Son of a Trickster

Son of a Trickster Epub ✓ Son of  eBook Ï
    IGNOU M.Com Study Material, IGNOU Books, Free Download 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 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 afloatand 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."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 336
  • Son of a Trickster
  • Eden Robinson
  • English
  • 02 February 2019
  • 0345810783

About the Author: Eden Robinson

Son of a Trickster Epub ✓ Son of eBook Ï trickster ebok, Son of mobile, Son of a TricksterSon of a Trickster EpubEden Victoria Lena Robinson born January is a Canadian novelist and short story writerBorn in Kitamaat, British Columbia, she is a member of the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations She was educated at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia.


Son of a TricksterSon of a Trickster Epub ✓ Son of eBook Ï trickster ebok, Son of mobile, Son of a TricksterSon of a Trickster EpubWith striking originality and precision, Eden Robinson, the Giller shortlisted author of the classic Monkey Beachand winner of the Writers Trust Engel Findley Award, blends humour with heartbreak in this compelling coming of age novel Everyday teen existence meets indigenous beliefs, crazy family dynamics, and cannibalistic Son of eBook Ï river otter The exciting first novel in her trickster trilogyEveryone 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 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 afloatand 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.

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10 thoughts on “Son of a Trickster

  1. Erin says:

    So, this Canadian YA novel that weaves First Nations culture was recommended by a fellow educator It was purchased along with other books for my classroom library It has been picked up time and time again by my students, but they have shared that they just haven t been able to get through it So, I decided I needed to find out for myself I suspect that part of what might be uncomfortable for them is that the story for some may hit too close to home Jared, our teenage protagonist isresp So, this Canadian YA novel that weaves First Nations culture was recommended by a fellow educator It was purchased along with other books for my classroom library It has been picked up time and time again by my students, but they have shared that they just haven t been able to get through it So, I decided I needed to find out for myself I suspect that part of what might be uncomfortable for them is that the story for some may hit too close to home Jared, our teenage protagonist isresponsible for his parents than they are of him Drug abuse and alcoholism are big factors to the break up of his family Mix that in with teenage pregnancy, suicide, Idle no More, and residential schools and is a heavy text There is humor but it is also pretty dark.But for all its topics, I didn t like the book I am in the minority because this book has plenty of glowing reviews The fact that it is a trilogy doesn t interest me either

  2. Krista says:

    The world is hard You have to be harder Author Eden Robinson calls Son of a Trickster a cognitive screwball gothic with working class people , and that s too precisely perfect a description for me not to just quote her As the coming of age story of a sixteen year old Native kid, Jared Martin, this book explores all the familiar anxieties faced by high school kids everywhere social acceptance, family expectations, drug and sexual experimentation , layers on the less familiar anxieties parThe world is hard You have to be harder Author Eden Robinson calls Son of a Trickster a cognitive screwball gothic with working class people , and that s too precisely perfect a description for me not to just quote her As the coming of age story of a sixteen year old Native kid, Jared Martin, this book explores all the familiar anxieties faced by high school kids everywhere social acceptance, family expectations, drug and sexual experimentation , layers on the less familiar anxieties particular to his situation his mom s a violent hothead who exposes her son to a series of psycho boyfriends while denying Jared access to the substance abusing father who desperately needs his son to help pay rent for him and his new family , and then further layers on the totally unfamiliar anxieties of a kid who is experiencing the thinning of the barriers between this world and that inhabited by his people s traditional bogeymen I don t always have a lot of patience for magical realism, but this read like classic Stephen King and was absolutely terrifying I was enchanted by the whole thing.What works the best throughout this whole book is the believable decency of the main character, Jared he is generous and empathetic and morally uncorrupted by the chaos around him and his relationship with his mother I laughed frequently at the verbal sparring between these two and their closeness radiated from the page And not incidentally the texting conversations between Jared and his mom and a host of other characters was probably the most believable use of this device I ve ever read why can t authors seem to get this right Kudos to Robinson for knowing how and when to use textingWith all the power of technology and science in the world, I would bet you dollars to doughnuts that you still trust a human face to be a human But come closer and let me speak to the creatures that swim in your ancient oceans, the old ones that sing to you in your dreams Encoded memories so frayed you think they re extinct, but they wait, coiled and unblinking, in your blood and in your bones As the membrane between our earthbound reality and that of Wee git the Trickster begins to thin for Jared, there are brief interludes in the narrative in which some entity later become manifest as a swarm of fireflies attempts to explain magic and altered consciousness through quantum physics first to us the reader, and then to Jared himself This sheen of science is useful, I guess, for those who might need convincing that ultradimensional beings are a natural feature of the universe and not the easy to dismiss animism of so called primitive religions , and I ate it up as simply interesting writing.Set in Kitimat, B.C Robinson s hometown , Jared and his mother live off the Rez, but through school, Jared has contact with many Natives and non Natives Living in a party house his Mom and her boyfriend are drug dealers , Jared is frequently given beer and shots, and most of the book sees him getting blackout drunk and showing up on YouTube with smart mouthed rants and stumbling pratfall compilations He s the Cookie Dude with the secret touch for baking pot cookies, but he also has a huge heart helping the needy and taking the weight of the world on his thin shoulders This book is filled with violence of the human and supernatural varieties , people throwing their lives away on drugs and alcohol, and nonstop foul language this view of Native life is totally unflattering There is one on Rez kid, George call me Crashpad , who is a sober sci fi geek, and the mostly white granddaughter of Jared s neighbour engages in activism with Idle No More and anti pipeline protests but they re definitely the exceptions On the other hand, this could be the story of working class people anywhere, and until the Trickster shows up, nothing much identifies this as a Native story.So, here s my criticism I wantedThe first chapter has Jared s paternal grandmother telling him, That Trickster s been a huge dink to your mom s family for generations Yet, we never learn any of the details of what has gone on through the generations Late in the book, Jared s Mom makes brief reference to events from her youth and from her own mother s experiences at a Residential School , but no details are provided Even the ending didn t really tie things up for me And yetI was happy to read in an interview with Eden Robinson that she is already at work on a sequel, Trickster Drift, and I can only hope that the blanks will all be filled in eventually Because I will be picking it up Robinson is too skilled at world building for me not to join her there

  3. CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian says:

    Son of a Trickster just came out after too many years without any new fiction from Eden Robinson This novel is SO worth the wait It s about Jared, a sixteen year old burnout who drinks too much and smokes too much pot and lives on the rez with his mom, who he can t trust to not bail on him and the bills or to not beat up guys who admittedly deserve it But Jared is not a stereotype and not what an outsider would think he s also an incredibly compassionate person, to the point that others take Son of a Trickster just came out after too many years without any new fiction from Eden Robinson This novel is SO worth the wait It s about Jared, a sixteen year old burnout who drinks too much and smokes too much pot and lives on the rez with his mom, who he can t trust to not bail on him and the bills or to not beat up guys who admittedly deserve it But Jared is not a stereotype and not what an outsider would think he s also an incredibly compassionate person, to the point that others take advantage of him, and a person simply in search of not wanting to hurt or be hurt All this coming of age story is incredible in and of itself, but the small magical touches that Robinson has sprinkled throughout the story suddenly burst to the forefront of the narrative in a totally unexpected way at the end, making you glad this book is the first in a new trickster trilogy It s also, like all her other books, hilarious Take this excerpt that takes place when the main character Jared is a little kid getting dropped off at his Grandma s house Where s Jim Bob his mom said Whoring, Nana Sophia said Jesus, Mother He s a walking dick these days, Nana Sophia said Thank you, Viagra I hope his heart pops like the cancerous zit it is Jared s right here, his dad said Fine No cookies and no unpleasant truths Dry toast and stern lectures for everyone Probably surprisingly for readers new to Robinson but not for me, Son of a Trickster also contains passages like this Close your eyes Concentrate on your breath Remember that you were not always earthbound Every living creature, every drop of water and every sombre mountain is the by blow of some bloated, dying star Deep down, we remember wriggling through the universe as beams of light.Read it now I love Eden Robinson so much I wrote this Book Riot article Meet Your New Favorite Darkly Comic, Magical Realist Writer Eden Robinson

  4. Lata says:

    3.5 to 4ish stars.I ve never read anything by Eden Robinson before, so this was a pleasant surprise Jared, the main character, lives with his mother His parents have split up, and his father, a recovering drug addict, has a new family Jared s mother is scary, and has hurt various boyfriends for threatening or hurting Jared Jared s mother also has anger issues.Jared is sixteen years old and a good guy Jared is struggling in school, and spends much of his time drinking or doing drugs, making 3.5 to 4ish stars.I ve never read anything by Eden Robinson before, so this was a pleasant surprise Jared, the main character, lives with his mother His parents have split up, and his father, a recovering drug addict, has a new family Jared s mother is scary, and has hurt various boyfriends for threatening or hurting Jared Jared s mother also has anger issues.Jared is sixteen years old and a good guy Jared is struggling in school, and spends much of his time drinking or doing drugs, making marijuana laced cookies, or helping others Jared has been giving his father money while not telling his mother, who tends to rage about her former husband and his new family Jared also helps his elderly neighbours, clearing snow and other tasks.Jared s life is fraught with anger, with lonliness, and recently, weirdness His maternal grandmother has long called him the son of Trickster, and doesn t appear to trust him.Eden Robinson has crafted a story I could not put down Jared drifts through his life, avoiding confrontations with his mother, but seemingly unable to avoid them with his peers, thanks to his sarcastic mouth.At times, thanks to Jared s intoxication or drug use, he wasn t sure if the weird things were real or hallucinations I like how Eden Robinson walks over that line separating drug induced and fantastic mythical The characters are fantastic Even if I found some scary, some dangerous, or some annoying, I felt like I was reading about real people The conversations between Jared and Nana Sophia were my favourites.As this is the first ofbooks about Jared, you re left wondering what else does it mean for Jared being the son of Trickster

  5. Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    To call this novel a coming of age story is a bit of a misdirection It has elements of that but there is a lotgoing on I m still a bit confused by this novel, honestly Jared is a first nations kid in Canada who sometimes lives on the reservation He has very little parenting, his grandmother claims he is not completely human and has some trickster in him, and he starts experiencing a realm of the supernatural But then again, he s also someone who sells pot cookies and drinksthan To call this novel a coming of age story is a bit of a misdirection It has elements of that but there is a lotgoing on I m still a bit confused by this novel, honestly Jared is a first nations kid in Canada who sometimes lives on the reservation He has very little parenting, his grandmother claims he is not completely human and has some trickster in him, and he starts experiencing a realm of the supernatural But then again, he s also someone who sells pot cookies and drinksthan he should, so part of my skeptical brain wondered if these experiences weren t just the fallout of chemicals in the brain of a not fully formed teenager The people in his life who are most connected to this supernatural world, of witches and spells and general animism, seem to also be the most unreliable, so that begs another question.At the same time Jared has to bearresponsibility than he should have to He has to figure out how to keep the power on when his Mom takes off, he ends up caring for an infant when his stepsister takes off, he is rejected by part of his family So I found myself feeling very empathetic towards him Near the end he attends a meeting to attempt a journey toward sobriety and it is so ill received by his friends and family that it is obvious this is going to be a repeated struggle.The end of the book reveals where the alleged book 2 will go, but I m not sure this book needs a sequel I read this when it was longlisted for the Tournament of Books and came up as probably a dark horse However I did know about it because of its place on the Giller Prize shortlist

  6. Matthew Quann says:

    Guys, there s no review I hate writingthan that of a book that s disappointed me I had been really looking forward to getting down with Canadian fantasy novel Son of a Trickster, which promised an indigenous cast, some teenage antics, and the sort of magical goings on that usually tickle my fancy To boot, I was also pumped to read something by Eden Robinson who has been written about in glowing terms by a few Canadian publications Unfortunately, Son of a Trickster is an extremely unbala Guys, there s no review I hate writingthan that of a book that s disappointed me I had been really looking forward to getting down with Canadian fantasy novel Son of a Trickster, which promised an indigenous cast, some teenage antics, and the sort of magical goings on that usually tickle my fancy To boot, I was also pumped to read something by Eden Robinson who has been written about in glowing terms by a few Canadian publications Unfortunately, Son of a Trickster is an extremely unbalanced novel that dabbles a bit in everything without finding its own voice.Our protagonist, sixteen year old Jared, is a dude who s had a rough go of it His mom and dad both have substance abuse issues and since they split, Jared s been subject to a slew of his mom s less than stellar boyfriends Though the reality and voice portrayed in this novel are important ones to have on display in our literature, the realization of the world is banal and the writing isn t all that exciting either Or, at least the Jared perspective chapters aren t all that exciting.What s , Robinson spends oodles of time introducing a cast of teenage characters whose voices werecringe inducing than realistic The dialogue these kids spout alternates between generic high school TV drama, unconvincing declarations of emotion, I m hunting for edibles , and some painful virtue signalling Robinson also has this tendency to insert a popular song from a few years ago and have the kids sing the song I m not sure why this irked me so much I m usually a fan of real world art finding its way into my novels but it made the book feel forced The drinking habits of Jared, his friends, and family also take centre stage for the bulk of the novel Indeed, there s not many chapters that pass by where the characters draw sober breaths In the right hands, writing about addiction can be compelling, empathy inducing, and shocking in equal measure Instead, the book falls into a tedious routine of having most chapters open with Jared waking up unsure of where he is or how he arrived in that particular predicament By the time Jared starts to change his ways, the novel had lost most of my good faith.When I look back on Son of a Trickster, I think of the many great elements of the book that failed to come together for me Though I didn t touch on it much, the fantasy aspect of the book really doesn t come into play until the last third of the novel and by then it s too little, too late for Son of a Trickster It s a real shame that this book fell so flat for me, especially since this books seems to have landed quite well with the press and my fellow Goodreadians Though I m not ready to drop the axe on the trilogy as a whole, I doubt I ll be returning to Son of a Trickster s sequel later this year with any urgency

  7. Kara Babcock says:

    Second review March 8, 2019I picked up Trickster Drift when it came out, but I knew I wanted to re read Son of a Trickster to refresh my memory before I started the sequel I m really glad I did It has givenan extended visit to Jared s world, and what an interesting world this is.I really love this book, and re reading it has only increased my appreciation for its depth and the skill of Robinson s writing My earlier review goes intodetail, and my experience this time around pr Second review March 8, 2019I picked up Trickster Drift when it came out, but I knew I wanted to re read Son of a Trickster to refresh my memory before I started the sequel I m really glad I did It has givenan extended visit to Jared s world, and what an interesting world this is.I really love this book, and re reading it has only increased my appreciation for its depth and the skill of Robinson s writing My earlier review goes intodetail, and my experience this time around provoked a lot of the same reactions In particular, Robinson s deft pop culture and SF references are so great.One thing that changed this time around In my first review, I was critical of how Robinson mixes magic and quantum mechanics It s a trope that s so common I feel it s clich , and I was looking at it through that lens This time around, though, I ve changed my mind I actually really like how the fireflies, in particular, attempt to explain what s happening to Jared in the best way they can manage with our words Robinson is really making the point that magic isn t necessarily undiscovered or uncomprehended science it s actually a wholly different way of examining our world as it relates to other universes It s something that we ordinary humans just aren t equipped to understand, like a missing sense or organ, but some people, like Jared, are immersed in it.Highly recommend this book, and the sequel.First review February 6, 2017Son of a Trickster came across my Twitter feed one day and I knew I had to read it I m trying to readbooks by Indigenous authors, and this one looked really good Sure enough, it s a smart and savvy novel that delivers great characters and dialogue, never compromising on its message while still remaining entertaining Thanks to NetGalley and Knopf for providing me with an ARC.Jared, like Eden Robinson herself, is Haisla and Heiltsuk and lives in Kitimat, British Columbia When we first meet him, as a young boy, his parents are moving west following work and his maternal grandmother is being mean to him, claiming his father isn t really his father but that he is instead Wee git s son, a trickster s son In contrast, Jared s paternal grandmother showers him with affection and remains a source of support throughout much of the intervening years Jumping ahead to when Jared is 16, the novel shows us a very different world Jared lives with his mom, who wants him to have nothing to do with his father, though he is secretly giving money to his father and stepsister He s basically just trying to keep his head down, get through school, make enough money to help out his family, etc But people, and other beings, keep getting in the way.Son of a Trickster does not pull its punches when it comes to the bleakness of its situation In many ways it reminds me of Lullabies for Little Criminals In both cases, the protagonist lives in poverty with negligent parents Jared has somewhatagency than Baby did, a function of his age, gender, and particular circumstances he is still in school, and at 16 he has started figuring out how to earn his own cash But make no mistake this is not a feel good novel of redemption There is a lot of swearing and a lot of darkness Jared seems inexorably to jump from frying pan to fire, and the cloying sheen of the it gets better after school special is nowhere to be seen.I love Jared as a character He s just so 16, but that mature kind of 16 that crops up when you can t rely on your parents And he is just so good He could easily embrace crime, start dealing drugs like Richie and his mom want him to, start carrying a gun and becoming a heavy but he deliberately pushes that out of his life He goes over to his next door neighbour to shovel her drive and help her with chores He works assiduously to earn enough money to help out his dad Yes, he smokes pot and makes pot cookies for his largest source of income he also has a paper route But Robinson captures that paradox of being 16 you re too old to be called a child but too young to be treated fully like an adult.Jared is still in school, trying to survive Grade 10 in this book, and that s kind of amazing given all the shit he has to deal with Sometimes he has to take buses across town to give money to his stepsister to pay off his dad s back rent and still he tries to study and do his homework Sure, he isn t always successful but when some kids would drop out, Jared perseveres And note that I m not trying to hold up Jared as some kind of anomaly among 16 year olds quite the opposite, in fact I think many authors underestimate adolescents, but that isn t the case here.Nor is Jared pure He has his share of flaws, makes his share of mistakes He drinks, even blacks out, and then others have to fill him in on the poor choices he made hello, viral videos But there are also times he doesn t black out, or times he doesn t make the poorer choice, and Robinson shows us those too The former are just as important as the latter, because it s their contrast that makes him a worthwhile protagonist and, in the end, it s the choices that Jared makes to confront those past choices that makes him change and grow.The setting helps to amplify Jared s struggle for the reader I m quite harsh on Jared s mom here, because I think she s irresponsible in her parenting, but I am sympathetic to the challenges she faces as a single parent with no stable income I ve seen the effects of poverty on families, especially among First Nations youth in an urban environment The conditions that Robinson depicts in Son of a Trickster are real Nevertheless, I ve been fortunate enough in my life never to experience poverty myself I ve never known the sensation of not knowing what I m eating that same day, or lived under the sword of the utility company cutting my power Jared s precariousness is a constant presence in this novel, and Robinson represents it in a way that underscores its significance for readers who might otherwise be ignorant of its effects.This is also an extremely tech and culturally savvy novel It s subtle, but by the end of the book I had really come to appreciate how Robinson weaves these elements throughout the book Jared corresponds with several people via text or Facebook message the later is his principal mode of communication with Nana Sophia Robinson s voice in these moments is very accurate she captures the atmosphere created by these media Also, I just love the nerdy references to shows like Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica, most of which originate from a rez kid, George, who insists Jared start calling him by the callsign of Crashpad Indigenous people, particularly Indigenous youth, are underrepresented as it is in literature but when they do put in an appearance, there is a tendency to ground them almost exclusively in Indigenous iconography and often generic or mistaken iconography at that These stereotypes are so pervasive that our Prime Minister recently commented at a town hall that the youth he spoke with want canoe storage over rec centres with WiFi Insert audible eyerolling here Robinson combats this stereotype quite neatly here, for Crashpad might live on the reserve, but he and his friends are just as phone obsessed, Internet binging, sci fi watching as teenagers of any stripe.When Haisla Heiltsuk traditions and history are referenced, it s because it relates to the plot or characters in some way Jared learns a little bit about how his maternal grandmother s experiences at residential school affected her Several of the women in his life, from his mother to Nana Sophia to some others I won t spoil, are witches with access to powers and spells other characters share with Jared a heritage that isthan human There s a bit of an American Gods vibe happening here, although I recognize the latter is a pastiche of various religions and mythologies whereas this one is muchabout Jared s personal journey through the cultures that lay claim to him.As I don t have the cultural background necessary to critique how Robinson portrays these elements, I m not going to go into much detail there However, I wasn t sold on the way she uses the firefly beings that Jared sees to try to syncretize the magic with quantum mechanics Any time someone tries to use quantum mechanics as an excuse for magic, a little alarm bell labelled what the bleep to we know goes off in my brain It s not that I m against attempts to explain magic in pseudoscientific ways that can be fun, because this is, after all, fiction Nevertheless, these kinds of attempts at equivalency tend to muddle what is already a muddy subject, because quantum mechanics is counter intuitive and poorly explained, let alone understood I think I get why Robinson did this, but I could have done without that entire element Thankfully, it isn t a huge part of the plot and is easy enough to ignore.In addition to the tech culture savviness, I love the subversive moments, like this one where Robinson has characters confront the gender binary For all that I loved most of the dialogue, I actually only highlighted one passage in this book No, you don t understand I m not regretting it I m saying I don t believe in monogamy, but I don t fall in the sack with just anyone And I certainly don t believe in gender the way you do, and you ve made it clear that you find my ways pervy What I m normally attracted to people willing to push heteronormative boundaries Jacob felt his eye twitching So you re gay There you go, Sarah said Thinking in Western binaries again So you re not gay It s like talking to a wall, Sarah said through gritted teeth Do you even listen to anything I say But what does that mean For us It means you confuse the hell out of me I m frustrated Well, that s a big ditto You re so retro How can I be with someone who still defines himself as strictly male So you like chicks Or guys or both Is that, like, the trans one or the bi Sarah stopped swinging her legs and coolly considered him She hopped down You re so not getting laid tonight I m so so on Sarah as a character, but I like the romance not a romance between her and Jared Again, it feels a lot less contrived or stereotypical than how these kinds of relationships are so often portrayed in books featuring young adults.As far as classifying this book, I suppose it might be called a young adult novel , though this is an example of how that label never really feels appropriate This is a book adults should be reading, and a book that adolescents could read and enjoy too Yes, there is sex and swearing and drugs and drinking in it If you think your adolescent isn t aware of these things among their peers and even participating in such things themselves, I have a pipeline I can sell to you.I like the ending I said before that this is not a novel of redemption, and I stand by that This is a bleak book but it s bleakness with a hopeful ending Like many such novels, it hits us hard and fast with so much that can go wrong in an adolescent s life and then it reminds us that there is always still hope And I like that, for all that this book is about Jared s potential link to a Trickster figure, the conclusion is ultimately about Jared becomingof who he already is rather than trying to shape shift his identity to match something he is not.Son of a Trickster, then, is fantastic I like its representation of an Indigenous teen for what my opinion as a settler is worth , not that this is surprising considering its ownvoices origin Beyond this cultural dimension, though, I just love the book itself The plot, setting, and characters all come together to deliver a breathtaking and beautiful book, and this is me holding my hand out saying, Um, sequel please

  8. Wendy says:

    Son Of A Trickster by Eden Robinson is one of the finalists in Canada Reads 2020.This novel gives a somber and realistic look at many aboriginal youth s enviroments in Canada and strong indicators of why many of these youth are substance dependent and have high suicide rates.I really liked Jared, the main character He is a self sufficient aboriginal teen with a huge heart and numerous hardships The author gives us a strong cast of memorable supporting characters as well.Confusing at times, yet Son Of A Trickster by Eden Robinson is one of the finalists in Canada Reads 2020.This novel gives a somber and realistic look at many aboriginal youth s enviroments in Canada and strong indicators of why many of these youth are substance dependent and have high suicide rates.I really liked Jared, the main character He is a self sufficient aboriginal teen with a huge heart and numerous hardships The author gives us a strong cast of memorable supporting characters as well.Confusing at times, yet an interesting and enjoyable read.This novel definitely has a chance of winning Canada Reads 2020 as it does Bring Canada Into Focus

  9. jo says:

    useless noodling skip this paragraph if you want to get to the reviewthere is a chinese wall between american readers and canadian literature the only titan strong enough to have made a breach but, see, it s her breach, no one but she can cross over, just like in kafka s parable is Margaret Atwood even nobel prize winner Alice Munro is not a household name among american readers Miriam Toews i haven t dug into numbers, but this is what it seems to me ispopular in italy tha useless noodling skip this paragraph if you want to get to the reviewthere is a chinese wall between american readers and canadian literature the only titan strong enough to have made a breach but, see, it s her breach, no one but she can cross over, just like in kafka s parable is Margaret Atwood even nobel prize winner Alice Munro is not a household name among american readers Miriam Toews i haven t dug into numbers, but this is what it seems to me ispopular in italy than she is south of the border and sure, there are Carol Shields and Michael Ondaatje, but here is the catch i bet that a good number of those who have heard of them do not know that they are canadian even atwood please prove me wrong this books is amazing it took Eden Robinson eight years to write Son of a Trickster and it shows from the first page what struck me about it is how perfect it is, how precise, how carefully built, sentence by little sentence, with that effortlessness that is always the product of painstaking labor this precision in the language is juxtaposed to a whole lot of mess messy lives, messy hygiene, messy love, messy gastroenterology lots of bad eating, not eating, and bad drinking, and TONS of throwing up and, on atechnical level, seemingly but in fact not messy timelines and storylines the language, it seems to me, is the one rigorous thing that holds everything together supple tendons superglue it even keeps together jared, the adorable teenage protagonist, who speaks carefully, corrects those who speak imprecisely, and uses language in that fast, ber clever teen snark you wish you had had when you were a teen needless to say, none of this makes him the most popular boy in town, but, miraculously, jared possesses that old soul self containedness some kids have that, too, is something you wish you had had when you were a teen that allows them genuinely not to care a lot of the language is teen jargon and shorthand and this,than other things this book is not big on descriptions and explanations do the work of giving the reader a sense of the place, the time and the human climate not all of it is immediately understandable to the non local, non teenage reader, but, like all good writers, robinson lets you figure it out on your own jared, the son of a trickster the formulation is meant to sounds a bit like son of a bitch, i.e like a curse or insult, both of which it is, in a way , is the kind of kid who takes upon himself the job of keeping the adults of his family in house and home he is no saint, but he s got a clear set of morals, and he won t be budged jared does what needs to be done, damned the consequences this is not marketed as a YA book, but if you know a teen who is having a shitty time and who won t get traumatized by talk of sex and drugs, jared s solid decency in the face of a decidedly shitty life may be something they might find solace in the key features of jared s surroundings are poverty and lack of resources of all kinds the entire community seems to consist ofor less put together habitations, some kind of all purpose store, a liquor store, a church, a school also, the beach, which is used mostly to party but we do see this from a teen s point of view, so maybe there is a whole other lot going on there too, though one is hard pressed to imagine what partying at the beach equals getting high on booze and substances of all kinds the kids and the adults in jared s world all seem to find entertainment only in getting high, watching tv, gaming, and boning each other we know that some characters are natives and some are not, but robinson doesn t seem that interested in demarcating exactly who is what likewise, even though the town straddles the reservation, she is not interested in telling us what lies on which side the brutality of jared s life is highlighted by the way the novel starts, which is idyllically, with loving mom, dad and child jared setting out to move because of dad s new job robinson doesn t tell us why things go so dramatically sideways in the next chapter, which takes place some ten years later, but after a bit you get a sense i am as far from a working class native american as i can possibly be being, as i am, a white italian immigrant, educated and middle class, born, raised and educated in italy, barely assimilated yet somehow no longer properly italian either , but when the magic stuff, which is just as magic as it is theological, starts playing a stronger role in the novel, i sort of get something, and this something may be entirely wrong, but i feel i owe it robinson and the jareds of the world to try to say it what it is what i get is that cultures live in an always precarious equilibrium, and this equilibrium is, among other things, predicated on how they make sense of, partition if you will, good and evil in other words, a culture is solid when people tend to agree on what is good and what is bad in this particular time in the united states this agreement is gettingandundermined and this is causing a tremendous cultural crisis jared s community, like, arguably, most communities, relies for its understanding of good and evil on a solid relationship with the divine this is a theme that recurs in native literature so i don t think i m too far off if this connection with the divine gets wobbly enough evil a supernatural force according to pretty much all religions has no balancing good force with which to be held at bay in Son of a Trickster is certainly evil and damaging and corrosive, but also, via the figure of the trickster, it is mischievous and able to be bent to do the right thing this is why the religious aspect is so brilliantly essential to the book, and i must say that robinson does it so darn well, with humor and that playful irreverence we often encounter in literature by people of color cuz you ve gotta laugh, dontcha i mean, you can and will cry, but humor is what, at the end of the day, will keep you alive you cannot starve a people, rob it of their jobs, rob it of land and prospects, rob of it the material makings of dignity and autonomy, and expect them to keep their culture alive cultures need to be fed they need food in the belly not any old crap food, but decent food, cuz the shitty food that doesn t give real nourishment will make one puke, and puke, and puke, all book long

  10. Carole says:

    Great read, Jared is a very believable character with whom you can easily empathize I would have given this five stars but I struggled with the supernatural aspect.