If you like foxes and love reading, this is for you.
Quick links (jumps to Amazon page)
By William Wharton
Franky Furbo is a captivating, utterly unique story. Written by the author of Birdy – which became a Nicolas Cage film in 1984 – Furbo has gained a cult following over the years. On the face of it it’s about a man who tells stories to his children of a magical shape-shifting fox called Franky Furbo. Yet it soon shape-shifts itself into something much stranger, touching on war-time trauma, the nature of storytelling, and moving into magical fantasy (with a heavy fox-focus).
By Roald Dahl
This needs little introduction, especially since the excellent 2009 Wes Anderson stop-motion film (starring George Clooney and Meryl Streep as Mr and Mrs Fox, no less). But if you haven’t read the original Roald Dahl book then you’re missing out! The titular Mr Fox brings dignity, warmth and humour to the traditional fox character traits as he uses all his wits to save his family from three hideous farmers (Boggis, Bunce and Bean).
By Greg Roughan
One of the great surprises for visitors to London is how many foxes live wild right in the heart of the city. Effra spins a modern gothic fairytale out of the relationship between two young Londoners, with these urban foxes functioning as the eyes and ears of a supernatural presence with dark intentions. One for lovers of magical realist books – and anyone fascinated by urban foxes.
By Charles G. D. Roberts
Now more than 100 years old, the Canadian tale told from the point of view of a wild fox is as readable as ever. Following Red Fox from birth until adulthood the story tries to give a true account of an animal’s life – though a healthy dose of yarn spinning keeps you engrossed through his run-ins with proud eagles, relentless hounds, savage pumas, and so on. Make sure you get hold of a copy with the stunning illustrations. As it’s old enough to be out of copyright the Gutenberg Project also has a free online version with all the original drawings.
By Charles Foster
A completely mad, completely engrossing book – Being a Beast sees the author try to understand what it’s really like to be an animal by living as they do. Rooting through rubbish bins as an urban fox, sleeping on a Welsh hillside and eating worms as a badger, and getting chased by bloodhounds (and nearly dying) in the snow as a red deer – Foster’s experiment has the same goal as Red Fox (above), but tries to escape the trap of anthropomorphism that such books fall into. The New York Times called Being a Beast a “Tour de force of modern nature writing”.