendation from Bjork, but this story is far from twee.

The original Icelandic title is "Skugga-Baldur", also the name of one of the central characters - not a nice man - whom we first meet as he hunts the blue fox. The harshness of that sound, and the use of his name as the title, far better reflects the tale and its brutal environment. This is not "The Snow Goose" featuring a rare
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jeremy
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, translation
it's curious the ways in which a novel that doesn't otherwise astound us can still have more of a lingering effect than those that so effortlessly do. sjón's the blue fox (skugga-baldur) is a novella set in late 19th century iceland concerning the fates of three individuals (or four, if you count that of the eponymous canine). as an icelandic novelist and poet, it is nearly inevitable that sjón would garner comparisons to nobel laureate and countryman halldór laxness, given that he is one of but ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Between reading this novel and writing this review, I listened to this great interview with Sjón on the CBC website. It illuminated some of the little bits in the novel, such as the theme of the goodness of nature and the magical powers of poetry.

This is a very short read, told in three parts, set in Iceland in 1883. The first happens chronologically after the second, but introduces the blue fox and the reverend. The second introduces Herb-Fridrik and Hafdís and the startling history of infanti
...more
João Carlos
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2014, scandinavian

Ilustração de Raffi Andrian

“A Raposa Azul” do islandês Sjón, diminutivo de Sigurjón B. Sigurðsson (n. 1962), ganhou o “Nordic Councils Literary Prize” em 2005.

Um romance curto – 107 páginas – repleto de intensidade e magia, numa escrita poética e enigmática, para ouvir ao som da música de Bjork.

“A noite era fria e do tipo mais longo.” (Pág. 19)

“O sol aquece o corpo branco com um crepitar hesitante, pode bem ser o cântico dos pássaros.” (Pág. 23)

“Um pássaro de Verão cantou
Num dia ensolarado:
A fe
...more
April
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I was toying with giving this novel a four star rating, but further thought brought it down to a three. Enchanting as it is poetic — even if in a darkly fashion — Sjón is exquisite in both his writing and style. I did not expect such a superb, thrilling read. From the beginning I was hooked by the intensity of scenes due to the sheer focus on detail and the craft of such isolated happenings in an incredibly affective way. I commend the author for such an enrapturing ride and the ability to creat ...more
Christopher
There are short novels that are perfect in their shortness. Of Mice and Men, We Have Always Lived in the Castle: the top contenders for perfect short novel.

This is a good short novel that could be a perfect long novel. In fact, it's a short story masquerading as a novel which should be a long novel which could be perfect.

The Blue Fox begins with a deceptively simple mini-story (the word "fable" here is almost unavoidable) of a hunter on the trail of a mythical, possibly magical, blue fox. Then t
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Around the World ...: Discussion for The Blue Fox 11 142 Feb 13, 2018 11:05AM  
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Sjón (Sigurjón B. Sigurðsson) was born in Reykjavik on the 27th of August, 1962. He started his writing career early, publishing his first book of poetry, Sýnir (Visions), in 1978. Sjón was a founding member of the surrealist group, Medúsa, and soon became significant in Reykjavik's cultural landscape.
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“I have seen the universe! It is made of poems!” 44 likes
“In the halls of heaven it was now dark enough for the Aurora Borealis sisters to begin their lively dance of the veils. With an enchanting play of colors they flitted light and quick about the great stage of the heavens, in fluttering golden dresses, their tumbling pearl necklaces scattering here and there in their wild caperings.” 7 likes
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