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
Epic story, lyric writing, best narrators. A towering achievement.
Texas, Mexico, and the Comanches kill each other to survive, or maybe because humans are cruel. A great story with an amazing cast on the page and in narration.
First off, the narration is impeccable, as always by Will Patton...but the rest of the readers as well.
As to the story: It's bloody, it's graphic, there isn't a happy ending, let alone narrative, for any of the Mccullough family, save for a very unexpected one.
With the vast topography as Texas as a backdrop, the story begins pre-Civil War, with Eli the patriarch of the family who has the most interesting story, maturing from a boy to a man among the Comanche after they brutally murdered most of his family and taking him captive.
Interwoven in Eli's story is that of his son, Peter, sensitive and vastly different than his father - perhaps diagnosed with severe depression had it not been the early 1900's; Eli's great-granddaughter, as an oil tycoon coming into her own after World War Two...and finally toward the end, his great-great-grandson to make the story come (almost) full circle.
There were times I wanted to give up on the story, so depressing and, at times almost unrelentingly gory, did I find the lives of the Mccullough family. However the remarkable Will Patton, and Eli's story brought me back each time. I'm glad he did.
I wish I could give half stars, it would fall solidly at 3-1/2 as an unforgettable story, yet one that isn't cherished so much as stark and gritty.
I'm a truck driver so I essentially get paid (!) to listen to audiobooks for 9 hours per day. I average about 3 audiobooks books per week.
Incredible story, incredible performances. this is the epitome of all that is great about audio books.
It's an OK story- but not a great epic that you'll want to think on again and again.the best parts are the section read by Will Patten about the kidnapping of one of the main characters. Taken by Comanche . Some interesting things in those parts- the other two sections about the later generations felt more like watered down things- not really on par with the first section- though we are meant to feel they should be as they are given equal time. I just left the book wanting more of something in the story and the characters. The readers are good but one strong reader would have been fine- Will Patten could have read the whole book and it might have felt more connected. I feel like Kate Mulgrew over-acts her reading a little. I liked the third reader but again- he could have read the whole book and it might have been a better listening experience.
My favorite part of this audible is the different narrators. It helps differentiate the characters and stories. Good book, great stories that brought every emotion. I didnt want it to end.
Although this is not a genre I would typically read or listen to, I purchased the book based on the positive reviews comparing it to the works of Cormac McCarthy (one of my favorite authors). That being said, and not repeating the previous reviewers' details, I found this book to be a well researched and fascinating listen.
Yes, there is a good bit of violence and sex mixed in, but being told in such a flat/factual manner it certainly does not come across as gratuitous. In fact, I would argue that it adds to the depth and powerful impact of the story; it brings a historical accuracy and realism to the book. I would HIGHLY recommend this listen to anyone . . . even at the regular price (though I bought is a Daily Deal offer).
One thing that kept me wondering throughout the book, which spans over a century and multiple lives, was how the author was going to effectively end the story. In the same manner as McCarthy, Myers ends the tale with a very poignant thought from Eli; both haunting and compelling.
The single con that I have with this listen, and it is strictly based on personal preference, I found the narrator of Jeanne Anne's voice (Kate Mulgrew) to be very abrasive at times; almost a cackling. Never once did I even consider stopping the listen, though.
extremely well researched raw and dramatic 19th and early 20th century family history that reveals personal and social struggles with raw truth and knowledgeable depth.
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