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First Blood (Rambo: First Blood #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,283 ratings  ·  242 reviews
First came the man: a young wanderer in a fatigue coat and long hair. Then came the legend, as John Rambo sprang from the pages of First Blood to take his place in the American cultural landscape. This remarkable novel pits a young Vietnam veteran against a small-town cop who doesn't know whom he's dealing with--or how far Rambo will take him into a life-and-death struggle ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 12th 1981 by Fawcett (first published January 1972)
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A classic. I first read this novel in 1982. It was very exciting at the time.I was fourteen.

It's been (probably) a couple decades since I last read First Blood. It's showing it's age a little more now. Still not a bad read, but it's really nothing more than a glorified chase story. A product of it's time. Make no mistake about it there were many folks in the early seventies who were nervous about the returning veterans. Many truly believed that we were going to have warfare erupt ,on a large s
Allow me to introduce John Rambo. He's a little surly since coming home from Vietnam, so please forgive his outbursts. It doesn't help that Sheriff Teasle is constantly trying to throw my friend out of the small, back-wooded town of Madison, Kentucky. You see, the good old sheriff has a problem when someone doesn't take his words to heart. Rambo just happens to be that someone. I tried talking to Rambo, but all he kept saying was "Adrian! Adrian!" I know…I was just as confused. Anyways, Teasle p ...more
First Blood, a first read 40 years too late in reading for many. The author starts the story with introducing a name, Rambo and having the reader build an image of this character in mind, he successfully paints the portrait partly introducing Rambo, the long hair, the rough looking image, his sleeping carry sack on the road drifting wondering and then loads us with confrontation a police officer that seems to have issues with his hair, his wondering, his smarts and his look of a man that can tak ...more
Arun Divakar
John Rambo is a cultural icon for me like a lot of you out here. You cannot be growing up in the 80's without having Rambo's name mentioned atleast once in your vicinity. Out here in my place, this guy was treated the ultimate warrior when I was a kid. Childhood memories remind me of teenaged guys in the neighborhood with hazy eyes talking to each other about the non-stop action from First Blood . It is then extremely ironic that I came to know that the movie's name was not Rambo perhaps only a ...more
Matt Garcia
Solid novel with some great characterization. Rambo is an anti-hero of sorts and I found myself not as sympathetic towards him as I thought I would be. Teasle was a character that I disliked solely because of his arrogance and stubbornness. Different in some spots from the movie but overall a worth while read. Being a fan of the Rambo movies, I'm glad that I took the time to see where it all began. 3.5 stars
Joseph Finder
Forget whatever you think about Sly Stallone and Rambo. This book is a now-classic chase novel, a mano à mano confrontation between a damaged Vietnam vet and a sheriff, and you won't be sure whom to root for.
This is definitely not my usual genre of book. I never even had any desire to see the movie, Rambo. All, I know about Rambo is this picture I have in my head of Sylvester Stallone wearing a headband and carrying a gun. I'm not even sure if that is from a movie poster or a scene from the movie possibly. I had no desire to either see the movie or read the book, but a friend a work, who I recommend books back and forth with MADE me read this. He insisted it was his favorite book and I agreed to rea ...more
Steven Stennett
This book made me sad!

All the effort and strength of will. To kill other human beings, that it displayed, via one individual, both at home and abroad even though he was a 'Hero,' all for the sake of Presidents, Primeministers and country's.

Arms dealers, who make shits loads of money, from selling the tools of destruction to hapless soles that believe that shinny, shinny, small arms, are the way forward.

Artifacts to adorn themselves like gaudy jewelery.

Don't get me wrong I think I understand
!!WARNING!! Do not read the Introduction before the story because the author reveals the ending!

I saw the movie several times growing up, and I always enjoyed the survival tactics that Rambo employed to elude his pursuers. The book included these things, but it was a lot darker with Rambo killing countless police and soldiers. The book provided more insight into the mindsets and struggles of Rambo and Sheriff Teasle, which I enjoyed because it helped the reader to understand what drove the two
Ha - picked this up as a lark in a half-price bookstore in Seattle, but not only was this a surprisingly good book, the original Rambo (or "the kid" as he's called through most of the story) makes Stallone's character in the film actually look like a total puss! None of the fancy booby traps to hurt-but-not-kill; no, this Rambo is a psychologically shattered killer who turns the tables and intentionally hunts his pursuers. And yes, he is ultimately a sympathetic character - but sympathetic like ...more
Martin Hill
David Morrell's action thriller, First Blood, is considered the grand daddy of the modern action thriller. Better known as the first Rambo story, First Blood is the story of a homeless Vietnam vet who, pushed to the brink by harassment from southern small town cops, erupts into a murderous rampage.

I never cared much for the Rambo movie starring Sylvester Stallone. But having served in the American south at the end of the Vietnam War, I was well acquainted with the harassment service members endu
Cym Lowell
David Morrell is credited by the International Thriller Writers Association as being one of the founders, if not the founder, of the current genre of thrillers. I had not read his work until my current campaign to read the work of all recognized thriller writers. David received the Thrillmaster award for 2009 from the ITWA at its Thrillerfest meeting this year.

First Blood marked the appearance of John Bambo in literature, followed by his glorious movie career. The novel is a masterpiece! The plo
I kind of hate giving this book two stars but I just felt the writing was without passion, depth, or any particular style. I basically finished it out of obligation. I picked the book up because I was surprised to learn the 1982 movie (which I liked quite a bit, not so much the sequels) was based on it. In that, this edition of the novel had a forward by the author that was much more interesting than the book itself. It basically talks about the impetus of the story, a little about the structure ...more
I'd been wanting to read the novel that inspired the Man my entire life, and only recently was I able to sit down and do it. "First Blood" certainly did not disappoint, either. The film and novel do differ wildly here, and as much as I enjoyed the movie, the book is definitely the more powerful piece.

By now everyone knows the general storyline, so let me concentrate on some of the aspects of the novel which I enjoyed the most. One is the careful attention Morrell pays to each of his characters T
Paul Tracey
First Blood, an outstanding film and probably the first video rental I watched (at 11 years old). I never gave much thought into reading the book. Watching the movie made a huge impression on me, as it did with many teenage boys at the time, and I confess I have flashbacks to the movie as I read it. As I turned the pages the nostalgia for my teenage years and my association to Rambo returned, I saw Stallone’s chiseled physique awash with mud and blood, a highly trained killing machine alone, a s ...more
Michael Sova
It's been a very long time since I saw or even thought about the movie First Blood. It's a true classic of the action-adventure genre and stars Sylvester Stallone in one of his most memorable roles, John Rambo, a drifter who, in the beginning, is guilty of nothing more than wanting something to eat. A local sheriff pushes him a little too hard and everything quickly goes to hell. Turns out Rambo is a heavily decorated veteran of the Viet Nam war. He's trained to survive. He's trained to kill. A ...more
Yasir Khouja
Rambo, a Vietnam war veteran, is walking in Madison, Kentucky and pick up by Sheriff Teasle and drop off at the city limits. Rambo repeat returns, Teasle finally arrests him and drives him to the station. He is charged with homelessness and resisting arrest and is suspended to 35 days in jail. Being trap inside the cold, wet, small cells gives Rambo a memory of his days as a POW in Vietnam, and he fights of the caps they attempt to cut his hair and shave him, beating one man and slushing another ...more
Richard Watt
Despite all evidence to the contrary, this is not a Rambo novel. At least, it's not a novel about the Rambo we have come to know and - perhaps - love. This is a novel about a quite different Rambo in many ways. Rambo today is an archetype, but not the one Morrell intended him to be, I think.

And this really isn't just a novel about Rambo. It's a novel about Rambo and Teasle. One could not exist without the other, and - of course - this is really a novel about what those two characters stand for;
John, en vietnamveteran, anländer till en liten stad i Kentucky. Sheriffen gillar inte Johns uppsyn och arresterar honom för lösdriveri.

På polisstationen behandlas John illa, bland annat spolar de honom med kallt vatten. Efter avspolningen håller de fast honom för att raka av honom hans vildvuxna skägg. När John ser rakkniven får han flashbacks till sin tid i Vietnam där han torterades med kniv, han gör motstånd och det slutar med att han dödar en polisman. John flyr sedan, naken, ifrån polissta
Caden Krause
First blood is about a veteran named John Rambo who is walking home from the war. He reaches a town and a cop offers to give him a ride away from the town. After several times walking back to the town John is arrested and escapes the police by hiding in the nearby woods. The cops are hunting him down but they have no idea who they are up against, not knowing Rambo has been through hell. Rambo is a green beret veteran, and is the last of his kind. He is unbeatable and is at his breaking point aft ...more
Brian O'Callaghan
Wow. That was intense.

I have a confession to make: I've never seen any of the Rambo movies (I think I once saw a scene or two from the middle of the first one, but that's it). Now I know. Jeez.

The characterization of the two protagonists/villians/anti-heroes/men was amazing. The first part of the book was a fascinating psychological build, then all hell breaks loose when the violence starts. And man, it doesn't stop. It was truly horrific; not necessarily a bad thing, but not for the faint of he
Jordi Alfonso Camús

Libro utilizado como base para la creación de la película del mismo nombre y que en España la tradujeron como "Acorralado" (1982). Para la adaptación se contó con el autor del libro y el mismo Sylvester Stallone.

Pero eso sí, definir la película como una "adaptación" del libro es quedarse corto; el libro es una base de la película. Punto.

Ni los hechos son los que nos mostraron, ni discurren de mismo modo. Con el libro descubres un John Rambo diferente, más humano, para bien o p
I read this book about 10 years ago, so a retrospective review if there ever was one - that is the power of GoodReads!!!! It was a great read and even though I loved the film, I wish it followed the book. What I mean is that in the film John Rambo is clearly portrayed as a victim, a victim of the Vietnam war itself but also in small town Hicksville USA. In the book however, John Rambo is mostly a bitter, resentful bomb that could ( and does) explode at any minute. It's very much a chase and surv ...more
Natalie Bright
David Morrell spoke at a writer's con where he autographed copies for my teenage boys. They were thrilled, but said no when I asked to borrow a copy to read. I had to settle for the eBook version and honestly, was shocked at the power of this story and how it grabbed me from page one. Wow, what a page turner, nonstop action and yes, it's bloody violent. Although the movie varies from the book, I've promised my sons that I'd find the BlueRay. Pizza night and Rambo for the zillionth time is on! Mr ...more
Muy difícil de leerlo sin que la película asalte nuestra mente e ilustre cada escena... pero no se dejen engañar, esta es una historia más cruda, menos romántica, y finalmente, mucho menos heroica.
A mi entender este libro no desnuda la marginación ni el rechazo sufridos por los veteranos de Vietnam en la sociedad norteamericana, sino más bien relata los daños psicológicos que esta guerra produjo en quienes la vivieron en carne propia. Rambo es la prueba viviente de ello. Y el capitán (no Coronel
Mike (the Paladin)
Not baddly written I was torn between the 3 or 4 and finally went with 3, but it may be some better than that. Sad in its own way...seen the movie but not read the book? Read the book.
Kym Andrew Robinson
The book that inspired the movie series 'Rambo'. Certainly a lot different to the film, the book is darker in tone and provides a feeling of tension and anxiety seldom found for me in fiction.

I read this book around the same time as I started to get heavily into the Mack Bolan series of novels. I found that the one man army, on the run, ex Vet fighting superior forces was interesting even if for a while it was over done.

This is not a complex book, it is however a solid character narrative with e
Michael Erickson
This book is great. It is one of the very few works of fiction that I have read more than once. I have friends I recommend this book to, that haven't read it to this day, and they still enjoy it.

I always say, "Rambo wasn't so nice in the novel." It doesn't matter if he is nice in the novel. In the novel you can have two opposing forces that offer a great compelling pulse pounding narrative.

David Morrell is one of my favorite authors and this book is what started my interest in his writing. A g
Colten Sammons
The main character in this book is Rambo. The book takes place in Madison, Kentucky. Rambo is in this town and upon entering it he gets stopped by the chief of police, Wilfred Teasle. Right from the start they don't get along causing Rambo to get arrested further in the book that same day. Rambo had been an escaped prisoner from the Korean war and was a Green Beret. Green Beret were highly trained and after Rambo's experience he wasn't exactly to stable with certain situations but still had all ...more
Jason Reeser
I've always had this notion that this book would be more insightful and contain less action than the movie. I was half right. In fact, this has far more action than the movie. It is far more violent. And it also gives us a much better image of Teasle, the sheriff, and a less admirable image of Rambo.

I recently heard David Morrell say that at one point, Paul Newman was slated to play the sheriff. At the point, I'm sure the script was closer to the book. I can't get that idea out of my head. I wo
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David Morrell is a Canadian novelist from Kitchener, Ontario, who has been living in the United States for a number of years. He is best known for his debut 1972 novel First Blood, which would later become a successful film franchise starring Sylvester Stallone. More recently, he has been writing the Captain America comic books limited-series The Chosen.
More about David Morrell...

Other Books in the Series

Rambo: First Blood (3 books)
  • Rambo: First Blood, Part II
  • Rambo III
The Brotherhood of the Rose (Mortalis, #1) Creepers Murder as a Fine Art (Thomas De Quincey, #1) The Fraternity Of The Stone The League of Night and Fog

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“His name was Rambo, and he was just some nothing kid for all anybody knew, standing by the pump of a gas station at the outskirts of Madison, Kentucky.” 10 likes
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