[T]he first 50 pages are slow going, and some of the lighter-hearted anecdotes can at first seem tangential to the plot. But eventually, when the collage is completed, the reader understands that each and every one of Müller’s stories, every flight of luscious language and every brutal fact, has been necessary in depicting a society torn to pieces and tasked, with the curtains finally open and the light streaming in, with putting those pieces back together to make sense of it all.
Literature is often at its best, and most urgent, when it is a survival tactic. In her writing, Müller inches closer to narrowing the gap between people and things, between life and language. For that reason, her sparse prose often resembles poetry...The Fox Was Ever the Hunter is a haunting portrayal of the secret lives of people and things during the last breaths of an obliterating regime.
..remarkable...'Tell a dream, lose a reader,' Henry James pronounces, but Müller provides exceptions to the rule. Here, dreams become extensions of life, or life itself is a dream; they are cut, at any rate, from one and the same fabric, consistently lurid and terrifying. Witchery in the form of 'melon blood' is used to capture men's affections. A tiger-striped cat has eaten her annual litter of kittens for years. We see a living man with a hatchet blade stuck in his skull. This is the reality of Ceausescu's Romania, where Adina attempts to survive. No nightmare could be worse.