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The Son Audiobook

The Son

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2014

Soon to be a TV Series on AMC starring Pierce Brosnan and co-written by Philipp Meyer.

The critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling epic, a saga of land, blood, and power that follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the oil booms of the 20th century.

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching examination of the bloody price of power, The Son is a gripping and utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American west with rare emotional acuity, even as it presents an intimate portrait of one family across two centuries.

Eli McCullough is just twelve-years-old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his Texas homestead and brutally murder his mother and sister, taking him as a captive. Despite their torture and cruelty, Eli—against all odds—adapts to life with the Comanche, learning their ways, their language, taking on a new name, finding a place as the adopted son of the chief of the band, and fighting their wars against not only other Indians, but white men, too-complicating his sense of loyalty, his promised vengeance, and his very understanding of self. But when disease, starvation, and westward expansion finally decimate the Comanche, Eli is left alone in a world in which he belongs nowhere, neither white nor Indian, civilized or fully wild.

Deftly interweaving Eli's story with those of his son, Peter, and his great-granddaughter, JA, The Son deftly explores the legacy of Eli's ruthlessness, his drive to power, and his life-long status as an outsider, even as the McCullough family rises to become one of the richest in Texas, a ranching-and-oil dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege.

Harrowing, panoramic, and deeply evocative, The Son is a fully realized masterwork in the greatest tradition of the American canon-an unforgettable novel that combines the narrative prowess of Larry McMurtry with the knife edge sharpness of Cormac McCarthy.

©2013 Philipp Meyer (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Charlotte 11-21-13
    Charlotte 11-21-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A let down"
    What disappointed you about The Son?

    The story felt disjointed. The geography seemed off ( native Texan here) There were long drawn out sections of minimal interest and parts that felt rushed that could have been fleshed out for a more interesting read. Overall it left me feeling bummed and not really caring about the characters.


    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hawkeye 02-18-15
    Hawkeye 02-18-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing."

    Great story idea. Started well and then completely fizzled. Publisher should have suggested improvements. Female narrator was grating. Patton gave good performance.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon DeVries 08-07-14
    Jon DeVries 08-07-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "No hero, no plot"

    I appreciated the historical context of conflicts among White newcomers, Indians, and Mexicans as well as the background of Texas cattle and oil. I did not like the characters and, without a plot, their stories grew tiresome.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States 02-06-14
    Alison GRANADA HILLS, CA, United States 02-06-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rich and Satisfying!"
    If you could sum up The Son in three words, what would they be?

    Complex. Nostalgic. Brutal.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Peter McCullough, because he agonized over his good fortune, verses the right way to live life on earth.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Maria Garcia returned to the Ranch, and Peter fell in love with her. His journals were filled with sharp longing; their situation, emotions were raw and haunting.


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

    Were it possible, yes.. but I enjoyed each different chapter, a different character and time frame, converging into the big picture.


    Any additional comments?

    It. Was. Amazing.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W Perry Hall 02-01-14

    "There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Best Audible; Greek epic of cowboys and Indians"

    I cannot add much more to the great reviews of this novel by listeners, readers and critics. I loved the literary devices used to tell this spectacular story of a Texas family, which is, in many ways, reminiscent of a Greek tragedy.

    This is, by a long shot, the best book I've listened to. The best material by the best narrators. I also read it, but I can't be as bold in my assessment of the book in print.

    I finished this in July and am just now sitting down to write a review. The novel sticks with you like any great piece of art, be it a novel, movie, painting or song.

    I cannot recommend this enough.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Raleigh, NC, United States 10-24-13
    Steve Raleigh, NC, United States 10-24-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Established Rut of Literary Fiction"
    Any additional comments?

    I don't believe this is, as one reviewer suggested, an almost perfect novel. When edits so scour an ending as if the publisher just said "enough already", the reader is left with an unfinished and undigested meal. It does however imitate other "great" contemporary literary talent whose affinity for abrupt and blunt endings, is an art form

    Meyer is a gifted writer with perceptibly detailed research and character development. Yet, the hackneyed themes of America's (and the human race's) inglorious past, as if it is the only one we have, despairing lives, as if hope, possibility and redemption are literary evils, Nietzschean tragedy, as if futility and the willful directionless of the strong willed are the only ones who "inherit the earth" become so predictable as to be laughable, were the stories not so depressing.

    It's almost seems as if Meyer writes for a narrow audience of peers whose validation he will, I have no doubt, receive. I, for one, find these kinds of novels...a waste of talent and thus my time. As always, Will Patton is excellent, as are his fellow readers.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G.Monie Bethpage, NY, United States 08-19-13
    G.Monie Bethpage, NY, United States 08-19-13 Member Since 2016

    " I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Read for Preconceptions of Oil & 'Wild West'"

    I read this book after reading a review from a person who I've trusted on a number of books & she has not left me down with any novels yet... This book is quite the historical fiction that is able to contain complex metaphors, multiple-generational-long end life crisis's a human might go thru. In this case its thru the eyes of a family that spans over a hundred years but starts with one, larger than life character... Eli McCullough, a man who was taken when he was a boy by one of the most ruthless group of Indians in history, the Comanches.

    Eli lives thru this ordeal to become an accepted part of the tribe & I found myself wanting to hear more & more, by the end I could have listened to the whole book if it was just about Eli & his POV on his life with a smaller concentration of the other characters in the book although they were not uninteresting, the combination of Will Patton's narration, life trials he went thru in the hands of 'savages' & then the life trials he went thru once returning to 'civilized society,' & of course the authors style of writing containing the vivid descriptions, POV analysis from a man with this unique background, metaphoric & real life issues he conquers in his own way which then reach way beyond his mere life but into the lives of the other character POV's... Eli's timid, yet 'educated & civilized' son Peter who has trouble bridging the gap between him & his father or even understanding the gap that separates them & great-grand daughter Jeannie who doesn't have this father-son problem but a much larger gender bias in a time where the oil barrons of Texas were making they're marks in histrory.

    The chapters go by & each one is a POV of one of the characters plus a surprise one near the end & u see what it meant to have a father or any number of other family members as the family name grows to represent the rugged, wild state of Texas & perhaps in a real cheesy analogy why no one 'messes with Texas' lol. I enjoyed this book because listening to the internal dialogue of a completely dominate alpha male, a 'boy' who is essentially the polar opposite of his father but is too 'weak willed' to show anyone around him he is the rightful heir or should be taken seriously, & finally a woman in a man's business that finds a way to continue & grow the family legacy bigger than ever until the climactic end where the entries of an old man, love-sick son, & slowly growing 'senile' matriarch show the inner workings of their minds to readers. This climatic end should not be revealed because everything leading up to it foreshadows much of what happens but it is up to the reader to be able to try & imagine what this life that at least I've only ever heard about, & in this case read about. With the narration & writing I would most def. put this piece up there with parts of the 'Lonesome Dove Series' & other Western novels.

    Put on ur war paint & take a small look into the eye's of death from 3 different POV stemming from the same biological start because even Eli ends up giving a POV that seems like an entirely diff. person before & after his Native American experiences... Great book, just wish there was more 'Patton' & 'Eli' because it was at the least one of the more intriguing perspectives an American can try to imagine.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bridget 08-02-13
    bridget 08-02-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dagny Taggart as a Texan"

    This book is about money, murder, and the choice to be free. The female narrator reminded me of Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged. Her choices and sense of self are not reflective of the time in which she lives. Peter is flawed, and the moral compass of the novel. As the seeker and questioner, Peter is the historian of the truth in a time when myths were formed in the West. The Colonel is in a class all by himself. How he attains wealth and his pursuit of power and his story is captivating.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilton Exeter, CA, United States 06-30-13
    Hilton Exeter, CA, United States 06-30-13 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "bobbing and weaving thought time and Texas"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because it is well written and read. A story of that transcends time and place, to come together as a cohesive story about a remarkable set of characters. That brings the reader into a bond with them that must be seen though to the end. And read by a great cast of people that brings it to life in so much better way than if I ear it myself.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The great variation of the kind of characters. Both in personalities and times.


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

    No I have not. However I would look forward to listening to any of them read any of my future books.


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

    Eli McCullough. To meet and get to know a man that is such a survivor, and man who has seen so much change in his life.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read other books that weave characters in time and place in the past. And many times I have not enjoyed them. But this author does it so well and with all the right times and places that it really works well. And in the end it seems that this is the best way to bring all these characters together, and make it work as an epic journey though the journey of several generations of a family.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Guenther Knoxville, TN 11-17-13
    J. Guenther Knoxville, TN 11-17-13 Member Since 2009

    A painter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    9
    3
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    1
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    "Difficult"
    What made the experience of listening to The Son the most enjoyable?

    The parts I enjoyed concerned the details of life with the Comanche.


    Would you recommend The Son to your friends? Why or why not?

    I don't think I would give this a strong recommendation because the entire book was difficult for me to follow - the story line jumps back and forth. I found the lack of continuity confusing, often wondering if I'd accidentally skipped some essential part of the story. The ending may have been true to life but was not satisfying.


    Any additional comments?

    I believe the story overall was interesting due to the history and details covered. I really did not care for the fragmented manner in which it was told, however. I wanted to quit several times out of frustration.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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