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Picaresque is a genre of usually satiric prose fiction originating in Spain and depicting in realistic, often humorous detail the adventures of a roguish hero of low social degree living by his or her wits in a corrupt society. A traditional picaresque is often a Shaggy Dog Story and/or has a Random Events Plot. Elements of the picaresque frequently show up in Cyberpunk stories.
- El Lazarillo De Tormes is generally considered the first of this genre.
- Don Quixote has some elements of this genre.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- Moll Flanders
- A Confederacy of Dunces
- Tales From The Dying Earth by Jack Vance.
- The Code Geass OST song Picaresque (which could double as an ImageSong for Lelouch) is probably named for this genre, considering the kind of world that Lelouch lives in, and his own way of fighting it.
- As is The Decemberists' album Picaresque.
- The Gentleman Bastard series is a fantastic take on the genre. And how!
- Simplicius Simplicissimus (the English title of Der Abenteuerliche Simplicissimus), one of the earliest true novels in the German language. Read an unabridged translation here.
- The Unfortunate Traveller: or, the Life of Jack Wilton (1594) by Thomas Nashe.
- Cloud Atlas: Somni describes 'The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish' as such.