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Editorial Reviews. Review. "Morrell writes action scenes like nobody's business." ―New York Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like Kindle Store · Kindle eBooks · Literature & Fiction. Read "First Blood" by David Morrell available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. First came the man: a young wanderer in a. First Blood. by Francis Scott Fitzgerald · Download. This work is Feedbooks is an ebook retailer, designed with mobile reading in mind. More information.
Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Formatting may be different depending on your device and eBook type. One war waged against one man: First came the man: This remarkable novel pits a young, disillusioned and ragged Vietnam veteran against a small-town cop who has no idea whom he is dealing with - or how far Rambo will take him into a life-and-death struggle through the woods, hills and caves of rural Kentucky. From best-selling author David Morrell, this is the critically acclaimed thriller that launched the cultural phenomenon, Rambo.
More Details Original Title. First Blood 1. John Rambo. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about First Blood , please sign up. Is there any book like the first Rambo? See 1 question about First Blood…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know that the movie "First Blood" was based on this book.
So when my friend Eleven reviewed this book I put in a request for it immediately. Rambo shows up in a small town in Kentucky. The local sheriff doesn't like "his kind" being in his town so he takes him and dumps him out at the end of town.
Rambo comes back. Then sheriff Teasle does it again. A couple of times. Rambo takes offense to being told that he can't be in town. He also takes offense to Sh I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't know that the movie "First Blood" was based on this book. He also takes offense to Sheriff Teasle wanting to shave his beard and cut his hair.
So Rambo goes a bit bat-shit crazy on the town. He ends up in the mountains of the area. That pisses off the sheriff so he and his men go after Rambo. That does not end very well. For the sheriff's men. So then let's call in the state police, national guard and everybody else.
He's learned patience, so he can hide somewhere and wait out this fight all year if he has to. He's just one man, so he's hard to spot.
He's on his own, doesn't have to follow orders, doesn't have to synchronize himself with other units, so he can move fast, shoot and get out and hide some place else, then do the same all over again.
I remember watching this movie when I was in about the seventh grade. My household was super religious so we didn't get to watch movies like this at home.
One of my teachers at school actually brought in his copy for us to watch one day. I was glued to my seat. Rambo was the shiznit. Now, I do get forced to watch it every time it comes on TV by my fanboy husband but usually I ignore it while I read. The movie is a tad different as Rambo is a poor misunderstood hero. I thought in the book he was just a tad nutso and was tired of anyone pushing him around and he pushed back. He is not very like-able in the book. The sheriff isn't either though.
So I didn't mind that they just wanted to shoot the hell out of each other. View all 14 comments. May 08, Algernon Darth Anyan rated it really liked it Shelves: His name was Rambo, and he was just some nothing kid for all anybody knew, standing by the pump of a gas station at the outskirts of Madison, Kentucky.
He had a long heavy beard, and his hair was hanging down over his ears to his neck, and he had his hand out trying to thumb a ride from a car that was stopped at the pump.
To see him there, leaning on one hip, a Coke bottle in his hand and a rolled-up sleeping bag near his boots on the tar pavement, you could never have guessed that on Tuesday, His name was Rambo, and he was just some nothing kid for all anybody knew, standing by the pump of a gas station at the outskirts of Madison, Kentucky. To see him there, leaning on one hip, a Coke bottle in his hand and a rolled-up sleeping bag near his boots on the tar pavement, you could never have guessed that on Tuesday, a day later, most of the police in Basalt County would be hunting him down.
I'm not a big fan of Silvester Stallone, in fact I believe he's a hack, but "First Blood" is arguably the best he ever did on the silver screen. I only saw the film version once, back in the late eighties when the videoplayers and small colour TV's were sprouting like mushrooms all over the country to fill in the gap left by increasing censure in official cinema houses.
Yet I remember the story, 30 years later, and that made me wonder where this enduring appeal comes from.
Turns out it is mostly the merit of the original story, penned by David Morell at the tail end of the sixties, a time when the American nation was torn apart by an unjust and inhumane war. Watching the news on TV this debut author had a stroke of inspiration that turned into a cultural icon: There hadn't been a war on American soil since the end of the Civil War in With America splitting apart because of Vietnam, maybe it was time for a novel that dramatized the philosophical division in our society, that shoved the brutality of the war right under our noses.
The major difference between the book and the movie is this very attitude towards violence. Both Rambo and Sheriff Teasle have more depth and more nuance than the movie I remember. Rambo is clearly dealing with a split personality and post-traumatic shock this being one of the first novels to explore the condition in detail. He has his pride and his anger, yet he is not a blind killing machine and would have liked to be able to fit in, if only the 'squares back home could look beyond his hippie appearance and engage him in a respectful manner.
Teasle is the product of an older generation and of a precious war Korea , one war when the Americans still could pretend to be the knights in white saving the world from anarchy and terror. Teasle feels threatened by the new world order and by the younger generation with their protests, their drugs, long hair and free love. He takes refuge in a conservative, paternalistic worldview that will ultimately set him on a collision course with the drifter Rambo. He has to be stopped.
That's not why you're doing this? Admit you wanted all this to happen. You 'asked' for it — so you could show him what you knew, surprise him when he found you were the wrong guy to try and handle.
You 'like' this" "I didn't ask for anything. But damn right I like it. That bastard is going to pay. A lesson that is sadly already forgotten in this third millenium when new warhawks seem only to eager to start new conflicts in Syria, Korea or Iran. View all 4 comments. Nov 20, Neil Walker rated it it was amazing. Most people will come to First Blood having seen the film first, as well as the three sequels.
While the book does contain the thriller aspect and some of the action of the film, it is also a kind of dark character study into how a person can be affected by military training and the traumas of war. In terms of the influence of this novel on me as an author, I would say that the protagonist, J. Rambo, has a number of similarities to my own John Kennedy character. These will become even more appare Most people will come to First Blood having seen the film first, as well as the three sequels.
These will become even more apparent as The Drug Gang Series continues. First Blood is both a fascinating and an exciting read, probably more reminiscent of the film The Deer Hunter, in many ways, than the actual Rambo movies.
View 2 comments. Nov 06, Grady Hendrix rated it really liked it. David Morrell leads a writing workshop in delivering stomach-churning on-the-body sensation. A classic. I first read this novel in It was very exciting at the time. I was fourteen. It's been probably a couple decades since I last read First Blood. It's showing it's age a little more now.
Still not a bad read, but it's really nothing more than a glorified chase story. A product of it's time. Make no mistake about it there were many folks in the early seventies who were nervous about the returning veterans. Many truly believed that we were going to have warfare erupt ,on a large s A classic. Many truly believed that we were going to have warfare erupt ,on a large scale, within the United States and the vets were going to be at the forefront.
I suppose it seemed inevitable.
The country was already experiencing social upheaval and violence thanks to the anti-war movement and the civil rights movement. Now the vets were returning home and they weren't being treated very well. Americans knew this and they were worried. It's almost as if they thought that John Rambo and his fictional counterparts were the retribution that they deserved. Of course I'm probably being melodramatic. First Blood wasn't even the first of the genre when it was published. Already there had been at least two movies Welcome Home, Soldier Boys and Targets in which veterans were shown as being dangerous and very deadly.
But this book has survived and gone on to become a modern classic. A few difference between the literary Rambo and the cinematic Rambo. This Rambo isn't necessarily a nice man. There isn't really anything heroic about him. After all you don't look at a rifle and think that it's admirable do you? You might admire the skill that went into it's design and manufacturing and you might appreciate it's accuracy, but ultimately it's just a tool. That's how Rambo comes across to me.
He's dangerous and very effective, but not heroic. He's no great loss. The cops are assholes and get what they deserve as well.
So there are no tears shed for them either. When it comes right down to it I found myself wondering what I was supposed to think about the characters and the plot. Am I supposed to feel that the whole situation is just one giant screw up and throw my hands up in disgust? A thinly veiled analogy about the waste of war in general and the stupidity of the Vietnam War specifically?
It's a pretty fair chase story with some skillfully written action sequences. A good strong debut novel by a young writer. Morrell would go on to to write stronger novels, but John Rambo is his creation and this is the book where Rambo first appeared. Even at the age of forty-two it's a good beach read. Helps to be a little older though. It definitely helps to be old enough to at least remember the aftermath of Vietnam.
I'll leave the rest of the deeper meaning "stuff" for you, the reader ,to figure out.
First Blood - Francis Scott Fitzgerald | Feedbooks
Nov 28, Eleven rated it really liked it Shelves: I think this is a must read for fans of the movie. There are as many similarities as there are differences but I enjoyed both equally. I loved the movie when I was I need to watch it again to see how it has held up all these years. Fantastic read. Goes on the favorites shelf.
View all 6 comments. May 17, Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing. Many ladies cried their hearts out for Virginia Wolfe, I could've cried out mine for this, but I didn't The Jerry Goldsmith and Dan Hill's It's a long road the song, it cried out my heart like hell. I read this book when I was 14 and thumbing through it now I seem to remember most of it, so it really must've impressed a lot. The Swedish title, back translated "The Duel" actually improves upon the book but had to stand back after the success of the movie, of course.
Already then, I was so envious of my friend, who had a very nice earlier hardback without the movie tie-in cover. Superficially small, the differences between book and film actually makes this quite a different story and if y I read this book when I was 14 and thumbing through it now I seem to remember most of it, so it really must've impressed a lot. Superficially small, the differences between book and film actually makes this quite a different story and if you liked or disliked the film, I can recommend this read.
The returning Vietnam soldier John gets off on the wrong foot with a sheriff of a small town and their quarrel goes onto the aforementioned duel, which escalates into deadly horror as none of the men are capable of downing even a small helping of pride - or even slowing down. Brutal pace, a manhunt, a war between two sides of which you're not inclined to take either. Apr 01, TK rated it it was amazing. Allow me to introduce John Rambo. He's a little surly since coming home from Vietnam, so please forgive his outbursts.
It doesn't help that Sheriff Teasle is constantly trying to throw my friend out of the small, back-wooded town of Madison, Kentucky. You see, the good old sheriff has a problem when someone doesn't take his words to heart. Rambo just happens to be that someone. I tried talking to Rambo, but all he kept saying was "Adrian! Anyways, Teasle p Allow me to introduce John Rambo. Anyways, Teasle pushed Rambo too far; he wanted Rambo to get a haircut and a shave, thus making my buddy have flashbacks to his days as a POW.
Rambo escaped from his tiny cell, killing and maiming a considerable amount of boys that I dare say were merely placed in the setting and situation for a higher body count for the story.
So Rambo goes off into the woods, like he's some type of Hansel and fends off National Guardsman and police officers and civilians that are probably so loaded that they don't even really know what end of the rifle is supposed to be pointed away from them.
The body count really starts to soar at this point. For the most part, I'm happy watching these yokels get off-ed by one of the best. But there is only so much carnage that I'll allow, so when the sheriff and Rambo exchange some thoughts in the form of lead, hitting each other in the process, I felt I owed it to my employers to kill Rambo myself.
Granted, I used a shotgun and shot him in the head, but that's what you're supposed to do when a wild dog is on the loose. I tried to tell the sheriff, but it seems he has an important appointment in Valhalla that he can't be late for.
I guess in one way or another, this story is supposed to be about the denigration of our boys that came home from Vietnam. Perhaps we should have given them a parade or even said "we're proud of you, thank you. Well, pal, sorry for what I had to do; it was never personal. And, one more thing, thanks for all you did for us over there.
View all 9 comments. May 20, Lou rated it it was amazing Shelves: First Blood, a first read 40 years too late in reading for many. The author starts the story with introducing a name, Rambo and having the reader build an image of this character in mind, he successfully paints the portrait partly introducing Rambo, the long hair, the rough looking image, his sleeping carry sack on the road drifting wondering and then loads us with confrontation a police officer that seems to have issues with his hair, his wondering, his smarts and his look of a man that can tak First Blood, a first read 40 years too late in reading for many.
The author starts the story with introducing a name, Rambo and having the reader build an image of this character in mind, he successfully paints the portrait partly introducing Rambo, the long hair, the rough looking image, his sleeping carry sack on the road drifting wondering and then loads us with confrontation a police officer that seems to have issues with his hair, his wondering, his smarts and his look of a man that can take care of himself.
Imagine you never saw Stallone and the movie and so far we are slowly introduced to Rambo and who he is. We start to learn some more of Rambo when he reaches a situation involving water in an uncompromising situation and then the memories with water and a hole involving bamboo come flooding back and we now start to build a better understanding of the darkness, the shadows that haunt him. I love the way he slowly introduces us to a scene of confrontation and slowly reels us to learn the ways that John behaves.
You feel for John he is being treated unfairly almost a victim of discrimination in the beginning as a kind racial issue in a way, as if he was someone from another country, a people that the officer hated, maybe a person he once fought against, the officer seems to not like his looks, but he will learn that deep down what he doesn't like is maybe that could be another version of him walking around somebody he may have been or could have been and gone loose in the wilderness taking heads out killing and fighting a war in his own backyard.
He could be scared of his own image in this man and wanted to rip and drive him to the ground and that was the biggest upset, Rambo was no vagrant to be meddled with. This was no enemy, a man like himself both fought in wars, he is all American Rambo, he should have been left alone to his own devices but alas our dear author David Morrell chooses to use this bullying officer to bring out his worst but most skilled ability to kill he shows us an unforgettable Rambo, a name, a character who would did take the world by storm and be engraved in every book reader and moviegoers mind across the world.
Rambo a veteran back from a brutal war that took probably the best of himself away in another hemisphere and now the person left behind having to assimilate back to society with vivid memories, terrible nightmares, for only a brief experience can bring back all the pain, all traumatic experiences, bring about fear, a rash behavior, unflinching and with no prisoners.
Sheer Craftsmanship in telling this very human tale of the evil that men do and see coming home to roost, told in a way that only David could have told it. Getting you off to a good start is the key of great storytelling, introducing parts and a name of the character stuff of great stories, you only have to read Lolita or Moby Dick or Metamorphosis to see great examples of first sentences, then after aperture he has you fully encompassed and captivated to the very end of this train ride going of the rails destined for a explosive climax.
Excerpts "Sure you'll fight. What a laugh. Take a look at yourself. Already you know what this place reminds you of. Two days in that cramped cell and you'll be pissing down your pant-legs. I can't stand being closed in where it's wet. The bamboo grate over the top.
Water seeping through the dirt, the walls crumbling, the inches of slimy muck he had to try sleeping on. Tell him, for God's sake.
Screw, you mean beg him. The voice was starting to repeat, broke up, never came back again. It started to rain, light drops speckling the dust and dirt, spotting Teasle's pants and soaking in, pelting cool on his bare back. The black clouds shadowed over. Lighting crackled and lit up the cliff like a spotlight, and as fast as the spotlight came on, it went off and the shadows returned, bringing with them shock waves of exploding thunder.
A war hero? What inspired you to write First Blood? David Morrell: I was a graduate student at Penn State in the late s.
I taught composition classes there, and many of my students were Vietnam veterans. They told me about their difficulty adjusting to peace time—sweats, nightmares, reaction to loud noises, difficulties relying to people. We now call this post-traumatic stress disorder. Back then it was called battle fatigue. I decided to write First Blood, about a returned veteran who was trying to adjust to the disturbing knowledge that he was skilled at killing.
At the time, the United States was ravaged by hundreds of riots, many of which were against the Vietnam War. It was as if a different kind of war was happening at home. Basically, First Blood became an antiwar allegory about a version of the Vietnam war occurring in the U. Lou Pendergrast: What did the movie adaptation of your novel First Blood do for you creation of Rambo?
The character in my novel is extremely angry and bitter. The character in the film adaptation is portrayed as a victim. The plot is mostly the same, but the interpretation is different. What was the popularity of your book like after the movie adaptation of your book was out? The Rambo films brought attention to the novel, of course, but even before the release of the first film in , First Blood was taught in high schools and colleges across the United States. Mar 27, Thomas Flowers rated it really liked it.
I'm ashamed to say that I had no idea First Blood was a book before it was a movie. Glad to have this error corrected and was equally glad to have gotten the chance to read this amazing book. Now, there were some drastic changes from film to print or print to film more like. And that's okay. I never expect the movie to be just like the film. There have to be differences, so long as the essence remains intact. And for the most part, the essence of First Blood, be it Sylvester Stallone or just the I'm ashamed to say that I had no idea First Blood was a book before it was a movie.
And for the most part, the essence of First Blood, be it Sylvester Stallone or just the imaginative projection from hearing how David Morrell describes John Rambo, is beautifully captured, more so I would say in the book because we are given the characters internal thoughts. The director and Stallone for his part did a great job conveying through action and struggle Rambo's internal conflicts, but in the book, it becomes, even more, clearer. Did you know that when Rambo arrived in that pinewoods mountain town, he had been kicked out, or "pushed," as he calls it, at least a dozen times?
That is where the "pushed" thing comes from during the movie that doesn't make much sense, but in the book it does. No spoilers here, but the end is veeerrryyy different, and I'm not sure which one I like the most. I feel for Rambo in both scenarios, and I love that end scene monolog he was with his old unit commander in the movie. But in the book I've said enough. As far as veteran issues go, both film and book appealed to me and wrung the gauntlet of emotions.
Perhaps more so in the movie than here, despite the benefit of reading Rambo's internal thoughts. In the book, I did enjoy the added polar conflicts between the sheriff, a Korean War veteran, and Rambo, a Vietnam veteran, and how each of them refuses to surrender to the other, more so than in the movie.
In the movie, the sheriff is more of a chump and doesn't know what he's walking into, and just seems to be a dick for no reason. In the book, he is more clearly defined.
Especially with what happens during the first hunting party. Overall, if you're a fan of the movie, you may want to check out the book. I have few doubts you'll be disappointed. View all 5 comments. Apparently not. Don't know why. This is an old favorite, the first of Morrell's that I ever read.
It's one reason why I've kept reading his books for over 40 years. He's never quite managed another quite as good, but he's come close. Last Reveille is mighty close. There is some similarity between the two. While most will read this book now as just an action thriller, the attitudes and motivations were perfectly done. It's a perfectly orchestrated train wreck of a story. As a kid, I rooted for Rambo all the way. I could really understand Teasle's attitude. I can't say I rooted for him, but I felt a lot more empathy.
I read this before I saw the movie. This was better, although the movie was great, but the different endings make all the difference in the world. It's as big a change as the last chapter of A Clockwork Orange. More power to him. I would have, too. That had to be a dream come true. Goodby starving artist, hello Hollywood money!
That's not an oversight. He had a long heavy beard, and his hair was hanging down over his ears to his neck, and he had his hand out trying to thumb a ride from a car that was stopped at the pump. To see him there, leaning on one hip, a Coke bottle in his hand and a rolled-up sleeping bag near his boots on the tar pavement, you could never have guessed that on Tuesday, a day later, most of the police in Basalt County would be hunting him down.
Certainly you could not have guessed that by Thursday he would be running from the Kentucky National Guard and the police of six counties and a good many private citizens who liked to shoot. But then from just seeing him there ragged and dusty by the pump of the gas station, you could never have figured the kind of kid Rambo was, or what was about to make it all begin.
Rambo knew there was going to be trouble, though. Big trouble, if somebody didn't watch out. The car he was trying to thumb a ride with nearly ran him over when it left the pump. The station attendant crammed a charge slip and a book of trade stamps into his pocket and grinned at the tire marks on the hot tar close to Rambo's feet. Then the police car pulled out of traffic toward him and he recognized the start of the pattern again and stiffened. Not this time. This time I won't be pushed.
It stopped next to Rambo, its radio antenna swaying, and the policeman inside leaned across the front seat, opening the passenger door. Hestared at the mud-crusted boots, the rumpled jeans ripped at the cuffs and patched on one thigh, the blue sweat shirt speckled with what looked like dry blood, the buckskin jacket.
He lingered over the beard and the long hair. No, that's not what was bothering him. It was something else, and he couldn't quite put his finger on it.
See a Problem?
But Rambo just sipped his Coke, glanced up and down the street at the cars passing, looked down at the policeman in the cruiser, and stayed where he was. Rambo studied him just as he himself had been studied: But Rambo kept on studying him: Rambo looked but could not see what kind his handgun was.
The policeman had it holstered to the left, away from the passenger side. Rambo glanced around once more, then picked up his sleeping bag.
As he got into the cruiser, he set the bag between himself and the policeman. People around here don't generally stop for a hitchhiker. Especially if he looks like you. It's against the law. I mean hitchhiking's against the law. Too many people stop for a kid on the road, and next thing they're robbed or maybe dead. Close your door.
Rambo took a slow sip of Coke before he did what he was told. He looked over at the gas station attendant who was still at the pump grinning as the policeman pulled the cruiser into traffic and headed downtown.
In case you missed the sign on the door, I'm the Chief of Police. Wilfred Teasle.
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