First Blood by David Morrell Book Review
We all know the Sylvester Stallone version of this book, First Blood, but the book is much more riveting, and much more believable.
First blood is the story of a battle between a Vietnam Veteran (John Rambo) and a Korean War Veteran (Teasle), the first a homeless drifter with a chip on his shoulder, and the second a small town police chief bigoted against anyone who doesn't conform to his idea of what is right, with explosive results.
John Rambo arrives in town, a drifter, and is soon moved on by the Police Chief, but Rambo comes back and after slaughter in the police station a massive manhunt ensues, involving the National Guard and thousands of police. The end is inevitable (different from the film) and along the way we learn much about each mans desire to prove to the other that they "still have it" and will not be defeated.
What does this book tell us about the real treatment of Vietnam Vets on their return home in the late sixties and early seventies? Undoubtedly many felt ostracized by their own country-men for fighting a war that nobody wanted, but not many went on a killing spree to get it out of their system.
What First Blood does very effectively is to teach us how wars can affect the soldiers who fight in them. Put young men in violent, stressful situations and they won't come back the same, and the consequences for those involved and society will be high.
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