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The Son Paperback – January 28, 2014
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2013: In 1859, Eli McCullough, the 13-year-old son of Texas pioneers, is captured in a brutal Comanche raid on his family's homestead. First taken as a slave along with his less intrepid brother, Eli assimilates himself into Comanche culture, learning their arts of riding, hunting, and total warfare. When the tribe succumbs to waves of disease and settlers, Eli's only option is a return to Texas, where his acquired thirsts for freedom and self-determination set a course for his family's inexorable rise through the industries of cattle and oil. The Son is Philipp Meyer's epic tale of more than 150 years of money, family, and power, told through the memories of three unforgettable narrators: Eli, now 100 and known simply as "the Colonel"; Eli's son Peter, called "the great disappointment" for his failure to meet the family’s vision of itself; and Eli's great-granddaughter Jeanne Anne, who struggles to maintain the McCullough empire in the economic frontier of modern Texas. The book is long but never dull—Meyer's gift (and obsession) for historical detail and vernacular is revelatory, and the distinct voices of his fully fleshed-and-blooded characters drive the story. And let there be blood: some readers will flinch at Meyer's blunt (and often mesmerizing) portrayal of violence in mid-19th century Texas, but it’s never gratuitous. His first novel, 2009's American Rust, drew praise for its stark and original characterization of post-industrial America, but Meyer has outdone himself with The Son, as ambitious a book as any you’ll read this year--or any year. Early reviewers call it a masterpiece, and while it's easy to dismiss so many raves as hyperbole, The Son is an extraordinary achievement. --Jon Foro --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Inside Meyer’s massive Texas saga is perhaps the best Indian captive story ever written: in 1849, 13-year-old Eli McCullough is abducted by Comanches after they’ve raped his mother and sister. Eli adapts. He learns the language and how to hunt and raid, and by age 16, he’s a fierce warrior. In the process, the reader is treated to a fascinating portrait of the Comanches, including a Melville-like cataloging of all they did with the buffalo. Eventually, young Eli returns to the white world, but after an affair with a judge’s wife worthy of Little Big Man, he’s forced into the Texas Rangers. Later still, he fights for the South and steals a fortune from the North. He returns to South Texas to found an unimaginably large ranch, which he adds to by trumping up a massacre of a distinguished Mexican family, the Garcias. No scion measures up to Eli, unless it’s Jeanne, his great-granddaughter, who ruthlessly presides over her oil and gas well into the twenty-first century. And, in a different way, Peter, Eli’s son, as softhearted as his father was ruthless, makes his mark. He alone laments the massacre of the Garcias, but he’s an indifferent rancher, and his love affair with the only surviving Garcia threatens to disembowel the McCullough empire. If you want to build a place like Texas, Meyer seems to say, only ruthlessness will suffice. In his many pages, Meyer takes time to be critical of Edna Ferber, but his tale is best compared to Giant. Lonesome Dove also come to mind, as well as the novels of Douglas C. Jones, Alan LeMay, and Benjamin Capps. --John Mort --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Since I am reviewer number 1,195 I will not go into the book in depth. I did love this book; the characters were so well drawn, fleshed-out, humanized. The writing is so well done, the history enormous, interesting, factual, engrossing, the story line spectacular.
Philipp Meyer is an author to watch, he has a talent that sparkles and shines. His first book and one of my all time favorite books, AMERICAN RUST, is also a treasure of a read that should not be missed.
THE SON is centered around the McCullough family and their lives, hardships, struggles, bravery, losses, successes, and so on from the mid-1800's to present day. I was thankful for and enjoyed the McCullough family tree located at the beginning of the book. Such an interesting and helpful concept!
THE SON takes readers back in history with no holds barred. Meyer's writing is brutal and factual. You will read about the hardships of the early settlers in Texas, the life the different tribes of Indians endured, the discovery of oil, the life of ranchers, and so much more. My favorite parts of the book involved when Eli recalls his life with the Comanches. This part of our American history was hard-core, fierce, and brutal. This epic book touches every base of America's early history, taking you by the hand and walking you through the years in detail. These pages sang to me constantly -- sometimes the words weren't pretty, but this reader could barely put this book down.
Of all the characters in this sprawling family saga, my favorite was Eli McCullough. His life was full and fabulous, he had a keen sense of people, and a sense of humor that had no boundaries. He was tough, hard, smart, and made the most of every situation life threw at him. He is a character I will think about for a long time.
If you enjoy big thrilling books filled with characters you can relate to, history that will open your eyes and shock you, and constant thrills and surprises, this is a book you would love. I hated to see it end; I cannot wait for Philipp Meyer to release his next adventure.