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The Son | [Philipp Meyer]

The Son

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is 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. Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2014

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is 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.

Spring, 1849: Eli McCullough is 13 years old when a marauding band of Comanches takes him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and waging war against their enemies, including white men - which complicates his sense of loyalty and understanding of who he is. But when disease, starvation, and overwhelming numbers of armed Americans decimate the tribe, Eli finds himself alone. Neither white nor Indian, civilized nor fully wild, he must carve a place for himself 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.

©2013 Philipp Meyer (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1624 )
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4.4 (1443 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 08-19-14
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 08-19-14 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good historical effort"

    I didn't love this book. But it was quite solid. There are three story lines for three generations. The first one with the boy taken by Indians is fabulous. The other two just weren't the same standard, but they were well written,
    I do believe it to be a pretty solid look at the very odd relationship in Texas from the Texicans, the American Settlers, and the Indians. The end is sort of miserable. but realisitic. Bottom line,, these are not very nice ,sensitive or socially responsible souls. That being said, it's probably properly historic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah 08-14-14
    Sarah 08-14-14

    Books are a survival tool in a sometimes insane world.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very rich story"
    Would you listen to The Son again? Why?

    Yes because it was engaging and kept me riveted.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The suspense


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Everything. That his voice changed with the times and characters circumstances


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    captivity


    Any additional comments?

    Great story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annemarie 08-12-14
    Annemarie 08-12-14
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    "If this book was a man I'd want to marry him."
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Son?

    Eli's time with the Comanche.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Will Patton is astonishingly perfect as Eli McCullough and Scott Shepard's tortured tender sadly hopeful Peter McCullough is heart-breakingly lovely. I knew nothing about the history of Texas and frankly didn't think I wanted or needed to know anything about it. But I was wrong. This book is one of my all time favorites and beyond the gorgeous writing and wonderfully drawn characters, has made me very curious about a time and place I haven't given much thought to before.


    Any additional comments?

    This book has it all - it's sassy, sophisticated, subtle, bold, beautifully crafted, funny, sad, poignant, interesting, educational, horrifying and just an all around perfect read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 07-23-14
    Andrew 07-23-14 Member Since 2014
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    6
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    Story
    "Great performance good story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Son to be better than the print version?

    yes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    eli.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    Will Patton did an amazing job with the narration of Eli both old and young


    Who was the most memorable character of The Son and why?

    Eli


    Any additional comments?

    Great book.....wish there was more of Eli. Meyer should write a book just about him

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah J. Rollins 07-17-14 Member Since 2013
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    3
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    Story
    "Compelling Story Flawlessly Told"
    What made the experience of listening to The Son the most enjoyable?

    The readers enriched the story with their voices and carried me away to their locations


    What did you like best about this story?

    Side by side with Texas history!


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I could 'feel' the experience through their voices


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Eli McCullaugh always moved me


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent setting - sweeping dramatic historical story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARY 07-16-14
    MARY 07-16-14
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    "Looking forward to the movie"

    By the time you finish this entertaining story you will have learned a lot about the history of Texas without even knowing it. The multiple narrators worked out well. Kate Mulgrew especially was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy 07-06-14
    Nancy 07-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Compelling"
    If you could sum up The Son in three words, what would they be?

    informative, fascinating, visceral


    What other book might you compare The Son to and why?

    historical novels by James A. Michener


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    There were both male and female narrators and each did an admirable job; however, I most enjoyed Will Patton. His modulation and intonation always intrigue.


    Any additional comments?

    I was fascinated to learn about the rituals and mores of the Comanche Indians. Have to admit however, that some of the descriptions of capture and torture were a bit visceral at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    drummin2life Chicagoland, USA 06-17-14
    drummin2life Chicagoland, USA 06-17-14 Member Since 2012

    Sev

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good parts / Bad segments"
    Any additional comments?

    I saw the great reviews of this book and so I downloaded it. I understand how some people might think this is a great book. Whenever an author weaves different characters and different time frames together into a whole that makes you understand it all it can be great. The problem I had with The Son was that some parts were beyond boring. The performances by Will Patton and the other readers were very good.

    I thought the segments about Ely McCullough were interesting and I wanted more. The segments about Peter McCullough and Jeannie McCullough were excruciatingly depressing and boring. I guess I'm a lightweight for not thinking Peter's interminable musings on his depressed condition were tedious. I didn't give a damn about anything that Jeannie said, which is never good in a book filled with her ramblings. t got through the book, but really I don't know why.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eva Shavano Park, TX, United States 06-16-14
    eva Shavano Park, TX, United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Great span of history."

    Enticing story spanning 3 generations, cleverly thought out, and gripping. Feeling the stories coming closer to linking made it hard to stop listening. Great character development.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kady Sisters, OR United States 06-05-14
    Kady Sisters, OR United States 06-05-14 Member Since 2013

    KDL

    ratings
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    15
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Listen to this!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Son the most enjoyable?

    The gorgeous voices and complex story and also a hidden history that I found fascinating.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Eli due to his amazing journey, but his son Pete is a close 2nd.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    nope, but will in the future


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A Story as Big as Texas


    Any additional comments?

    Following the timeline can be a bit confusing and I had to listen to the end a couple of times to make sure I understood it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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