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The Son Paperback – January 28, 2014
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"The Son" is now on Amazon Video
AMC's original series The Son follows Eli McCullough (Pierce Brosnan) as he builds a Texas oil dynasty. 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.
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I have to agree with one reviewer who wrote: "The most astounding thing is, you don't know how good it really is until you close the last page and step back and absorb what you have just experienced." I'm at that point, still sitting back and absorbing what I read, and realizing it's been a long, long time since I've read a book that has left me feeling this way. Like I've just finished something so profound, it needs lots of room to roll around in my mind to appreciate the full, robust, complex flavor. For a book that took me so long to finish (so many I never finish), I'm glad now I took it in small sips, and I'm eager to read his first novel now. I'm guessing it's another to read slowly and savor. At least I'm hoping.
The story starts out in early Texas, before statehood, as a rough and tumble cowboy's and Indian's adventure. Then changes move into the cattle ranching era. The third arc moves from cattle ranching to the oil drilling era. The book starts off with with the thrill of cowboys and Indians. The last third felt like I was watching the paint dry. So I finished the book, it wasn't bad, but it can weigh on you.
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