First Blood (1972) – Rambo – by David Morrell & the Real Ending

First BloodFirst Blood by David Morrell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First Blood (1972) by David Morrell is the book that would later become the movie-sensation by the same name. However, the book and the movie are two very distinct works of fiction. By the end of the book, literally dozens are dead and the small town of Madison, Kentucky is in flames. Only two people die in the film version set in the Pacific west. The endings also differ from book to movie. And the book’s ending is one ending that shouldn’t be missed.

untitled

As far as the plot is concerned, there is not much difference between the book and film. A Green Beret named Rambo (later named John for the film as in “When Johnny comes marching home“) escapes from a prison camp in North Vietnam and makes his way some 350 miles to the south. After being released from the war and hospitals, the novel picks up as he is walking into town. Like in the dozens of small towns before, a sheriff urges Rambo to keep on going. But this time Rambo won’t be pushed.

IMG_0076

 Sheriff Teasle is a Korean War hero who had won the Distinguished Service Cross, which is second only to Rambo’s Congressional Medal of Honor. Teasle and Rambo, father and son figures in the novel, battle one another as if in a high-stakes game. The novel does not have a clear hero or villain, but as the story unfolds, much like an intense chess match between two grand masters, it is not so much the players but the game being played out that keeps so much of the audience’s interest.

rambo-sylvester-stallone-1080p-hd-wallpaper-movies

In the introduction “Rambo and Me” (2000) Morrell writes, “Who was the hero, who the villain, or were both men heroes, both men villains? The final confrontation between Rambo and Teasle would show that in this microcosmic version of the Vietnam War and American attitudes about it, escalating force results in disaster” (x). And as Teasle pushes Rambo to a breaking point fiery hell breaks free until there is no going back. No time for heroes or villains in this story. Only time for survival.

286110-bb76e248-4681-11e3-b366-b430cfe3cfdd

The writing is swift and clean, some of the fastest writing I have ever read. Each sentence leaps off the page and the story is the focus of the writing. The section-breaks often switch between Rambo and Teasle, but this is done with ease and makes for added tension as the chase unfolds in the mountains. The two point-of-views also add to each character’s development: Rambo’s time in the war, Teasle’s divorce with his wife, Anna.

rambo51

At one point, as Rambo tunnels through an abandoned mine and into caves and through bat dung and flesh eating beetles and out to fresh air, Morrell is able to give insight into Rambo:

159rambo2-mud2

“The native allies in the war had called it the way of Zen, the journey to arrive at the pure and frozen moment, achieved only after long arduous training and concentration and determination to be perfect. A part of movement when movement itself ceased. Their words had no exact English translation, and they said that even if there were, the moment could not be explained. The emotion was timeless, could not be described in time, could be compared to orgasm but not so defined because it had no physical center, was bodily everywhere…

55074-john_rambo_aka_rambo_4_iv

“Well, they could not see much in the dark, and after being underground, he was at home in the dark, and as soon as he had rested more, he would slip down past them. It would be easy now. They would be thinking he was still in the caves, and he would be miles off on his road. No one had better get in his way. Christ, no. He would do anything. What he had come to feel, he would do anything to anyone to keep” (238-239).

article-2623851-1DAF05C400000578-980_634x780

Brief passages such as this appear at just the right time and do not bog the momentum of the story down. An unexpected delight for such a high-octane action story as this.

 Now for the end…

first1

Rambo has shot Teasle as the city burns. Police station and court house in flames and ashes. Rambo, shot in the chest in return, crawls into hiding. Pain too severe. Too much damage to escape. Rambo lies and waits for the end to come. A stick of dynamite on his lap. Rambo thinks about what has happened in the last week and why it had to happen:

rambo-first-blood-forest-knife

“Like what a lot of horseshit, he told himself: freedom and rights. He had not set out to prove a principle. He had set out to show a fight to anyone who pushed him anymore, and that was quite different–not ethical, but personal emotional. He had killed a great many people, and he could pretend their deaths were necessary because they were all a part of what was pushing him, making it impossible for someone like him to get along. But he did not totally believe it. He had enjoyed the fight too much, enjoyed too much the risk and the excitement. Perhaps the war had conditioned him, he thought. Perhaps he had become so used to action that he could not ease off” (276-277).

rambo02

Rambo waits. Knows he is dying. Cannot commit suicide. Then he sees movement ahead. “He carried a rifle. Or a shotgun. Rambo’s eyes could no longer tell him which. But he could make out it was a Beret uniform and he knew that was Trautman. It could be no one else. And behind Trautman, stumbling across the playground, clutching his stomach, came Teasle, it had to be him, lurching against a rectangular maze of climbing bars, and Rambo understood then there was a better way” (279).

JohnRambo2008

And if you want to find out what REALLY happened to Rambo, then you’ll just have to read the book.

untitled

A strong recommend for any Rambo fan. A recommend for any who enjoy action-adventure-chase stories. A recommend all in all.

IxvdHNWEZl

john-rambo-rambo-sylvester-stallone-2711687-480x320

 

IMG_3325

IMG_3326

IMG_0078

IMG_0077

Advertisements

37 responses to “First Blood (1972) – Rambo – by David Morrell & the Real Ending

  1. If some օne wats expert view regɑrding rսnning a blog afterward i recommend him/her tto
    pay a quick νisiit this webѕite, Keep up thhe
    fastidious worк.

  2. I drop a commeոt whenever I like a post
    on a website or іif I have something to contribսte tto the
    сߋnversatioո. Usսally it is a result of the
    fire communіcated in the post I browsed. And on this post First Blood (1972) – Rambo – bƴ David Morrell | C.G.
    Feԝston. I was eҳcited еnough to dгop a leave
    a responsea rеspоnse 😛 I actually do have some quеstions foг
    you if it’s okay. Iѕ it only me or does it look as
    if like some of thеse responses look lіke thеy are coming from brain dead ѵisitors?
    😛 And, if you are writing at additional onlіne social sites, I’d like to
    keep up with you. Could you make a list every one of ƴour communal
    paǥes liқe your twіtter feеd, Facebooҟ page օr linkedin profіle?

  3. excellent put up, very informative. I’m wondering
    why the opposite specialists of this sector don’t realize this.

    You must continue your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

    website (Moshe)

  4. Hello my friend! I want to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include almost all important infos.
    I would like to peer more posts like this .

  5. May I just say what a comfort to discover someone who truly understands what
    they are talking about on the internet. You definitely understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More and more people really need to read this and understand this side of your story.

    It’s surprising you aren’t more popular because you most certainly have the gift.

  6. It’s remarkable to pay a visit this web page and reading the
    views of all friends concerning this article,
    while I am also keen of getting know-how.

  7. Hi there outstanding blog! Does running a blog such as this require a large amount of work?
    I’ve virtually no understanding of programming however I was hoping to start my
    own blog in the near future. Anyway, should you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic nevertheless I simply had to ask.
    Thanks!

  8. Howdy! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look
    forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  9. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the information you provide here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how
    fast your blog loaded on my phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyways, excellent blog!

  10. Heya great blog! Does running a blog such as this require a massive amount work?
    I have virtually no understanding of programming but I
    had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, should
    you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off topic but I simply needed to ask.

    Many thanks!

  11. My brother recommended I might like this website.
    He was once entirely right. This submit actually made
    my day. You can not imagine just how a lot time I had
    spent for this information! Thank you!

  12. whoah this blog is wonderful i like reading your articles.

    Keep up the great work! You realize, lots of people are looking round for this info, you can aid them greatly.

  13. You can certainly see your expertise in the work you write.
    The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid
    to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  14. you are in reality a just right webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible.
    It sort of feels that you are doing any distinctive trick.
    In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you have performed
    a wonderful process on this topic!

  15. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written much better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I’ll send this information to
    him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

  16. After exploring a handful of the articles on your site, I seriously like your technique of writing a blog.
    I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Take a look at my website as well and let me
    know your opinion.

  17. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your weblog?
    My blog site is in the very same area of interest as yours and my visitors would definitely benefit from
    some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you.

    Many thanks!

  18. I like the valuable information you supply on your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your blog and test once more right here
    frequently. I’m reasonably sure I’ll be told lots of new stuff right
    here! Good luck for the next!

  19. Wonderful blog! I foud it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do yyou have any suggetions on how to get listed inn Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying foor a while but I never sdem too get there!
    Many thanks

Leave a Reply