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
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.
I don't typically enjoy westerns. But this was fabulous. One of the readers, however, ended most of his sentences on a leading tone. It became very annoying. It didn't ruin my overall enjoyment of the book however
"The Son" as performed by Will Patton & Kate Mulgrew is one of the best audiobooks I have heard. It ranks alongside "The Help" or any of Frank McCourt's books. Great legacy, historical account beautifully rendered!
A narrator other than Will Patton
Could not get that far
Was very upset about an interesting story being hijacked by a awful narrator.
Intrepid, meaningful storytelling that makes you nostalgic for a lost time, despite the likely peril of life on the American frontier and the well-intentioned arrogance of its hopeful inhabitants.
An achingly beautiful novel. Highly recommended.
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