Tag Archives: novels

Valentine Reads: “Son of a Trickster” By: Eden Robinson and “Number 11” By: Jonathan Coe


“Son of a Trickster” By: Eden Robinson

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.



“Number 11” By: Jonathan Coe

The long-awaited sequel to The Winshaw Legacy, the novel that introduced American readers to one of Britain’s most exciting new writers–an acerbic, hilariously dark, and unflinching portrait of modern society.

The novel opens in the early aughts: two ten-year-olds, Alison and Rachel, have a frightening encounter with the “Mad Bird Woman” who lives down the road. As the narrative progresses through time, the novel envelops others who are connected to the girls: Alison’s mother, a has-been singer, competing on a hit reality TV show; Rachel’s university mentor confronting her late husband’s disastrously obsessive search for a German film he saw as a child; a young police constable investigating the seemingly accidental and unrelated deaths of two stand-up comedians; the ludicrously wealthy family who hire Rachel as a nanny–under whose immense London mansion Rachel will discover a dark and terrifying secret. Psychological insight, social commentary, vicious satire, and even surrealist horror are combined in this highly accomplished work to hold up a revealing, disquieting mirror to the world we live in today.


Salman Rushdie for his Novel ‘Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights’ at the Toronto Reference Library (Toronto) – Thursday September 24, 2015

Not to be overly sentimental but Salman Rushdie is one of five of my favourite writers and I met him tonight. He alongside Martin Amis and Christopher Hitchens inspired me to study English Lit in university. I may not agree with their politics and spiritual views but their writing has always made me swoon and encouraged me to work harder in creating my own written esthetic. I made a decision to stop writing 15 years ago and the heartache followed me overseas to England and back. When I moved back home to Toronto and changed careers 11 years ago, I made a decision to continue to cultivate my first love in my down time. It’s never easy to write but with heroes like Rushdie continuing to make it look effortless – a girl can only keep trying her best.

Read his latest book ‘Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights’ from http://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/.  http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/253057/two-years-eight-months-and-twenty-eight-nights-by-salman-rushdie/  It will make you swoon.

One last note, after I smiled all night at Mr. Rushdie he paid me the honour of tweeting me back:

‘The night Salman Rushdie tweeted me and no one else in Toronto.‪#‎fangirl‬

“Signing, yes. Singing, probably not.https://t.co/TCWsJRoXsK

It was one magical night indeed.