The Blue Fox

Blue FoxIf you visited San Francisco in the sixties you might have dined at The Blue Fox. It was a real treat and quite expensive for the time. You might have even had a T-sirt that announced, “Eat At the Blue Fox,” with naughty implications. But the short novel by the Icelandic author Sjón titled The Blue Fox has nothing to do with San Francisco,  fine dining, or T-shirts.

The novel takes place in an earlier time when one hunted with a muzzle-loader that required tedious re-loading after each shot and when less-than-acceptable children were seldom allowed to live. Times were tough … and very cold.

Sjón introduces a hunter, a clergyman, Down’s Syndrome, icy exposure, avalanches, and a rare blue fox. Add to this the fascinating landscape of Iceland and a surrealistic sense of fable, and The Blue Fox becomes a must-read novel. At the same time I picked up The Blue Fox I also obtained copies of Sjón’s two other recently published translations (by Victoria Cribb), From the Mouth of the Whale and The Whispering Muse. There’s some good reading coming my way.

7 responses

    • I’m not well versed in this author but I do believe if you are going to read anything by Laxness, Independent People is the one to be sure to read.

      I often like to get the bibliography from Wiki (or wherever) and read the novels in order. I used to do this to ascertain the development of the writer but now I’m getting too old and would probably opt for the key titles as in this case with Laxness.

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      • Very good. Thanks. I also tend towards the main books, but for a different reason: I don´t read that much.

        I think I will choose my next book between that one, by Laxness, The Real Life of Sebastian Kinight (Nabokov), Franny and Zoey (Salinger), and one by a local writer, here in Monterrey, Mexico.

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      • If you’re pressed for reading time, lose the Salinger (the rest are great) and one author I have been admiring that you may know is Eloy Urro. I also intend to dip into Luis Alberto Urrea next month (ah, now you have to check-out the upcoming August Reading Pool).

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    • Sjón is a current author and quite interesting but do not miss other Icelandic authors, especially Halldór Laxness (Independent People might be his best). Wiki has an extensive list of Icelandic authors to give you even more ideas.

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