Remember the name Eden Robinson. You will be seeing it again, on other covers. Born on the Haisla Nation Kitamaat reserve in British Columbia, Robinson, 27, is a writer of startling promise, someone with unique material who needs more practice controlling the tone and voice of her stories. That she has talent is indisputable: she has already won such top literary honors as the Canada Journey Short Story Prize and the Prism Award.
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Return to Book Page. Preview — Traplines by Eden Robinson. Traplines by Eden Robinson. The menacing underside of family life is the subject of Eden Robinson's debut collection. In crackling prose, she describes homes ruled by bullies, psychopaths, and delinquents; families whose conflict resolution techniques range from grand theft to homicide; kids who have nowhere to go and a lifetime to get there.
Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title. Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Traplines , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Traplines. Mar 12, BrokenTune rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed.
I'm combining the review of both books here because Blood Sports is the continuation of Contact Sports, one of the short stories contained in Traplines. Having discovered Robinson's work through her novel Monkey Beach , I was not quite sure whether her other work would follow paths a This combined review of Traplines and Blood Sports was first posted on BookLikes. Having discovered Robinson's work through her novel Monkey Beach , I was not quite sure whether her other work would follow paths and include similar themes or whether it would be wholly different.
As in Monkey Beach, both Traplines and Blood Sports are written from the point of view of teenagers or people who have had to learn to become adults rather early. However, where the rites of passage in Monkey Beach are accompanied by a sense of community based on legends and a presence of the supernatural, all the stories in Traplines and Blood Sports are focused on people growing up trapped in the gritty and dysfunctional fringes of society, dealing with violence, addiction, despair, and seemingly unable to grasp at any opportunity that could lead a way out of it, even if it seems to be offered.
Violent and gritty but at the same time moving. The story follows Tom, who wants to escape the world of crime and addiction and settle down with his young family. Tom is haunted and - literally - hunted by his drug-dealing, video-blogging psychopath cousin Jeremy, who will stop at nothing to wage revenge on people who he thinks have betrayed him. If you need trigger warnings - this book pretty much has all of the ones I can think of, and more.
It's still a pretty good read. Nothing had ever existed but the pain. He squealed, he heard the sounds ripping through his throat, and he fought the ropes. He screamed and he screamed and he threw himself forward so the ropes would tighten and it would end. Jan 05, Darren rated it really liked it.
There are four short stories in Traplines; the first two, "Traplines" and "Dogs in Winter," I found to be a bit bland, but "Contact Sports" the original basis for the later book Blood Sports is a fucking ride, and "Queen of the North" is cathartic and a joy to read as well. One of the things I would note about Robinson's writing is that it's often as gripping as any thriller but also socially conscious and thought-provoking, regardless of whether or not a reader immediately recognizes the cont There are four short stories in Traplines; the first two, "Traplines" and "Dogs in Winter," I found to be a bit bland, but "Contact Sports" the original basis for the later book Blood Sports is a fucking ride, and "Queen of the North" is cathartic and a joy to read as well.
One of the things I would note about Robinson's writing is that it's often as gripping as any thriller but also socially conscious and thought-provoking, regardless of whether or not a reader immediately recognizes the context out of which Robinson is writing.
I would recommend her work to students of literature and self-described common folk alike. Apr 01, Gerhard rated it it was ok. This collection of four novellas from Canadian writer Eden Robinson received extravagant praise from critics and fellow-authors alike when it was first published in She was hailed as a young writer with enough literary promise to eventually become a Carol Shields or even an Alice Munro.
Now let me admit straightaway that I cannot for the life of me see what all the fuss was about. True enough, these stories highlight the plight of forgotten adolescents existing on a knife edge in a world o This collection of four novellas from Canadian writer Eden Robinson received extravagant praise from critics and fellow-authors alike when it was first published in True enough, these stories highlight the plight of forgotten adolescents existing on a knife edge in a world of narcotics, casual sex, uncaring parents and physical abuse -- a world where worries about a telephone bill or the next rent payment are constant companions, where every second girl sports a purple or a pink Mohawk and where home-made tattoos are the norm.
I will be the first person to admit that the social conditions prevalent in these tales need to be spotlighted, and that Robinson have a right and a duty to tap into this substandard world.
I will also go so far as to say that she brings this sometimes-alien milieu to light in images that have the power to move and to dismay in equal measure. But try as I might, I could not really engage with any of the characters to the extent that I could share in their pain and frustrations. Of course, this is not the writer's fault. I suspect that I am perhaps not part of the demographic of the book's intended target audience.
Fact is, I found some of the stories rather drawn-out and pointless. The best story in the collection is "Dogs in Winter". Although I am at a loss as to why it is called that. Maybe I'm missing some vital reference here. If I am, and all you sharp and attentive people haven't, I apologize for my obtuseness.
The story concerns itself with the unimaginable effect on a young girl of having a serial killer for a mother. What I like about this one, is the fact that Robinson tells it in a non-linear fashion.
She gives us tantalizing flashes of key incidents without any attempt to spoon-feed the reader. The lack of chronology may be confusing and disorientating at first glance, but everything comes together with a very satisfying click -- and even then, there are some questions purposely left unanswered that just add to the strangeness of it all. I got the impression that this was perhaps intended as the high point of the collection.
It started off intriguingly enough, with an epileptic high school student awaiting the arrival of his older cousin -- a young man who recently suffered a dishonorable discharge from the military and now on his way to Vancouver to find something else to do.
It was not very clear, at least to me, what exactly his purpose was -- another example of my obtuseness. But although the narrative came on like a rampant lion, it soon resembled a little whipped cur with its tail between its legs. It carried on for far too long and did not say all that much in the end. The remaining "novellas" -- the title piece "Traplines" and the concluding story "Queen of the North" -- had two more protagonists eking out intolerable existences in less than ideal circumstances.
The first one featured a set of parents not worthy of the name, while the second one was enhanced by a sadly-ironic ending. Mar 20, Carla rated it liked it. Very few short stories in this collection. More of a novella. It was apparently combined or used for another book. This BC noir First Nations writer has so many acclaims that I was daunted to rate this book only three stars! I'm honest to a fault sometimes. I did enjoy the stories, but they didn't have me hankering to hunt down everything she's ever written.
The stories were raw, sometimes funny, but just didn't grab me like I thought they would. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I'll take this story by story. Traplines: I felt so sad and so frustrated that Will didn't take advantage of this out being given to him for the sake of appearances.
It didn't make sense to be but it totally made sense to him. It was just hard hitting and a good intro. Sort of tamer than the others but that was the point. We're just warming up here. Dogs in Winter: We read this in third year Canadian Literature and it is a harrowing tale of a girl who turned in her serial murderer mother.
You see I'll take this story by story. You see the same traits in her and she struggles to remain good. It's amazing and definitely one of my favourite short stories ever.
Contact Sports: Jeremy Rieger is one of the most fucked up character's I've ever had the fortune or misfortune to meet in literature.
August 14, One of my fave lines from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is from former president and perpetual man-about-galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox, on his own stylishness: "I'm so hip I have trouble seeing over my pelvis. Always have been, always will be. I eat beets happily, enjoy bluegrass as well as jazz, delight in books about things that my blog stats tell me no one else on the planet appears to be interested in. I've gone back to Eden Robinson's short story collection Traplines in advance of a grad student's defense in two weeks great paper, well done, etc , reading the whole collection again rather than just the stories she's thinking about in relation to Robinson's novel Monkey Beach. Students love Robinson, with three grad students in my department defending Robinson projects this month, and no question she's an accomplished and polished writer.
Will attends a regular public school, is watched over by a white couple, and at home is exposed to white substances: alcoholism and drugs. When his English teacher, Mrs. Smythe, offers to adopt Will, he must make a choice that all Indigenous people in Canada are forced to make: either willingly embrace white culture or preserve what is left of Native tradition on the reserve. Although they live in an Aboriginal community, Will and his family are far removed from a pre-colonial lifestyle. The dysfunctional aspects of the Reservation have been introduced white culture and represent ongoing oppression. Similarly, his parents over-consume alcohol, often neglecting him. Will himself already has an addiction to Aspirin, and he eats nothing but bread and Rice-a-Roni.