, Philipp Meyer's second novel, is a multi-generational tale of epic scope focusing on the settling of western Texas. Told in alternating voices, the author covers the area's history from the middle of the 19th century to the present day, touching on conflicts between white settlers and the native populations, the American Civil War, the ranching era and conflicts with Mexico, World Wars I and II, and the oil boom of the 20th century.
Three main characters relay this history through the telling of their life stories. Readers first meet the centenarian family patriarch, Eli McCullough, through the transcript of a WPA recording made in 1936. Eli, the son of ill-fated settlers, describes how he transformed himself from a teenage captive of the Comanche Indians into the wealthy founder of a large Texas cattle ranch over the course of his long...
Beyond the Book
One of the main characters in The Son
is kidnapped by Comanches and lives as a member of the Kotsoteka tribe.
The word Comanche is thought to be a Spanish corruption of Kohmahts
, the Ute term for enemy (the Ute and the Comanche conducted a sporadic 50 year war against each other during the middle of the 18th century). Those referred to as Comanches call themselves Numinu - "The People." Originally part of the eastern Shoshone nations (as evinced by their similar language and customs), their emergence as a distinct people occurred just before the turn of the 18th century and coincided with the introduction of the horse to the American Southwest around 1680 CE. The horse allowed the Comanche to expand their hunting grounds, and they became known as expert riders....