Combine the story telling of James Michener and the dark, dusty setting and characters of Cormac McCarthy and you get Philipp Meyer's The Son. This book is full of history, violence, and three generations of a Texas family's story. It was a runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize (The Goldfinch won instead), but this hidden gem deserves equal praise. Recommended By Jeffrey J., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A Globe & Mail 100 Selection
Spring, 1849. Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a band of Comanche storms his Texas homestead and murders his mother and sister, taking him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to Comanche life, carving out a place as the chief's adopted son 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 fashion a place for himself in a world in which he does not fully belong — a journey of adventure, tragedy, and grit that reverberates in the lives of his progeny.
Intertwined with Eli's story are those of his son, Peter, a man who bears the emotional cost of his father's drive for power, and Eli's great-granddaughter, Jeannie, a woman who must fight hardened rivals to succeed in a man's world. Philipp Meyer deftly explores how Eli's ruthlessness and steely pragmatism transform subsequent generations of McCulloughs. Love, honor, and even children are sacrificed in the name of ambition, as the family becomes one of the richest powers in Texas, a ranching-and-oil dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege. Yet, like all empires, the McCulloughs must eventually face the consequences of their choices.
Harrowing, panoramic, and vividly drawn, The Son is a masterful achievement from a sublime young talent.
Philipp Meyer, the acclaimed author of American Rust
, returns with The Son
: an epic of the American West and a multigenerational saga of power, blood, land, and oil that follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family, from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the to the oil booms of the 20th century.
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.
About the Author
Philipp Meyer is the author of the critically lauded novel American Rust, winner of the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was an Economist Book of the Year, a Washington Post Top Ten Book of the Year, and a New York Times Notable Book. He is a graduate of Cornell University and has an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a James Michener Fellow. A native of Baltimore, he now lives mostly in Texas.