Fantastic Mr. Fox

by Roald Dahl, Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Read time: about 4 minutes

It has been some amazing couple of weeks now since I decided that I needed a break from long fiction. A book which tells a story within few pages is often a well written book. And I have come across some astonishing books that are short and content heavy.

It was during that time when I decided to read only short fiction for sometime that I downloaded my first book by Roald Dahl, courtesy a YouTube channel I have come to love. I am glad I did.

Cover page

The cover contains colorful sketchy picture of Mr Fox who is bringing food for his family in a sack hung behind his back. The cover page is beautiful, well designed for the children. It portrays great character sketch of Mr Fox. He looks intelligent and witty. It is also night in the picture, therefore the naughty smile on the face. Yes he is stealing! The book definitely screams for a place on the book shelf.


The story consists of some distinct characters. But what stands them out is the description that the author provides for each of them.

‘Boggis was a chicken farmer. He kept thousands of chickens. He was enormously fat. This was because he ate boiled chickens smothered with dumplings every day for breakfast, lunch and supper.’

‘Bruce was a duck and goose farmer. He kept thousands of ducks and geese. He was kind of pot-bellied dwarf. He was so short his chin would have been underwater in the shallow end of any swimming-pool in the world. His food was doughnuts and goose-livers. He mashed the livers into a disgusting paste and then stuffed the paste into alt he doughnuts. The diet gave him a tummy-ache and a beastly temper.’

Bean was a turkey-and-apple farmer. He kept thousands of turkeys in an orchard full of apple trees. He never ate any food at all. Instead, he drank gallons of strong cider which he made from the apples in his orchard. He was as thin as a pencil and the cleverest of them all.’

Apart of these there is Mr Fox who is very clever himself. He has four kids and a wife who live in a burrow under a tree. There are other interesting characters in the book that appear along the way, each described with utmost wit and humor.


The book is about Mr Fox. He is a great husband and a loving father. He often gets food from the the three farmers. All the farmers hate him and decide to find him and kill him as he has become a nuisance to them.

The entire story is about the escape of Mr fox from the three farmers and throwing a magnificent meal for all this friends.

Mr Fox is an interesting character to follow. During the course of the story he proves his self worth and keeps the family alive. There is also a great message of sharing in the book. The book is filled with quirky lines and beautiful illustrations.


The book is meant for kids and elders alike. The language is very simple and entertaining. The usage of daily conversing language such as tummy-ache and ‘as thin as a pencil’ is infused in the book subtly. The narration feels like a bedtime story narrated to kids.

Good points

The book is short. The cover page is beautiful. Illustrations are quirky. Characters stand out. The content is beautiful supported by great narration.

Bad points

I can’t think of any. I wish I had read this author before, when I was a child.


This is definitely a great book I wish I had read much earlier.

Who do I recommend this to

This book is for those who enjoy good writing and like to revisit their childhood every once in while.

Quotable quotes

‘Boggis and Bunce and Bean One fat, one short, one lean. These horrible crooks So different in looks Were none the less equally.

Bean never took a bath. He never even washed. As a result, his earholes were clogged with all kinds of muck and wax and bits of chewing-gum and dead flies and stuff like that.

‘He won’t stay down there much longer now,’Boggis said. ‘The brute must be famished,’ Bunce said. ‘That’s right,’ Bean said. ‘He’ll be making a dash for it any moment. Keep your guns handy.’ They sat there by the hole, waiting for the fox to come out. And so far as I know, they are still waiting.

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH