Recommend me books/films about mythological & folk tricksters

Er, fiction or nonfiction, either is fine.

Preferably from as many of the cultures that had them as possible. The more likely it is that I’ll be learning something new, the better.

You’ll get plenty of recommendations of classic tales, so I’d like to suggest a couple that might not come up. First, the nonfiction works of Jan Harold Brunvand about urban legends, a number of which fit into this category. Second, Watership Down, the classic novel by Richard Adams, featuring the rabbit trickster he invented, El-ahrairah.

Also, don’t overlook the basics: Aesop’s Fables is where you should start.

Neil Gaiman’s American Gods has at least a couple of trickster gods as characters, possibly more, and his Anansi Boys (the better book imo, and it’s not necessary to read one to read the other) is about the modern day human son of the African trickster god.

And of course Joel Chandler Harris’s Brer Rabbit tales are based on oral evolutions of tales of Anansi and other African trickster gods.

Huh. Should I make a note to exclude classics? I’m pretty sure I’ve been exposed to most of them. Same goes for Watership Down.

Incidentally I’ve already read American Gods, too, and that may or may not be what got me thinking about it.

Thanks for weighing in on Anansi Boys, Samp. I’ve been debating whether to invest the time in reading that.

Christopher Moore’s *Coyote Blue *is terrific.

Beat me to it :slight_smile: And yeah, Ananzi Boys will hit the spot as well.

And his Sandman series has both Loki and Puck teaming up.

Pan is a secondary character in Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.

Which brings us to Disney’s SONG OF THE SOUTH…

Did you read the companion book, Tales of Watership Down?

I just recently read an anthology on tricksters from around the world. It gives off a “for younger readers” sense, but it was very interesting, and I can say I learned a lot. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the title or the author. Give me a few minutes to search around a bit.

Charles de Lint features tricksters Coyote and Raven in many of his urban fantasy novels. They can be pretty good, but I find I have to be in a certain mood to like them. I took out and returned one book to the library three times before I was ready to actually read it. And then I did enjoy it.

I really like Terri Windling’s The Wood Wife.

Aaaugh! I don’t remember the title. I don’t remember the author. I can’t find the right search terms for the library database. I only found the book because a TVTropes page I can’t remember led me to some interesting-looking novel. Which I can’t remember, of course. I did a search for the author’s name and they didn’t have the book I was looking for, but the trickster book looked interesting so I ordered it instead.

I really, really want to recommend it to you. But I’m at loss here as to how I can do that…

Is this it? The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales

Regardless, the OP should find it interesting.

No, but that looks good. I’ll see if my library has it.

One of the greatest tricksters of them all is Panurge from Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel. He’s also one of the funniest. Of course, his master Pantagruel and Pantagruel’s father Gargantua were no mean tricksters themselves in their youth.

Panurge makes his first appearance in the second volume of Gargantua and Pantagruel. One of his first tricks is played on a haughty Parisian lady. Finding a bitch in heat he kills her, cuts out her sexual organ and grinds it into fine pieces. He then contrives to place it into several parts of the woman’s dress. The result is that on her way to church every dog in Paris, crazed with lust, attempts to mount her, to the delight and amusement of the watching plebs.

Panurge is up there with Loki as a trickster.

You might want to check out the book Monkey: Folk Novel of China. I had to read it in college a long time ago for a mythology class. I still have it and I think I’m going to reread it.

I immediately thought of “The Trickster” by Muriel

Gray, excellent work of fiction in modern day times.
about an evil spirit and Native Americans fighting it.
very scary, it’s like one of
Stephen King’s very best books.

Geoffrey Parrinder’s book African Mythology is a popular book with many examples of African tales of Anansi and other tricksters. You’ll recognize Br’er Rabbit stories in there.
In the same series, Cottie Burland’s North American Indian Mythology is full of American Indian tales of Raven, Rabbit, Coyote, and other tricksters
Another book is the very thick paperback American Negro Folktales by Ricjard M. Dorson. I found my copy a few months ago, having misplaced it for a long time. Lots of trickster takes there.

The most famous trickster in German folklore is Till Eulenspiegel. Then there are the tales of the “lying baron”, Baron von Münchhausen, which also may be called folk tales. There are two major film adaptions, the German one from 1943, Münchhausen, and the Terry Gilliam adaption from 1989, “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”.