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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NOW A MAJOR TV SERIES starring Pierce Brosnan and co-written by Philipp Meyer
The critically acclaimed, New York Times-bestselling epic, a saga of land, blood and power, follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the oil booms of the 20th century.
Eli McCullough is just twelve years old when a marauding band of Comanche storm his Texas homestead, brutally murder his mother and sister and take him captive. Despite their torture and cruelty, Eli - against all odds - adapts to life with the Comanche, learning their ways and language, taking on a new name, finding a place as the adopted son of the band's chief and fighting their wars against not only other Indians but white men too, which complicates his sense of loyalty, his promised vengeance and his very understanding of self. But when disease, starvation and westward expansion finally decimate the Comanche, Eli is left alone in a world in which he belongs nowhere, neither white nor Indian, civilized nor fully wild.
Deftly interweaving Eli’s story with those of his son Peter and his great-granddaughter JA, The Son maps the legacy of Eli’s ruthlessness, his drive to power and his lifelong status as an outsider, even as the McCullough family rises to become one of the richest in Texas, a ranching and oil dynasty that is as resilient and dangerous as the land they claim. Yet, like all empires, the McCulloughs must eventually face the consequences of their choices.
Panoramic, deeply evocative and utterly transporting, The Son is a masterpiece American novel - part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story - that combines the narrative prowess of Larry McMurtry with the knife-edge sharpness of Cormac McCarthy.
'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
In chronicling the settlement and scourge of the American West, from the Comanche raids of the mid-19th century into the present era, Meyer never falters. The sweeping history of the McCullough dynasty unfolds across generations and through alternating remembrances of three masterfully drawn characters: Eli, the first white male born in a newly founded Texas, captured and raised by Comanche Indians; Eli's self-sacrificing son, Peter, who shuns everything his power-hungry father represents; and Jeannie, Eli's fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who inherits the family fortune. Chapters detailing Peter's affair with a Mexican neighbor and his moral struggle with his ancestors' bloody legacy are keenly balanced alongside those involving Jeannie's firm yet impassive rule over the modern McCullough estate. But it's the engrossing, sometimes grotesque descriptions of Eli's early tribal years scalpings, mating rituals, and a fascinating few pages about the use of buffalo body parts that recalls Moby Dick that are the stuff of Great American Literature. Like all destined classics, Meyer's second novel (after American Rust) speaks volumes about humanity our insatiable greed, our inherent frailty, the endless cycle of conquer or be conquered. So, too, his characters' successes and failures serve as a constant reminder: "There is nothing we will not have mastered, except, of course, ourselves."