Fox 8 by George Saunders

fox8I recently listened to the audiobook version of Fox 8 by George Saunders, an imaginative, very short book (50 to 60 pages, depending on the format) about the loss of innocence and how we humans treat the world around us. It’s written as an open letter from the first-person perspective of a sweet, lovable fox called Fox 8. Fox 8 has a childlike trust that humans are good, but that trust is destroyed in one terrible moment.

How do you stay hopeful? Is it possible to keep cynicism at bay once you realize the world is more awful than you ever imagined? Can you move cautiously in the world without sequestering yourself away completely?

The audiobook runs only 37 minutes, and it was a treat to have Saunders narrating his own story. He’s a wonderful storyteller. The ending is especially powerful and heart-wrenching. There are layers to this seemingly simple parable, so it would be a great book club choice during a busy month—short read, plenty to talk about.

Apparently there are illustrations in the print version, so I think I’m going to have to grab myself a copy!