The Washington Post

Philipp Meyer’s new paperback arrives with plenty of praise — and boar meat

“The Son,” by Philipp Meyer (Ecco; paperback, $16.99). “The Son,” by Philipp Meyer (Ecco; paperback, $16.99).

Tuesday marks the official paperback release of “The Son,” one of the most critically acclaimed novels of 2013.

Originally released in May, Philipp Meyer’s saga about the McCullough family stretches over almost 200 years of spectacular Texas history. If you’ve been waiting for a less expensive paper copy of this great novel, now’s your chance.

But of course, lots of readers didn’t wait.

Michael McKenzie, director of publicity at Ecco, said that “The Son” sold “incredibly well” in hardback. “And we saw a surge in sales at the end of the year because of the many Best of the Year lists it made,” he said. The Washington Post was one of those papers that included the novel in its top 10 list.

When a book first moves from hardback to paperback, publishers frequently redesign the cover in hopes of catching the eye of a new audience. But Ecco is sticking with the original.

Ecco art director Allison Saltzman said, “The cover design process for ‘The Son’ was one of those rare and happy occasions for an art director when the publisher, author, agent and sales team all immediately agreed on a cover and never looked back.”

Meyer’s book tour has been a little unusual, too.

“I’ve noticed that if you write a book set in New York City, you get lots of invitations to dinner parties,” he said. “But you write a book set in Texas, suddenly everyone wants you to come hunt deer and wild boar with them on their ranch. Which I don’t mind. In fact, I just drove back from South Texas with a cooler full of venison and boar meat, which I’ll be eating for the next several months.”

Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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