The Son by Philipp Meyer

Adult Fiction Pick by Jean-Louisthe son
(HarperCollins, 2013)

Philipp Meyer’s book, The Son, is a big book about a whole lot of things. The novel spans nearly 200 years, tells the story of 4 generations of the McCullough clan, traces the creation of a new Republic of Texas, the last stand of the Comanche people, the waning fortunes of Mexicans along the Texas border, and delves into the deepest part of the human pursuits of power. This story has it all.

Meyers storytelling grabs you by the throat and does not let you go until you have paid sufficient attention to the beauty, comedy, and brutality that is this slice of human existence. He will have you dig below the surface to watch cattle pastures grow, dig further to release Texas oil, and further yet to unearth signs of previous empires which have risen and fallen in this landscape.

One of my favorite writers, Charles Frazier, author of Cold Mountain, notes that “Meyer tackles large movements of American history and culture yet also delivers page-turning delights of story and character.” For me, praise of the novel from Frazier is a gold star recommendation. Frazier and Meyer both write with the clarity and detail needed to get a sense of the knowledge needed to survive in earlier times and they both paint indelible portraits of the characters who may have lived in those times.

Treat yourself to a great big novel this summer and read The Son.

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