THE SICK FOX by Paul Brodeur
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THE SICK FOX

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another fox, not in the attic, but on the banks of the Rhine in the rather lonely region of the Pfalz, is almost too obviously an analogy to be a symbol. And it is this sick fox; later proved to be rabid, which triggers a chain of events in a ""behind the moon"" rural district where a Fuhrer-prinzip much older than Hitler is operative in the local ""Chef"", Zabern. Here too Brace, an American Resident Intelligence Agent, living like a ""latter day palatine"" has found a kind of sanctuary- from his superiors, from the world; he is independent and unattached, except for an occasional night with the innkeeper's wife, a local Walkyrie. But he assumes a custodial role in the case of the poacher-shepherd who kills the rabid fox, and is then victimized by the villagers and Zabern. The shepherd is the classic ""nomad in their midst"", the alien (as were a whole persecuted people before him) and the book closes with a brutal vendetta... An effective re-statement of the German mystique of unreasoning hatred, the fear of the unknown, violence and its sphere of contagion. But Brodeur is more patently and potently a writer at his best in the outdoor world and there are some splendid landscapes and sporting scenes. It is a superior first novel with a cleancut excitement and an often virulent impact.

Pub Date: May 13th, 1963
Publisher: Little, Brown-A.M.P.