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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 (1995 )
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4.4 (1790 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Holley st louis, MO, United States 06-23-13
    Holley st louis, MO, United States 06-23-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    "fabulous"

    Cannot be as eloquent as the first reviewer,but agree with the conclusion. One of the best ever.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    phil Arlington, TX, United States 06-23-13
    phil Arlington, TX, United States 06-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Written old style with great performances"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Son to be better than the print version?

    The only thing missing was the genealogy chart in front of written edition but that makes one listen a second time.


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

    All the Pretty Horses, Meridian, Lonesome Dove


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

    Eli and Peter


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No,though brutal at times and necessarily so. Especially interesting to this Texan.


    Any additional comments?

    The historical details and observations about life at different times in different cultures were most excellent. Should win an award for vocal performance and receive serious book award consideration; can't believe it's not best seller yet.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 09-08-13
    Adrienne Camp Connell, CA, United States 09-08-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Starts off with a bang, ends with a whine"

    I just looked over the other reviews of this book and I am struck by how many people loved it, just a couple of reviewers had the same experience that I did. I was caught up right away by the story, thought it was going to be great and ordered a paper copy for a friend. I should have waited. Perhaps reading it wouldn't be as bad as listening to the reader who told the story from Peter's perspective. Whine whine whine! Even during the time in his life when he is supposedly happy he sounds whiney. I had hoped for a story more about Texas and less about relationships in this family. It seemed to me frequently to be written not from the actual history, but more from a politically correct point of view currently in fashion. This is not great literature or great performance, think twice before using your credit on this book.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caitriona 06-25-13
    Caitriona 06-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Overrated and dull."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yes. Adding a plot would have been nice.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Meh. So what?


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

    Eli McCullough - Will Patton is the best. But even he couldn't save this for me.


    Could you see The Son being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No....Dullsville, Ohio.


    Any additional comments?

    I really didn't like this. The author was obviously attempting to write part paean, part elegy for The American Empire - its roots and decline, but it just ended up hitting you over the head with this in a rather unsubtle way. For instance - the Comanche Chief with Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as the stuffing for his shield.
    In the end I didn't care. The characters, with the exception of Peter, left me cold. There were no redeeming characteristics with which I could identify......

    The male narrators were great, especially Patton, of whom I am a big fan.

    I like her as an actress, but Mulgrew's voice really grates on the ears. I get that it suits Jeanne McCullough, but it is hard to listen to.

    This took me ages to get through because I really didn't look forward to putting it back on the player....that's not usual for me.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Schulze 08-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Long narrative"

    If you enjoy long narratives without much dialogue then you will like this book. The McCullough family seemed to suffer from depression and deep seated narcissism. I appreciate the research that went into this book. However, it was way too long. Two characters were given first person narrative and one third person. Then towards the end a fourth character was introduced. Fascinating history and that is how it read. Like a history book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marilyn Texas 08-29-15
    Marilyn Texas 08-29-15 Member Since 2013

    Marilyn S

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    "Great Read!!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Son the most enjoyable?

    Great story and Will Patton makes it so much better


    What did you like best about this story?

    Lots of history...


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

    Oh yes, I listen to almost all of Will Patton's books..


    If you could rename The Son, what would you call it?

    The Son fits perfect


    Any additional comments?

    Great Book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Virginia California 08-26-15
    Virginia California 08-26-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Incredible story, it kept my attention"

    This was an engrossing story and I learned a ton about Indian life and Texas history without feeling like I was learning. He is a beautiful writer and this book is truly art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dachi 08-26-15
    dachi 08-26-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really liked it"

    some might find the 3 story lines but I actually liked this book a lot

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA 08-22-15
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA 08-22-15 Member Since 2003

    ShootingFish

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    423
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    "18 hours of horrible narrators of a boring story"

    After seeing this book picked so many times by Audible editors as a book of the month and year, I finally gave up and listened to it. What a waste of 18 hours. The story is about 3 people that never meet and you never really know what they have to do with each other. The story of each character is boring and the narrators border on grating on your nerves, especially the 2nd guy. The woman's voice sounds awful, and her reading is even worse. The 2nd guy sounds like he has throat problems. Just awful. But no matter how good they were, they wouldn't have been able to save such a terrible book. Especially the ending. Don't waste your time or money on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GrpCdr 08-11-15
    GrpCdr 08-11-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Great Story"

    A fascinating story covering several generations. Well performed and completely captivating. Multiple narrators bring each character to life. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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