I would have never borrowed this book if I knew in advance it was the first in a trilogy, and I'll certainly not read the following two parts. This could have been a teenage superhero or fantasy comic book. But it is too dismal, cynical, and foul to recommend to any teenager I know. Mediocre writing, limited vocabulary.
Enjoyed this book so much, it was riveting, poetic and spoke on many levels about a young teen, his story, his experiences and loved the magical scenes that this author exposes us the reader to. It was chilling and sad then dives deep - take a chance on this novel.
Jared is a fifteen year-old First Nations youth living with his mother, Maggie and her boyfriend in a small town in northern British Columbia.
To say Jared's family is dysfunctional would be an understatement. His mother has a homicidal temper and has been jailed for assault and mandated to take anger management programs. His home is a party house from which his mother and her boyfriend sell drugs and partake in other criminal activity.
Jared's a smart kid with a smarter mouth and struggles to maintain some normalcy in his life despite his role models. This becomes increasingly difficult since it's not only his family but all his peers who indulge in similar destructive lifestyles.
Indeed, author Eden Robinson has included almost every type of self-destructive and anti-social behavior you can imagine including domestic violence, bullying, promiscuity, self-mutilation, S&M and, of course drugs, more drugs all topped off with binge drinking.
As Jared's life lurches from crisis to crisis he copes by staying stoned or inebriated or both. Soon he can't tell what is real and what isn't. When he reaches out to some elders for help, including his paternal grandmother, he discovers they have an entirely different agenda for him.
Yet despite the magical power of the cultural mythic creatures that align themselves with Jared in his time of need his salvation comes in a very conventional form, which unfortunately makes for an anti-climatic ending.
Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson is a page turner for sure. The author does a remarkable job of defining her characters through authentic dialogue and dramatic action. The story in some places is laugh out loud funny and in others almost too painful to read. Her portrayal of Jared's young life as a First Nations youth is brutal and honest though never didactic.
In this era of "Idle No More", mainstream media has come under criticism for it's coverage of First Nations people and their issues suggesting they are always depicted by the three "Ds" - drumming, drunk or dead.
As a journalist and an author I agree with the criticism and am attempting to understand more about the issues and the people so it can be reflected with honest and empathy in my writing.
Though an entertaining book, Son of a Trickster is an extremely negative representation of First Nations people. It's a good thing Robinson is a First Nations person herself, otherwise it's unlikely her book would have been short-listed for the Giller Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards in Canada.
Could only read halfway through then gave up. I agree with a previous comment about the constant substance abuse being tedious. Just got tired of reading about the main character getting drunk and vomiting. The dysfunctional characters were thoroughly depressing.
It's a different read, and I had no idea it has been Giller nominated when I saw it suggested. I'll be curious to see where the story goes if it is indeed part of a larger trilogy. I liked the mix of realism and magic, and Jared is stuck trying to navigate the two. I'll definitely pick up sequels!
Wonderful, excellent, funny. I enjoyed this world immensely even though it is so far away from my own reality. Sarcastic humour rules!
Exciting and ground breaking Indigenous lit! First Eden Robinson book for me and can't wait for the second Trickster series book. Jared was my favourite character in a long time -I'm a sucker for a hyper-responsible teenager protagonist. I was expecting some of the content, like alcoholism and broken families as the legacy of colonialism, but that was even told in a way that I would have loved it even without the amazing magic and myth combination that picks up as the book progresses. I love her sense of humour in the midst of serious stuff as well. These are stories that have been waiting to be told. Huychqua, Eden!
On the surface this seems one thing, as the story progresses, it becomes something else, and by the end, I'm not entirely sure what this story is. It's more complex than it appears, and doesn't wrap up all its narrative threads in a neat little package (why should it?).
What really speaks for this particular story is how much of it lingers after reading.
Thank you Eden Robinson. Please keep writing.
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.
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???
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.
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.
There must be a good story in here however the constant substance abuse and coarse language is tedious.
This was my first book my Eden Robinson and it was awesome!! I hope there are sequels !!
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.