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The Son

by Philipp Meyer

A three-strand narrative drives this epic novel about a Texan family dynasty, cutting to and fro across five generations. Initially I found the different viewpoints jarred, interrupting an otherwise fascinating story, but I soon became absorbed. Graphically recounted scenes of rape, murder and torture make a strong constitution essential to read this story.

Extract

What should she tell her grandchildren? There were too many facts and you could arrange them in any order you wanted. Eli McCullough had killed Indians. Eli McCullough had killed whites. He had killed, period. It depended on whether you saw things through his eyes or the eyes of his victim as he pulled the trigger. Dead people did not have voices and this made them irrelevant.
She didn't know. Perhaps he had sown the seeds of his own ruination. He'd provided for all of them, and they'd become soft, they'd become people he never would have respected.

Parallels

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
Giant by Edna Ferber
A Good Man by Guy Vanderhaeghe
 

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