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In the Rogue Blood

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  487 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
The offspring of a whore mother and a homicidal father, Edward and John Little are driven from their home in the Florida swamplands by a sching parent's treacheries, and by a shameful, horrific act that will haunt their dreams for the rest of their days. Joining the swelling ranks of the rootless—wandering across an almost surreal bloodland populated by the sorrowfully los ...more
ebook, 100 pages
Published July 10th 2012 by Harper Perennial (first published 1997)
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In The Rogue Blood Meridian

Blake's debt to Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy would be crippling if he weren't stealing for the greater good; his own good, mostly, but... it is pretty great. As the story progresses, it marches straight past all the clearly marked signs and fencelines, moving into territory owned by 'Blood Meridian'. Blake, however, has his own ideas for these dry, bone-littered borderlands, and it's not to copy, plunder and plagiarize. This is a homage to both the book and the hist
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
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
Mar 20, 2015 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, westerns
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 its 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 lands ...more
I feel totally inadequate to review this book adequately. First it covers the same material as Comac mcCarthy's Blood Meridian. Secondly, it is if anything more violent and bloody than McCarthy.

Some reviewers claim Blake's book is copied from McCarthy's. This I doubt, but lack the inclination to do a proper college level, in depth, analysis.

This book is really not for the faint of heart. This is not a secret so reviews that shriek their protest should be ignored. You were warned, REPEATEDLY.

David Burke
Oct 24, 2013 David Burke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 11, 2007 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelve-it
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?
Apr 24, 2008 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good story, interesting history (1840s), well written, but very graphic in its violence and gore.
Sep 20, 2013 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 07, 2016 Tfitoby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit
Repetitive in its violence, how many scenes of unhinged barbarism with no remorse do you need before the reader knows that it's a common place event in a certain place at a certain time?
Nov 07, 2010 lyndsey rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 27, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
David Greene
Aug 07, 2013 David Greene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite authors. Makes McCarthy's "Blood Meridien" seem like Disney fare. Incredible prose, white hot tension. Loved it.
Nov 23, 2014 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This 344 page book started off with promise. The writing style, the authentic sounding language that harkens back to late 1800s, sounds legit, not over done, and is very compelling. However, it seemed like there were 100s of incidence of extreme violence in this novel, and every one was described in great gory detail. The repeated graphic detailed descriptions of every killing, rape, pillaging, disemboweling, burning, hanging, the lopping off of body parts, the torture, blah, blah, blah became v ...more
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
Dec 26, 2015 Tonny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Na de hoge score te hebben gezien in de recente toplijst op besloot ik het boek te bestellen bij de bibliotheek. Helaas was ik genoodzaakt de Nederlandse versie te lezen omdat de Engelse versie niet leverbaar was en de titel klinkt in het Nederlands toch net weer even iets te veel à la Bassie en Adriaan: Schurkenbloed. Vergelijk dat met In the Rogue Blood en het verschil mag er wezen.

Na de eerste bladzijden was ik nog niet overtuigd. Het begon meteen vrij heftig en dat was na ho
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 pla
Jeremy Davis
Jan 03, 2015 Jeremy Davis marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to finish this book. I did. But I got 2/3 of the way through and was exhausted. It's certainly not one of those books "I couldn't put down." In fact, I had a hard time picking it back up again once I did put it down. I partly enjoyed the story, and the writing was quite good, but I just couldn't power through the boredom and somewhat lack of interest. Reluctantly, I gave up.
Kit Fox
Jun 03, 2012 Kit Fox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
I really don't know what I really thought about this one. I like Blake but this book gave me the the willies. Could have done without all the sex but that being said it did hold my intention. I thought character development was outstanding but the book was way too long.
Mary Goshorn
Dec 11, 2012 Mary Goshorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
This is Zane Grey crossed with Cormac McCarthy and AB Guthrie. Rollicking, violent, lots of nastiness, but really well-written. If you loved 'No Country For Old Men', this feels similar but is obviously set in a different century.

The plot moves apace, but there are many exceptional pieces of descriptive narrative, especially of the wilderness areas of Mexico and south west US.

Set in the 1850s or so, the story begins in Florida where two brothers witness the destruction of their family - their f
Sep 08, 2012 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 21, 2014 Brent Renfrow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hardcore western. No white hats or silver bullets. Just good violence. No riding into the sunset.
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
Jul 01, 2012 wally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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, 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
Feb 21, 2016 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best western I've read since Lonesome Dove. It is at once a tale of family sins and loyalty, the lives of men on the Texas frontier, history, bandits, and war. The characters are completely believable. The hand of the author is completely invisible. Settings, dialog, and feelings are finely crafted. The brutality is visceral and the sex are each palpable. In the Rogue Blood is a masterpiece. I am ordering copies of the author's other works at once.
Badly Drawn Girl
Jun 08, 2010 Badly Drawn Girl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Jul 02, 2016 Ray rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time deciding what to rate this book, four or two, four or two. It is interesting, but slow. I enjoyed it for a while, but eventually just wanted it to be over. It took me forever to finish. It is sort of like reading Mitchener. You get a lot of information, but it takes a long time to do so.
I think it should be classified as historical fiction. It gives an accurate accounting of the amorality of many in the old west.
Feb 24, 2015 Jess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I think the author did an apt job of painting a picture of the roughness of life for some in the 1840s. The underlying story and setting is well done.

That being said, I didn't like it.

I really did not like and could not care about any of the characters in this story. Every woman is a whore and every man is a quick-tempered jerk.
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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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