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Fox 8

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  6,418 ratings  ·  1,068 reviews
A darkly comic short story, a fable about the all too real impact that we humans have on the environment

Fox 8 has always been known as the daydreamer in his pack, the one his fellow foxes regarded with a knowing snort and a roll of the eyes. That is, until Fox 8 develops a unique skill: He teaches himself to speak “Yuman” by hiding in the bushes outside a house and listeni
ebook, 21 pages
Published April 9th 2013 by Random House (first published 2013)
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Kimberly Cramer Yes, an animal does die and yes, it is cruel. It might be too sad for you to read, so you could skip pages 31 and 32 and go on with the rest of the…moreYes, an animal does die and yes, it is cruel. It might be too sad for you to read, so you could skip pages 31 and 32 and go on with the rest of the story without missing anything but the violent bit. (less)

Community Reviews

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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,418 ratings  ·  1,068 reviews

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Justin Tate
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG! It's rare for me to literally laugh out loud, but this short story had me cracking up every page--actually more like every paragraph. George Saunders' wicked way with words is never more exemplified than here, in the point of view of a fox. His glorious misspellings and hilarious societal observations are just perfect throughout. Despite being a 30-45 minute read, this one will endure with me forever.

Side note: I'm an audio lover, but you have to read this one to get the jokes. After readin
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a fox with such daydreaming power that he falls in love with human storytelling and learns to speak and write "human" by listening to stories read at bedtime, hiding behind a window.

Imagine him setting out on an adventure that goes entirely wrong because he has based his idea of humanity on that wonderful skill of ours to tell stories, and not on real experience of our random cruelty.

What would make the heartbroken fox heal? Understanding, answers. So he sets out to write a letter, and
Fox 8 has learned to speak "Yuman" by sitting outside a house at night while a lady reads to her pups.


Though sometimes he takes umbrage at what she reads, particularly that one story about a sly fox that tricked a chicken . . .

We do not trik Chikens! We are very open and honest with Chikens! With Chikens, we have a Super Fare Deel, which is they make the egs, we take the egs, they make more egs.
Not Sly at all.
Very strate forword.

But now, the foxes are starving, and Fox 8 must attempt a daring
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Yumans wud walk by and go: Hey, look, Foxes. And drop a bit of fud at us. Soon we had karmel korn, sevral parshul biskits, plus a pare so fresh it did not even stink.
I woslike: This must be Fud Cort
Fox 7 woslike: I gess."

It seems as though George Saunders knows exactly what Sadie Hartmann loves to DEATH. I love anthropomorphic stories like WATERSHIP DOWN with the rabbit colony or Disney's Robin Hood with the cute foxes. There's something so endearing about giving animals a human vo
Garrett Zecker
Jan 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
The first work by Saunders I have ever read was his bestselling Tenth of December this past year, and I was blown away by his literary prowess, mesmerized with the word dance and structure of reality he portrays in his work. Fox 8 was a little Kindle Single impulse buy, and for 99c I could enter into a Saunderian world once more. I bit like a sly… er… you get the point.

The thing about this text is that there really was nothing special about it on the surface. It is small, simple, and in terms of
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
If my review doesn't make sense, it's because I'm writing this through watery eyes. WOW this book packs a PUNCH! It's absolutely brilliant in every aspect. Adorable illustrations, the view of a fox, the writing itself.. I really could go on and on.

This is a tale of innocence. A fox trying to be better to find a way to supply food to his family. One single act changes him forever. The lesson here is deep and certainly socially relevant.

Things I absolutely loved was the way it was written - the c
Judith E
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of life lessons packed in this little ditty about a fox that learns to read and speak in ‘Yuman’. As his journey takes him from his cozy fox community, to the shopping mall, and then to a new den and life, he questions why Yumans can’t be nicer.

Creative, succinct, and a bit whimsical, George Saunders’ message is loud and clear. Thanks for reminding us!
Vivek Tejuja
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that just nestle into your heart and stay there. For me, those have been the likes of An Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami, The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Capote, and The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. You get the drift, don’t you? These are the kind of books that can be read to soothe me, when I am feeling down. I am certain we all have these kind of books – the ones that make ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella
I found myself more engaged with this long short story than I thought I would be. Saunders narrates as FOX 8, the name given to a real fox by his den. It's in the form of a letter or story to "Yumans." Part of the charm is the phonetic spelling throughout, because of course a fox cannot spell but has learned "werds" from listening to Yumans tell stories. Normally I hate this gimmick, but in Saunders' hands, it shines.

What is at times sweet, funny, recognizable, is at other times dark and tragic,
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2019
Fox 8 is truly, a story of our time, and Saunders is at his absolute finest here. Fox 8 is a fable of the cruelty of humankind. In it, we are exceptional, creative, and powerful. But we are also, egotistic, selfish, unthinking, and cruel. It is a timely reminder that we are not all that inhabit this earth, and that we must engage more carefully with the world around us. Saunders writes with both humour and tenderness, constructing a story that is as confronting as it is entertaining. I loved it.
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
2.5 stars because I'm not sure I liked it even though I can appreciate the creativity involved.

Let mee start bi saying that wile reeding this it ocurd to mee that when yoo become famus yoo can doo no rong. Yoo can rite short storees and use fonetic speling becuz after al, yoo are famus and sum won wil always bi yoor book/storee and clame it is geneous, becuz anee thing rittin bi Jorj Sawnders is bi deefawlt brileant.

Fox 8 by George Saunders is a short storee abowt a fox called Fox 8 hoo lurns to
Ron Charles
Small but powerful. Everything about George Saunders’s new book, “Fox 8,” is unusual. It was published Tuesday in a tiny hardback edition with illustrations by Chelsea Cardinal, but it’s been available as an ebook for years, and the story first appeared in McSweeney’s back in 2010, long before Saunders won the Booker Prize for “Lincoln in the Bardo.” It’s about a fox who learns to speak “Yuman” by listening to children’s bedtime stories. (“First may I say, sorry for any werds I spel rong.”) When ...more
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awwww, foxes, novella
This was a delightful and bittersweet story of a very clever fox who has managed, somewhat, to get his paws around the English language enough to write the story of his life. Once you adjust to the prose style (the fox, being a fox, spells phonetically for the most part) this really is wonderful. Fox 8 is the most precocious and adventurous fox in his tribe (hence the English learning) and when human's destroy their home and cut off the food supply he goes on a journey to save his family.

At onl
Peter Tillman
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Well, it's not bad, but the fake fox dialect gets old fast, as does the heavy-handed message. The best part was the illustrations, by Chelsea Cardinal. And it's an attractive small book. I read an almost-new library copy in about 15 minutes. With some skimming. 1.5 stars, rounded up for the cool art.

OK, it really is pretty bad. Saunders has fallen into the old trap of playing in someone else's genre, and he's just not very good at it. The story that instantly came to mind, was "The Coon Rolled
Nov 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this on the 'lucky day' shelf at the library. It's short so I thought why not? I'm not familiar with George Saunders, but recognize a few of the titles of his other books.

This is written from Fox 8's pov. It's an animal so how can it have a pov you might ask. Saunders was very clever at giving Fox 8 a voice. It was effective and a little obnoxious, but it's a short story so I continue on. Fox 8 learns the Yuman language by peering into windows at night and listening then translating to a
Betsy Robinson
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This illustrated short story broke my heart. It is a plea for compassion and goodness. Thanks to my Goodreads friends for reviewing this beautiful little book and letting me know about it. Without you, my reading life would be so bland.
Laura Noggle
⁉🦊8 ... 🧐😱☠ ... 💔‼

48 page fable.

It took me a minute to adjust to a talking fox, I admit. Still, there's a heartfelt sentiment/moral to the story.

The spelling is a bit of a hurdle, but it's atmospheric in its own way:

“I know life can be gud. Most lee it is gud. I have drank cleen cold water on a hot day, herd the soft bark of the one I luv, watched sno fall slow, making the wuds kwiet.”
Elliot de Vries
Jun 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
I well and truly hated this story. Even more so because of the brief glimmer of potential insight which it ignores.

To start with the uncomplicatedly awful, there is Saunders’ fox dialect. Fox 8 writes curiously like the way the teenagers in Victory Lap speak, with the addition of nonstandard spelling. Literary tics proliferate, including a particularly ugly affectation involving colons (“You are neerly all eyes, due to: super hungry.”) Saunders loves the word “très” (Fox 8 is variously “Tray emb
Deer Reeder:
First may I say, sorry for any werds I spel rong. Because I am a fox! So don’t rite or spel perfect. But here is how I lerned to rite and spel as gud as I do!

And I woslike: Fox 8, this Yuman reeder is complete lee luvving this buk!

2019 Read Harder Challenge
Task #12: A book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point-of-view character
This book has given me dichotomy.
After reading it, I felt simultaneously delighted and irritated with the whole thing.

It's written from a fox' perspective after he learns to speak "Yuman" (which to us out-westerners makes no phonetic sense because we pronounce the H in Human). The fox wants to tell the story of how he was happily living in nature with his kin until Yumans came along and kleered a forest to bild a Mawl.

If that last bit of sentence gave you a migraine, don't read this. The entire
George Saunders is known for such literary achievements as Tenth of December and Man Booker-winner Lincoln in the Bardo, but I went with his newest story as my first foray into his work. And while I did enjoy the character of Fox 8 and his quirky dialect, I was ultimately left asking myself: But what’s so new about this?

Fox 8 is a curious daydreamer and learns to speak Yuman while listening to children’s bedtime stories outside of a bedroom window. But with this new insight, Fox 8 soon learns th
Bob Wake
Apr 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
According to the L.A. Times literary blog Jacket Copy, George Saunders chose to leave “Fox 8” out of his recently published collection Tenth of December because he felt it was “asking one stretch too many from the reader.” I get that. In fact, I much prefer reading the occasional Saunders story in The New Yorker rather than compiled in short story collections. His stories, artfully spun and eccentrically self-contained, can seem overly precious and “worked up” when set side by side. That said, h ...more
(3.5) Fox 8 learned human language by sitting outside windows and listening to children’s bedtime stories. Now he has a story of his own to tell, and it’s full of accusations of what humans have done to his kind, starting with destroying their habitat to build a mall and parking lot. “I woslike: Why did the Curator do it so rong, making the groop with the gratest skils the meenest?” There’s a couple of scenes here that will be hard for animal lovers to take (this seems inevitable in any book in ...more
Jessica Sullivan
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
“Why did the Curator do it so rong, making the groop with the gratest skils the meenest?”

Saunders has done it all, this time writing a short story from the perspective (and poor spelling) of a fox.

This brief fable is a funny, sad and ultimately hopeful meditation on humans and their interactions with the natural world.

I was not prepared for how touched I would be by the final pages.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Dis story is abot Fox 8 who lerns to spek yuman - but yumans are very confusing, nice then very bad to foxes, why? A great fable about a fox that learns about human nature - and can now teach us about the nature of human kindness and cruelty - highly recommended.
Jolanta Da
Wuota luvly litle buk...
,,Deer Reeder: First may I say, sorry for any werds I spel rong. Because I am a fox! So don't rite or spel perfect. But here is how I lerned to rite and spel as gud as I do.
One day, walking neer one of your Yuman houses...."

Fox 8 wrote a letter to Yuman (us) which ends "If you want your Story to end happy, try being niser."
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-america
“Fox 8” is a short story by George Saunders about a fox who has taken a liking to hanging outside of windows and listening to humans talk. After doing this for a period of time, Fox 8 (himself and his friends and family are similarly named) has developed the ability to understand certain English words and developed an admiration of humans. Believing them to be wonderful creatures, he follows some to a shopping mall where he experiences something that shakes his belief in them and changes his wor ...more
Rachel (rachandbooks)
“If you want your Storys to end happy, try being niser.”

Oh my heart, what a sentimental story. This short story is told from the perspective of a fox, hence why the above quote includes misspelled words. It's pretty adorable. Fox 8 learns some English from listening to people tell bedtime stories, and decides to use it for good for his group. But what Fox 8 learns is terrible--they're going to be misplaced by a mall. Throughout the story, Fox 8 questions why humans can be so terrible, and why th
Danielle N
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have no previous experience with this author but have seen mention of a collection entitled Tenth of December. I chose this story based upon the synopsis while flipping through shorts on my Kindle. It is a small tale told through the letter of a fox named Fox 8. He is a curious fox who has ventured out and managed to pick up the Yuman language and speech. So the story telling is presented in an odd narration that includes the Fox 8's own interpretation of spelling and speech. I personally enjo ...more
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
This short story might only take you 20 minutes or so to read, but it will definitely stay with you on a deeper level.

With a timeless mythic quality, this fable digs to the core of what's wrong with the way people interact with the world today. George Saunders has this highly artistic and brilliant writing style—all of his stories are wildly different and take a little digesting. If you're reading a Saunders story, you know it. Plus, you're going to fall in love with this fox!

My thanks to Rando
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George Saunders was born December 2, 1958 and raised on the south side of Chicago. In 1981 he received a B.S. in Geophysical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. He worked at Radian International, an environmental engineering firm in Rochester, NY as a technical writer and geophysical engineer from 1989 to 1996. He has also worked in Sumatra on an oil exploration geophysi ...more
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“If you want your Storys to end happy, try being niser.” 9 likes
“And I woslike: O wow.” 7 likes
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