First Blood

Posted on January 31, 2022

Author: David Morrell
My Rating: 5/5

It seems that if you watch the movie first, the book sucks. I found that to be the case especially with Fight Club. More often than that is, you read the book first and the movie sucks. It’s rare to find an instance where the book and the movie are equally as good.

First Blood the movie was a big part of my childhood. My brother and I had recorded the edited for TV version onto a VHS tape, probably multiple times and wore it out. We learned every line and even to this day still recite quotes to each other from the movie.

I remember reading this book in high school and liking it then. I was hoping that was still the guess when I read it now, as an adult.

The book and movie in this case are so different – but each great in their own right. Even the character of Rambo is truly different. There was a conversation with David Morrell in the back of the copy that I read and he says regarding the movie,

It makes Rambo a victim rather than somebody who’s pissed off about what happened to him in Vietnam.

And that was necessarily bad, it was just different and it worked in the movie.

The biggest difference I found is that the book is almost more about Sherriff Teasle than about Rambo – or at least it’s equally about both of them. You feel for Teasle, almost more than you do Rambo.

I think the movie and the book are almost different stories with a few commonalities.

Rambo kills way more people in the book, he’s relentless. And, of course, in the end, he dies. And so does Sherriff Teasle.

I enjoyed the book just as much as the movie.