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Tue Jul 2, 2013, 09:08 AM

Summer reading for Texans: "The Son," by Philipp Meyer.

Currently on the NYT fiction best seller list.

I just finished this Big Texas novel, and I recommend it, virtually without reservation. It's a brilliantly-written recalling of a South Texas oil-and-cattle dynasty---think "Giant," if Edna Ferber had actually done any research (and there is a vicious take-down of Ferber in this new book, one of its many pleasures).

Here's one of my favorite quotes, circa 1851, from Eli McCullough, founder of the empire (in between his being held captive by Comanches and his enlisting in the Texas Rangers). He's explaining why he's moving from Austin to Bastrop:

"...Austin was overrun with people, five thousand and climbing; it was impossible to walk along the river without being interrupted by the clinking of horsebells and the cries of boatmen. Anyone could see there were too many pigs for the tits."

(How's that resonate with my fellow Austin old-timers who think the town has gotten way too big?)

Great summer reading---with a head's-up about the graphic violence: neither the Comanches nor the early Texans played very nice, and Meyer doesn't spare any details.

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