Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: "The Blue Fox" by Sjon

I should have known that nay writer, or any artist for that matter who goes by a single name rarely lives up to the hype that a lack of surname tries to provide. But the plot of Norwegian novelist Sjon’s novel The Blue Fox seemed interesting, and I was a bit curious how he would approach it with the books slim 115-page count. But I can say, swallowing my pride that there was very little I could understand about this book. The plot and characters are never made clear because they are cloaked in Sjon’s overly poetic tone and prose that doesn’t do anything but look pretty on the page. That kind of mindless writing has never impressed me much in my adult life, finding it a poor excuse for a lack of narrative talent, using big and awesome word to replace big and awesome stories and emotions. But if there is one thing that this story does kind of do right is it’s emotional scenes. The story tells the sad tale of a lonely hunter who, while hunting for the elusive animal that the book gets its title from, comes across a reclusive naturalist, who is helping a young girl with Down Syndrome live her life in the wilderness. This girl happens to be someone he saved from a shipwreck years before, and she comes into hi life at a proper moment. It is very hard to describe the story, since it jumps around way too much for a book this short. It would help if those disparate scenes were good, but they are not. But a book like this runs on pure emotion, and it does it well, with a character’s happiness or sadness coming through clearly. But a story that runs on emotion is sure to have people who are lost and feel nothing of the book’s message. And I am one of those readers.

Rating: 2/5

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