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Comment: Reading copy with moderate to excessive wear to covers and interior. Includes notes, writing, highlighting and overall wear. Has been previously handled but is still a great resource. Water damage to the top on the copy but all pages turn and are readable.
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In the Rogue Blood Paperback – October 1, 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Forget Davy Crockett and the other "heroes" of the Alamo. Blake's (The Friends of Pancho Villa, Berkley, 1996) third novel offers a much bloodier and more terrible picture of the West than legends would have us believe. In 1845, Edward Little and his brother, John, flee their Florida home, leaving behind a missing sister and a mother driven insane by her drunken, abusive husband. Heading for the Mexican border towns, the brothers get separated in New Orleans. They each make their way to Texas, joining up with like-minded fellows out for adventure and Indian-killing. Edward and John end up on opposite sides when the United States declares war on Mexico; not even brotherly love can bridge the gap created by the Rio Grande in the 1840s. Episode after episode of unrelieved murder and mayhem as experienced by mostly inarticulate men make up this fast-moving, unromanticized Western. Recommended for public libraries.?Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Blake (The Pistoleer, 1995, etc.) again demonstrates his talent for mingling historical fact with fiction, in the case here of the Mexican War and the antebellum frontier. Brothers John and Edward Little return to their remote north Florida farm from a search for their runaway sister only to find their father on a murderous rampage. The boys defend themselves and kill their father. Their mother, meanwhile, has fled. Left alone, the teenagers set out for Texas, but they become separated in New Orleans. John, who can't control his violent nature, kills a man and, to escape hanging, joins Zachary Taylor's Mexican Warbound army. Edward, in the meantime, also commits murder but flees to Texas and after several bloody adventures ends up in Mexico. He first joins a company of scalp-hunters, then takes up with a band of Mexican bandits who are ultimately impressed into US Service as the infamous Spy Company. For his part, John deserts the army and joins the St. Patrick's Brigade, composed of Americans (mostly Irishmen) fighting on the Mexican side. Shifting between the brothers' parallel stories, Blake offers a virtual encyclopedia of graphic violence. People are shot, clubbed, knifed, eviscerated, castrated, decapitated, impaled, flayed alive, hanged, scalped, dismembered, blown up, and immolated. And sexual perversions run the gamut from rape to sodomy to incest and necrophilia; only bestiality is omitted. Brutality and grotesque images are played out against invariably blood-red sunsets and dawns. Blake's assured prose, knowledge of history, and fast-paced story are definite pluses, but in its last third the complexities of the war and the redundancy of mind-numbing violence overwhelm the characters, finally rendering them rather absurd. (First printing of 25,000) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Edition/First Printing edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380792419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380792412
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Meszaros on November 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Except maybe Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" there is no other book I can think of that compares with Blake's noir, hardcore, historically-based vision of the 1840s west. He is a natural storyteller who loves spinning the hard-hitting tale, occasionally at the expense of finer language (which he is perfectly capable of crafting when he chooses to do so). A harrowing depiction of wild souls and the decisions they make (or don't make) and the consequences of their actions.
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Format: Paperback
Blake is a wonderful stylist. His vivid imagery and stark, eloquent language breathe life into this book and make it outstanding. Readers who enjoy Cormac McCarthy's books will find this to be similar in many of its good qualities.
In the Rogue Blood is the story of two brothers in the 1840's. They travel West and get mixed up in the Mexican War; one ends up fighting for Mexico in the San Patricios, while the other joins a band of Mexican scouts fighting for the United States. The end, as one might expect from Blake, is not a happy one.
It's a tribute to Blake's writing that I was able to enjoy the book despite his characters. They're walking lizard brains, constantly sleeping with whores and getting in pointless fights. However period they may be, they're not very interesting people. The plot bogs down in the middle, when the characters seem to be meaninglessly repeating their brutal behavior ad nauseam, but picks up when they become involved in the war. Female characters here exist primarily for the use of men, though one could argue that part of the tragedy of John and Edward is that they are never capable of comprehending their wild mother and sister.
Much of 1840's America as presented by Blake seems accurate to me, though his version is certainly a very bleak one, sometimes melodramatically so. This is an ugly West, full of cruelty and deformity, with malice towards all, and sometimes the sheer ugliness of everything taxed my suspension of disbelief.
Nevertheless, this is a powerful tragedy and a brilliantly styled book, which I strongly recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In the Rogue Blood, by James Carlos Blake, has often been compared to Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West. Mr. Blake’s effort has been seen as a pale imitation and it seems for good reason. Both are literary works, but where McCarthy’s shines through as a work of literary genius Baker’s doesn’t reach as high or with as much elegance of purpose.

Mr. Baker’s book is very good and has suffered only because of the genius of McCarthy’s work and the latter’s author place in the pantheon of American Literature.

To focus on Baker’s work, it is a wonderful, if disturbing, character study; the dialogue rings true and reaches towards the poetic; the scenes are honestly written, if occasionally slipping into the pornography of violence; the resolution honest and to the point.

As a study of America leading up to and following through to the end of the Mexican War In the Rogue Blood is a very interesting piece of writing and well worth the reader’s time. Though not McCarthy’s masterpiece, In the Rogue Blood remains an important piece of work.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Recommendation: Men, more so than women, will find this work engaging if they enjoy historical novels littered with senseless violence. The violence is not dishonest, but in most cases it was not strictly necessary. Some would believe this is how the West was; others might disagree. Whichever your perspective readers should find this an enlightening read.
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Format: Paperback
I think this book is definetly the most gruesome and gory book i have ever read.In my opinion this is James Carlos Blake's best book. My teacher recomended his books, and especially this one, knowing that I enjoy "guy" books. This book has made me laugh, cry, and gag. I could'nt believe how unbelievably descriptive and graphic it was, it kept me up for hours because i couldnt put it down. I highly recommend this book to any guy who enjoys appalling, grim, gritty, and repulsive stories, with a touch of twisted romance. Also to any girl that enjoyes the above qualities in a story.
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No, it is not a McMurtry or a McCormack novel, but it sure comes close, James carlos Blake being a very competent and skilled Author.

It is a highly engrossing, swift paced, novel about life and events in the southern US nd Mexico, richly told, richly depicted, and as raw and brutal as they come.

It perfectly conveys what life must have been, roughly 150 years ago, in that region where only the most fit and mean had a chance at survival.

A very good novel. Do not miss it, those who enjoy the rough, tough, era herein portrayed.
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Format: Paperback
Blake's debt to Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy is a large one, and as the story progresses it's clear he should be paying rent for moving into the territory owned by 'Blood Meridian'. But 'The Kid' was just as alone as everyone else in Cormac McCarthy's greatest work. The Little's are still tethered by painful familial bonds as they each make their lonely traversals of an American frontier indistinguishable from hell. Even after this f****d up family explodes, after the mother orchestrates a betrayal that uses her own sons as murder weapons -- pushing the young men into patricidal actions heavier and older than the spoken word -- the brothers still need to find their mother and sister. Whether it's loyalty or vengeance that drives their search, is something never made clear. The brothers Little may not know the answer themselves. Their reasons are complicated, and in some respects, perverse. Their father was not a good man, and their mother likely had compelling grievances, but she also used them both and discarded them. On the surface, they want to find their sister because she's their sister, to protect her from the filth, and disease, and violence that rages all around them; but one of the boys may have darker, uglier reasons of his own.

When the brothers lose each other in the chaotic mass of bodies, the humid, steaming swamp of New Orleans, more bad things happen -- including an unforgettable scene when a skilled French duellist faces off with Edward over a minor insult, and uses his rapier to cut his opponent repeatedly from a distance, since he is armed with a shorter Bowie knife and is unfamiliar with fencing. It is only when the fencing ends, by means of tactics that don't appear in aristocratic duels, that the Frenchman discovers the savage effectiveness of a Bowie.
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