- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (February 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446364401
- ISBN-13: 978-0446364409
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 296 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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First Blood Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2000
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"I've been a Morrell fan for years -- and now more than ever".
-- Dean Koontz on Double Image
From the Back Cover
First came the man: a young wanderer in a fatigue coat and long hair. Then came the legend, as John Rambo sprang from the pages of FIRST BLOOD to take his place in the American cultural landscape. This remarkable novel pits a young Vietnam veteran against a small-town cop who doesn't know whom he's dealing with -- or how far Rambo will take him into a life-and-death struggle through the woods, hills, and caves of rural Kentucky.
Millions saw the Rambo movies, but those who haven't read the book that started it all are in for a surprise -- a critically acclaimed story of character, action, and compassion.
Top customer reviews
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Surprised, but not upset. First Blood was a pretty damn fine film, and when I found out that the series was based on a book, I knew I wanted to read it. It would be another handful of years before I got around to it: I’ve only just read the book this week.
The first day I had it, I burned through 100 pages in a single sitting. That’s not how I tend to read, because as much as I enjoy reading, my eyes aren’t what they once were and the constant pain in my body makes it difficult to focus on reading for long periods of time. I moved through the remainder of the book much slower than in that first sitting – about 20 pages at a time – but I still got through it in five days. That’s a lot faster than I read most books.
I'll avoid talking too much about the plot, as most people will know it by now. But there are some things I want to touch on.
What really stands out about the book is just how... proactive Rambo is when compared to the film version. He has no qualms with straight murdering people: during the jail escape, he immediately disembowels a man with the razor Teasle is trying to use to shave him. Later in the woods, he uses a rifle to kill the police office that’s shooting at him from the helicopter and managed to force the thing into crashing, killing the pilot. He then lays an ambush for Teasle’s men and wastes no time gunning down the 70-year-old dog trainer.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Once he’s switched back on during his Vietnam flashback, he never shuts it down again. The movie version seems reluctant to cause harm, he goes out of his way not to kill people. Not so in the book. Rambo’s body count is astronomical. It’s an interesting thematic difference.
The whole third act is really different from the film, especially where Trautman is concerned. In the book, Trautman knows Rambo by reputation alone, they don’t share the close familial bond depicted in the film. Trautman’s role in events is greatly increased in the film, and it’s for the better.
Over all I think it's a very good book, I highly recommend people read it. The film does some things better, but the book gets deeper into characterizing both Rambo and Teasle, something the film could have desperately used. I'd also suggest giving the film a watch as soon as you're done reading the book. They compliment each other well, especially if it's been a while since you've seen First Blood.
Like the movie, there's a lot of action. Conditioned by the movie, I saw Rambo was the hero, and Teasle was the antagonist. But the book isn't necessarily written that way. The two are the two sides of America during the late 60s.
I've reread this book several times, mostly the way one watches the same movie now and again. I'm too emotionally attached to be an objective reviewer.
This book is 100 percent anti-war. It is about a small version of the Vietnam war being brought back to America as a Korean Was veteran and police chief hunts down a disturbed Vietnam War veteran who can easily take a life like it was nothing. It doesn't just show the brutality of fighting a war, but also the outcome and the aftermath. Soldier come back with scares. Some are more brutal than others and others aren't scares you can see. Those were the kind of scares Rambo carried. Uncle Sam needed a fighting machine and in the end received a monster.
Read this book, not only if you are interested in the source material that led to the creation of one of the most memorable and influential action heroes of the late 20th Century, but also if you want to read a good psychological thriller that explores war and what it leaves in its path of destruction as it's brought home.