Son of A Trickster

Son of A Trickster

Book - 2017
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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 neighbors. 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, Ontario : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780345810786
Branch Call Number: FIC ROBINSO
Characteristics: 316 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

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 is only sixteen he struggles to keep everything afloat. And he puzzles over why his maternal grandmother has never liked him, why ... Read More »

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Nov 11, 2020

This book is a very well-written account of a First Nations teenage boy living in a "party house" and mostly raising himself. Not as much magic as I expected, but still a great book. I respect Robinson for not flinching away from writing a gritty story that is rarely told.

That being said, this story may hit too close to home for a lot of young First Nations/Native American people, or for anyone who grew up in a household like Jared's. Because as far as I can tell it is a very accurate and unfiltered depiction of what life can be like for a teenager like Jared. A teenager who has almost no positive influences in his life, who has easy access to drugs and alcohol, and whose day-to-day life is put in constant tumult by those around him. I'm glad we catalogue it as Adult Fiction, because while there are some great humorous moments at times, most of the book is quite dark.

BPLpicks Mar 07, 2020

Son of a Trickster is the first of five finalists in the upcoming Canada Reads debates which run from March 16-19. Tune in to hear what the panelists have to say about this original, coming of age story by much loved, Canadian author, Eden Robinson.

Feb 29, 2020

It's YA fiction which I am not the correct age to comment didn't really appeal to me, but Jared is a likable enough kid living in ridiculously bad circumstances. This is one of the Canada Reads books for 2020.

Jan 19, 2020

I read Monkey Beach years ago and I quite enjoyed it but I really didn’t enjoy this book for a variety of reasons. I’m surprised that it has such good reviews as I honestly thought it was terrible and I forced myself to finish it. First, it’s a book that is mostly made up of dialogue and I found that very annoying. Also, the book introduces so many different characters and that made it difficult to follow. Then there’s the magical realism piece that starts happening half way through the novel. It started so late in the game so it was just very confusing. It’s also very unrealistic as Jared is in grade 10 but the way he speaks and the relationships he has are way beyond what a 16 year old is actually like. The sex scenes with the 16 year old kids really grossed me out and the sexual talk his mom/step dad participated in that was done in front of Jared was distasteful to say the least. There was nothing redeeming about the abusive mother and I did not sympathize with her at all. Basically Son of a Trickster was a bad and disturbing read and it is most definitely not for teens.

Kay D'Odorico
Nov 24, 2019

Such a cool book, very dark and quite serious at times. I was so excited to find out that this is part of a trilogy, I want to know more about Jareds Trickster heritage!

Sep 21, 2019

Well written and funny at times, but I was confused when the supernatural characters were introduced. Were they "real" or a figment of Jared's drug induced paranoia? I couldn't tell. I know the author is Indigenous, but I find so many books about Indigenous people are based on alcohol and substance abuse, which is so stereotypical and not reflective of their culture and fascinating history. At least it ended on a hopeful note. I'm pulling for Jared!

STPL_JessH Sep 13, 2019

This is a difficult book to read because Jared's life is beyond difficult. Robinson's writing is so compelling and this book has real staying power. I loved the integration of beasts and beauty with moments of squalor. This is not a clear right and wrong or "good guy/bad guy" novel. Robinson's characters are hurting and the relationships they share are both complicated and complex. It's not as simple as having sympathy for a character because really, this is a much deeper exploration of empathy. The stunning cover reflects the imagery and the mystery Robinson's writing holds.

Feb 02, 2019

Good story ...similar to Rhymes for Young Ghouls.,,in explaining issues brought up in the previous comments.

for people interested in further research read Doug Boyd: writes about Rolling Thunder & Mad Bear Anderson..

too bad none of you knew Ernie Benedict or Albert Lightening or William Commanda.

SCL_Justin Jan 17, 2019

This is a good first book in a trilogy, if you're looking for an urban fantasy with first nations themes, but one that feels like a real (or at least a CanLit version of real) life. I really liked how this book had a slow burn of the fantasy elements. You get almost a third of the way through a story of a kid's crappy teenage life before things start getting weird. And because of the way Jared lives, it's easy to side with him when he sees that talking raven as a bad acid reaction.

The ending was not so strong, but chalk that up to the "first in a trilogy" factor. I'm interested in seeing where the story goes.

Jan 10, 2019

This was just plain terrible. A rather depressing look at an indigenous teen, Jared, living a hell-hole existence in Kitimat, BC. An unrelenting account of family dysfunction, drug abuse, alcoholism and poverty. And to top it all off, a hodge-podge, convoluted and ridiculous bit of folklore/magical realism thrown in to make it even more insufferable. Nothing redeeming about this novel -- the odds of Jared getting sober, given his environment, was nothing short of miraculous.

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Jan 11, 2021

dstradling thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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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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