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Country of the Bad Wolfes Paperback – January 31, 2012
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"Sweet Tomorrows" by Debbie Macomber
The much-anticipated conclusion to Debbie Macomber’s beloved Rose Harbor series, set in the picturesque town of Cedar Cove, Sweet Tomorrows is a vibrant and poignant novel of letting go of fear, following your heart, and embracing the future—come what may. Learn more | See related books
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Blake’s boisterous tenth novel unspools an epic filial tale, detailing the confluence of Mexico’s ill-starred destiny with the fate of an Irish-British-American family so thoroughly accursed that it seems almost inevitable that the clan should become Mexican A multigenerational saga [with] wonderfully drawn characters A natural yarn-spinner Blake excels in gorily choreographed fight scenes [and] while [he] keeps you immersed in his wildly picaresque tale, he slowly reels in the novel’s dark take-home: it doesn’t matter if your distant ancestry is pre-Columbian or Hibernian, Aztec or Iberian. Sooner or later, it’ll catch up with you.” John Phillip Santos, Texas Monthly
A great read from start to finish, full of grit, local color, and a large cast of vibrant characters this brawling, high-spirited, and superbly realized family saga offers many pleasures, including endearing characters, unlikely love stories, and all manner of mayhem. Highly recommended for fans of literary fiction.” Library Journal
"A rollicking tale that acquires depth as it moves across generations and national boundaries Blake doesn't mind a boudoir but his real strengths come in describing manly mayhem, which he portrays with uncommon poetry [With] Cormac McCarthy's tutelary spirit [and] soupçons of Garcia Márquez the book keeps good company full of wry humor and thoughtful writing." Kirkus Reviews
Murder, politics, and illegitimate children fuel this engrossing and wonderfully realized saga.” Publishers Weekly
This is historical fiction in the manner of Umberto Eco many-faceted, slow, and savory.” Booklist
"Over the years, Blake has often been compared to Cormac McCarthy, mainly because both writers often use Mexico as setting and symbol and both are known for focusing on aspects of the human attraction to violence. Blake delivers on both in Country of the Bad Wolfes ... [which] is the first of a rumored series of books about the big bad Wolfes. This first book will lead many readers to look ahead anxiously for the next one’s appearance.”—Southwestern American Literature
Blake has a sure-handed grasp of 19th western US history and culture that is every bit as engaging and authentic as say, Cormac McCarthy and Guy Vanderhaeghe and Jim Harrison [A] skillful and astute narrative an enthralling tale.” Robert Birnbaum, Our Man in Boston
[I]mbued with the magical realism of García Márquez [and] the frontier brutality of Cormac McCarthy Blake's story will entertain fans of historical and adventure novels alike.” Shelf Awareness
[A] sprawling, magnificent story of three generations of men, their fortunes, loves and losses, during a fascinating time in the history of the United States and Mexico.” Bookworks
Spanning three generations, [Blake] spins the tale of a family cursed by twin passions.’ Some in the Wolfe clan are in thrall to the passions of the flesh,’ others to a passion for risks of blood,’ and many are damned by both.’ Love and violence rule the day, and are parceled equally between the sexes Country of the Bad Wolfes is an engrossing novel.” Texas Observer
"[A] sprawling saga Blake's knowledge of the history and particulars of the periods and places where the account takes place reveals close research and almost encyclopedic knowledge, especially in small details his [is a] prodigious talent " Dallas Morning News
Blake's literary badlands are uniquely his own crime novels set in well-researched historical settings that manage to avoid crime-fiction clichés .” GQ
The book is trademark Blake with rogue heroes, duels, and demons and angels of human nature locked in a violent dance with one another. It’s a look at the United States and Mexico and the bloodshed, politics, and history that lies between the borders As a whole, James Carlos Blake’s work has the feel of lived-in legend. It’s a collection of old folk ballads singing to a new present. And I highly recommend you listen Country of the Bad Wolfes tells us the best is yet to come.” Scott Montgomery, MysteryPeople
A literary page-turner a romantic, violent, panoramic historical saga (written) with a journalist's eye for detail and a poet's love of words a fascinating read.” San Antonio Express-News
[A] beautifully crafted book rich in historical detail and featuring memorable characters takes the historical novel to an entirely new place an exceptional piece of modern fiction.” Tucson Citizen
"This is the masterwork that Blake has been working on for years. Don't be intimidated by the book's epic, multi-generational scope either. You'll be absolutely riveted from the first page Full of fascinating history, the Wolfe family saga is ribald, raunchy and essential reading don't miss it." Patrick Millikin, Poisoned Pen
[In] a story of power and what will be done to keep it, James Carlos Blake puts together a historical novel packed cover to cover with intrigue a fine and much recommended addition to any historical fiction collection.” Midwest Book Review
[A] worthy book Country of the Bad Wolfes is a poetic ... offspring of Gabriel Garcia Márquez and Cormac McCarthy. The Wolfe family is said to be cursed by 'passions of the flesh' and 'risks of blood' ... 'a curse like a ready noose around the neck of every Wolfe.' In the end, it is the quick, thoughtless choices of flawed men, women, leaders and nations that cause suffering, violence and early death. For Blake, it seems, we are all cursed with that noose around our neck.” Tucson Weekly
"[A] sweeping family saga [of] adventuring and philandering, smuggling and murdering and politicking in early-1900s Mexico and the borderlands... Blake not only weaves a good fireside yarn, he produces a strong literary tale too. [He] expertly plays with form, changing verb tense and perspective occasionally, slipping back and forth through time and place as though from string to string on a guitar neck.... [And] the women in this novel are also strong, smart, and funny ... men's equal in Wolfe country." Rain Taxi
"[A] wild tale of family, twins and politics. ... [with] Hemingway-like descriptions.... You won’t want to put this one down until it’s over. ... The Wolfes are a lively bunch ... that make Zorba the Greek look dull.... The book is not for the weak-hearted, or the highly Moral. It will make you squirm a bit, no matter how open-minded or tough you think you are. It is a violent book ... of turbulent times ... [but] there is beauty and love, and antics of a high-spirited family. It is exciting and rewards an intellectual curiosity about how things work, how the world changed, how history is interpreted. You will want the read all of Blake’s books. Bravo. "Helium
Top Customer Reviews
Country Of The Bad Wolfes supposedly incorporates the history of his own family, arising from the exploits of various American adventurers and freebooters who went into 19th Century Mexico to find their fortunes or demise in the violence and economic opportunity that characterized that neck of the woods at the time.
The book follows the sprawling family genealogy of the Wolfe family, and in particular two sets of twins, the second set being the offspring of John Roger Wolfe, an American who ends up being the owner of a huge hacienda south of the border after coming to regard Mexico as his parent country. The second set of twins, Blake Cortez and James Sebastian, are essentially one personality residing in two people, each of them skilled at anything that captures their fancy, be it street-fighting, hunting gators, shark fishing, breaking horses, sailing boats, and using guns, and whom are not at all resistant at taking a life if it gets in their way. And plenty of lives do get in their way.
The book tends to lag somewhat when it drifts away from the exploits of Blake Cortez and James Sebastian and shifts to the other family members, and the author's style (from my viewpoint, anyway) is somewhat changed from his past works in that there seems to be a greater emphasis on telling the story through the dialogue of the characters as opposed to a writer's third party prose.
I would recommend Mr.Read more ›
I believe I have read all of James Carlos Blake's books, starting with his book on Pancho Villa. If you enjoy historical fiction, you will find his accounts of life in 19th century Mexico good reading. It is a violent story so tender readers may wish to look elsewhere.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Blake will meet all expectations. In this novel he writes of a "mestizo" family, one brother following the traditional Spanish ways and mores. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
An adventurous and often violent romp thru generations. Historical fiction done in a well written and entertaining fashion. Thoroughly enjoyable.Published 3 months ago by MJF
Apparently I'm a satisfied customer.
This is the fifth book I've purchased by this author and I'm looking at a sixth. Read more
Pages and pages of description that could be told in 2 pages. Parts about the "twins" very interestion tho.Published 11 months ago by M. Lemar Morris
JCB has written a masterful and entertaining saga of family devotion to a rough family.Published 13 months ago by Michael Stephens
This is one of the worst books I have read in the past 10 years. I am ashamed that I finished it. The author has some skill, but wasted it on a story that is non-stop graphic... Read morePublished 16 months ago by J Michael McDade