Confessions of the Fox by Jordy Rosenberg

Confessions of the Fox

Set in the eighteenth century London underworld, this bawdy, genre-bending novel reimagines the life of thief and jailbreaker Jack Sheppard to tell a profound story about gender, love, and liberation.Recently jilted and increasingly unhinged, Dr. Voth throws himself into his work, obsessively researching the life of Jack Sheppard, a legendary eighteenth century thief. No one knows Jack’s true story—his confessions have never been found. That ...


Details Confessions of the Fox

TitleConfessions of the Fox
ISBN9780399592270
Author
Release DateJun 26th, 2018
PublisherOne World
LanguageEnglish
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Lgbt, Literary Fiction, Glbt, Queer
Rating

Reviews Confessions of the Fox

  • Jessica Woodbury
    2018-05-18
    Historical fiction tends to be very cis, straight, and white. There are a few authors out there intent on changing that and Jordy Rosenberg's new novel is one of the most ambitious ones yet. It was pitched to me as Sarah Waters meets Vladimir Nabokov and I was like, "Sign me the hell up!" and it's a surprisingly good pitch. The story is from a discovered manuscript, full of thievery and action and lots of sex; and there is also a Pale-Fire-esque ...
  • Blair
    2018-06-20
    Jack Sheppard is a real historical figure, 'a notorious English thief and gaol-breaker of early 18th-century London'. In Confessions of the Fox, Professor R. Voth turns up a hitherto-undiscovered biography of Sheppard – allegedly an authentic original – at a university book sale, and sets about investigating and annotating it. What makes this story distinctive is that Voth is a trans man, and as he pores over the manuscript, he realises Jack ...
  • Valerie Best
    2018-05-23
    Recently dumped college professor, Dr. Voth, discovers the diaries of 18th century master thief Jack Sheppard. The novel is Dr. Voth’s painstaking transcription of the manuscript and their own increasingly frantic personal footnotes. So, ultimately, what you have is two stories, kind of cunningly layered over each other.I’ll be honest, it felt like a little too much work at first, but, I’m a sucker for footnotes, and, by the end, I was into...
  • Bandit
    2018-04-27
    Normally I attempt to avoid reading plot summaries and reviews too much to maintain some element of surprise, but this one I did check out and it sounded irresistible, something straight out of Sarah Waters’ realm of queer historical fiction. Then again that was probably setting the bar much too high. This book does have a lot of the same ingredients (queer characters, historical setting, specifically England early 1700s, small crimes, grand lo...
  • Jane
    2018-07-02
    Confessions of the Fox has a fascinating premise: a recently heart-broken professor has uncovered and is annotating a long-lost manuscript that exposes the gender-defying true story about two notorious thieves who were lovers in 18th-century London. Unfortunately, this was just an overly tedious read for me. The seemingly never-ending footnotes acted as a third (or fourth?) plot line, and the back and forth between the notes and the story made it...
  • Wotgermaine
    2018-05-18
    This is a queering and de-whiting of the historical legend of Jack Sheppard, the master gaolbreaker, thief, and carpenter of 1720’s London. Wait, it’s the framing narrative of the academic who finds and edits Sheppard’s journal. No, actually it’s the hot romantic account of Jack and his more-than-lover Bess as well as the erotic and professional wanderings of the academic. And also, it’s a monstrous ride down the Thames in a little boat...
  • M.
    2018-06-16
    An experimental alternate-history anti-colonial prison-abolitionist hella-queer (and very sexy) feminist trans novel. It's thrilling to watch Rosenberg at play. Among other things (form (the interaction of the 'old' and new texts provides not just a critical framework but an affective one, too) and character (I love Jack and Bess separately, and together)), I was wowed by what seems like pyrotechnic linguistic skill -- and invention -- and a tigh...
  • Tracy Rowan
    2018-04-20
    What a strange book.I wasn't sure what to expect when I requested it from Net Galley, though the premise sounded intriguing; a retelling of John Gay's Beggar's Opera (the original source for Brecht's Threepenny Opera) with some gender-swapping?  Okay I'm game. The book recounts the short, intense life of one Jack Sheppard, a notorious 18th century footpad, and his love, Edgeworth Bess.  But in this version, Jack is a young woman who has always...
  • Patty
    2018-05-06
    What is this? Well, a damn hard book to review, to start. On one level we have what is presented as the 'recently discovered autobiography' of Jack Sheppard, real-life petty thief and escapee from jail in early 1700s London. Sheppard lived fast and died young, then proceeded to become an enormously famous figure in English folklore, probably most recognizable today as the inspiration for "The Ballad of Mack the Knife" in The Threepenny Opera. But...
  • Josh Hereth
    2018-06-22
    This was truly such a brilliantly crafted book and I can’t wait to see what everyone else has to say about it. This historical fiction reimagining notorious eighteenth-century thief Jack Sheppard as a trans man will keep you hooked, but the abundant use of arcane eighteenth-century vocabulary and writing style will keep your speed in check— and trust me, you don’t want to finish this book too fast. Did I mention that the novel itself is a f...
  • Jennifer
    2018-04-26
    There is so much to say about this book, I'm not even sure where to begin. In many ways, the book is groundbreaking and fascinating. I've truly never read anything like it. But did I ENJOY it? Man, that's hard to say. I'll be honest, this book was challenging to read. For one, the structure is complicated. On one level you have the relationship of Bess and Jack (EASILY the best part of the book). Then there is our author and his parallel story ab...
  • J. F.
    2018-04-14
    Book Review: Confessions of the Fox by Jordy RosenbergBeing a voracious reader, I was curious: the debut novel of an author "..writing with the narrative mastery of Sarah Waters and the playful imagination of Nabokov..", and described to be "...an audacious storyteller of extraordinary talent". The genre: LGBTQIA.Jack Sheppard, the story's protagonist, was the 18th century’s most notorious robber and thief. His spectacular escapes from various ...
  • Ilana
    2018-06-07
    A brilliant, delicious, intellectual and sensual novel that engages with so many ideas and contemporary/age-old political issues. I am so proud to have read it, and so excited to see it out in the world, and can't wait to see what Jordy Rosenberg does next (and I will keep luxuriating over this novel for a while yet).
  • Michael Taeckens
    2018-01-02
    The first novel released under Chris Jackson's One World imprint--a stunning achievement (especially for a debut novel) that reminds me of Sarah Waters and Jeanette Winterson.
  • Blake Fraina
    2018-06-22
    Back when I was in grade school, the historical figures we studied largely consisted of straight, white, mostly Christian, mostly Western [cis] men. I don’t know how much has changed since then, but I know in my day there was a lot of stories that were omitted or, more egregiously, interpreted in such a way as to maintain the status quo and paint history's “victors” as the good guys. Jordy Rosenberg’s ambitious Confessions of the Fox begi...
  • Steve
    2018-06-24
    An oddity, in the best possible way, but also difficult to review. The simple description is that this novel is a new take on the Jack Sheppard myth, but that implies you have to be familiar with that myth, or at least have read or seen The Beggar's Opera or The Threepenny Opera. It has been 20 years since I read Brecht's take on the infamous English jail-breaker, aka "Mack the Knife", so I didn't remember much about it. I don't think it really m...
  • Siobhan
    2018-07-02
    Confessions of the Fox is a transformative, metafictional piece of historical fiction that takes the life of Jack Sheppard—infamous thief and gaol-breaker who provided inspiration for John Gay's The Beggar's Opera—and tells it afresh through a mysterious manuscript. A precarious professor, V. Roth, discovers a manuscript in a university clear out. The manuscript tells the story of Jack Sheppard, a transgender man indentured to a carpenter who...
  • John
    2018-06-19
    This book is filled with beautiful transgressions. Structurally, it's an interesting take on the frame story, as it consists of the academic Dr. Voth, who finds the manuscript called "Confessions of the Fox," which he believes is a previously undiscovered version of the story of folk-hero & rogue Jack Sheppard. Dr. Voth's story—full of upheavals, as he has recently ended a very important relationship, as well as been put on unpaid leave at the ...
  • Lauren
    2018-06-20
    4.5 Stars overall. This is an extremely fascinating and compelling novel that is essentially two stories in one.The first story is the one you are reading normally; a supposed manuscript of a memoir about a amorous, transgender young man named Jack. The text details his coming of age, budding sexuality, and introduction to thievery in 18th century England. The second story takes place in the footnotes of the manuscript, and is told by a trans pro...
  • willowdog
    2018-06-28
    The 18th century Jack Shepard infamous legend has been told a number of times, but not like this before. In this story within a story as a political, social statement, Professor Volt a trans man discovers a diary of Jack's and in making it ready for publication realizes that Jack is trans also. The adventure story of Jack's life is fascinating on its own. However, Rosenberg layers the story with issues regarding freedom, capitalism, cis and trans...
  • msleighm
    2018-05-20
    4 stars.Giveaway, I'd like to thank the author and publisher for this Advanced Readers Copy. Great story of the repressed and disenfranchised. Style, possible historical document with modern day editors notes, keeps niggling at my brain, but I can't remember what book it reminds me of. Certainly nothing similar in topic or time period. A passage that I particularly like, page 163: "Spinoza once ask'd himself the question of whether or not 'twas a...
  • Paul
    2018-07-04
    Mr. Rosenberg, a professor of gender studies at Amherst, says in his afterword to "Confessions of the Fox" that he wants to write a radical but still entertaining novel. It's an entirely worthy goal, and he gets halfway there. His re-imagined life of Jack Sheppard, the 18th century London thief who inspired John Gay's "The Beggar's Opera," as a transgender male is clever and creative, and his scholarship is mighty impressive. But the willfully ob...
  • Annie
    2018-05-25
    Confessions of the Fox, by Jordy Rosenberg, is a very sneaky book. It begins as a discovered manuscript story when academic R. Voth comes across a handful of eighteenth century pages that purport to be the “confessions” of legendary thief and jail-breaker, Jack Sheppard. This is exciting enough, but then it quickly becomes an audacious and extremely erudite story about an intersex protagonist and transgender archivist, slavery, and capitalism...
  • Martha
    2018-06-29
    It's really hard for a book in which the footnotes tell their own story and directly address the reader not to come across as deeply self-indulgent. To Rosenberg's credit, he achieves this task with great grace for about half of Confessions of the Fox. From that point, however, the story -- both in the footnotes and in the main text -- becomes gradually less compelling; at times, it does seem as if it's the author (either Rosenberg or his main ch...
  • Kathleen Gray
    2018-06-19
    Wow. I'm not sure how to review this very complex novel which I wish I had read in hard copy instead of on kindle because of how the story is told. Rosenberg has meshed the stories of two people- Dr. Voth and Jack Sheppard- across centuries through the edits Voth makes on a manuscript which purports to be Sheppard's own. How you feel about footnotes might determine how you feel about this novel; they can be distracting but in this case they are a...
  • Hayley
    2018-05-27
    I love the idea of this book. Seriously, read that description. And the first third works quite well. The insecurities of an 18th century trans man, navigating the world around him and falling for someone who sees him for who he is - that section is five-star material. But the rest just loses momentum. The secondary story, told in the footnotes never really gains traction. The way it plays against the manuscript itself makes that manuscript feel ...
  • Rana
    2018-07-02
    Whoa, doggie. This was something else. Both a super story and a fascinating form of story-telling. But ugh. Why do ebooks (and maybe the paper book??) not link footnotes? Is this a tablet issue? An app issue? A publisher issue? This 100% took me out of the story each time I had to flip back and forth. If a footnote is essential for the story, PUT IT AT THE FUCKING BOTTOM OF THE PAGE, ASSHOLES.
  • Katie
    2018-07-07
    There was a bit too much urine drinking in this book, but otherwise I loved it.
  • Rebecca
    2018-06-26
    Thanks to the publisher for the ARC for review! Review coming once I've had a chance to write something articulate.
  • Natty
    2018-06-11
    Clever and fun, what's not to enjoy about a queered up historical fiction?