by Philipp Meyer

Reviewer Rating:


This epic Western relates the violent history of Texas through the story of one powerful family. That story begins when 13-year-old Eli McCullough is captured by the Comanche in 1849 and traces his survivor’s spirit of resilience and ruthlessness through his progeny over the next 160 years, told in alternating timelines. In the present day, we see Eli’s spirit alive and well in great-granddaughter Jeanne, the last scion of the family, but it is his son, Peter, who provides the heart of the story when he makes a stand against his father’s greed and ambition during the border wars of the early 20th century. Throughout this spectacularly gigantic novel, Meyer meditates on humanity’s capacity for greed, racism, lust and cruelty. The result is a staggering achievement that is well worth the investment of time it demands.

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