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Country of the Bad Wolfes by James Carlos…

Country of the Bad Wolfes

by James Carlos Blake

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There is a distance to Blake's writing. I never felt connected to the characters and, as such, never cared what happened to them. I'm disappointed; I've looked forward to reading his work for a while.
  MelissaLenhardt | Mar 11, 2018 |
Country of the Bad Wolfes - James Carlos Blake

When I picked this book up and looked at the cover I was ready to deride the writer for his poor knowledge of plurals!! Then I understood that ‘Wolfes’ was a name NOT the animals.
This was a hearty and substantial read but not a quick one. And I enjoyed it immensely. Whilst reading the opening pages I actually considered googling the Wolfe family because it read like an historical reference book!! I soon realised they are fictional.
This is an action packed tale that doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a darn good yarn. Having said that though the amount of research is admirable and I’ve come away with a clearer picture of Mexico at the turn of the century.
It’s a very visual book, I found the descriptions allowed me to see clearly the characters and locations depicted. And the characters are accessible, no mean feat given how many of them are!
I got a bit confused with the genealogy as it seems all the mens’ names were prefixed with John so the inclusion of the family tree in each part of the book was very helpful and I referred to it often.
I suppose the amount of bloodshed might be cause concern to some people. If this were a film it would have a warning, ‘strong, frequent, bloody, violence’ But I guess these were bloody times. I was excited to read that this is the first of three books about the Wolfe family.
Thank you Real Readers, I found this a very satisfying read, entertaining. ( )
  shizz | Feb 12, 2015 |
Country of the Bad Wolfes – The Start of the Crime Family

The Country of the Bad Wolfes is the new book from James Carlos Blake that takes us through the build up of the Wolfes’ as the criminal masterminds from the borderlands of Mexico and America. The book is based in an area that is Blake’s usual territory of those borderlands and in some cases follows some of his genealogical lineage, if true is very interesting. We also discover that crime is in the blood of the family as the start of the line is one Roger Blake Wolfe a pirate wanted all over executed in Mexico.

The story covers everything you would expect from a family saga that is spread across the late 18th century in to the early 20th century, murder, rape, robbery, politics in spades marriages and death. How Roger Blake Wolfe’s twin sons who were so close live the years apart without knowing what the other is doing and how fate brings the families together.

We see how another set of Wolfe twins with their own ability to communicate with each other even at sixteen are not afraid to kill men, not afraid of the sea and not afraid of any challenge they face. How they are smart, effective get things done and not afraid to stand up for the family. There is the usual spate of family challenges especially when the twins avenge the murder of their father. We see how the twins develop and live on the run and finally settle in the town of Brownsville, Texas.

When the book leaves the younger twins we tend to see the story drift a little and the introduction of some chapters that could have been edited out as they are not particularly adding to the story of the Wolfes. The story is written from the family point of view rather than the third person narrative you would normally expect.

Country of the Bad Wolfes does take James Carlos Blake away from his usual style and at times can seem challenging but it is a challenge worth taking on. This really is the start of the Wolfe criminal family sage and it is good to know how things came to be, how Wolfe Landing came to be, how they came to be in Brownsville and how fearless the family is. As we learn about the family we at the same time weave our way through the history of Mexico which is an interesting story in its own right.

A challenging read but one that is worth it and rather enjoyable! ( )
  atticusfinch1048 | Feb 11, 2015 |
This is an odd and wonderful book, hard to classify. I think I like it because of its faults. The book tells the story of twin boys, sons of a pirate executed without meeting them, who travel separately and for very different reasons from the New England of their birth to Mexico. Their families prosper and suffer, engaging in the events of the time and the endemic violence, ending up mostly together, the survivors that is, in the borderlands.

The book reads like the best history book -- I mean that to be a high compliment -- with the bonus of an author not afraid to speculate on acharacter's thoughts when doing so improves the story, and familiar enough with a world in which the possibility of violence lurks constantly to present it to us convincingly.

Blake tells the story as the best stories are told, without much affect but with lots of detail, trusting the reader to extract the joy and sorrow, love and hatred from the fine details of the events.

I loved this book. ( )
  steve.clason | Dec 12, 2013 |
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"James Carlos Blake is a master at weaving historical fact into fiction. Two generations of Wolfe men--begat by an English pirate in New Hampshire in 1828--track their violent but manifest destiny through the Diaz Regime in Mexico in the early 1900s and back to Gulf Coast Texas. The novel centers on two sets of identical "hero twins," each with a violent history that mirror the author's belief on the primacy of violence in the evolution of civilization. Their lives are intertwined with important events through the history of the United States, beginning in the 1820s. Crucial are the histories of the infamous Saint Patrick's Battalion (revered in Mexico as "los San Patricios") who deserted the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the rise and fall of Porfirio Diaz Regime (1876-1910), which marked the beginning of the Mexican Revolution"--… (more)

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