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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 (1359 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stacy Big Bear City, CA, United States 01-03-14
    Stacy Big Bear City, CA, United States 01-03-14 Member Since 2010

    Live life like a kid in a candy store!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intense!"

    A whole different history of the west than I ever knew. Not what I was looking for in a book but, an interesting history non-the-less. The violent, graphic nature was shocking and the story not so deep. No one to root for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuckc72 Arvada, CO 01-03-14
    Chuckc72 Arvada, CO 01-03-14 Member Since 2012

    Charles

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Ehh"

    Anyone of the stories would have been good on their own, I loved the Colonel's story. As a whole I was very disappointed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norma PITTSBORO, NC, United States 12-29-13
    Norma PITTSBORO, NC, United States 12-29-13 Member Since 2013
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    2
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    "Mesmerizing Entertainment and History Combined"
    Where does The Son rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the tops on my list. Kept my attention for each of the 20+ hours. Listened while I drove from North Carolina to Austin, TX. An amazing history of Texas, wonderfully read, with great characters. Compares to Giant, Gone with the Wind, Exodus, and other epic stories of settlement, human existential dilemma, love, hope, selfishness, generosity, pain and redemption. The tension created by western territory expansion and the displacement of Native Americans, especially the Comanche was described as if I were there, participating. I gained a greater understanding of Native American traditions, the endurance of Anglo settlers, and the Mexicans who occupied the land since the Spanish conquest. A heartfelt, gripping story of survival all around.


    Any additional comments?

    As I entered and drove across northeast Texas, I came through the very towns referenced in the book as I was listening to it. Uncanny. I understood the settlement of Texas and her vastness much better as a result of listening to this Audible book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Myra Coots TX 12-04-13
    Myra Coots TX 12-04-13 Member Since 2008
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    7
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    "Listening late into the night"
    Would you listen to The Son again? Why?

    Listening late into the night, the narrators brought this great story to life, so glad I own a copy, someday to savor once again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 12-02-13
    Richard 12-02-13
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    7
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    "best book I've read in over a year!"
    Where does The Son rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    historically accurate backdrop, clever use of characters and time frames, moving from person and era to another with ease. true character development and good momentum. the ending may not be totally satisfying but it lets the family story live on


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Son?

    toward the end when Eli spared young brave that pursued his posse knowing he may someday grow up and kill him.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    ELI!!!!!!


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

    follow four generations of Texans as they survive and thrive over 100 years of adventure, tragedy, and gain


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy C. Eggler Seattle, WA 11-25-13
    Amy C. Eggler Seattle, WA 11-25-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun listen - slow to start and then it gets you!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Son to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I really loved the different voices of the 3 different characters. They brought these characters to life. The female character was the most unbelievable of the three and having Kate Mulgrew read it helped make it seem more real.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The glancing touch of history of Texas which was not all that long ago.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Eli Mcculough. he is an interesting character and the voice was perfect.


    Any additional comments?

    A great listen that will pull you into this three generational history of Texas.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 11-11-13
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 11-11-13 Member Since 2010

    MTF

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Uneven multi-generational story of the West"

    This multi-generational saga takes place in Texas from the 1850's and goes to the later part of the 20th century. It focuses on one family, and alternates narration and story from Eli, the patriarch, to his disappointing son, Peter, and to Eli's great-granddaughter Jeanne. Eli is captured as a boy by the Comanches and raised as a tribesman. Eli's story is by far the most engaging from start to end, and takes up about half the novel. Eli is a fearless boy and man, and goes on to be a major force in ranching and oil in Texas. Peter the son cannot get past an incident where his neighbors and townspeople slaughter a neighboring Mexican family. His sadness gets weary and boring, and this part only picks up with a love affair later in his life. Jeanne's story starts slowly but does gather steam up as she gets older and assumes the reins of her family. I like that Jeanne and Eli have some great qualities, but flaws as well, making them not totally likeable but believable. The novel jumps from one character to the next advancing each of those lives. There were so many parts of this novel that I loved, but too many times when I was impatient to return to a thread or character which was more interesting. The readers were very good. Only Peter's might have overdone the sad/whiny quality. The readers for Eli and Jeanne were excellent.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Clay Grove FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, United States 11-01-13
    Mark Clay Grove FAIRFAX, VIRGINIA, United States 11-01-13 Member Since 2013

    Author of The Madison Picker and the Serapis Fraktur

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "EPIC MAGNIFICENT WONDERFUL INTERESTING"
    Where does The Son rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Number One.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The correct history details.


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

    Will Patton is always superb and I would run away with Kate in a heartbeat.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. It takes a gestation period.


    Any additional comments?

    I may listen to it again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Toronto, Ontario, Canada 11-01-13
    Judy Toronto, Ontario, Canada 11-01-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A story of pride"
    What did you love best about The Son?

    It was riveting adventure


    What did you like best about this story?

    The link over the century to all the descendants was well woven well told


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Horses running free... The great empty plains that were finally, heartbreakingly filled up


    If you could take any character from The Son out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Tosheway


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne Hersh 10-23-13
    Lynne Hersh 10-23-13

    kellysmom

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    "Difficult Listen"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The book needed adaptation for audio. At the beginning I was very confused and did not know who each character was and how they were related. When I downloaded the Kindle sample I got the family chart and it helped but by then I was well into the book. The part of Eli was easy to follow, the diaries were boring and the female lead did not add dimension to her character through narration.


    What could Philipp Meyer have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    It was too long. I did learn a great deal about the Indians and actually grew to like Eli but his family was a bore.


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

    I favored Eli and found the other narrators not so great for the characters. Perhaps the family chart should be available as a download with the book.


    Was The Son worth the listening time?

    No, I wish I had read it.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
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