Monday, 14 January 2019

Review: The Blue Fox by Sjón, translated by Victoria Cribb

The Blue Fox The Blue Fox by Sjón
Translated by Victoria Cribb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Baldur Skuggason is the pastor turned hunter intent on tracking and killing the mysterious blue fox roaming around the snow covered lands of Iceland in the 1883. The middle section tells us of Fridik Fridjonsson some sort of herbalist, who cares for a Downs Syndrome girl Abba whom he "adopted" after she was found shackled to the timbers of a beached ship. The author binds these characters together in a very credible magical tale. ****SPOILER ALERT*** Yes the pastor gets his comeuppance for becoming a hunter and for banning Abba from his church to halt her offkey passionate singing of hymns. It is not until the very end that Fridik tells the reader the truth he found out about Abba's origins and circumstances which led to her enslavement on the ship.

ashramblings verdict 4* Part mystery part folktale, it's beautiful! I especially liked the writing in the opening section about the hunting of the blue fox. This novella received the 2005 Nordic Council Literature Prize. This is second book by Sjón I've read, the other was Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was - most impressed by both.

Both books are translated by Victoria Cribb who seems to translate a number of Icelandic authors. I need to investigate more of these.

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