6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
And the Rest of the Family!,
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This review is from: The Son (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book and intend to read more Philipp Meyers. Using the device of family history it sweeps though a fair chunk of American history (most of the 1800s and 1900s) taking into account the Indians (a many and varied people) and the rest (also a many and varied people) but all anchored to the experience of one family, the McCulloughs. Eli has first hand experience as a child of family massacre by Indians and then goes on to live with the tribe and earn a respected place in their lives. Later in his very long life he rejoins his own 'kind' and the lives of his descendants are woven into the story.
There are 72 chapters! The chapters are narrated by different members of the family so that they all have chance to give their point of view about events and other people. In this way, Meyer gives great depth to the story.
I am very fond of books about the histories of America and have also enjoyed Cormack McCarthy's books (e.g. The Border Trilogy) and Larry McMurtry's (e.g. Lonesome Dove) to name two of very different styles. I would say that Meyer's style falls somewhere between the uncompromising poetry of McCarthy and the jolly good yarn of McMurtry, though I should not like to have to pinpoint its exact position! Meyer has, I think, more interest in plotting than McCarthy (whose stories are often lists of episodes, like Odysseys, connected only by the central character). Meyer reveals how characters and events affect one another, back and forth. Meyer, like McMurtry, is happy to take on female characters.
It is quite an undertaking to tackle 72 chapters and I would recommend it to many of my friends - maybe, but not exclusively, the men. Worth it though in my view.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Jul 2014 06:38:31 BDT
Katharine Kirby says:
Nora I am mid way through this for my book club. How do you, as a woman, cope with all the graphic violence? Do you think this is something men can take more easily than us? I am very disturbed by the content and feel the book should contain a warning. Not a good book to read before sleep - especially what happened to the blond haired blue eyed boy - just for the fun and entertainment of the tribe- the women especially! Horrible stuff to have in your head.
In reply to an earlier post on 27 Jul 2014 00:33:49 BDT
Nora Walters says:
I did not find the violence problematic. I do not see how anyone could write honestly about that time and place without facing up to it. What matters to me is the writer's skill and honesty in dealing with it and his standpoint. In this book, the violence is not merely for entertainment. It shows the resilience of human beings as well as the violence and a man's long passage through life. There is violence in mankind, as well as kindness, love and humour. I do not mind facing up to this. I hope you were not put off this writer by this book as I admired the book and felt that Meyers was a writer to watch.
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