Eco-Fiction Review 1: “The Fox and the Hound” by Daniel P. Mannix, (1967)

“The Fox and the Hound” is perhaps the best animal story I’ve ever experienced. It’s author, Daniel Pratt Mannix (1911-1997), was an American journalist, photographer, film maker, sideshow performer, animal trainer, and brilliant writer. His books cover a wide diversity of subjects with titles including “Memoirs of a Sword Swallower,” and “The Backyard Zoo.” His animal stories were lauded for the unique voices he gave his characters. These stories foretold the environmental consequences of human interference with the balance of the Natural world. Fortunately, many of Mannix’s works, which predate the digital age, have been republished in ebook format making these classics available for today’s readers.

The Fox and the Hound Book Cover

Here’s a summary of “The Fox and the Hound”-

Tod, a red fox kit, is raised as a pet but returns to the wild to do what all foxes are born to do, explore, trot along fence posts, cross icy streams, define his territory, mate, hunt, bury corpses for a rainy day, and, most of all, out-smart his enemies. Tod, in fact, is so sharp-witted and cunning, dauntless and valiant, that his ability to defy death becomes legendary.

Copper, a half-bloodhound tracker, is the dog who lives to hunt the fox and, along with his beloved master, embarks on a lifelong quest to end the life of the elusive Tod.

Described from an animal’s perspective, the paths of the fox and the hound overlap and intersect in a world teeming with scent and sound and sight and instinct. Their vivid,, gripping, and absorbing, story is so arresting and unflinching that the reader’s awareness of wildlife and the essence of their domain may be reshaped and refined and, in the end, irrevocably changed.

Winner of the Dutton Animal Book Award in 1967, the Athenaeum Literary Award, and a Reader’s Digest Book Club selection. The Fox and the Hound also became an animated Walt Disney movie and a box office success.

“The Fox and the Hound” is a superb Y.A. eco-Fiction book which has my highest recommendation.


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