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The Son Audio CD – Audiobook, May 28, 2013
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Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
What he has accomplished is sheer magic: he has turned the American dream on its ear and revealed it for what it really is: "soil to sand, fertile to barren, fruit to thorns." 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.
There are three key characters in this book: Colonel Eli McCullough, kidnapped by the Comanche tribe at an early age and forced to navigate the shaky ground between his life as a white settler and his life as a respected adoptee-turned-Comanche warrior...his son, Peter, the moral compass of the story who resorts to self-hatred after the massacre of his Mexican neighbors...and Peter's granddaughter Jeanne, a savvy oil woman who has profited mightily from the land.
In ways, the three represent a wholeness of the Texas story: the id, the ego, and the superego of history. Philipp Meyer weaves back and forth among their stories and each one is compelling in its own way. Eli's is sheer adrenalin, a boy-man who is only slightly bothered by the constraints of society or conscience. Jeanne is a girl-woman with a head for the family business in a time and place where women are considered secondary to men.
And Peter, ah, Peter. He is "The Son", the diarist who sees the moral shadings, who realizes that not all life is a matter of economics, that the strong should not be encouraged while the weak perish, and that we do have choices in our actions.Read more ›
More than just the story of a single family, "The Son" is a story of Texas. We see settlement and conflict between white settlers and the Commanche and then the Mexicans. We see the establishment of Statehood and the secession of the Civil War. We see the ups and downs of cattle ranching and oil.
The narrative is structured by rotating through the three POVs (points of view) - a chapter from Eli's perspective, a chapter from Peter's perspective, a chapter from Jeanne's perspective and then back to Eli, and so on. All three characters have engaging stories to tell. Eli's is the most exciting, dealing with events such as his capture by Commanche, serving as a Texas Ranger, fighting in the Civil War, and establishing his ranch. Peter's is the most intellectually engaging and as he struggles with the ethics and morality of his family and the other white settlers with regards to their treatment of Mexican neighbors. Jeanne's story is the most emotional as she struggles with establishing her place in both the ranching and oil businesses, in times where women didn't have a place in either.
Because Eli lives to be 100, he has roles in both Peter's and Jeanne's stories.Read more ›
Meyer tackles a breadth of territory in this work and while The Son has many interesting "moments," it for me was more work than pleasure to get through. As such, while The Son is not a bad book, it is not one I would recommend highly. The basic reasons for this are as follows:
...Meyer, in trying to demonstrate the extensive research he did in preparing for this book, provides much too much detail for my taste. I found that rather than help to move the story along at an acceptable pace, the overabundance of detail tends to bog down the pace of the book;
...Meyer may have "bitten off more than he could chew" in covering such a breadth of time involving so many characters, in that you need a scorecard to keep track of who's who and what's what. This heavily contributed to my feeling that the book lacked a central theme and an engrossing plot; and, finally
...Meyer's writing style, in which he constantly jumps back and forth between one time period to another and between one character to another, made for a very disjointed and convoluted read. As a result, I rarely got to feel that I knew the characters deeply enough to care a lot about what happens to them.
As a consequence of the above reasons, while I'm not sorry I read The Son, I felt that I had to work too hard to force myself to finish it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good story about generations of a Texas family. The story bounced back and forth in time, but, was generally easy to follow. I felt the story had a weak ending.Published 22 hours ago by JJV
Great History, consistent with Michener's "The Novel Texas". Both with UT roots. Much better than "Rust Belt", but it also was enjoyable. Read morePublished 4 days ago by O R Strickland
This book was a very good read. Exciting all the way to the end. As a central Texan who is Comanche and Lipan Apache decent the historical accuracies were right on. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Nothing was accomplished by jumping back and forth in the timeline of the story. Served to distract and confuse. Overall, I found the book unimpressive.Published 8 days ago by Don
Saga encompassing many years in Texas. A true "page-turner".Published 8 days ago by Fred M. Jennings
I found it difficult to follow because it jumps from character to character and time period to time period.Published 11 days ago by Melanie Williams
This book had a strong impact on me in terms of understanding the history of Texas in the early years of settlement by whites and Hispanics. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Joan Ifland
I found this story absorbing but hard to follow. Every time I got really into what was happening, I was jerked into another time, place and character. Read morePublished 27 days ago by J. A. Bacon
I enjoyed reading the Texan family saga through the stories of different members of the family from the early 1800s to the present while -simultaneously- following the history of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sofia Filippidou