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Susie Meggitt: Fantastic Mr Fox is fantastic

March 19, 2010

I was really into ballet and mystery books as an under-ten so Fantastic Mr Fox wasn’t my favourite book then, but having recently re-read it and seen with my grown-up eyes that Fantastic Mr Fox has a practically perfect plot, it is officially my favourite now.  Not that anyone needs convincing of Roald Dahl’s incredible talent but some decades on, I can see clearly how his mastery over plot and character ensure children aged 2 to 102 are entranced by the story from start to finish.   

Let’s start with the first paragraph:
Down in the valley there were three famers.  The owners of these farms had done well.  They were rich men.  They were also nasty men.  All three of them were about as nasty and mean as any men you could meet.  Their names were Farmer Boggis, Farmer Bunce and Farmer Bean.

I know who my enemies are.

In chapter 2, we meet our hero.
On a hill above the valley there was a wood. In the wood there was a huge tree. Under the tree there was a hole. In the hole lived Mr Fox and Mrs Fox and their four small foxes. Every evening as soon as it got dark, Mr Fox would say to Mrs Fox, ‘Well, my darling, what shall it be this time? A plump chicken from Boggis? A duck or goose from Bunce? Or a nice turkey from Bean?

I’m hooked instantly, care deeply how Mr Fox will feed his family at the nasty farmers’ expense and frustration and will NOT put the book down until I know the ending, which is…

Genius! 
I still can’t bring myself to watch the movie though…

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 21, 2010 8:58 pm

    I enjoyed this book, too. It was also the first book my son, aged about seven, read by himself – and he couldn’t stop turning over the pages. So three cheers for Roald Dahl

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