Customer Reviews for

The Son

Average Rating 4
( 92 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(51)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

Philipp Meyer really shows off his writing chops with The Son. I

Philipp Meyer really shows off his writing chops with The Son. It tells the story of a boy who loses his family in an attack by Indians only to find himself the adopted son of the Indian tribe. He ends up being neither Indian or White Man, but something in between. The ...
Philipp Meyer really shows off his writing chops with The Son. It tells the story of a boy who loses his family in an attack by Indians only to find himself the adopted son of the Indian tribe. He ends up being neither Indian or White Man, but something in between. The writer takes a unique approach by focusing on one character. I was surprised how well this worked. This is an excellent book.

posted by JesseG1 on June 11, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

19 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

I wasn't expecting Larry McMurtry but I was really looking forwa

I wasn't expecting Larry McMurtry but I was really looking forward to another Texas saga. I've just finished reading "The Son" a multigenerational 560 page story of a Texas ranching/oil family. Here's my recommendation - don't waste your time. "The Son&qu...
I wasn't expecting Larry McMurtry but I was really looking forward to another Texas saga. I've just finished reading "The Son" a multigenerational 560 page story of a Texas ranching/oil family. Here's my recommendation - don't waste your time. "The Son" was written by Philipp Meyer, a Baltimore Yankee who recently studied at UT Austin on a James Michener scholarship. Unfortunately, Meyer doesn't really like Texas, an opinion that is slowly and slyly revealed in his novel. Meyer doesn't ridicule so much as he constantly picks, prods and pokes at everything Texan. The book starts with both the beginning and end; it finishes with both the beginning and end - a technique that is confusing at best and annoying at worst. In between there is a great deal of gratuitous sex, uneven dialogue and shallow character development. I could almost forgive the publisher for the too many typos, but then - can't they hire better proofreaders? I cannot forgive Meyer's historical inaccuracies - in language, geography and Indian ways - even in wild life, food and firearms. These errors are simply the result of laziness or incompetence. Either way they demonstrate a significant disrespect for his readers. For a more thorough review, please google Dallas Morning News book reviews and read Clay Reynolds' assessment.

posted by RossEdwardPuskar on June 19, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    I wasn't expecting Larry McMurtry but I was really looking forwa

    I wasn't expecting Larry McMurtry but I was really looking forward to another Texas saga. I've just finished reading "The Son" a multigenerational 560 page story of a Texas ranching/oil family. Here's my recommendation - don't waste your time. "The Son" was written by Philipp Meyer, a Baltimore Yankee who recently studied at UT Austin on a James Michener scholarship. Unfortunately, Meyer doesn't really like Texas, an opinion that is slowly and slyly revealed in his novel. Meyer doesn't ridicule so much as he constantly picks, prods and pokes at everything Texan. The book starts with both the beginning and end; it finishes with both the beginning and end - a technique that is confusing at best and annoying at worst. In between there is a great deal of gratuitous sex, uneven dialogue and shallow character development. I could almost forgive the publisher for the too many typos, but then - can't they hire better proofreaders? I cannot forgive Meyer's historical inaccuracies - in language, geography and Indian ways - even in wild life, food and firearms. These errors are simply the result of laziness or incompetence. Either way they demonstrate a significant disrespect for his readers. For a more thorough review, please google Dallas Morning News book reviews and read Clay Reynolds' assessment.

    19 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Philipp Meyer really shows off his writing chops with The Son. I

    Philipp Meyer really shows off his writing chops with The Son. It tells the story of a boy who loses his family in an attack by Indians only to find himself the adopted son of the Indian tribe. He ends up being neither Indian or White Man, but something in between. The writer takes a unique approach by focusing on one character. I was surprised how well this worked. This is an excellent book.

    19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    James Michener comes to mind when reading the first few chapters

    James Michener comes to mind when reading the first few chapters of this book. The format of the book, made it appealing with totally focusing on one character at a time. This gave more attention to the development of each character and helped with the flow of the storyline. This book can not be read in one sitting. A great rainy week book.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2013

    This is one of the best novels I've read in a long time. It was

    This is one of the best novels I've read in a long time. It was hard to put this book down. Being a native Texan, I love Texas history and Philipp Meyer did an excellant job writing about the first Texans, German settlers, Comanches, Mexicans, cattle ranchers, and oilmen. The physical descriptions of the areas the Comanches traveled were very accurate and easy to visualize. It was such a well written book and like previous reviewers, it was easy to follow the develpment of each character. I didn't want it to end. Now I'm looking forward to reading Meyer's first novel.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    Unbearable!

    As I turned the page, I noted the page number, 506 of 516. My heart quickened, only 10 more pages of this terrible novel remain. I reflected that it was a shame it was not a hardcover, as I would have enjoyed throwing it into the trash to collect the dirt and stains it so rightly deserves. I made the mistake of reading this after the "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy. I believe reading a comic book first would have been a more helpful preparation for "The Son".

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This was my first Philipp Meyer book and I really enjoyed it. I

    This was my first Philipp Meyer book and I really enjoyed it. I thought the bigger than life reputation of Texas was well represented in Meyer's writing. The characters were all very interesting and the plot was easy to follow. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a good summer read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Once I started it, I found it impossible to put this book down.

    Once I started it, I found it impossible to put this book down. Every chapter is a page turner. Two thumbs up.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    I really enjoyed The Son. I thought the writing was top notch. T

    I really enjoyed The Son. I thought the writing was top notch. The characters were beautifully well developed. Five stars.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    This really should have been three books.  The going back and fo

    This really should have been three books.  The going back and forth between generations was not particularly interesting and got in the way of what I thought was the main story, the story of Eli who had been abducted by Comanches.  The comparisons betwen the different ways of life were very interesting, if not profound.  I would have liked there to have been  some editing and at least two or three books instead of  one .  The other stories felt like distractions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    Fantastic!

    A tremendous achievement. I'm 150 pages into reading it a second time because it is the best book I read in the past year. Congratulations to Phillip for such beautiful prose and unforgettable characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2014

    This was an excellent book - one of the better books that I have

    This was an excellent book - one of the better books that I have read in a while. The setting, voice, and movement of the novel make for a terrifc read. I thought the storyline was quite interesting, but was surprised to see from a previous comment that it is similar to a 1970's movie (based off a comic book) called Little Big Man starring Dustin Hoffman. Nevertheless, the book moves and the I found the characters believable and sympathized with all of them. This is a tough genre to write a novel and I tip my cap to Meyer for not only trying it, but mastering it as well. Kudos.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2014

    I loved this novel...the structure, the voices, all of it.  But

    I loved this novel...the structure, the voices, all of it.  But tonight I caught the Arthur Penn movie, Little Big Man,
    another novel I loved back in the day, and was struck by the similarity between the two story lines.  Too many similarities.
    Has anyone else noticed this?


    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2014

    Sorry, but I honestly can't recommend this novel. Read it for b

    Sorry, but I honestly can't recommend this novel. Read it for book club -- a borrowed library copy (fortunately) but not in time for our meeting, when I was only about 250 pages along. The author's writing skill and his vividly drawn characters and settings were compelling enough to persuade me to finish the book anyway, I suppose to his credit.
    However, I eventually found all the major (& most of the minor) characters at least mildly, if not profoundly, unlikeable. The conclusion -- despite an intriguing, albeit far-fetched twist near the end (no spoilers here) -- just left a discouraging, unpleasant aftertaste for me. This was keenly disappointing, since I genuinely hoped that a satisfying ending would justify having endured 500+ pages riddled with jarringly graphic brutality, and more-than-slightly vulgar glimpses of "intimacy" that read something like the embellished letters a genitally-obsessed pre-teen boy might send in to a "men's magazine."
    No, I was not terribly distracted by the author's continually shifting time frames and points of view. Yes, I appreciated his considerably gifted storytelling ability. As for his highly touted, painstaking research, maybe not so much: the only item I was curious enough to double-check was the setting for roughly 2/3 of his story, Dimmitt County, TX, specifically the portions circa 1915, when the McCullough family supposedly became oil barons; my two-minute internet search revealed that it 's indeed a real place, however no oil was discovered there until the 1940's... True, this is fiction, it's an author's prerogative to use dramatic license, and it's an easy bit of disbelief for me to suspend; still, it leads me to wonder what other facts Mr. Meyer distorted in his "sweeping saga" of Texas, and why. Plus, his plot decisions overall seemed manipulated to build up hope for some kind of redemption, but for me at least, fell flat. Depressing. Again I wonder, why?
    Perhaps that was the author's intent -- to demonstrate the futility of hope in a society (or maybe humanity in general?) doomed to remain mired in our murderous, destructive, oppressive, relentless conquest of "the other"...? I can't tell; but whatever he was getting at, I didn't much enjoy it. Nothing uplifting here whatsoever. (And no, I'm not so unsophisticated a reader to expect or desire a tacked-on, roses-and-lollipops happy ending to every "serious" novel I pull off the shelf.)
    All this to say, in my personal opinion... talented writer, ultimately not worth my investment of time and trust. Two stars.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Loved it

    This book drew me in. I liked the way the histories of the two main characters alternated and their stories developed. As their backgrounds were revealed the character development was logical. The author brought each character alive and made me care about them. Have moved this one to my favorite shelf.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    fabulous book

    Cannot put this book down. Fascinating story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2013

    You call this literature? A character "shat himself" t

    You call this literature? A character "shat himself" twice -- in the first fifty pages! Absolute CRAP CRAP CRAP! Taking Tolstoy off the bookshelf...

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    Beautifully Written Novel About Very Ugly Times and People

    A sublime rendering of terribly ugly people, places, and events in old Texas. Mesmerizing narrative that spares no details about the relationships of Texans, Cherokees, Mexicans and any number of people passing through and around the mid-1800s through the late 70's. Now I never, ever, ever want to go to Texas, but I suspect I would feel that way about any place Philip might have chosen to tell this type of story. More, more, more!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    Not recommended

    This book is poorly put together and difficult to follow. the author tries to tie together three story lines at three different times in history. It did not work for me. What is wrong with starting at the beginning and letting the story and characters evolve over time?

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    The only reason for finishing this book is because I paid for it

    The only reason for finishing this book is because I paid for it. It is extremely boring and bloody. It is not written in chronological order so it is very confusing to be constantly shifting time periods. On second thought, maybe I won't finish it. There are too many good books out there to occupy my time.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2015

    [Warning: Contains one minor spoiler.] Thought provoking, powerf

    [Warning: Contains one minor spoiler.] Thought provoking, powerful, unforgettable. Painful, too, for an optimist like me; it left me feeling both nihilistic and strangely free. For all it's depth, it's accessible, and an exciting read. I do admit to wondering why Jeanne repudiated Ulises, but I lay this concern at the feet of my childish desire for happy endings. (And, of course, it makes sense to send U off on his own power trip.) The overwhelming brutality, the rape-pillage-retaliate mores would usually be to much for me to bear, but in this story I found it inevitable and organic. It also validates my general feeling that the human race is a curse upon the earth. Well, maybe except for art and love and... Okay then, I'm off to reread Camus.

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