[PDF] ↠ The Snow Fox Author Susan Fromberg Schaeffer – Thomashillier.co.uk


10 thoughts on “The Snow Fox

  1. says:

    I am always hesitant about starting long books by an author that I do not know, because I have a sometimes regrettable need to finish every single book that I begin, no matter what And if a very long book is awful from the beginning, I just know that I ll have to torture myself through the rest of it The Snow Fox was such a book.It is the scattered, odd story of a coldly beautiful woman, Lady Utsu, in medieval Japan, and the men who love and obsess over her Lord Norimasa longs to possess her I am always hesitant about starting long books by an author that I do not know, because I have a sometimes regrettable need to finish every single book that I begin, no matter what And if a very long book is awful from the beginning, I just know that I ll have to torture myself through the rest of it The Snow Fox was such a book.It is the scattered, odd story of a coldly beautiful woman, Lady Utsu, in medieval Japan, and the men who love and obsess over her Lord Norimasa longs to possess her, while Matsuhito spends his life wishing that they could have been together.For the first half of the book, dominated mainly be Lady Utsu s story, there is little but dialogue I often felt as if I was reading a bad play, because nothing was described except for what the characters said aloud Just as I was beginning to grudgingly get accustomed to it, the style changed to suit a different character.I had thought that the book could get no worse, and yet it did After this point, I really cannot say what the book was about A samurai wanders through the woods for months or perhaps it is years, or perhaps only days the author is very bad at giving the reader any indication of how much time has gone by During all of these hundreds of pages, he does little except let a fox lick him.The last portion of the book, yet again, grew evenridiculous Lady Utsu, now an old woman, finds Matsuhito, and they fall in love all over again However, their supposed love story fell flat, and they must be the most annoying couple that I have ever had the unfortunate privilege of reading about.Most of their relationship, especially toward the end of the story, went like this Utsu Our foxes will die They will go into the woods and never come back Matsuhito No they won t.Utsu The child will die Matsuhito No it won t.Utsu We are cursed I see an evil spirit Matsuhito No you don t.Utsu You will die You will leave me You will stop loving me Matsuhito No I won t.Utsu I will die I will keep getting old and I will die Matsuhito Well, erm, um, eh..Utsu weeping disconsolately And so it went.Lady Utsu is constantly being described as a cold, cruel woman I got the feeling that Schaeffer wanted to depict her as a sort of ice queen, regal and fascinating in her terrible beauty And, indeed, this is exactly how the other characters of the book see her But as the reader, I saw no such thing First of all, I saw little cruelty from her, but rather a misunderstood woman who makes painful decisions that she thinks are, nevertheless, best I had been anticipating a complex heroine villain from the inside cover s description, so the Lady Utsu that I found was disappointing, as well as rather boring.Also, she is a hard as nails, somber lady in the first part of the book, an essential aspect to the feeling of her character.By the last portion of the book, when she comes back into the story, she has inexplicably become a weepy, pathetic woman who sees tragedy and evil spirits lurking behind every corner.See the dialogue above, you ll understand what I mean.There was a story of Utsu s children that I thought would have been interesting I was truthfully hoping that the story would switch to them, since I disliked Lady Utsu so much.They are built up as if they will later come into the story, and yet, they never do.The single enjoyable sentence I found in this book was Memories are a dark wood Do not enter them However, I repeat, that was a single sentence The rest of this book is dreadfully written, and I will not be reading anyof the author s work.Not recommended


  2. says:

    This is a strange and beautiful book It s definitely not for everyone I can see the slow pacing, the odd movement through time, and the deliberate simplicity of the writing style putting some readers off For me, however, it worked really well I found it gorgeous and heartbreaking It has love and death and war and poetry and tragedy and humanity, and I loved the characters.I was initially a bit wary of reading a historical novel about Japan by an American author, for fear that it would be ex This is a strange and beautiful book It s definitely not for everyone I can see the slow pacing, the odd movement through time, and the deliberate simplicity of the writing style putting some readers off For me, however, it worked really well I found it gorgeous and heartbreaking It has love and death and war and poetry and tragedy and humanity, and I loved the characters.I was initially a bit wary of reading a historical novel about Japan by an American author, for fear that it would be exoticized dreck e.g Memoirs of a Geisha, ugh , but fortunately The Snow Fox avoided those pitfalls My knowledge of Japanese history is pretty much limited to the Edo and Meiji periods, so I can t really judge the novel s historical accuracy, but its world felt very solid, and there was nothing that jumped out at me as being off Also, this sounds odd, but the writing style, which is simultaneously plain and lyrical, felt to me very much as though it had been translated from Japanese, although the novel was written in English


  3. says:

    After a nearly 6 month hiatus, I finally picked up where I d left off in Susan Fromberg Schaeffer s evocative novel, The Snow Fox I m left sort of speechless about it I have very little to say, even though while reading it my thoughts were boundless It s an excellent portrait of feudal Japan, and does not come across as written from an American perspective Rather than seeming like a Western exploration of the exotic East, it feels, much of the time, as if it was translated, thought for thoug After a nearly 6 month hiatus, I finally picked up where I d left off in Susan Fromberg Schaeffer s evocative novel, The Snow Fox I m left sort of speechless about it I have very little to say, even though while reading it my thoughts were boundless It s an excellent portrait of feudal Japan, and does not come across as written from an American perspective Rather than seeming like a Western exploration of the exotic East, it feels, much of the time, as if it was translated, thought for thought, from original Japanese, and retains many of the mysterious qualities of a Japanese folktale While it is labeled a historical novel , and not much in the text refutes it, it really seems to dance along the line between historical and magical realism, without fully committing to the magical aspect Foxes are present, and preternaturally intelligent, but they do not seem to be kitsune Ghosts are suggested, but no one is truly haunted Horrors abound, but they are set against the backdrop of daily life for peasants in the feudal era It is an unbelievable, folkloric tale, but only if you view it outside of its context Within the confines of the novel, everything that occurs makes sense It s ostensibly a love story about the stoic samurai, Matsuhito, raised from poverty to his lord s most trusted man, and the Lady Utsu, a proud, fierce poet whose beauty is wielded as a weapon, both of whom discover that they may, very possibly, be two of the legendary four children, two sets of siblings switched as children Yet The Snow Fox feels, many times, aromantic in its exploration of gender roles and their place in tradition It simultaneously contemplates whether true happiness is something to strive for, or only something that happens when you are not looking for it, ultimately unable, or unwilling, to answer its own questions The ending is perfectly unsatisfying, and yet it could not have ended any other way It feels like a Noh play, filled with tragedy and sorrowful women and lonely ghosts perhaps I m sad to have finished it, only because I have so many questions left A beautiful, truly haunting work One I ll have to read again some day, if only to unravel my own thoughts about it Perhaps, like the titular foxes in the text, its real nature is obscure


  4. says:

    I found this book at the Chester, CA library I hadn t heard of Schaeffer She was a professor at Brooklyn College, University of Chicago and the author of 14 novels 1970 2006 , plus books of poetry and short stories published by Knopf and Simon Schuster She always takes a time and place that she knows nothing about, researches it and starts her novel Snow Fox, set in sixteenth century Japan seems way out of her realm However, for those who long forMurasaki s Tale of the Genji no I found this book at the Chester, CA library I hadn t heard of Schaeffer She was a professor at Brooklyn College, University of Chicago and the author of 14 novels 1970 2006 , plus books of poetry and short stories published by Knopf and Simon Schuster She always takes a time and place that she knows nothing about, researches it and starts her novel Snow Fox, set in sixteenth century Japan seems way out of her realm However, for those who long forMurasaki s Tale of the Genji novels, this one is seamless The book is written beautifully, taking the reader from the palaces of shoguns to the mountains of the north It seems every leaf is noticed There is court intrigue, there are palace fires, pet foxes, old age, bandits in the hills, and many strange deaths but all in all, I would fall for Lady Utsu and Samurai Matsuhito again Schaeffer has also written novels about the Holocaust, the Queen of Egypt, suicide, and the Vietnam war, among others She also won the National book award for Poetry


  5. says:

    Like other historical Japanese novels I ve read, this one tediously focuses on mundane activities in great detail It took six pages for a woman to wash her hair I couldn t take the characters bursting out into poetry at odd intervals as if they were in some kind of musical that was too strange I couldn t connect with a single character and didn t feel bad putting the book down.


  6. says:

    This book was wonderful, lyrical and mystical at the same time Definitely going to readof her books.


  7. says:

    Terrible I made it to page 81..It s all dialogue, and bad dialogue at that You can barely keep up with who s speaking, and nothing they re saying is of any real significance or makes any sense in regards to the plot, which seems basically nonexistent The characters are all flat. Lady Utsu is boring and not at all compelling when she murders a man she supposedly loves because the Lord makes her do it She acts like she can do whatever she wants, but then moped around and talks about how terri Terrible I made it to page 81..It s all dialogue, and bad dialogue at that You can barely keep up with who s speaking, and nothing they re saying is of any real significance or makes any sense in regards to the plot, which seems basically nonexistent The characters are all flat. Lady Utsu is boring and not at all compelling when she murders a man she supposedly loves because the Lord makes her do it She acts like she can do whatever she wants, but then moped around and talks about how terrible and cruel she is and life is all death anyways so what s the point Here s a poem I wrote let me recite it for you but it s not good So fucking emo anyways, I won t be trying to read anything else by this author either


  8. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here This book was the first historical novel I read that was set in Japan I ve read some contemporary set books set in Japan, but this was defiantly a first for me At first I was a little unsure if I liked this book or not However, I avoided judging until I read the last page and was done I then let my mind think and work out what I just read It was an amazing love story and one that will always stay with me At first I was irritated with how the author wrote the story She jumped to different This book was the first historical novel I read that was set in Japan I ve read some contemporary set books set in Japan, but this was defiantly a first for me At first I was a little unsure if I liked this book or not However, I avoided judging until I read the last page and was done I then let my mind think and work out what I just read It was an amazing love story and one that will always stay with me At first I was irritated with how the author wrote the story She jumped to different points in time without warning I would find myself absolutely confused and frustrated with the characters.However, once I got to book two, I was absolutely in love with this book I even loved how foreboding the book was, it warns you and give you so many clues to what s about to happen and how the book will end You want to enjoy these and believe that everything will be okay I wanted so badly for every character to find they re happy ending, but as we all know that that never happens I will admit that I fell for Matsuhito He s sort of the Japanese version of William Marshal from The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick He s such a great guy He s so loyal and perfect Spoiler coming I was devastated that he died at the end, but it was romantic because he couldn t live without Lady Utsu and his son Spoiler done I hated how the author skipped around and how she plotted out the story I would ve preferred it running in a straight line, but I know she did it purposely I loved the story and all the characters, even Lord Norimasa s his psychotic wife I loved how she well she used the idea of foxes as the symbolism of the entire book All in all, I found this a great story and if you love history like me, you ll enjoy this book It shows you life of three historical figures in medieval Japan It shows you a completely unique and misunderstood world I do recommend that you give this book a shot Out of 5 stars, I will grant this book 5 stars It was 4.8, but since I don t do decimals I rounded up


  9. says:

    I want to like this book I really do I ve read it twice now and I just can t get past the clich s and the seeming lack of emotional investment in the characters I sympathized with the main female character only occasionally and the male character not at all I didn t understand the underlying theme of the four children it seemed to have been tossed in to just confuse the readerOn the surface, it starts out as a good literary read But the characters never develop, our desire to care I want to like this book I really do I ve read it twice now and I just can t get past the clich s and the seeming lack of emotional investment in the characters I sympathized with the main female character only occasionally and the male character not at all I didn t understand the underlying theme of the four children it seemed to have been tossed in to just confuse the readerOn the surface, it starts out as a good literary read But the characters never develop, our desire to care for them never develops and the reader just gets lost in over used metaphors, obvious writing and a very strange time line


  10. says:

    It took me a long time to finish this book This narrative moved very slowly and I just wasn t compelled to read on What sis that main character, Lady Utsu, was supposed to have been a famous poet Was it just me The poems she wrote seemed useless and non sensical I wanted to appreciate the lyrical value that I expected these poems would add to the overall style of the novel but I just didn t get it.Maybe you really have to know how to appreciate the art and nature of Haiku to really ap It took me a long time to finish this book This narrative moved very slowly and I just wasn t compelled to read on What sis that main character, Lady Utsu, was supposed to have been a famous poet Was it just me The poems she wrote seemed useless and non sensical I wanted to appreciate the lyrical value that I expected these poems would add to the overall style of the novel but I just didn t get it.Maybe you really have to know how to appreciate the art and nature of Haiku to really appreciate this novel


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The Snow Fox One Thousand Years Ago, Chaos Loosed Itself Upon Japan, Upending An Era In Which The Arts Flourished At The Dawn Of Years Of Civil War, In The Opulent Court Of Lord Norimasa, The Beautiful But Cruel Poet Lady Utsu Wages War With Men S Hearts And Holds The Fearsome Lord And His Devoted Samurai Matsuhito In Her Thrall As The Two Men Raze Japan S Landscape In Futile Battles For Unity, Utsu Falls For Matsuhito Even As Lord Norimasa Continues To Love Her The Epic Romance Of Utsu And Matsuhito Resumes Itself Decades Later, When They Meet As Vagrants So Transformed By Time That They No Longer Recognize Each Other They Are Reunited Through Their Mystical Connection To A Pair Of Snow Foxes That Are Their Only Company In The Japanese Wilderness The Heartbreaking Story Of Their Renewed Love Is Fraught By The Japanese Concept Of Mono No Aware Life S Ephemeral Nature That Weighs On The Lovers Reading Group Guide Included

  • Paperback
  • 448 pages
  • The Snow Fox
  • Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
  • English
  • 08 May 2018
  • 0393326527