In the Rogue Blood
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In the Rogue Blood

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  242 ratings  ·  34 reviews
"In the Rogue Blood" is the story of two brothers, Edward and John Little -- the offspring of a whore mother and a cruel and homicidal father, a man never to he admired or trusted. At an age when restlessness determines a young man's path, the boys are driven from their home in the Florida swamplands by a scheming parent's treacheries and by a shameful, bloody act that wil...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Avon Books (first published 1997)
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Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtryTrue Grit by Charles PortisBlood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West by Cormac McCarthyBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
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Matt
James Carlos Blake’s In the Rogue Blood is set in a dystopian, ultraviolent version of the American southwest. It begins in the 1840s, in Florida, and later moves to the borderlands of Mexico and Texas. There are untold murders, a gang of scalp hunters, and a writing-style that often harks back to the ornate grammatical structures of the 19th century.

If this sounds a bit like Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, well, you aren’t the first person to notice the similarities.

And that’s a bit unfortu...more
Steve
The only book bloodier than Blood Meridian. Early on I thought Blake was actually trying to outdo McCarthy in the body count, and maybe he was. But Blake is very much his own writer, and there's plenty of the "Old, Weird (and super violent) America" to go around. I read this a few years back, and it's set up is a bit like The Searchers, with two brothers going in search of a sister. But this isn't Hollywood. The Mexican War intrudes. A coming of age story for both, with an absolutely lethal land...more
Adam
What little critical attention James Carlos Blake’s In Rogue Blood has been focused on the clear influence of McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. With its setting in the south and Mexican American Border, descriptions of nature and wildlife, relentless gore, and brutal, animalistic, Hobbesian view of humanity I can’t really disagree with this. Blake has a good vocabulary, assured prose, and ability to give voice to characters but as he can’t really match McCarthy (most showing in its most derivative segm...more
David Burke
Does it get any better than James Carlos Blake? (aside from McCarthy and McMurtry) What is it with Texas writers? (Carlos Blake is from Mexico/Texas/Florida if I'm not mistaken) A great read.
Amy
One of my favorite authors. This was the first J.C. Blake book I read. Wonderful writing, fab. storyteller. I don't understand why more readers don't know about him?
Erica
good story, interesting history (1840s), well written, but very graphic in its violence and gore.
Ben
Blake’s been on my radar for a long time but not until recently did I get around to reading this compelling historical novel, an ultraviolent tale following the adventures of two teenaged brothers across the southern US and Mexico in the 1840s and their eventual involvement in the Mexican-American war.

The first chapter, tracing the brothers’ lineage, features searing and pitiless insights into the folly and cruelty of human nature. Alas, this type of insight only rarely crops up throughout the...more
Mike
Spectauclar, blood-soaked epic that teels the true story of the San Patricios battalion and their part in the Mexican/American war. It's as though Sam Peckinpah had adapted a script by Cormac McCarthy.
Mary Goshorn
Warning - this book is very dark. Not a lot to recommend the main characters at all, but it is very well written and somehow compelling in spite of the violence and morally bankrupt characters.
David Greene
One of my favorite authors. Makes McCarthy's "Blood Meridien" seem like Disney fare. Incredible prose, white hot tension. Loved it.
Michelle
If you can make it through the rough parts, this is a fantastic book! I think that I'll try "The Friends of Pancho Villa" next.
Brent Renfrow
Hardcore western. No white hats or silver bullets. Just good violence. No riding into the sunset.
Thomas Todd
I've seen this quote posted for a review one time, "I'm not a great book reviewer, but I know what I like to read and I loved this book.". That quote is me. This is the 5th James Carlos Blake novel I've read and it's just as good as the other 4. I see a lot of people have compared In the Rogue Blood to McCarthy's Blood Meridian. The only similarities I see between these 2 novels is the amount of violence and bloodshed. I much prefer Blak's novel as it reads so much smoother. I didn't much care f...more
Electric Funeral
Gewalttätiges Panorama einer Epoche kriegerischer Landnahme die hierzulande gerne als der "Wilde Westen" bezeichnet wird. Blake de-konstruiert die Bilder von ehrenvollen Cowboys, edlen Wilden, launigen Halunken und koketten Huren bis nur mehr ein blutiger Brei bleibt. Es wird gemordet, vergewaltigt, skalpiert, desertiert und gefoltert. Das kennt man so ähnlich auch von Cormac McCarthy, der aus meiner Sicht aber besser den Gegensatz von weitem, erbarmungslosem Land und unzulänglichen, ungebildete...more
wally
Jul 01, 2012 wally rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: blake
this here will be the 1st from blake for me...i believe i saw it listed on a page of something i read, something i wanted to read, something...so i looked at it...acquired it...a used paperback.

there's several quotes to begin:

why does your sword so drip with blood,
edward, edward?
why does your sword so drip with blood,
and why so sad go ye, o?

--from an anonymous scottish ballad of the middle ages.

i stood upon a high place,
and saw, below, many devils
running, leaping,
and carousing in sin.
one looke
...more
Badly Drawn Girl

This isn't a book I would normally read. I tend to stick to non-fiction and certainly don't read much in the way of historical fiction. But I had heard good things about this book so I picked it up. I'm glad I did!

I felt like I was watching a blockbuster Hollywood movie rather than reading a book. This was a rollicking adventure that had me on the edge of my seat. The action never stops. Yes, it's bloody, violent, disturbing, and not for the weak of heart. But it's also realistic. I felt like I...more
Mary
Unrelentingly grim. I get that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, so these boys won't have much chance to ever be paragons of virtue. But, during the years these two brothers spend looking for their sister they never seem to be able to run across anyone who isn't crazy or depraved or both. So, they never see any models of how to behave, thus they never get the chance to choose redemption. And that's what's boring about this novel. It is true to life that many folks never get a decent shot...more
Andrew
Wow, I'm still trying to sort my feelings out a full 24hrs after finishing this book. Brutually violent & to be honest I didn't really need to be reminded of one scene in particular where a person of african-american heritage is publicly hung & brutalized & everyone in town including men, women, & children all watch the grisly affair as casually as families in the past gathered in front of their televisions to watch the latest episode of "I Love Lucy". But of course the author fo...more
Michael
I'm in love with this book. Picked it up at random and I've never been so grateful to have picked up a book. I mean... he should kinda be more popular than he is. The type of guy who's books should be made into movies. If Jason Bourne can... It's violent. I want to say unrelenting but there are moments where its quiet. But this quiet is unsettling. Trickery. Always something lurking.

Man... Blake is GOOD. Capitals deserved.
lyndsey
god. i only read like 50 pages of this book. it was TERRIBLE.

let's have a little synopsis, meet two brothers, find out dad killed a man and they all fled to florida, sister runs away mysteriously, brothers go to find sister, come home find house burned down, mom did it, mom tells them dad was raping their sister, mom runs away, they kill dad, and then they ride to texas and are racist, sexist douchebags the whole way. the end.
Kit Fox
More apocalyptic Western carnage from one of the patron saints of historical blood'n'guts gruesomeness. But gory details aside, Blake is a deft weaver of visceral tales designed to astound, horrify and edify. Also, hands down has one of the best final chapters I've read in months. Think I'll try to make my way through the rest of his catalog by the end of the calendar year.
Margaret Kuo


I feel almost guilty rating this as a "good" book. The gore and violence is at times excruciating. That being said, Blake does an amazing job of constructing his vision of a nightmarish and unforgiving America at its nascent formation. The imagery is as raw and unrelenting as the flawed brothers at the center of this narrative.
Lester
D.H. Lawrence once wrote:

"The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted."

Set in The Wild Old West, this is a book about people who bear that kind of blackhearted, tormented and bloodthirsty "American soul". If you happen to like dark, violent stories, I recommend this novel wholeheartedly!
Skicat
Wow! Blake puts you face down in the mud with this one. With accuracy, beauty, blood, and the most violent of human capability, this book is full of descriptive detail that will put you so close you can taste it. Life by the sword is brutal yet there's a sense of freedom and excitement at the same time.
Jennifer
One of my favorite books ever. Very violent but probably very true to the times (1800s). The brothers sign on for the Mexican War. Interesting stuff.A little in the style of Cold Mountain...wandering through America and finding adventure.
Laura Cleveland
Wow! What a tour de force! Fine architecture, plum charictarizations, fast-paced and a beautiful way with two languages. Well researched. Best historical Western I'v read in years. Absolutely worth your time.
April
Next we have Blake (a small section of my husband's bookshelf is devoted to him). This novel was so violent, I began having strange wild west inspired dreams.
Ainsley
Recommended by the Morris Book Shop, even though pioneer stuff is usually the last thing I'll choose for myself to read. Horizons are broadening!
KapitiKats
Similar in style and topic to Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian but slightly more accessible!
Chris Schaeffer
Great story, epic even. But the last half of the book was a disappointment.
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James Carlos Blake is one of the America's most highly regarded living authors of historical crime fiction. Born in Mexico, his family moved regularly when he was a child, living in various towns along the border and coast before finally settling in Texas when he was six. After a stint in the army, Blake attended the University of South Florida and received a Master's degree from Bowling Green Sta...more
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“in the summer of 1845 Edward Little was sixteen years old and restless in his blood.” 2 likes
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