Country of the Bad Wolfes
Overview - A page-turning epic about the making of a borderland crime family, Country of the Bad Wolfes will appeal both to aficionados of family sagas and to fans of hard-knuckled crime novels by the likes of Donald Pollack, Elmore Leonard, James Lee Burke and James Ellroy. Read more...
More About Country of the Bad Wolfes by James Carlos Blake
A page-turning epic about the making of a borderland crime family, Country of the Bad Wolfes
will appeal both to aficionados of family sagas and to fans of hard-knuckled crime novels by the likes of Donald Pollack, Elmore Leonard, James Lee Burke and James Ellroy.
Basing the novel partly on his own ancestors, Blake presents the story of the Wolfe family -- spanning three generations, centering on two sets of identical twins and the women they love, and ranging from New England to the heart of Mexico before arriving at its powerful climax at the Rio Grande.
Begat by an Irish-English pirate in New Hampshire in 1828, the Wolfe family follows its manifest destiny into war-torn Mexico. There, through the connection of a mysterious American named Edward Little, their fortunes intertwine with those of Porfirio Diaz, who will rule the country for more than thirty years before his overthrow by the Revolution of 1910. In the course of those tumultuous chapters in American and Mexican history, as Diaz grows in power, the Wolfes grow rich and forge a violent history of their own, spawning a fearsome legacy that will pursue them to a climactic reckoning at the Rio Grande.
A master of the historical novel, James Carlos Blake has been hailed as "a poet of the damned who writes like an angel" (Donald Newlove, Kirkus Reviews
). Library Journal
says of Blake's latest novel that it is "brawling, high-spirited, and superbly realized ... this novel offers many pleasures, including endearing characters, unlikely love stories, and all manner of mayhem." James Carlos Blake
was born in Mexico and grew up in Texas and Florida. He is the author of nine other novels and a collection of short works. Among his literary honors are the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Southwest Book Award, and the Falcon Award.
- ISBN-13: 9781935955030
- ISBN-10: 1935955039
- Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
- Publish Date: January 2012
- Page Count: 456
- Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.05 pounds
Books > Fiction > Westerns - General
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
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Blake's newest (after The Killings of Stanley Ketchel) is an immersive and complex epic set in New England, Mexico, and the American Southwest and spanning three generations of the Wolfe family, a rough-and-tumble clan sired in 1828 by pirate captain Roger Blake Wolfe, whose execution shortly after the birth of his twin boys, Samuel and John Roger, starts the book off with a violent start. The brothers' paths separate when Samuel accidentally kills a watchman and signs up for the Army under an alias to avoid prosecution, and John Roger goes to Dartmouth, from whence he graduates with a law degree. Both brothers end up in Mexico—Samuel deserts the Army and John Roger accepts a position as a sales agent at his wife's uncle's trading company—, but neither can escape the curse of the Wolfe blood, which persists across generations and geography. Murder, politics, and illegitimate children fuel this engrossing and wonderfully realized saga. The familial relationships are deep and sometimes difficult to trace (though a Wolfe genealogy at the beginning of the book helps a little), but Blake methodically moves his narrative forward to the tragic (but inevitable) conclusion. While he reveals little of his protagonists' inner lives, readers will be curious to see what tragedies befall the Wolfes and whether the family will be redeemed. (Jan.)