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
First Will Patton can do no wrong. I love everything he narrates, and he was the perfect voice for Eli. I've listened to many Audible books and have been amazed how one voice can create so many textures giving life to characters in the book. However, this book was enhanced by having 4 distinct voices for the main characters. I now have a personal relationship with each one.
I love the history, how much life and attitudes changed within 150 years. I love the depth of relationship I was able to build with the characters. I loved the ending, and was able to see the moral to the story without being hit over the head with "and the Moral to the Story is ___________." Facts were laid out for you to see and feel and discover inside yourself. Not preaching and dogma. Not political agendas.
I found it moving that Eli spent three years with the Indians, but developed a lifetime love of his Indian family and their values. He thought himself an orphan from his natural family, and when it came time to return to white civilization, he was torn. I felt his pain.
There are things to be learned from all cultures. No enemy is all bad, and if you find yourself living on the other side of the fence, they are no longer the enemy.
I'm from Texas and proud of it. Our rich history is full of people with bigger than life personas. This book easily could have been about real people in Texas.
During the first half of the book you are instantly drawn in thinking, "okay, this will be good entertainment." During the second half of the book, the pieces to the story that you hadn't even realized were missing, suddenly open, revealing not just an entertaining story, but a GREAT one.
I loved all the performances. At first I thought Peter's voice was rather exaggeratedly pathetic. It sounded like he was greatly depressed. It took a bit of getting used to. However, that's who Peter was. He was depressed. Sad. Whiny. Not saying he didn't have a reason to feel that way, or that he didn't have anything to say.
At first, when I realized Jeanie was being narrated by Kate Mulgrew, I wondered how I was going to accept her voice as truly Texan. I'd just finished listening to NOS4R2 with Kate Mulgrew. Really enjoyed it, but that character definitely had no southern influence. Happily, I was not disappointed. It took very little time to adapt my ear to Kate reading as Jeanie McCullough.
Texas history buff or not, this is a MUST READ!
This was a great listen. The narrators were excellent and the plot was engaging. The author did a good job of exploring the motivations and challenges facing each generation. A few tips - it is a bit gory so be warned. And if you do listen to the book, go to Amazon and download the geneology chart that is included in the first pages of the printed book. I wish I had done that sooner as it helps to explain the family history.
Just finished listening to "The Son." A story of three generations of a Texas family that begins with a son, Eli McCulloch, from one of those generations being taken and subsequently raised by a band of the Comanche Indians.
The story tells of amazing and horrific traditions and practices. It is weaved with adventure, love, hate, misery, inner conflict and drive to survive and for success. The tragedies go full circle over and over. All of this intensity described by the people who lived it, almost matter-of-factly.
I listened and listened. And when it was over I just cried. I felt for, related to, was proud of and ashamed of the heritage of the Native American Indians, The Mexicans and The Americans - all "my" people.
A great book read, in part, by the great Will Patton, among others.
The Audible description does it a disservice because it does not describe it as being a tale by three people in multiple generations.
I loved the naration by all of the characters. The story was compelling. I have suggested my friends read this book if this is the type of story they like.
Family saga reminds my a bit of "New York the Novel" and "Carribean".
Eli's character was my favorite, but I liked the contrast between them all.
This was great for a long road trip.
This novel had detailed knowledge of native american culture and was also very entertaining, the characters were well developed and likeable, I would highly recommend this novel.
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.
Yes. Adding a plot would have been nice.
Meh. So what?
Eli McCullough - Will Patton is the best. But even he couldn't save this for me.
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.
The only thing missing was the genealogy chart in front of written edition but that makes one listen a second time.
All the Pretty Horses, Meridian, Lonesome Dove
Eli and Peter
No,though brutal at times and necessarily so. Especially interesting to this Texan.
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.
When you start listening this book pulls you right into the thick of the story. This is the type of book that will make you stay up until 4 AM listening to the horrible and wonderful things that happen to the "hero"....at the beginning. It is totally exciting and will take you along for a wild, bloody, shocking ride. Little by little it starts to slip away and becomes just a story. Not compelling, just something to listen to until the end because you've invested so much of your time. By the end, you just don't care. The characters turn out to be selfish, controlling, whiney, and generally without merit.
It's like two different people/groups wrote this book. Too bad the first person/group didn't finish the job. This would be a book worth remembering. As it stands, The Son is totally forgettable.
No, I felt cheated. It was like beginning to eat a wonderful cupcake only to find out that it is absolutely hollow.
The reader who was Eli was fabulous. the others were just irritating and disappointing.
Absolutely not...unless I could leave before the middle of the movie, get free popcorn, and a full refund.
Other people thought this story was great. Maybe there's something wrong with me......or them!
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