Son Of A Trickster by Eden RobinsonSon Of A Trickster by Eden Robinson

Son Of A Trickster

byEden Robinson

Hardcover | February 7, 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.
Haisla/Heiltsuk novelist EDEN ROBINSON is the author of a collection of short stories written when she was a Goth called Traplines, which won the Winifred Holtby Prize in the UK. Her two previous novels, Monkey Beach and Blood Sports, were written before she discovered she was gluten-intolerant and tend to be quite grim, the latter be...
Title:Son Of A TricksterFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:336 pages, 9.4 × 6.3 × 1.1 inShipping dimensions:9.4 × 6.3 × 1.1 inPublished:February 7, 2017Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345810783

ISBN - 13:9780345810786


Rated 3 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved the first 4/5ths of this novel but not the final fifth! I started reading this Giller shortlist and loved the gritty language and the BC setting. I loved the characters and the plot. What killed me was when all of a sudden the river otters arrived and Jared lost his toe and the whole business with the apes and the fireflies! I did not enjoy the last fifth of the novel. I am a reader. I read two books per week. I especially enjoy First Nations literature. The ending of this novel was unimpressive. I am sorry! I wanted to like it. I wanted to purchase the second book in the trilogy which supposedly has Jared moving to Vancouver. I am not sure if I will read this second book...My next read will be Monkey Beach, as I love the way this author writes and I love the fact that when she attended UVIC she scored 0/10 on her first poetry assignment and eventually achieved 5/10 on her future assignments. Bravo Eden! You are a writer!
Date published: 2018-08-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Wanted to love... ...but didn't. I agree with another reviewer, I really love mythology/folklore type stories, so my expectations were pretty high, but it was quite underwhelming. I was into it at the beginning but it definitely lost me :( Had to force myself to finish it, and also had the song son of a preacher stuck in my head the entire time I was reading it.
Date published: 2018-06-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from eh Thought it had an awesome premise, and I'm generally a fan of any sort of mythology and lore so I was really expecting to enjoy this book. It started out okay, but lost me about halfway into it. Overall it was just really confusing and the plot doesn't seem to really go anywhere, and certain things in the story made me really uncomfortable. Maybe this is one I'd have to give a second try, but I probably wouldn't pick it up again unless there was nothing better around.
Date published: 2018-06-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magically captivating! This novel, is one of the best written novels of this year. It has creativity, a strong story line and good word choice. Son of A Trickster also gives us a good incite on a native religion. This novel starts off with the main character, Jared, at a very young age moving to a new house with his loving parents. We can see that Jared is a very happy kid, he has two loving parents that put him as their first priority, until a few years after moving they split up and Jared is stuck in the middle. As the years go on, we can tell how crappy Jared's life has become; he doesn't see his dad, his mom's boyfriends are abusive and his dog has just died. His life wasn't too great, and he didn't think it would get any better especially when he started to see things no one else saw. He thought it was a bad high when he started seeing grizzly bears, apemen and fireflies flying around someones head, but he still saw them when he was sober. They didn't go away, and his life just got weirder from there. We follow Jared's journey towards finding out the truth about his family and the secret they are hiding. Son of a trickster is very well written with well developed characters, an easy to follow storyline, and a great description of the setting. But with all the pros to this novel, there are a few cons. In the novel there are a lot of inappropriate scenes that could send a bad message or influence towards our younger readers, and there are a few scenes in the novel when they have flashbacks which can get confusing if your a fast reader like I am. Eden Robinson did an amazing job writing this very enjoyable novel, it was exciting, magical and something completely different. This is by far my favourite novel of the month, it was very entertaining to read and captivated me from beginning to end, I didn't want to put it down.
Date published: 2018-05-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from mixed emotions. I was intrigued when I first saw the book and knew I had to read it. I was soon let down. It flashed back and forth from past to present to future. It was choppy I never found anything that was consistent in that book. The plot gets really confusing it was well written, there was just something about it that took my attention away towards the end. The first 12 maybe 15 chapters or so were good, I couldn’t put the book down but as I kept reading I just wanted the book to end. It got so boring. The characters were strongly built along as the setting. There are a lot of great, raw elements but I feel like it never came together in a strong narrative. The magical element, then it was deeply disturbing and hard to follow. I wanted to like this book and I kept trying but it just didn't come together, finishing felt like a chore I needed to complete, some parts were so bizarre that they left me feeling alienated by and disconnected with the characters. I was getting mixed up and found myself rereading certain paragraphs over and over again just to make sense of what I was reading, for example they were giving us little information bits that you think are going to be important that get thrown out there but then never picked up again. However, Robinson was very clear on what the theme of the book was, from the start until the end of the book, I felt that a huge theme was “coming of age.” Because it shows how jarred matures from the past with his moms ex boyfriend to helping pay for his dads bills to cleaning his act up and getting himself together at the end of the book. As well as with the setting, she did a very good job trying to make sure we knew where everything was taking place during the story. There was a couple times where I found I was a little bit mixed up over where everything was taking place but it doesn’t take you long to figure it all back out again. Overall I give the book a 3 star rating, which I think is fair, only because of all the mix up and they confusion. I definitely think she could of made the middle\ end of the book a tad bit more interesting and keeping her readers interested in what they were reading.
Date published: 2018-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! I couldn't put this book down. Jared's journey is filled with personal endurance and strength, what a sweetheart he was despite all the challenges before him. I highly recommended this book!
Date published: 2018-05-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Read! Really a terrific book....I couldn't put it in one day!
Date published: 2018-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Okay Found some parts to be very boring but a good story overall
Date published: 2018-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Jared is an incredible protagonist and the writing and energy in this book pull you right in.
Date published: 2018-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Really Great Read I finished this book in a day - couldn't put it down. I loved the Jared's journey, what a sweetheart he was despite all he'd been through. I've recommended this book to so many people.
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ehh I really wanted to enjoy this, but it was so boring.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating Truly great book! At first I felt disappointed because I was expecting something closer to high fantasy. Once I understood the themes in the book it stood out as very powerful. The representation of the cycles of abuse and some existing stigma's around living as a First Nations person in Canada was well written. There were moments the book moved slowly, especially around the trickster aspect of it, but the end had me needing a sequel. As a side note it was also really cool to read about regions I know, from being placed in Kitimat, to the reference of getting moose meat from Fort Saint John.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good I enjoyed the characters and story but frequently found that it was drawing out longer than it should
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not Bad Not sure what to feel about this book. It's not my usual type of book but I heard great things about it and wanted to experience it for myself. I went in with the expectation that it was going to wow me, but it didn't. I am in a bit of a book slump with the winter blues and going back to work after the holidays going on, so maybe that's why I didn't enjoy this book as much I thought it would. However, I did find it entertaining.
Date published: 2018-01-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book did not hold my attention. The characters were flat
Date published: 2018-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great!! Great read, very engaging. The Characters are interesting
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from captivating A narrative that will keep you reading, incorporating a blend of today's life struggles with Native spiritual tales.
Date published: 2018-01-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from great imagery I enjoyed reading this book. There was a good variety of characters, some who you were rooting for their success and others who were frustratingly human (in their successes and failures).
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from awesome i have heard that this book is so good, i am really excited to read it #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fantastic A must read book for the year.
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read Well written with engaging characters and an element of magic thrown in. For me it was a standout from the Giller finalists for sure.
Date published: 2017-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love her work Robinson always blends incredibly human characters with the mythical or supernatural and I really adored this book. Not as much as monkey beach, but I’m pumped that it will be a series.
Date published: 2017-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book The first book I read from Canadian writer Eden Robinson. I loved the characters and the setting of the book. The toughness of the dialogue while surrounded with darkness and violence. The sarcastic humour had me laughing throughout the book. I'm excited to start the second book in this trilogy. I highly recommend this book!
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Read I love Eden Robinson. She is probably my favourite author ever. Loved this book, love all of her other books. I am super excited for the next two to come out and will probably get the audiobook version of this one so I can give it a listen as well.
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! The fact I read this book in one sitting should be testament as to just how good this book is and how talented Robinson is as a writer.
Date published: 2017-10-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent If this is the first book of a trilogy, there's a lot to look forward to. Robinson's storytelling melds follklore, tough family drama and a thriller plot in an unforgettable way.
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love I may have enjoyed this even more than Monkey Beach.... my heart broke for Jared again and again, I was rooting for him so hard.
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love love it, couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it This is a top level novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it and intend to reread it after digesting it the first time
Date published: 2017-09-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from yes! Will be awaiting the rest of the trilogy. This book had some great characters and I found myself rooting for Jared. Honestly I would have enjoyed this book for Jared's story alone but the peek into the Trickster aspect of the story is fascinating and has me wanting more. I did want more at the end and more backstory but I guess I will just have to wait. I always hate seeing the phrase ' a coming of age story' in a book blurb because often I find those stories contrived and boring but fortunately this is not at all. In some ways it is crazy and over the top but hey I liked that about it.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Didn't LOVE it. Although I powered through the book, I found it a bit of a let down. The plot is super interesting and the characters are pretty legit... I just found a lot of things were left without much detail. The book would have been so much better if there was more explanation behind more of the focal points.
Date published: 2017-07-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expected more. I though this book would of been full of the Tricksters details...very disappointing. The story doesn't seem to have a point threw out except that the boy doesn't live a very good life. The writer seemed like he wanted to shove details that weren't necessary to make a couple of pages. Readable...but not my type of writing - skips from present , past, future. I'm giving a 3 because i find the backbones could become something exciting for the other 2 books if he makes the story roll.
Date published: 2017-05-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I liked it This is such a great novel, I would highly recommend it!
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it Pretty good. I'll probably read the rest of the series
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Oh myyy... When they start putting trigger warnings on books, this one will need several. There's a lot of raw unpleasantness here and honestly, for the first third of the book I felt like the author was trying to prove how "hard" she was. By the time I was finished, I appreciated the not nice-ness as necessary to the story and really got into the characters. But its prose is very sparse and I would have liked more in some places where this "less is more" philosophy seems to hamper my understanding of what's happening between the characters. Also, I would have liked more talking crows. A big fat thank you to whatever publisher it was who sent me this free copy for review
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Underwhelming I was expecting so much more after I purchased this novel. I read a lot of Trickster stories since I was younger, but he hardly appears in this novel. I know this book is supposed to be a series, but I haven't decided yet if I want to continue. The writing also is not my style.
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing A great book to read. It will keep you glued.
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Son of a Trickster This is an amazing book. I can't wait to read the next one. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow No comments, this book is too good for words
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from so delicious. i can't get enough. this is life changing.
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Son of a Trickster I took a class during my B.A. on Eden Robinson and have loved her ever since. I finished Son of a Trickster tonight and I am itching for the next two novels of the trilogy already! If you haven't read Eden Robinson's book, you don't know what you are missing!
Date published: 2017-02-06

Read from the Book

THE FOOD OF WORMS Jared hadn’t realized he loved his dog until they decided to put her down. His mom and the vet agreed on a time, like her euthanasia was just a regular appointment. While he went to school, Baby would stay at the vet’s, sedated. In a way, he wanted them to do it right now, so it wouldn’t be hanging over them all day, but he was kind of glad there were rules to follow. Jared scratched Baby’s head. She was the result of a pit bull mixed with a boxer, a heavy, deep-chested dog with scraggly ears from a fight with her brother. Her fur was mottled orange, black and grey, a squiggly pattern like a toddler had coloured her with fading markers. Her face looked like it had been flattened by a shovel. She farted constantly from a diet of cheap dog food and a tendency to eat whatever landed on the floor. She had once shat marbles. Baby wheezed like a hardened smoker and then coughed. Jared’s throat tightened. The room blurred as his eyes watered. He swallowed loudly. Baby roused from the exam table and licked his arm. Jared leaned his head against hers. “I’ll give you folks a moment,” the vet said. After he left, Jared’s mom sat, shoving her hands deep in the pockets of her leather jacket. The fluorescent lights hummed. His mom’s left leg jiggled impatiently. Jared wiped his nose on his sleeve. The harder he tried not to cry, the more he cried. The painted concrete walls echoed his sniffling back at him. “I’m going for a smoke,” his mom said. Baby thumped her tail when his mom came over to squeeze Jared’s shoulder. His mom’s eyes darted around the room, but she avoided meeting his. Normally, she’d be telling him sixteen was way too old to be acting like a big fucking wuss, but they could hear the vet and the receptionist talking in the front room, so she stayed quiet. She patted her jeans as she walked out. Probably forgot her lighter in the truck. The world is hard, his mom liked to say. You have to be harder. Baby licked his cheek. “Gonna miss you,” Jared whispered in her ear. Baby lifted a leg and farted. Jared laughed, and then it turned into crying that faded into more sniffling. His heart was a bruise because Baby’s heart was full of worms. The X-rays showed them curled in its chambers like glowing balls of wool. Time stretched and folded so it went both too fast and too slow. After his mom finished smoking, she’d come back and drive him to school. He hugged Baby hard and she grumbled. He wasn’t going to be alone after she died, but the world was going to be a lonelier place without her.

Editorial Reviews

Shortlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller PrizeFinalist for the 2018 BC Book Prize's Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize“Eden Robinson’s Son of a Trickster is a novel that shimmers with magic and vitality, featuring a compelling narrator, somewhere between Holden Caulfield and Harry Potter. Just when you think Jared’s teenage journey couldn’t be more grounded in gritty, grinding reality, his addled perceptions take us into a realm beyond his small town life, somewhere both seductive and dangerous. Energetic, often darkly funny, sometimes poignant, this is a book that will resonate long after the reader has devoured the final page.” —2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury (André Alexis, Anita Rau Badami, Lynn Coady and Richard Beard)“Robinson has a gift for making disparate elements come together into a convincing narrative, breathing myth, lore and magic into otherwise harsh realities. . . . Jared offers readers, particularly First Nations Youth, a comrade in the angst and alienation of their experience. Eden Robinson does much to enhance the growing body of Indigenous Canadian literature, but we need even more—at least a trilogy’s worth.” —Maclean’s“Only Eden Robinson could make a reader fall in love with a smart-ass, alcoholic, drug-dealing sixteen-year-old. Through protagonist Jared and his dysfunctional family, Robinson teaches us about a kind of love outside of the norm of greeting cards and family sitcoms. Son of a Trickster is a ribald narrative, irreverent and surreal and hilarious and messy. But don’t let the unruly humour fool you—the book also offers a serious contribution to current conversations about decolonization.” —Quill & Quire   “If Raven and Trickster got a show on Netflix, no one could write it but Eden Robinson. Talking ravens, party drugs, deadbeat dads, murderous otters, Doctor Who—nobody brings together pop culture, indigenous culture and myth with more ferocity and humour. Son of a Trickster is my favourite book this year.” —Annabel Lyon, author of The Sweet Girl and The Golden Mean   “Eden Robinson is a writer with a magical touch. Crisp prose, taut dialogue, and a cast of maniacal characters you sure as hell don’t want living next door.” —Thomas King, author of The Back of the Turtle and The Inconvenient Indian “Son of a Trickster is filled with darkness and squalor and obscenity. And yet, startlingly, it brings the reader to a place of wonder and mystery and magic. It is a story of a boy born into a violent history. It is a story of a boy born into a magnificent culture. Robinson bravely reconciles these oppositions in a story that is equal parts irreverent humour and astute wisdom.” —Heather O’Neill, author of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Lullabies for Little Criminals