The Son

Front Cover
HarperCollins, May 28, 2013 - Fiction - 576 pages
19 Reviews

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. The first male child born in the newly established Republic of Texas, Eli McCullough is thirteen years old when a marauding band of Comanches storms his homestead and brutally murders his mother and sister, taking him captive. Brave and clever, Eli quickly adapts to life among the Comanches, learning their ways and language, answering to a new name, becoming 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 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.

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 Jeannie, Eli's great-granddaughter, 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, 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.

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From stubbornness and poor judgment. - Goodreads
Overall, I really liked Meyer's writing. - Goodreads
The ending is rushed. - Goodreads

Review: The Son

User Review  - Susan Johnson - Goodreads

This is an epic story of four generations settling Texas. It doesn't involve the Alamo or even refer to it so that's a welcome relief. It's told in three segments. One is the great grandfather, his ... Read full review

Review: The Son

User Review  - Chrissie - Goodreads

What makes a Texan Texan? History of a place and the people living there shape a culture. Native Americans, white cattle ranchers, oil barons, Mexicans and Black Americans all intermingle on this ... Read full review

About the author (2013)

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 A. Michener Fellow. A native of Baltimore, he now lives mostly in Texas.

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