By Celia Yeary
Last year, the University Women’s Book Club of which I am a member, read this novel titled The Son. It is 580 pages, and I confess I did not read this book. This was during a time when I was on overload with other life events, so I hoped other members read it and I could learn about it through the discussion. I soon learned that few had attempted to read it in its entirety, but I applaud those who finished the novel.
The Son is the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling epic, a saga of land, blood, and power that follows the rise of one unforgettable Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the oil booms of the 20th century.
“Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching examination of the bloody price of power, The Son is a gripping and utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American west with rare emotional acuity, even as it presents an intimate portrait of one family across two centuries.”
Interweaving Eli’s story with those of his son, Peter, and his great-granddaughter, JA, The Son deftly explores the legacy of Eli’s ruthlessness, his drive to power, and his life-long status as an outsider, even as the McCullough family rises to become one of the richest in Texas, a ranching-and-oil dynasty of unsurpassed wealth and privilege.
Harrowing, panoramic, and deeply evocative, The Son is a fully realized masterwork in the greatest tradition of the American canon-an unforgettable novel that combines the narrative prowess of Larry McMurtry with the knife edge sharpness of Cormac McCarthy.
|Twelve Year Old Eli McCullogh just before his capture by the Comanche|
|Eli as a young adult living with the Comanche|
But the reviewers have not been kind to this mini-series. First, casting Pierce Brosnan as the main character Eli McCullough seems to have rubbed most the wrong way. Why?
In general, many wonder why the Irish actor who had a 007 persona was chosen for the role of a man who is supposed to be the epitome of a powerful Texan who developed both an oil and a ranching dynasty. Brosnan never seems comfortable playing a true Texan.
Some have written that the story is messy and hard to like. I admit it is difficult to watch at times because of the graphic violence. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t like the story.
A few of the early episodes dwell on a young Eli in 1849, when he is taken captive by Indians after a brutal encounter that leaves his mother and other family members dead. These episodes have been more intriguing to me than the later years when Eli is a grown man-- a “true Texan.”
Find the novel in hardback, paperback, or ebook on Amazon
Author: Philipp Meyer
Watch the remaining episodes on AMC
Romance, and a little bit of Texas