Read The Good Son by Craig Nova Online


“The Good Son is the work of an artist in full command, and those of you entering it for the first time can only be envied.” —From the foreword by Jonathan YardleyChip Mackinnon returns from World War II a changed man. After being shot down over the desert and imprisoned by the enemy, the world of privilege to which he belongs seems shallow. But in the shadow of his older“The Good Son is the work of an artist in full command, and those of you entering it for the first time can only be envied.” —From the foreword by Jonathan YardleyChip Mackinnon returns from World War II a changed man. After being shot down over the desert and imprisoned by the enemy, the world of privilege to which he belongs seems shallow. But in the shadow of his older brother’s death, the full weight of his father’s expectations falls on Chip. Pop Mackinnon—whose money is new but just as good as anyone else’s—has designs on the upper echelons of society. The polo ponies and expensive education he bought for his son weren’t gifts; they were an investment in the family’s future. Now it’s time for Chip to pay him back by marrying a girl who can finally bring the Mackinnons into society’s inner circle.A shrewd and cunning man, Pop is used to getting his way—until the arrival of Jean Cooper, that is. This Midwestern beauty awakens Chip’s passions, and the two embark on an affair that threatens to destroy Pop’s social-climbing plans. A battle of wills between father and son ensues, one that tests the boundaries of their relationship and strays into the place where love turns irrevocably to hate.Originally published in 1982 to wide acclaim, The Good Son remains Craig Nova’s undisputed masterpiece. This classic of contemporary American literature artfully explores the complicated web of emotions that exists between fathers and sons—ambition, jealousy, loyalty, love—in a tale that compels with its simple, searing honesty.Also Available as an eBook....

Title : The Good Son
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780307236975
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Good Son Reviews

  • Penny
    2019-01-04 06:26

    At times it was difficult to understand why the characters were acting in certain ways. The main character "Pop" seemed to be the most well developed. Didn't quite understand why Jean left at the end, was it because she realized Pop would never stop harassing them?

  • Phyllis
    2018-12-19 08:08

    I read a copy of this book that was released by the Provincetown Public Library in a book sale. I read the jacket cover description and thought the book was "about" JFK and Jackie and Marilyn so I bought it; but it was not. The story was a coming of age tale of a rich kid trying to break free from his father's iron hand and the social restrictions of his class. The plot was enjoyable but a bit bizarre; however, I really liked the technique the author used to tell the story - where each character told a part of the unfolding drama in their own chapter. Sometimes the same event would be covered by two characters in two chapters in a row. To show how isolated the mother was in this family of two sons and a domineering father, the mother's chapters had nothing to do with the story; her chapters spoke about an animal or a piece of nature on the farm and hunting land they lived on. This coming of age from boyhood to manhood story had much simmering violence in it - unspoken and implied threats of rape for the "slut" the good son was seeing, battle scenes from war, graphic details of hunting animals, the possible threat of bear attacks while taking a walk in the surrounding woods, descriptions of people being battered by a wild ram, the need to have a knife with you for self-defense - you name it, it was there. The father kept comparing himself to Job. By the end of the book, you can see why.

  • Karen
    2019-01-01 05:21

    I am not sure whether I liked this book. I did not rush to it in the evening, as I often do when I am in the throes of book I adore. I found the writing style lovely but at time artful to the point of being artificial. I loved the mother's chapters but wished I could have found more connection between them and the main narrative. I kept thinking that I was missing some vital link between them. I still imagine so. Also, there were for me a few places that defied credibility. Without being a spoiler, I won't give an example except to say that once the son had plenty of money he didn't need to stay. But the thing I objected to most was the ending. In between, there were lovely lyrical passages and when I read the book more as a poem than a novel, it worked for me.

  • S
    2019-01-04 04:05

    A very "manly" book, in a sense. When I think of the overall themes, I'm surprised that I love this book so much--man feels pressured by his straight-laced family and society to go one way, wants to go another way but tied down by his father and his essentially traditionalist views. Being a general Sylvia Plath/Nicole Krauss sensitive type, it doesn't generally seem like something I'd read. But I love the tone--a bit cool and distant but soft, soothing. Every time I put it down I lived out my next hour in this very calm state. Sometimes I read a bit of it to get my tone started when I write, when I feel like writing that way. He also intersperses that male viewpoint with female viewpoints--I particularly like his mother's, who peppers her observations with comparisons from nature.

  • Gary Garcia
    2018-12-30 06:05

    Craig Nova's characters, Chip Mackinnon, father Pop Mackinnon, and naturalist wife to Pop, Mrs. Mackinnon, behave without much dialog. There is no need to, they understand each others' behaviors to the point of predictability which isn't always so obvious to the readers. But this makes the story all the more dynamic. As the reader adjusts to Nova's style, the characters become more real, sad and believable. Chip fulfills his duty as a military man,and Ivy League college graduate, but challenges Pop for his independence. The toss and tussle in an incredibly long battle, which ends with the reader wondering, "Is independence worth the price?"

  • Liz
    2019-01-12 06:15

    I don't know where this book went but it is an older book that had been reprinted but was still very difficult to locate a copy of. I just finished this book and not sure how I actually feel about it. I liked it a lot but not sure why. The writing is very good--kinda like E.B. White for grown-ups in a way (if that makes sense). The characters had some serious personal flaws but it made them so believable. The "good" son in this story really acts immature and creates a lot of drama/conflict that may have been avoided but that is just what made you want to read to the story.

  • Hobart Frolley
    2018-12-30 06:09

    This book is about desire and greed, or more specifically the destructive power of desire and greed. Like The Geek, The Good Son has an uncomfortable tautness that drives the narrative to it's unexpected, yet logical conclusion. Craig Nova writes about the shadows of ordinary people and the ugly beasts we all have the potential to be under the thin, crackling veneer of our collective respectability.

  • Sonja
    2019-01-11 10:10

    The writing in this book blew me away - I was hooked from the very beginning. Exquisite, superb, charming, descriptively alive - the way he used words alone is worthy of 5 stars. And the humor at the end was priceless. Plus, I really liked the story. I enjoyed it so much that I have ordered the sequel.

  • Brian
    2018-12-24 05:05

    I came across Craig Nova because he is attending The Gathering at nearby Keystone College.Pop Mckinnon is one of the least likable characters I have come across in literature.The story was very interesting and the writing was very good.

  • Pam
    2018-12-25 03:06

    Enjoyed this novel. Look forward to reading more by Craig Nova.

  • Deb Parsons
    2019-01-06 08:10

    Not the Macauly Culkin "Good Son"...

  • Ann
    2019-01-03 06:15

    I did not finish this book. I just could not get into it and decided to move on to a book that captured my attention.

  • Kittykate
    2018-12-26 06:29

    Powerful, exquisite prose; a very evocative book.

  • Jenny
    2019-01-04 05:20

    I enjoyed this as a light read. However there was no character development of the protagonist. I never got where I understood what drove him or the girl friend.