Given time I may have to upgrade this one to a 5-star review. It was an amazing read and the only reason I’m going with four stars right now is because, in my mind, two of the narrators got more attention than they deserved. Pete and to a lesser degree JA provided useful information, but I was most interested in Eli and would have been happy if the entire book had been told from his perspective.
Still, it is a very powerful narrative and I admire Philipp Meyer for using the four points of view to tell the complete tale. Yes, I said four; the fourth one doesn’t come in until very late.
This is the story of Texas, but also the story of America and Americans, of our rise and possibly our downfall. It is beautifully told in honest voices of real people feeling real emotions. It isn’t an old John Wayne western without blood and it isn’t the TV show “Dallas” (which gets made fun of in the book). It’s graphic and gritty and, ultimately pretty sad.
I literally just finished the book moments ago. It may be too fresh to review. The final image … Wow. This is good stuff. Part McMurtry, part Michener, with maybe even a little Steinbeck thrown in; Pete sure reminded me a lot of Adam Trask from East of Eden. This is definitely worth your time.