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The Son
by Philipp Meyer

Published: 2013-05-28
Hardcover : 576 pages
5 members reading this now
22 clubs reading this now
3 members have read this book

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 ...

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Introduction

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.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, June 2013: In 1859, Eli McCullough, the 13-year-old son of Texas pioneers, is captured in a brutal Comanche raid on his family's homestead. First taken as a slave along with his less intrepid brother, Eli assimilates himself into Comanche culture, learning their arts of riding, hunting, and total warfare. When the tribe succumbs to waves of disease and settlers, Eli's only option is a return to Texas, where his acquired thirsts for freedom and self-determination set a course for his family's inexorable rise through the industries of cattle and oil. The Son is Philipp Meyer's epic tale of more than 150 years of money, family, and power, told through the memories of three unforgettable narrators: Eli, now 100 and known simply as "the Colonel"; Eli's son Peter, called "the great disappointment" for his failure to meet the familyâ??s vision of itself; and Eli's great-granddaughter Jeanne Anne, who struggles to maintain the McCullough empire in the economic frontier of modern Texas. The book is long but never dullâ??Meyer's gift (and obsession) for historical detail and vernacular is revelatory, and the distinct voices of his fully fleshed-and-blooded characters drive the story. And let there be blood: some readers will flinch at Meyer's blunt (and often mesmerizing) portrayal of violence in mid-19th century Texas, but itâ??s never gratuitous. His first novel, 2009's American Rust, drew praise for its stark and original characterization of post-industrial America, but Meyer has outdone himself with The Son, as ambitious a book as any youâ??ll read this year--or any year. Early reviewers call it a masterpiece, and while it's easy to dismiss so many raves as hyperbole, The Son is an extraordinary achievement. --Jon Foro

Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

What, if anything, did the three main character/family members have in common?
by agjuba (see profile) 10/31/15

What does this book have to say about the evolution of this country?
by wlreader (see profile) 08/17/15

Womans' Rights, What makes us human. does might make right
by sbsold (see profile) 06/04/14

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Good review to recommend
by mollycbrick (see profile) 08/23/16
Several of us thought the book review done in the Dallas Morning News written by Clay Reynolds was worth reading and we agreed with much of what he thought of the book.
We wore western clothing and everyone had chilie and cornbread.
by mmcbride (see profile) 03/06/16

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by KarenC (see profile) 05/18/19

 
by LER (see profile) 07/28/17

 
  "Cared little for the characters"by mollycbrick (see profile) 08/23/16

Most of our group did not seem to enjoy the book, but it made for a full hour of discussion. So in that respect it was good for a group to read.

 
by OEDfan (see profile) 08/22/16

 
  "The Son"by Rodmo (see profile) 08/22/16

A long, difficult journey of many generations of one family. A great deal of violence in the story and no redeeming characters. I kept hoping the story would improve but it never did.

 
  "The Son by Philipp Meyer"by mmcbride (see profile) 03/06/16

Enjoyable from the first paragraph. Tells the story of the taming of the South and West of the US along with the growth of one family in particular and their strong as well as weak, choices.

 
by agjuba (see profile) 10/31/15

 
by brub1234 (see profile) 09/02/15

 
  "Good book"by KMRosenbaum (see profile) 09/02/15

This book is a real history of Texas through one family's history from pre-Civil War to late 20th Century. Characters are interesting and fully developed. Much graphic description of life with the Comanches.... (read more)

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