The Son ereaderTo download now please click the link below.http://amzn.to/11CacNiOverviewThe acclaimed author of American Rust, returns with The Son: an epic,multigenerational saga of power, blood, and land that follows the rise of oneunforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the borderraids of the early 1900s to the oil booms of the 20th century.
Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of thebloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps thelegacy of violence in the American West through the lives of the McCulloughs, anambitious family as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim.Spring, 1849. The first male child born in the newly established Republic of Texas,Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a marauding band of Comanche stormhis homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him captive.Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to Comanche life, learning their ways andlanguage, answering to a new name, carving a place as the chiefs adopted son,and waging war against their enemies, including white men-complicating his senseof loyalty and understanding of who he is. But when disease, starvation, andoverwhelming numbers of armed Americans decimate the tribe, Eli finds himselfalone. Neither white nor Indian, civilized or fully wild, he must carve a place forhimself in a world in which he does not fully belong-a journey of adventure,tragedy, hardship, grit, and luck that reverberates in the lives of his progeny.Intertwined with Elis story are those of his son, Peter, a man who bears theemotional cost of his fathers drive for power, and JA, Elis great-granddaughter, awoman who must fight hardened rivals to succeed in a mans world.Phillipp Meyer deftly explores how Elis ruthlessness and steely pragmatismtransform subsequent generations of McCulloughs. Love, honor, children aresacrificed in the name of ambition, as the family becomes one of the richestpowers in Texas, a ranching-and-oil dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege.Yet, like all empires, the McCoulloughs must eventually face the consequences oftheir choices.Harrowing, panoramic, and vividly drawn, The Son is a masterful achievementfrom a sublime young talentReviewsIt’s a great thing, reading something and knowing your list of favourite books isprobably changing. I wasnt halfway through before I knew this would be afavourite, as long as he didnt screw up the end (he doesnt). By the end, I thought
that the Great American novel is alive and well - and this novel is an instantclassic.I have to wear two hats, booklover and bookseller, so why don’t I divide thisreview that way:BOOKLOVERFirst off, this book is so up my alley it’s not even funny. Echoes of Hemingway andSteinbeck, McCarthy, McMurtry’s westerns, even a little Twain in a section or two –but Meyer makes it his own, it doesn’t feel like a straight aping, or a stealing ofanyone’s style.Meyer’s own voice and concerns come through – and those concerns are: thelegacy(and tyranny?) of family, violence, the cost and human expense of onecultures rise over another, conquest and displacement, family heritage and freewill, bloodlines and bloodshed … it’s a western only on the surface, the way the allthe best modern film westerns are – Unforgiven is more than a western (its justdisguised as one), same as The Wild Bunch, Seven Men from Now, Once Upon aTime In The West ...Any of the three storylines could be a novel on their own, but the fact that itsthree storylines, woven together, and when he chooses to switch perspectives iswhat makes this a great thing. There’s far too much capital L "Literature" out there(word chosen with precision) that is just boring.The Son works as story, which to my mind is the writer’s job - more importantthan inquiry, exploration. Entertain me, take me off this boring streetcar, take mesomewhere away from the monotony. This book does that – and as a bonus, itoffers all the insights and questions about people and relationships that theliterary novel does (most of them without being entertaining). That’s why it wins –so few books can do both. And Meyer still has passages and sentences that makeyou put the book down for a second in admiration, though hes not showing off atall.
This is a five star, and Im not sure the last time I assigned that to a novel.Probably The Sisters Brothers, and that may have been too generous. I don’tthrow around the 5 star ratings. This is one, no doubt. I will be coming back to itlater in life, and thats probably my benchmark. That gets a book on thefavourites shelf.BOOKSELLERIt certainly pulls you along, despite its length. He does alter his pacing near thelast third, and at first its jarring, but its soon apparent - tension is ramping up.It’s hard to read in spots; theres no sugarcoating on the violence, and he doesntlet you imagine it for yourself. I wonder how women will approach it – it’s prettymale, and not just because it’s a western on the surface. Obviously, that’s mybias, but it’s a pretty guy book. But perhaps this isnt fair; if the three charactersshare equal screen time in the book, the primary female character is just as welldrawn and conceived as the males, perhaps even more so.Without spoilers, it follows a Texas family from early 1800’s to now, centering onthree family members from different generations, two of them male. Begins withone character’s abduction, and eventual adoption, by Comanches after his familyis slaughtered (full disclosure, some passages are not for the fainthearted) - andthen returning to the white world and becoming a cattle baron. The othercharacters being his son, and his great granddaughter. He tells his own story infirst person, his son’s story is told through his diary, and a third person narrationfor his great granddaughter – without spoilers, her story starts with her presidingover a rich oil empire, on the verge of death, and the reveal is how she got there.The writing is fantastic, the plotting, pacing and the structure is pretty muchperfect, the characters are rich and well defined – but again: most of all, it’s just apleasure to read. You know you have a thing when you are considering calling insick to stay home with your book. Without looking too hard at the past few novelsI’ve read, I can say that at least the last three didn’t compel me to pick them up,and the experience of reading this novel was the complete opposite.
I am curious right now (two months away from publication) how much it will breakout. I would bet my hat it will get a National nomination, but I am so close to thiskind of thing that I wonder about my judgment. The British (I believe) have asaying along the lines of “If you like this kind of thing, then you’ll like this.” I dovery much like this kind of thing – the literary western part, anyway (I’m notgenerally drawn to sweeping, majestic, multi-family epics).It deserves to sell by the boatload, and every American nomination that its eligiblefor. If youre a fan of muscular, gritty fiction, you should get on this right away. Ifyou loved McCarthys westerns, Lonesome Dove, East of Eden, Cold Mountain, RonRashs Serena, or Tom Franklins Smonk, you need to put down whatever yourereading and pick this up."The Son" fits the definitions of both epic for its scale and great American novel forits story. It is the story of the McCullough family, from around 1836 to 2012 toldprimarily from the perspectives of three family members. Eli McCullough, alsoreferred to as "The Colonel", is the son of an Irish immigrant. The story beginswith him as a child, near Fredericksburg, Texas, and follows him to his 100thbirthday. Peter McCullough is Elis son. Much of his story is told during the periodof World War I. Jeanne McCullough is Peters granddaughter. Her story is told fromaround 1936 to 2012.More than just the story of a single family, "The Son" is a story of Texas. We seesettlement and conflict between white settlers and the Commanche and then theMexicans. We see the establishment of Statehood and the secession of the CivilWar. We see the ups and downs of cattle ranching and oil.The narrative is structured by rotating through the three POVs (points of view) - achapter from Elis perspective, a chapter from Peters perspective, a chapter fromJeannes perspective and then back to Eli, and so on. All three characters haveengaging stories to tell. Elis is the most exciting, dealing with events such as hiscapture by Commanche, serving as a Texas Ranger, fighting in the Civil War, andestablishing his ranch. Peters is the most intellectually engaging and as hestruggles with the ethics and morality of his family and the other white settlerswith regards to their treatment of Mexican neighbors. Jeannes story is the mostemotional as she struggles with establishing her place in both the ranching and oilbusinesses, in times where women didnt have a place in either.
Because Eli lives to be 100, he has roles in both Peters and Jeannes stories. He isthe patriarch of the family – the standard by which every later generation isjudged. Eli is a fascinating character. He is a person that sees what he wants andhe takes it. Its a personality that is essential to survive and succeed in thedangerous world he inhabits. But that way of life is uncomfortable for Peter, whomsuffers because he never takes what he wants and for Jeanne whom is oftenprohibited from taking what she wants.The author, Philipp Meyer, received a Michener fellowship that brought him toAustin, Texas. He spent five years researching this novel, learning about the timeperiods, visiting the locales, and developing the skills his characters needed. Hisresearch brings a strong sense of authenticity to the novel. The scenes are easy tovisualize, down to the mesquite trees and prickly pear cacti and the blazing heat ofTexas. The voices sound real and the characters have a realism that allows thisnovel to deconstruct the American creation myth in a fascinating way. As one ofthe characters says, in the book, "No one got anything without taking it fromsomeone else." Meyer doesnt assign titles of good guy or bad guy to any of theconflicts in the novel, rather he represents everyone as behaving according tohuman nature. The white settlers take land away from Mexican settlers, whomtook it away from Indians, whom had taken it away from other Indians.The timing of my reading of this novel worked out really well. During reading thebook, I visited the five remaining Spanish missions in San Antonio. The story ofthose missions is reflected in the story of The Son. A story of adapt or perish in aharsh yet beautiful world.The one flaw I would assign to the book is a flaw I have noticed in many of thelonger novels Ive recently read ("The Son" is 561 pages). That flaw is an awkwardacceleration of pace in the last twenty-percent of the book. As we get closer to theend, we race faster to that end and the narratives become more abrupt andedited. I really would have liked to see another hundred pages so that some of thefinal events could be told with the same rich level of detail as the bulk of the book.But, I guess when one finishes a book and wishes there were more, thats betterthan the alternative.
I recommend "The Son".My friend, Robbie, introduced me to American Rust last year, which I had listenedto on audio. It was Meyers debut novel, and I was blown away by how good itwas. Meyers ability to get into the psyche of his characters in conjunction with hisoverall manner of storytelling reminded me of the writing of John Steinbeck.American Rust was one of my favorite books for 2012.Imagine my excitement when I saw that Meyer was coming out with a new bookthis year. The Son is another brilliant piece of work that shows that there will beno sophomore slump for Meyer. The Son is an epic novel that tells a story of onefamily from different perspectives across multiple generations as it tries to build afamily and life for itself in Texas from the mid-1850s through present day. Thenovel explores the tensions among the whites, Mexicans and Native Americans asthey violently struggle to keep their place in America. The book also touches uponthe oil industry and its economic and environmental impact on both Texas and theUnited States.Meyers writing is once again flawless and he offers incredible insight into thecomplexity of what appear to be on the surface as simple human emotions. Forexample, the attitude of one taking what they want from someone else but thenbeing outraged when someone else wants to take the same thing from them. Or,the loneliness associated with being an outsider while trying to fit in and thehumiliation felt when exclusion continues no matter the effort of the individualimpacted.I read Blood Meridian a few months ago, and I found its over the top violence tobe offputting since I could never connect with any of the characters, and I thoughtthe overall plot/story to be severely lacking. Conversely, The Son is everythingthat I wanted Blood Meridian to be. Yes, the violence is horrific and I found someparts difficult to read, but the violent scenes had a point - either to the overallstory or to a specific idea that Meyer wanted to express to the reader. I could readMeyers writing all day, because I think that hes that good.Wow! I loved this book so much, and I highly recommend it.
This epic novel spans several generations of a Texas family. As the story opens,100 year old Eli McCullough is telling the story of his life to a reporter. In 1836, hewas the first male child born in the newly established Republic of Texas. He is 13years old when a band of Comanche storm his familys homestead and kidnap Eliand his brother.Eli is brave and clever, and quickly adapts to the Comanche life, and earnsacceptance into the tribe. But a few years later, when disease begins killing off thetribe, Eli finds himself alone. Neither white nor Indian, he must carve a place forhimself in a world he doesnt fully belong to. Love, honor, and even children aresacrificed in the name of ambition as the family becomes one of the wealthiest inTexas.The story of the family is told in turns by Eli, Elis son Peter, who has to bear theemotional cost of his fathers drive for power, and Jeannie, Elis greatgranddaughter, who had to fight hard to succeed in the oil business, at a timewhen business of any kind was considered a "mans world".Eventually, the McCoulloughs must face the consequences of their choices,starting with those that Eli made which affect the generations to come.There is a lot of violence in this novel, quite detailed at times, (especially thethings done to the whites by the Comanche), but it doesnt feel gratuitous, its areflection of how brutal things were in that time and place. While Elis chapters ofthe story deal with Indians vs. whites, Peters story deals with the racism of thewhites against the Hispanics, which led a lot of senseless violent acts committedagainst the people of Spanish descent.This is a long novel, 572 pages, but the story never feels slowed down or lagging.At first, I wasnt sure I was going to like it, mainly because of the violence, but asI got further into the story, I really appreciated how well written the characterswere, and the plots twists all throughout the story really drew me in. The authorhas a real gift for giving a good feel for the times and places without going intooverly long descriptions of scenery, which I liked because every word in the bookreally stuck to the heart of the story. Its not as easy feat to pull off a story that
spans so much time, from 1836 to 2012, but Philipp Meyer has accomplished itwith this novel.To download now please click the link below.http://amzn.to/11CacNi