Son of A Trickster

Son of A Trickster

Book - 2017
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Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize: With striking originality and precision, Eden Robinson, the author of the classic Monkey Beach and winner of the Writers' Trust of Canada Fellowship, blends humour with heartbreak in this compelling coming-of-age novel. Everyday teen existence meets indigenous beliefs, crazy family dynamics, and cannibalistic river otters . . . The exciting first novel in her trickster trilogy.

Everyone knows a guy like Jared: the burnout kid in high school who sells weed cookies and has a scary mom who's often wasted and wielding some kind of weapon. Jared does smoke and drink too much, and he does make the best cookies in town, and his mom is a mess, but he's also a kid who has an immense capacity for compassion and an impulse to watch over people more than twice his age, and he can't rely on anyone for consistent love and support, except for his flatulent pit bull, Baby Killer (he calls her Baby)--and now she's dead.
Jared can't count on his mom to stay sober and stick around to take care of him. He can't rely on his dad to pay the bills and support his new wife and step-daughter. Jared is only sixteen but feels like he is the one who must stabilize his family's life, even look out for his elderly neighbours. But he struggles to keep everything afloat...and sometimes he blacks out. And he puzzles over why his maternal grandmother has never liked him, why she says he's the son of a trickster, that he isn't human. Mind you, ravens speak to him--even when he's not stoned.
You think you know Jared, but you don't.
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2017.
ISBN: 9780345810786
Branch Call Number: FIC Robin
Characteristics: 316 pages ; 24 cm.

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liljables Oct 31, 2017

This coming-of-age story is many things. It's heartbreaking, it's funny, it's utterly real. This story is also the best example of magical realism that I've read in ages. The strange events in Jared's life are woven seamlessly into his otherwise mundane existence, and the adults from whom he seeks help are entirely unsurprised by them. I recommend you read this novel with the same attitude: take the weird stuff as it comes, and you'll be glad you did.

a
abcDena
Aug 13, 2017

So, Son of a #Trickster. I'd read anything with trickster in the title. It takes me back to #fairytale seminars, #Bettelheim, olde #Europa and #myths. Myths, the tapestry of life. Anyway, once you pop -- an #Indigenous writer -- you can't stop. I only gave this 3 stars because I'll never give a YA novel 5 stars as an adult, sue me! But 3 stars is great for this magical-realistic novel about a young #Native boy in #Western #Canada who is wading through his parents' divorce and the loss of his father to a "new family", as he and his mother stay on a reservation. Jared's struggles aren't extraordinary, but typical of your teen years: #sex, #drugs, and fitting in. But so much of what Jared experiences and expresses is drug-laced, which is where Eden Robinson's writing really comes to life, as she weaves elements of the #FirstNations #mythical and #mystical into the #story, while reminding us we are still reading about people who aren't that different from us. Working class, #Canadian, trying to put together what's broken, or at least numb out and forget what is already gone. Warning to you delicate orchid types: I remember reading the c-word a few times and there's a lot of #alcohol and #drug use. Apparently this is book #1 in an impending trilogy, but the second and third instalments aren't expected to be #published until 2019 and 2021 respectively. Holy cannoli, what year is it???

TechLibrarian Jul 20, 2017

Maybe it's not as great as Monkey Beach, but I really enjoyed Son of a Trickster and recommend it as a summer read, especially to others in B.C. Stick with it if you're not feeling it for the first little while, the legend of the trickster only reveals itself in the latter half of the book. That's why I like it so much though, Robinson weaves a modern story line together with the traditional.

dreadful74 Jul 19, 2017

I was waiting looking forward to this one but alas very disappointing. I was hoping the last half would redeem itself but I found myself liking it less and less with each page. I'll give some of her earlier stuff a go and see if I enjoy that better.

ontherideau Jul 08, 2017

There must be a good story in here however the constant substance abuse and coarse language is tedious.

s
sdanyluk
May 11, 2017

This was my first book my Eden Robinson and it was awesome!! I hope there are sequels !!

KateHillier Mar 03, 2017

I have been waiting a very long time for a new Eden Robinson book and I am pleased to have one in my hand and doubly so for the result. I hear there are planned sequels (?) perhaps and that is even more exciting.

Son of a Trickster has Robinson's usual trademarks of fierce female characters, magical realism, pop culture, and wry humour so if you liked that in her other works you won't be disappointed here. The spiritual beings are also quite sassy. As much as you smile and laugh there are also just some painful moments behind Jared's sarcasm and the moments he has with his mother and the people he parties with where you realise along with Jared just how alone he is how much he wants affection just for himself and not for who he is.

There's a whole lot of life lessons here, growing up in the situation that Jared finds himself in his hard no matter who you are (potentially otherworldly parentage aside) but Jared's taking some steps and if I get a chance to see where that leads him I will be happier than I am already.

p
PennPal
Feb 25, 2017

Quite a bit better than cover implies/offers.
Well written, story flows.

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vickiz
Nov 12, 2017

Jared hadn't thought anything could be worse than almost being eaten by otters, but he was wrong.

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