Aug 272015
 

the sonThis history of Texas is told through the lives of four generations of the McCullough family.  Eli, the patriarch, is captured by Comanches as an adolescent in the 1840s, and lives as an Indian for three years.  Learning about Comanches as real people is as interesting as coming to understand, say, Kazahks, Bantus, or Serbs.  These Comanches are conniving, jealous, courageous, jokesters trying to stave off white settlers with thoughtfulness, wisdom, and blunder.  Eli’s son is neighbored by Mexicans, raises cattle, and begets generations who make it big in the Texas oil boom.  To list the family tree, however, makes The Son feel like a tedious long biography.  On the contrary, the stories of each generation are told concurrently with suspense and drama while the history of Texas bravado and hubris unfolds behind it.  Bison are hunted to extinction, water is used to exhaustion, Mexicans are demolished and yet return, and the question of the McCullough’s self-selected prestige hangs in the balance.  The audiobook performers are outstanding.

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