Mysterious Book Report The SonThe Son by Philipp Meyer

ECCO, $27.99, 561 pages, ISBN 978-0-06-212039-7

If you’ve ever wished for a big, bold, sprawling novel filled with insight, history, a compelling and exciting story with plenty of action-driven plot, capped off by soaring prose with masterful as well as beautiful, always lyrical—to the point of being poetic—language, your wish has come true in the form of a great new novel from Philipp Meyer.

The Son, is a novel about a Texas Dynasty, The McCulloughs; and it’s a novel that’s as big as the state itself, covering parts of three centuries . . . from the pre-civil war frontier through the oil booms and busts of the twentieth century, on into the uncertainties of terrorism in the twenty-first.  Three narratives are woven together to form the body of a rich family saga, told from three distinctly different points of view.  The first is the narrative of Eli McCullough, captured by a band of Comanche Indians in 1850 and raised as one of their own for three years until his eventual return to civilized society, where he has trouble reintegrating.  The second narrative is Peter McCullough’s diary, written during the summer of 1917.  Peter is one of three sons fathered by Eli, and the only one who doesn’t share his father’s buccaneering attitude.  His life is overshadowed by a single night of violence and a fatal attraction to the wrong person.  The last narrative is that of Jeannie; Peter’s grand-daughter.  She’s an oil baroness of the mid to late twentieth century, one of the wealthiest women in the world after inheriting her great grandfather Eli’s oil and cattle empire.  The three narratives gradually blend together until they coalesce into a harmonious whole that leaves the reader wishing that there was another five hundred or so pages more.  This one’s getting great reviews from all quarters.  It’s a great read all will enjoy.


John Dwaine McKenna