The Son

The Son

A Novel

Audiobook CD - 2013
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An utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, an ambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim.
Publisher: [New York] : HarperAudio, p2013
ISBN: 9780062280954
Branch Call Number: CD MEYER
Characteristics: 16 sound discs (ca. 1110 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in


From Library Staff

Western tropes: ranchers, vast landscapes and conflicts with Native Americans. A teenage boy is taken captive by Comanche warriors, and this moment changes a family's destiny.

Texas before the Civil War, thirteen year old boy captured and brought up by the Commanche, ruthless lust for land and money, complex sympathetic characters, a family saga that stretches from before the 20th century to after. Overall, a fabulous read!

ArapahoeAnnaL Feb 04, 2018

Texas before the Civil War, thirteen year old boy captured and brought up by the Commanche, ruthless lust for land and money, complex sympathetic characters, a family saga that stretches from before the Civil War to the 21st century. Overall, a fabulous read!

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JCLCharlesH Oct 09, 2020

This multigenerational epic follows Eli McCullough and his descendants as they gather power and influence in by any means necessary. At times brutal, while still tender at others, this novel attempts to share an unflinching look at the nature of humanity's greed.

Jun 25, 2019

Harsh. That's the way it was and the way it still is. Nothing prettified, no glory. This is a good solid historical work of fiction but the reality, because most fiction is based on some fact, is unsettling.

Nov 25, 2018

I really enjoyed Eli's story. I felt out on the plains with him, because the writer's details were so minute and fascinating. But I have questions. Why is this called The Son? What am I missing here? I have another question about Eli, but I don't want to be a spoiler. The narrators are wonderful, but the writing was uneven in parts. Parts were wonderful, but other parts left me confused/wanting more.

ArapahoeAnnaL Feb 04, 2018

Texas before the Civil War, thirteen year old boy captured and brought up by the Commanche, ruthless lust for land and money, complex sympathetic characters, a family saga that stretches from before the Civil War to the 21st century. Overall, a fabulous read!

Sep 27, 2017

I have been doing some heavy duty reading in politics and theology and found myself needing a break. I was attracted to "The Son" when I watched the first 30-40 minutes of the recently released movie. I purposefully stop watching the movie so I would get the full impact from the book first.

When I started "The Son", immediately the difference from what I saw in the movie and what I was reading was dramatically different [and that is a surprise to who?]. I was immediately drawn in and intrigued from the very first page. If any of you readers (listeners) have read "Lonesome Dove" and hopefully the series, you should get this book. Not that these two are the same, but the similarities in style, authenticity of time, life, events, etc., are similar. Simply put, it is the not the glorious romanticized days of cowboys and Indians. Not at all, you see the life and times as they probably really were; and it a dark picture.

Philipp Meyer provides the reader with the life and times of different members of the same family throughout different times and generations. I will say, it took of getting used to at first, because you jump from the very early 1800's all the way up to the late 2000's. Each character a different generation, a different time, different events effecting them and their families. At the same time, Mr. Meyer effectively kept these lives and generations woven together by a single thread, the family; the land, their pride and prosperity.

The story; a reflection on life! It is stark, it is cold, and it is certainly dark. The descriptions of the sheer deprivation of what one man can do to another, the prejudices and hatred, combined with the rationalization and justification of our actions, for the purposes of our deeds, the cost on family and loved ones, and all the other aspects of life, is told with naked realism and bluntness. You follow the characters from youth to death, seeing all aspects of life from youthful vigor, exuberance, and optimism, to the waining days of old age, mellowed, tempered, reflective, and certainly regretful.

So many aspects of life; people, times, are so masterfully intertwined throughout this book. I certainly had a lot to think about when I finished this book, and Philipp Meyer ended it, I believe, with the intent of leaving the reader to be contemplative and reflective, not so much about the story, but about life; well done.

This is book you should add to your reading list. You will not be disappointed.

Jul 02, 2017

I do not feel worthy of reviewing this piece which is by far the best novel I've read since Skagboys. Philpp M. makes Irvine Welsh look like Trump tweeting at 3:00 a.m. He's like the impossible love child of Quentin Tarantino and Cormac McCarthy. This book flooded me with memories of family secrets told too late to make a difference. Like the first time I was dying and someone finally told me about my sweet Mormon grandmother who before the Latter Day Saint days would slam two fifths of vodka, storm off and come back later threatening to kill grandpa with her new boyfriend from the bar. Now it made sense why mom moved to LA to be near her boyfriend's prison and I couldn't stop smoking God's Breath. This piece had everything I love including nihilism, overwhelming depression and the existential morose at the uselessness and futility of life knowing that for 2 million years man has been stealing land and life from other men and hardly anything exists to show they were even here. Of course those "savages" did not know you could rape the earth, till the soil, plant cement and slow kill an entire planet with Round Up while everyone cheered for their sports ball team around the coal fueled TV set.

May 03, 2017

This excellent book starts in 1836 in Texas when the west was the new frontier. It covers the stories of Eli McCulloughs, his son Peter and his great grandaughter Jeanne in alternating chapters.It is the struggle of the blood, sweat and tears (and there was plenty of all 3) that went into settling the state of Texas. The hostility between the Commanche and the Whites, the injustices done to the Mexicans and the development of the oil industry are all key factors in this story. Be warned it is a little brutal in places but don't let that stop you from picking up this l book. It will be one of my favourites this year.

Jul 20, 2016

But I have doubts about the structure. Though it suited my schedule taking breaks without the compromise of memory fading or thoughts disconnected, 3 storylines are intertwined in a way arbitrary (or trying to stimulate readers' mind?), e.g. a storyline followed by an episode (chapter) from another storyline is more interrupting than making mutual sense or sound echoed.
Eli's version and Peter's diaries are time-ordered, with more tangible correlations, and brought Eli, the Son #1, the fullest figure.
Jeannie's version, mostly due to vast materials spanning her whole >80 years life, plus sparkles of her illusion, nice touch of magic realism though, made her a vague and conflicting figure (contrary to many who might think her as a clear strong woman in a men's world, the Son #3, if Peter is #2?).
Impressive writings with historical details, though I sometimes lost in Indian and Spanish dialect, I always saw vivid scenes, splendid landscape, cruelty of the Perter's shadowed memory was erased by the love with Maria - one of the most beautiful chapters.
I'm intrigued by ending, Ulises was escaping in modern days, a (Indian/Cohuila?) boy of 9 years (in Eli's version) was left on the riverbank in 1881... mythical.

Wonderful narrators and gorgeous prose make this epic family saga a rewarding endeavor. The beginning starts off with a powerful bang, and while it loses a bit of steam towards the end, Eli McCullough and Peter McCullough's stories are compelling standouts.

Aug 20, 2015

An "epic" of 200 years of Texan history told through the stories of three generations of a family which heads a cattle and oil dynasty. It tells the story of the founding of the state based on greed and savagery. With this book and his earlier, "American Rust", Meyer is building a mosaic of the US. Very well-written and interesting.

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May 07, 2017

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