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The Fox in the Attic (New York Review Books Classics)

(Book #1 in the The Human Predicament Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. A tale of enormous suspense and growing horror, The Fox in the Attic is the widely acclaimed first part of Richard Hughes's monumental historical fiction, "The Human Predicament." Set in the early...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

The end of reader's block

I'm only writing this "review" to express my amazement that this book has not received a uniform 5 stars. Richard Hughes is one of the most sublime discoveries of my literary life. The Fox in the Attic was supposed to be the first of a trilogy. The second book also got written by this very slow and idiosyncratic author (who loves parentheses), and it is equally wondrous although rather different from the first. The third was only begun, and what got written is disappointing. Then to discover A High Wind in Jamaica ... well, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. So if, as I had, you think you're not likely to discover an entirely new (to your experience) author of truly great and enjoyable novels, banish your malaise and give this fellow a try.


I read 'The Fox in the Attic' many years ago when I was seventeen. It was a revelation to me of how literature can deal with history and politics on a deeper and more profound level than simple narration of events can do. As a journalist Hughes had travelled widely in pre-war Europe and the novel reeks with his knowledge of real people and places. In one sense perhaps this is a roman-a-clef but Hughes was interested intensely in the psychology of human beings, in the irrational, half-understood motives we have for our behaviour, and his writing focuses on that as much as on giving a picture of an era. This was the first of a projected trilogy; 'The Wooden Shepherdess' being the second installment. Hughes was not a prolific writer and he died before he finished the third - whether he had begun it or not I do not know. One of the minor greats of twentieth century English literature.

great book

I have loved many of the books in this series of reprints by the New York Review of Books. Contrary to the criticisms of the previous review, left by someone who hadn't even read the book(!), the novel explores the cultural environment in Munich just following the first world war, so in and around 1919. It's also filled with enigmatic characters and great atmosphere- mouldering castles and mysterious guests with homicidal tendencies. Definitely worth checking out.
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