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The Hot Country (Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller #1)

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  304 ratings  ·  85 reviews
In The Hot Country, Christopher Marlowe Cobb (“Kit”), the swashbuckling early 20th century American newspaper war correspondent travels to Mexico in April and May of 1914, during that country’s civil war, the American invasion of Vera Cruz and the controversial presidency of Victoriano Huerta, El Chacal (The Jackal). Covering the war in enemy territory and sweltering heat, ...more
Hardcover, 326 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Mysterious Press (first published October 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 671)
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James Thane
This book is subtitled, "A Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller," but in truth it moves at a pretty languid pace until the last quarter of the book or so. That is not to suggest that it's a bad book by any means, only that it does not race along at the pace one would normally expect of a thriller.

Christopher Cobb is war correspondent for a Chicago newspaper who finds himself in revolutionary Mexico, covering the American occupation of Vera Cruz in 1914. Mexico is a country in turmoil; President Wil
...more
Greg
This is the first book I've ever read by Robert Olen Butler. A couple of years ago I read a few excerpts from Severance in Tin House or some magazine like that, and I liked the pieces but thought they would get too gimmicky as a collection. This isn't really that important though. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've never read him, but I know that he has a reputation as being a good writer. He's won prizes and all.

This book though. I don't know. It was probably a bad place to start.

I r
...more
Trish
Olen Butler tries something unique with this wartime spy novel set in Veracruz, Mexico in 1914. World War I was beginning in Europe, Mexico was experiencing armed insurrection as part of the Mexican Revolution, the United States occupied Veracruz after a diplomatic dispute, and Germans came to use money and influence with the Mexican government to encourage them to respond militarily to the U.S. Reporting on all this was “Kit” Christopher Marlowe, newspaper journalist and son of an aging Hollywo ...more
Trish
Olen Butler tries something unique with this wartime spy novel set in Veracruz, Mexico in 1914. World War I was beginning in Europe, Mexico was experiencing armed insurrection as part of the Mexican Revolution, the United States occupied Veracruz after a diplomatic dispute, and Germans came to use money and influence with the Mexican government to encourage them to respond militarily to the U.S. Reporting on all this was “Kit” Christopher Marlowe, newspaper journalist and son of an aging Hollywo ...more
Cynthia
Politics, transportation, and information

The story of Pancho Villa and his band of miscreant rebels seems timely mostly because of the behind the scenes meddling from other countries. The way Butler tells Pancho’s story it’s filled with mystery, excitement, cross and double cross. There’s also lots of history or perhaps revisionist history included. Don’t miss the parts about the current modes of travel. Of course there were horses and carriages and railways influenced the action. Most exciting
...more
Craig Pittman
Florida State University professor Robert Olen Butler may be the last person you'd expect to write a thriller. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for "A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain," a collection of short stories about Vietnamese refugees trying to make a new life in the South, and his output since then has consisted of polished, interesting books such as "A Small Hotel," which recounted the dissolution of a marriage and its ramifications. As Tampa Bay Times book editor Colette Bancroft note ...more
Michael
I found this book to be slow moving for the most part, but there are sections that are really exciting. When Butler writes his fighting scenes, he puts you right into the head of the protagoist. And every once in a while he channels Hemingway, and these passages are sublime. I was not sure I'd want to read more by Butler, but his last chapter changed my mind. I will read the sequel in the Christopher Marlow Cobb series.
Tuck
fairly interesting mash of western, noir, historical fiction (mexico usa germany geopolitical maneuverings ~ 1914). a savvy newspaper reporter goes to vera cruz to report on the revolutions of mexico (pancho villa carranza) and usa invasion of that port and naval blockade and german shipments of arms, and german attempts at funding revolution in mx, not because germans inherently supported mexican gente but to muddy waters of usa and their war in europe. so, back to novel, reporter turns out to ...more
Paul
The Hot Country – Great Historical Adventure

The Hot Country by Robert Olen Butler is another Christopher Marlow Cobb “thriller” which according to The Washington Post is ‘A thinking person’s historical thriller’ and part of the literary thriller genre. Never have literary thrillers actually been that thrilling and the same can be said of The Hot Country. If this is a thriller then I am up for the Noble Prize in Literature next year. This is a good historical adventure which in places is stodgy b
...more
Stven
This was good enough to read to the end. With the author noted to have won a Pulitzer Prize, I suppose we are meant to take this story of Mexico and Pancho Villa in the Woodrow Wilson part of the 20th century as one in keeping with the facts as we now understand them. The protagonist, a newspaper reporter named Cobb, is believable enough and keeps us close enough to the action to make turning the pages interesting. Some of the plot devices are a bit too pat -- oh, really, there's a mysterious se ...more
Larry
Christopher Marlowe Cobb ("Kit" to his friends) is an American war correspondent of a stature almost comparable to that of Richard Harding Davis. He is in Vera Cruz covering the narrowly-focused American seizure of that port city on Mexico's coast in 1914.The American occupation was a response to the presence of a German vessel carrying arms and munitions. A revolution has been raging for several years in Mexico, and a number of provincial leaders aspire to be more than that, chief among them Pa ...more
Ozzie Cheek
I don't often like books that win big prizes like the Pulitzer or writers who win the prizes. Too often, I find that prize winning writers don't know how to tell a good story, that they are too in love with their own voice to put the story and the character first. So it was with some trepidation, despite being interested in the plot and setting of "The Hot Country," that I picked up Robert Olen Butler's book. My doubt was quickly dispelled. "The Hot Country" is a fast-paced historical thriller t ...more
J.R.
Reporters aren’t often viewed as heroes these days. But in earlier times they often did rise to celebrity status and occasionally did become heroes.

Christopher Marlowe Cobb is representative of the swashbuckling press corps dispatched to the hot spots of the world in the early days of the 20th century. In 1914 Cobb finds himself rubbing shoulders with the like of the real-life Richard Harding Davis and other correspondents in Mexico shortly after President Woodrow Wilson had dispatched troops to
...more
Michael
In 1914, newspaper war correspondent Christopher Marlowe Cobb, "Kit" goes to Mexico to write a story about that country's civil war.

President Huerta became the country's leader in a questionable manner and Poncho Villa, who had been a gangster, formed an army to oppose Huerta.

Kit wants to write a story about Villa.

As he awaits his opportunity, he spots a German coming in from a German ammunition boat and Kit wonders why the man is so secretive.

As Kit is waiting for a chance, he falls in love wit
...more
Jason Reeser
A fun little ride through the dry, hot world of early 1900s Mexico. You could call it a Western/Noir; as if the ghosts of Louis Lamour, Zane Grey, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler sat in with a Pulitzer Prize winning author like...well, like Robert Olen Butler. What you end up with is a narrative that gets inside your head like the rhythmic churning of the wheels of a steam-powered iron horse as it draws you closer and closer to a showdown with Pancho Villa in the middle of a tumultuous an ...more
Rob Kitchin
Robert Olen Butler is a Pulitzer winning literary writer who in The Hot Country turns his talents to historical crime fiction. The result, for me at least, is a story that has the prose, pace and reflective aspects of literary fiction, but lacks the tightness, edge and intrigue of crime fiction. The book is billed as a thriller, but the pace is for the most part languid and the tale drawn out with few tension points, especially in the first half where there are some incidents but they lack edge ...more
Gill Chedgey
The Hot Country Robert Olen Butler

I loved this book!! From the opening sentences I was transported to the era of the Beats and when Tallahassee Slim was introduced I was walking alongside Kerouac again!
Clearly this is the work of an experienced writer who knows how to work and please his audience. I note that Mr. Butler is a Pulitzer Prize winner so he must be good!! And for me, he is.
If you like your swashes being buckled then this is the book for you. Page turning skirmishes of credible violen
...more
Victoria
The Hot Country by Robert Olen Butler is book that I found hard to get into. It is not my normal genre of book but I persevered with it.

The story is set in Mexico during the Civil War in 1914, shortly before World War 1. A war correspondent called Christopher Marlowe “Kit” Cobb is the storyteller and through his eyes and words we learn about the history of the time from the events he finds himself reporting on and in.

He finds himself caught up in a political nightmare and a revolutionary plot th
...more
Donna
This was a difficult book for me to get into with such an unlikable main character to contend with. I might not have continued past the first quarter if it hadn't been my book club's selection. For one thing, I think that this is a book that can be appreciated more by a male reader than by a female reader because of the subject matter as well as the personality of the main character, Christopher Cobb, an American investigative newspaper reporter writing during the early years of the twentieth ce ...more
Jim Leffert
Here’s an appealing historical novel of adventure, swagger, and political intrigue that takes place during the Mexican Civil War in 1914. The battle among different factions for power takes on a geopolitical dimension when a German ship bearing arms appears off the shore of Vera Cruz and Woodrow Wilson sends American troops into that city to head off German intervention.

Veteran war correspondent Christopher Marlowe Cobb, itching for a story amid the tepid American incursion, encounters an attra
...more
Jane
This book popped through my letter box from Real Readers which is due to be published 18 December 2014

I had not come across this authors work before and on reading the cover I was not sure at first.
I started to read this, and this turned out to be a really good thriller with some good twists. The story concerns a war correspondent by the name of Christopher Marlowe Cobb in Mexico as he stumbles upon a potential front-page story intertwined with the events of the time (set in 1914)
The history of
...more
Naomi
Christopher Marlowe Cobb is a reporter who is on assignment in Mexico by his Chicago newspaper. The time is 1914 during the turmoil in Mexico as who will be leading the country. The United States invades at Vera Cruz and a German warship with arms on board enters the harbor. Cobb tries to find out what the warship is there for and runs into all kinds of trouble. There are a number of interesting characters in the novel but they aren't really brought to the center of the story too much. I read th ...more
Harley
I had not read anything by R.O. Butler before, and this had some good reviews in the Sunday N.Y. Times, Wash. Post, and Wall St. J. It was a genre book-seems to me to be a (historical) thriller, though some of the jacket copy calls it Butler's "very first crime novel." And he's supposed to be a Pulitzer prize winner, so I figured what the heck? How bad can it be?
The answer is bad enough that I've been mired in its 326 pages since Aug. 2014, but not bad enough to say yuck and put it down.
Basical
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Ninnytendo
Christopher Marlowe “Kit” Cobb is a Chicago reporter who goes to Veracuz to report on the Mexican civil war. As part of his investigation he ends up chasing German agent Friedrich von Mensinger, which leads him to Pancho Villa’s camp and his side of the revolution.

The story has potential to be exciting and a true western adventure but the author uses long sentences and a slow narrative style which makes it bland and uninviting. Christopher Cobb is torn between his journalistic duties, which take
...more
Jo Barton
In 1914, war correspondent Christopher Marlow ‘Kit’ Cobb arrives in Vera Cruz, Mexico to report on the complexities of civil war. En route to a meeting with the revolutionary Pancho Villa, Marlowe assumes a false identity in order to pursue the German diplomat Friedrich von Mensinger. However, his journey is fraught with danger and very soon Kit finds himself caught up, not just in perilous political intrigue, but also in a dangerous intimate relationship with a young Mexican woman, who may have ...more
Phil The
I was given a pre-publication paperback copy of Robert Olen Butler's first Christopher Marlowe Cobb novel to take a look at. In it, Butler blends together the historical facts around the Mexican civil war and the 1914 U.S. invasion of Vera Cruz, with the fictional exploits of an American war correspondent, Cobb.

After stumbling upon a German government plan to supply arms and assistance to Pancho Villa, in their eyes the most likely of the Mexican revolutionary leaders to start a war with the U.S
...more
CuteBadger
An American newspaperman is covering the Mexican Revolution from Vera Cruz when he stumbles upon what he thinks is an unknown element of the nation’s struggle. Putting himself and others in danger, he must assume another identity, think on his feet and learn who to trust while getting the story and relaying it to his editor and newspaper proprietor.

I received this book to review from the Real Readers programme and hadn’t heard of the author before though it would seem he’s very prolific and wide
...more
Joan
I got this novel free from ‘RealReaders’ and that is probably a good thing- I’m glad that I didn’t fork out real money for it!
I wouldn’t have picked it up from a bookshop, I find the cover really unappealing, and I’m not really interested in that period of history – all in all a bad start really.

War correspondent at the start of World War 1, living in Mexico as the Mexican Revolution took place. All a bit cloak and dagger, digging up dirt on the Germans and trying to interest the reader in the p
...more
Book Addict Shaun
Having never heard of the author I was intrigued when I opened a package from Real Readers and found The Hot Country inside. Real Readers is almost like surprise book post because you don't know what you're getting until it arrives. I read the blurb and was left wondering whether it was my thing. Well, I'm all about taking chances on new genres and I'm so glad I did that with this book because it was really good.

Set in 1914 war correspondent Christopher Marlowe 'Kit' Cobb arrives in Mexico to co
...more
Kara Jorges
Christopher “Kit” Marlowe Cobb is a seasoned war correspondent stationed in Vera Cruz, Mexico when the United States army invades and takes over the city, but goes no further. A suspicious ship sits in the harbor, observing, and Kit knows he’s got the makings of a good story when a mysterious German, Freidrich Mensinger, comes ashore in the dead of night. He also becomes fascinated with Luisa, the woman who washes his clothes, when it becomes apparent she’s a very good sniper, but then she disap ...more
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“I’ll never stop believing it: Robert Olen Butler is the best living American writer, period.”
– Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Robert Olen Butler has published eleven novels which includes The Alleys of Eden, Sun Dogs, Countrymen of Bones, On Distant Ground, Wabash, The Deuce, They Whisper, The Deep Green Sea, Mr. Spaceman, Fair Warning, and Hell, as well as five volumes of short fiction; Tab
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More about Robert Olen Butler...

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