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Nancy Charley’s The Gospel of Trickster reviewed by E.E. Nobbs

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The Gospel of Trickster by Nancy Charley
with illustrations by Alison Gill
Size: 44pp, W125 x H140mm, full colour throughout. First edition, limited to 300 copies, signed by the author. ISBN 9780957273801

Nancy Charley’s and Alison Gill’s  The Gospel of Trickster (Hercules Editions, 2019)  is a hip, prose-verse illustrated version of stories from the New Testament Gospels. In mythology, the Trickster spirit is cunning, untrustworthy, breaks the rules of normal behaviour and morality, and likes to cause trouble, which means they make things happen, thus bringing about change.

Trickster and the Jesus-character act as foils for each other as the story is told. An interesting twist is that we get only Trickster’s point of view.  The Trickster characters make for unusual, sometimes wickedly funny and probably unreliable narrators! The Trickster spirit inhabits a numerous and surprising cast of players over the lifetime of Jesus. Trickster instigates events, confronts Jesus, often through small actions, and when Jesus responds the consequences are profound.

I don’t want to give out spoilers, so I’ll only post one excerpt to give a sense of Charley’s clever writing and word-play, and the chapter/verse formatting reminiscent of the bible.

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The Gospel of Trickster is chock full of illustrations by Alison Gill where she interprets parts of Charley’s text, giving almost a graphic-novel feel. Here’s a portion of one.

 

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The Gospel of Trickster is fresh exciting adventure that is witty and with danger, humanity and the promise of change.

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E.E. Nobbs lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The prize for winning the Doire Press Second Annual International Poetry Chapbook Contest (2013)  was the publication of her first poetry collection,  The Invisible Girl  which is available to order directly from her.

Doire Press

The Invisible Girl  and her author’s page are also on Goodreads. Become her friend at Goodreads so you can share reading lists, and if you’ve read her chapbook — please consider adding your rating and comments. Thank you.

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