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
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!
It is not that it is not a good book, but I prefer one story and no skipping back and forth.
For audio, the format of jumping back and forth between centuries was not easy to follow for me, particularly with the Cherokee names. I switched to listening to chapters in chronological order. First Eli, then Peter, then JA and Ulysses.
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
If not for the stunningly beautiful review by Mel on Audible, I might never have read this book. She had me after the first few words and I am grateful for it. While I would not put it in my top 100 books of all time I enjoyed it very much.
The Son is an epic tome spanning 4 generations and sharing 3 distinct stories. I was enchanted by the brutal story of Eli who returned to life as a white man in Texas but who never lost the skills and manners taught to him by the Comanche. He was a strong, harsh man who didn't seem to connect with the people nearest him. His story was compelling and each time the book circled back to him I was excited to find out what would happen next.
I also liked the story of Peter, who was the heart of the story. I am a sentimental, feeling person and am always attracted to characters who seem to be kind and compassionate. Peter was so different from Eli. I longed to know more about their relationship -- and more about Peter's mother -- to see where these differences came from. Peter's love for the "wrong" woman was a sweet piece of his puzzle and I was happy that one of the three stories offered a reprieve from the often ruthless and barbarous actions in the other two stories.
I was less charmed by Jeanne's story. I found her grating and more of a caricature than real. Her story -- the story of oil -- was also much less intriguing to me. In my opinion the book would have been better without her story. More attention to the relationship between Eli and Peter, and no third story might have warranted the fifth star.
The narration by Patton, Mulgrew, Shepherd & Collins was perfectly done. The changes in voice perfectly complemented the story and ensured that the listener always knew which time and place they were currently visiting.
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