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First Blood (2000)
Fiction Review by The Mortician

First Blood (2000) That's right, FIRST BLOOD! You didn't know it was a book LONG BEFORE it became a Sly Stallone franchise? That's right, this David Morrell classic came out in 1972, I believe. The Vietnam themes were much more controversial then than they are now.Still, the book packs a powerhouse of a punch, even 30 years later. Rambo is a drifter in his early 20's, out of 'Nam and just passing through a small town in Madison, Kentucky.Teasle is the Sheriff who harasses him to the point of making him explode like a timebomb in his small town. Within 72 hours, the kid with a Coke hitchhiking by a gas station is being hunted by hundreds of National Guard members through the rough wilderness...What makes this novel so good is how DIFFERENT it is than the movie. Rambo is just a kid, right out of the war. He bloodily BUTCHERS the Sheriff posse that goes after him in the first part of the book, all except Teasle, who barely gets away.Morrell gets inside the heads of both characters: Rambo and Teasle. You become sympathetic to both of their causes. Teasle is a Korean vet who doesn't quite understand what he's up against...until it's too late. His domestic problems add fuel and realism to the fire.Both characters come to love each other as the body count rises and the town explodes in torrential firebombs...The narrative moves fast and furious. The dialogue is real: light and to the point. The action is nonstop and believable. The descriptions are right on the money. The carnage is repulsive, yet you can't stop reading it. The ending is incredibly downbeat, before Jack Ketchum entered the scene.This is actually one of the best books ever written, in my opinion. Everything about it is intense, entertaining, thought-provoking, and REAL. And the thing of it is, this type of thing could still happen today, for real. The issues might be different...but man's rage and belief in personal causes...never dies.
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