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Summary

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.

©2013 Philipp Meyer (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

What members say

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  • Overall
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Masterful

Fabulous, did not in any way detract from the mental pictures formed when reading for the first time. An extraordinary book. Read/hear it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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fantastic book

just listen, really well read and written. some of it is like poetry. For once the characters are different people so adds quality to the reading.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Generational Differences

This is my favourite listen of the year so far.

We are introduced to the McCullough family and a narrator covers each generation with each chapter. I particularly enjoyed Will Patton's reading of Eli, the ten year old kidnapped by Commanche Indians. The thing I noticed was that we are always told how terribly the Native American Indians were treated, and this is pointed out here; but we are also shown how the Indians retaliated and this was pretty graphic and brutal.

The story veers close to Dallas territory when oil is introduced, but luckily doesn't morph into soap opera theatrics. Give it a go and travel from 1840 to present day, you'll love it!

11 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • michael
  • LINCOLN, United Kingdom
  • 27-02-14

Great book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Son to be better than the print version?

not read the book as i listened to it as i commute everyday.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Eli...

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

All good...believable and engaging.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, quite easily

Any additional comments?

A great book, spilt over three generations...a story of how lawless Texas became the oil capitol of the world...cowboys and Indians...love and loss...adventure and heartache.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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wonderful!

a wonderful story, with wonderful characters with some of the most magnificent narrators I've heard.
I've just finished it, and I'm already missing them.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great story with outstanding narration

What did you like most about The Son?

Philipp Meyer created Eli McCullough - Will Patton's exceptional narrative gave us his beating heart! If you're a fan of Steinbeck or Cormac McCarthy you'll love this!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • JOHN
  • County Cork, Ireland
  • 26-01-15

Brilliant Book Brilliantly Narrated

This is probably the best narrated book I've come across in Audible. The four individual narrators do a magnificent job in bringing the story and the various characters to life. The novel is a masterpiece of American fiction and is surely destined for classic status - it reminded me of a combination of John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy. It is violent - often very graphically so - but utterly compelling all the way to the shocking finish. Whatever the audio equivalent of unputdownable is (unswitchoffable?), it is it. A wonderful, wonderful book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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An absolute must,

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I really enjoyed this book (so much I have written my first review). The narration was fantastic and so was the story. I will defiantly listen to it again in a coupe of months.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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A Must Have For Your Library

This is such an amazing book- I'm absolutely raving about it in the bookshop I work in -but it is also one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to as the three main storytellers have such brilliant voices and acting skills it's like listening to a big drama production.
The three very different voices make it easier to listen to than read as I do find myself getting a bit confused reading a multi character narrative as I forget who I'm supposed to be reading about ( bit dim sometimes!) but you know who is talking to you here as it's obviously either Eli, Peter or Jeanne ( the three main characters) when you hear them speak.
Honestly I can't urge you enough to get this- even if the start, without giving anything away, is a bit gruesome.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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How are the Indians on cats?

"I never saw one. Plenty of dogs, though."
"They eat the dogs, don't they?"
"That's the Shoshones," I said. "A dog or coyote is sacred to a Comanche. You would be cursed."
"But they do eat human beings occasionally?"
"That's the Tonkawas," I said.
"Never the Comanches."
"A Comanche who ate a man would be killed by the tribe immediately, because supposedly it becomes an addiction."
"Interesting," he said. He was scratching his chin. "And this Sun Dance they all talk about?"
"That's the Kiowas," I said. "We never did that.”
― Philipp Meyer, The Son

We remember so little of what happened so recently, of what we have lost of what we are loosing,
In our haste to forget we have replaced the truth with fantasies and lies that help no one to understand how different native america was how brutal and natural in its brutality, how varied and multicultural were all the tribes of all the americas; this book presents us with a reality that is bloody, complex, violent, hateful and unapologetically naked, presented without any niceties.
Nations are born like humans, in blood and pain, and those that do not fight to stay alive are eliminated and some time even the ones that fight the hardest are eliminated.

A fascinating tale of Texas as you never read before, truly eye opening, if glaringly painful in its conclusions and truths about humanity and it struggle to conquer land and life itself, by sheer determination and total lack of compassion for the weak or the vanquished.

Some would describe this as a western but that would diminish it in its scope, it is historical humanity, the closest memory of how it was until just the last century. An indictment of how we are as humans and our constant need to dominate to eliminate all competition by competing to our death.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful