Saturday, 4 August 2018

First Blood

Tonight's reading suggestion: First Blood by David Morrell. The source material for the movie of the same name which started that jingoistic film franchise. The novel is far, far superior and reading it will shock fans of the movie. The starting point is pretty much the same: Vietnam war veteran Rambo ends up the prey of a manhunt after an arrest for vagrancy that turned sour. But in the book Rambo is a hippy looking young man severely suffering from PTSD, a trained blood hound turned wild. He's basically an American soldier's version of the monster of Frankenstein, in a story set in rural Kentucky. Gone are his patriotic feelings, instead he has a misplaced survival instinct and acute training that he uses to kill men who are just doing their job. Opposing him is sheriff Teasle, a rigid but overall decent man who made one principled decision and has to deal with its deadly consequences. This is no cheap action thriller, this is proper tragedy.

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