Set against the stark backdrop of the Icelandic winter, an elusive, enigmatic fox leads a hunter on a transformative quest. At the edge of the hunter's territory, a naturalist struggles to build a life for his charge, a young woman with Down syndrome whom he had rescued from a shipwreck years before. By the end of Sjón's slender, spellbinding fable of a novel, none of their lives will be the same. Winner of the 2005 Nordic Council Literature Prize―the Nordic world's highest literary honor―The Blue Fox is part mystery, part fairy tale, and the perfect introduction to a mind-bending, world-class literary talent.
Missy J on Goodreads wrote:
I bought this book on impulse after receiving it in a recommendation from Amazon. I had never heard of Sjon, but I have a theory that books which are good enough to be translated are worth looking at.
I loved this book. It is beautifully written and equally beautifully translated: "Blue foxes are so curiously like stones that it is a matter for wonder. When they lie beside them in winter there is no hope of telling them apart from the rocks themselves."
It starts as a simple story of a man hunting a blue fox and then expands to the story of a herbalist and a Down's Syndrome girl he adopts.
The descriptions capture the landscape and the tension of the hunt for the blue fox beautifully. The story is as beautiful and brutal as a northern winter. Despite or perhaps because of that brutality I loved the humanity of the book: the portrayal of the herbalist and the girl’s relationship. I recommend this book to you.
The beginning of "The Blue Fox" reminded me a lot of The Old Man and the Sea. We encounter a man trying to hunt down a blue fox. However, then the story changes and is about a woman with down syndrome who was found on a shipwreck. The last part of the book has a magical undertone - the fox comes back to life after being hunted and the conclusion of the book is found in a letter.
The first few chapters were very short and immediately caught my attention. Unfortunately I found the transition between the stories difficult and thus, I wasn't very impacted by the ending. It's well written and original, but I'm still pondering what is the meaning of this story? Do the girl and blue fox symbolize the same thing? Is the hunter (aka priest father) the epitome of human self destruction? Short enough for me to like.