Philipp Meyer ‘The Son’

A business trip to the USA pushed me to advance quickly in my next choice of book (5 hours late waiting for a change of aeroplane). Philipp Meyer was somewhere on my radar, I’d seen reviews of American Rust and had been meaning to read it but gotten no further.
His latest book ‘The Son’ was written up in last months copy of Lire Magazine

-‘Philipp MEYER Découvert avec Un arrière-goût de rouille, l’écrivain américain signe avec Le Fils un deuxième roman épatant, qui revisite deux siècles d’histoire texane et interroge les grands mythes de l’Amérique. Sans angélisme, il embarque le lecteur dans une saga à hauteur d’hommes.’-

Then I remembered my wife speaking about this book, she’d seen Philipp Meyer at the ‘Festival America’ at Vincennes and spoken very highly of his interview so I decided to read this book.




The book contains five lives of key family members ranging from the days when Texas was settled by Americans of European descent

-‘Having been trounced by the aboriginals, the Mexican government devised a desperate plan to settle Texas. Any man, of any nation, willing to move west of the Sabine River would receive four thousand acres of free land. The fine print was written in blood. The Comanche philosophy toward outsiders was nearly papal in its thoroughness: torture and kill the men, rape and kill the women, take the children for slaves or adoption. Few from the ancient countries of Europe took the Mexicans up on their offer. In fact, no one came at all. Except the Americans. They flooded in’-

Up to the present day, and how the family had survived and prospered by killing, stealing and amassing wealth in adversity in these Texan plains.
I enjoyed this ambitious story of a Texas Dynasty, but I will admit of the five narrators my interest was not of equal weight, my interest went to Eli the earliest narrator and to Jeanne Anne the most recent narrator.

The range, ambition and Texasness of this work brought to mind the Pulitzer Prize winning author  Larry McMurtry and his lonesome Dove Series, read years ago (therefore no review) but to be recommended

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