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.
- Frank Neubüser
An epic of texan history
...from its (american) beginnings, stretching over several generations of a self-made family of settlers, indian warriors, cattle barons and oil millionaires. I wonder if this is exemplary of Texan society or just the way they wish to be seen?
Anyway the story is gripping and entertaining throughout, interweaving the different perspectives and personal accounts of three family members (Eli, Peter and Jeanie) across 175 years.
The part I found most interesting is that of Eli, abducted by Comanches and growing up to become an Indian warrior. This is a rather new way of handling their Indian heritage, and it is not improbable considering that the last fighting Comanche chief in reality, Quanah Parker, was actually a half-breed.
The stories' characters have an iconic quality and their development may be symptomatic of the societies they lived in, yet there is a stereotypical strain in them, where wish may have been stronger than the actually probable reality. Eli is straightforward, honest, decided, fair and attractive to women, brutal but eventually rational and just; yes such a man must grow to become 100 years old but I suspect that early Texas was rather full of the types depicted in James Carlos Blake's "In the Rogue Blood" (which I recommend for serious comparison).
Reading the different characters is performed by
Will Patton, Kate Mulgrew, Scott Shepherd and Clifton Collins jr. in a truly supportive, congenial way.
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