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The Son [Kindle Edition]

Philipp Meyer
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the author of the highly acclaimed American Rust comes his eagerly awaited second novel, an extraordinary multi-generational Texan epic

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.

Love, honour, children are sacrificed in the name of ambition, as the family becomes one of the richest powers in Texas, a dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege. Yet, like all empires, the McCulloughs must eventually face the consequences of their choices.

'Stunning ... a book that for once really does deserve to be called a masterpiece' Kate Atkinson

'Magnificent ... McCarthy's Border Trilogy is a point of reference, as is There Will Be Blood, but it is not fanciful to be reminded of certain passages from Moby-Dick -- it's that good' The Times

'Brilliant ... a wonderful novel' Lionel Shriver, Financial Times

'Its viscerality and boundless capacity for storytelling puts it on par with the classic of the genre, Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian' SundayTelegraph

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'The Son is an epic, heroic, hallucinatory work of art in which wry modern tropes and savage Western lore hunt together on an endless prairie. No one, ever, has done a novel like this, but if you took One Hundred Years of Solitude as your mare and Blood Meridian as your stud, then spooked the resulting herd of horses and had the cast of The Wire dress as Comanche and ride them hard through the gates of hell, you'd have some kind of idea. This is a horribly tragic, disturbingly comic and fiercely passionate masterpiece of storytelling, bred from painstaking research and magisterial prose and offering up two hundred years of American history in a manner so relentlessly compelling that the reader, in awe, struggles to catch his breath' --Chris Cleave

'Stunning... a book that for once really does deserve to be called a masterpiece' --Kate Atkinson

'The Son has all the hallmarks of an instant classic; it is a big book in scope, in ideas and landscape. It is the best American novel released in the past 12 months, arguably the best American book thus far this century. Think Cormac McCarthy with strong female characters or a more rusticated, visceral Jonathan Franzen' --The Bookseller

'... the stuff of Great American Literature. Like all destined classics [The Son] speaks volumes about humanity our insatiable greed, our inherent frailty, the endless cycle of conquer or be conquered' --Publishers Weekly

'A remarkable, beautifully crafted novel. Meyer tackles large movements of American history and culture yet also delivers page-turning delights of story and character' Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain

'The Son is a true American epic, full of brutal poetry and breathtaking panoramas; it's also a beautiful and moving character study of a Texan family. Meyer is a writer of tremendous talent, compassion and ambition, and The Son is a staggering achievement'-- Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

'Philipp Meyer redrafts humanity's oldest questions and deepest obsessions into something so raw and dazzling and brutal and real, The Son should come with its own soundtrack' -- Téa Obreht

'Meyer is an impressive and multi-talented story-teller in the old, good sense - the kind that makes me hang on for whatever the next chapter will hold' --Richard Ford

'An epic in the tradition of Faulkner and Melville, this is the work of a writer at the height of his power' Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds

'Philipp Meyer came to my attention with his brilliant novel American Rust, about two hopeful students in a cash-strapped modern America. His epic new book The Son is a brilliant, beautiful coming-of-age story that encapsulates the whole American Dream: a masterpiece of American literature that captures the expanse and possibilities of the country. Hold onto your Stetsons, it's one hell of a read' --Patrick Neale, Bookseller's Choice

'I could no more convey the scope of The Son than I could capture the boundless plains of Texas. [A] monumental novel' Washington Post --Washington Post

'A brutal and gripping Texan family saga heralds the emergence of a new master of the western genre...The Son is a supremely immersive saga, one that lassos the reader with its first, thrilling immediate set piece...and does not release you until its anti-hero's concluding act of vengeance on the last dregs of the Apache. The Son is a remarkable achievement...not since the baroque character of Judge Holden, the hulking scalphunter-polymath who stalks McCarthy's Blood Meridian, has the Wild West produced such a grimly compelling creation.' --Sunday Times

'A fresh take on The American Dream set against the backdrop of Texan history, this is sure to be a page turning slice of literature' --Attitude

'The Son is epic, spanning 500 pages and 200 years of an American family and the history of remains intimate despite the big sweeping themes' --Independent

'Meyer has achieved something extraordinary with The Son. At times it is difficult to believe that Meyer wrote this novel in the present day, such is his ability to bring to life characters submerged under hundreds of years of history' --Independent on Sunday

'Meyer's addictively violent yet elegiac novel of the Old West'-- Evening Standard

'The McCulloughs are determined to have the land and life they want in the American West. Love, honour and even children are sacrificed so the family can become the richest in Texas at huge cost. This book is so wonderfully unique... Enjoy' --The Sun

About the Author

Philipp Meyer grew up in Baltimore, dropped out of high school and attended Cornell, where he studied English. Since graduating, Meyer has worked as a derivatives trader and a construction worker. His writing has been published in McSweeney's, The Iowa Review, Salon, and New Stories from the South. From 2005-2008 Meyer was a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He lives near Ithaca in New York State.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1324 KB
  • Print Length: 577 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (18 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J48QJG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,429 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 95 people found the following review helpful
By Amazon Customer TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'The Son' is the second book by Philipp Meyer. It follows the equally compelling American Rust which was released in 2010 here in the UK.

Whilst his first book deals with the Urban Decay of post-industrial America, 'The Son' take a much more grandiose approach to the Texan plains. As soon as you see the mocked up family tree at the start you get a feel for what you are in for (which I have posted in the pictures at the top of this product page - I felt it useful to refer to, so i printed this out to stop me looking back on the Kindle).

'The Son' follows the McCulloughs across culture, time and space. Whilst it may be seen as a historical novel this book mostly excels as an anthropological masterclass.

There is a concern at the beginning that you are in for a real history lesson and I did find myself often 'googling' certain terms as I am not that well versed in American history or the South-Western geographical nuances. However eventually I was relieved to see that this detail tends to ease as the book progresses and gives way to character enhancement and plot.

There is no mercy in these plains. The book is gripping, enthralling and heart-breaking at times. Often it becomes so encapsulating that you become intensely immersed in the stunning barren scenery. By the end I felt so familiar with Commanche culture that, once this epic unfortunately came to an end, my tube rides in to work felt just as alien as the first few chapters of this novel!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough! A truly rewarding read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moral tale on an epic scale 6 May 2015
By hfffoman TOP 500 REVIEWER
This vast novel tells the history of a fictional Texan dynasty, and through it the history of the state from the days of the Indians to the present. Without revealing anything of the story here are the key and dates to give an idea of the enormous scale of the book and to help with any initial confusion.

The story interleaves, a chapter at a time, the narratives of three family members. They are Eli McCullough (the colonel) 1836 - 1936; his son Peter (born 1870); Peter's grandaughter Jeannie (born 1926). Their three perspectives alternate a chapter at a time. Eli's story is the tale of the wild west, devoted mostly to his teenage and early adulthood - and it is extremely wild with murder and theft as frequent and normal as the many sexual escapades. Peter's story is revealed through his diaries in 1915 - 1917. It deals with cattle ranching, oil, more killing and more sex but gives a completely different perspective. Jeannie's story is a mixed reflection looking back in 2012 at her whole life which includes more ranching, more oil, more violent deaths and more sex. Thus we have an incredible vista spanning four generations and nearly two centuries. In fact it spans five generations because an additional character arrives late in the book.

If this sounds like the Dallas television series, the similarity is superficial. The novel does not deal so much with the politics and scheming as with the contrasting views on life and morality of the main players. Nor does it deal with the high life. Jeannie does appear on the front page of Time magazine but we feel much more the characters' relationship with the land than with their money.

Although the story is of epic scale, it is a moral tale, not an epic tale.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AT LAST 31 July 2013
By Alexander Bryce TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
At last a possible successor to the great Texan author Larry McMurtry. Yes this epic story, up there with Lonesome Dove, spanning 170 years in the lives of the McCullough clan as they kill, cheat and steal their way to the top of Texan wealth is that good.
Back about 1850 young Eli McCullough witnesses the rape, defilement and slaughter of his mother, sister and brother at the hands of the Comanche people before being taken as their slave. He survives and learns their ways and skills becoming a respected member of the tribe. He grows to love his new "parents" and fellow braves. After some disastrous raids and hard winters with food and ammunition almost gone he agrees to be sold back to the whites thus allowing his particular band of the Comanche nation to survive for a little longer. Still only sixteen he finds it hard to settle into "civilized" life and becomes a problem to those who try to help him. The answer for him is The Texas Rangers where the survival rate is about 50% for each tour of duty. By a stroke of good fortune he comes into substantial funds and sets about making a name for himself and of course an even greater fortune.
We follow Eli and his descendants to the present time against the background of Texan history covering the Indian, Civil and Mexican wars, the rise and fall of the cattle empires and the emergence of the biggest money maker of all: the oil industry.
Intermingled with real events and characters from American history and painstakingly researched this is a remarkable and totally believable work. Although over 800 pages long, it is a page turner with literally never a dull moment.
I have read Mr. Meyer's previous work American Rust and enjoyed it [see my review], but this goes way beyond that in scale, entertainment and pure enjoyment. "The Son" epitomizes reading for pleasure.
Why this does not feature in the best selling charts, I do not know for that is where it belongs. I keenly await Philipp Meyer's next novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A long & sometimes brutal read
A dramaitc & slow paced book. It's very evocative in parts but staged in others. Written in a very unusual style. It's quite brutal in parts & is often descriptive & bare
Published 19 days ago by Lindylou
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic
Awesome, epic tale of generations of a family providing a great history of Texas from all sides of society. It brought memories of a holiday to Texas to life. Read more
Published 29 days ago by JOE
5.0 out of 5 stars Human progression?
A classic novel structure - the story of a tumultuous century brought to vivid reality through the lives of three generations of one family.
Published 1 month ago by Lynne Graham
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a good read
Published 1 month ago by I D Fender
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly wonderful book , totally captivating
I loved this large ,interesting and enthralling book which has corrected all my childhood games during the 1940s and 50. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ALWYN HUGHES
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 2 months ago by Pip and Nigel Davey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great epic read, perfect for holidays.
Some reviews didnt like the character and timezone jumping however I thought it worked really well, building momentum as the stories became more entwined. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bec
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent product and service
Published 2 months ago by Mr H I Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not your typical "Western".
A very enjoyable novel that widened my perspective with what seems to be a true picture of Texas and New Mexico as it was at the end of the 19th century. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alan Bullen
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book this year 2015
Gripping storie, well written . Love every minute.
A great insight into Indian life. Will recommend
It for our book club
Published 3 months ago by Carmel Cullen
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