#29 Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl

‘Did you hear that, Mr Fox! It’s not over yet! We’re not going home till we’ve strong you up dead as a dingbat!’

Paperback | 82 pages.

Published: Originally published in 1970 by George Allen & Unwin

This edition published in: 2016 by Penguin.

Read – 23rd April 2020.

I never read this particular story as a child because I was quite scared of foxes (and wolves), so reading this as an adult is the first time for me. I have read many of Roald Dahl’s other books and he was a staple in literature when I was growing up. So, I’m excited to discover this.

Very easy. The language is simple but descriptive and enjoyable. Quentin Blake’s illustrations are amazing and help to paint a picture and the book is only 82 pages long, so there wasn’t room for confusion.

I find it strange how quickly I bonded with Mr Fox and Mrs Fox. At one point I was even worried the book wouldn’t end how I imagined – which I knew was silly – but I was so caught up in the lives of the Foxes and the mean farmers.

This was so easy to visualise. Between the narrative, descriptive detail and illustrations, I had no issue.

There were so many moments that stood out to me, so many lines that caught my attention, including:

“He was a kind of pot-bellied dwarf.”

“Boggis and Brunce and Bean

One fat, one short, one lean.

These horrible crooks

So different in looks

Were none the less equally mean.”

Dahl has always had a wonderful way with words that brings his stories to life. He has always inspired me with his stories, and I have always found solace and escapism from them. This was no different. I’m glad that I finally got around to reading it because it was a terrific short read and I feel more complete having read a story I missed out on as a kid.

Obviously I enjoyed it. As I said, it’s terribly hard to get a story wrong in only 81 pages! But it was also quite extraordinary just how much content was put into those 81 pages and what a great story was told. I recently got a box set of 15 Roald Dahl books, most of them I did read as a kid but there are a couple I did not, so I will enjoy reading through them.

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