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Gone South

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,931 Ratings  ·  172 Reviews
A moment of madness forces a Vietnam veteran to run for his lifeTwo decades after he finished serving his country in the jungles of Southeast Asia, Dan Lambert still pays the price. As he hustles for construction work in the heat of a brutal Louisiana summer, Dan tries to ignore the pounding in his head—a constant reminder of the Agent Orange–caused leukemia which will soo ...more
ebook, 412 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1992)
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Oct 21, 2015 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
"It was Hell's season, and the air smelled of burning children."

This is how the journey South of Dan Lambert begins, on a stifling hot summer in Shreveport. The year is 1991, and Dan is painfully reminded of the horrors of the Vietnam War - an experience that scarred him for life both physically, as a result of exposure to Agent Orange, and emotionally, as his PTSD has driven his wife and child away. As if his illness and family troubles were not enough, the country is in a middle of a recessi
Sep 04, 2014 Arah-Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said
It was hell’s season, and the air smelled of burning children.

Think you want to read more? Exactly.

Dan is a Vietnam War vet, suffering the lingering effects of Agent Orange. He fought for his country and got pissed on. He has lost everything: his wife, his son, his home. He is on his way to the bank, to see the loans officer, with whom he has a good rapport, in a last ditch effort to keep his truck. But things have changed, most notably the loans officer. A scuffle ensues; the new loans officer
Paul Nelson
Aug 09, 2015 Paul Nelson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-books-read
Prepare to get swept up in tidal wave of genius from Robert McCammon, this is one fucking wildly entertaining story with some of the craziest freakiest characters you will ever read about.

Dan Lambert turns up every morning hoping for a days work, things aren't going too good for Dan the man, he's got leukaemia and there's not many miles left on his clock. Dan's a Vietnam vet with a whole coffin load of bad memories, it cost him his marriage and he doesn't see his son because his ex thinks he's u
11811 (Eleven)
Oct 12, 2015 11811 (Eleven) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I think this is my new favorite McCammon novel. It's too close to call when I think about Boy's Life and Speaks the Nightbird.

I listened to the Audible edition released this past summer. If you're looking for a good audio book, you can't do much better. It may have been perfect.
Jan 23, 2010 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining, gritty, and funny Southern Gothic/noir tale involving a Viet Nam vet who kills a banker and then chased by a pair of unusual bounty hunters for a $15K bounty. Great stuff.
Edward Lorn
I'm not worthy of reviewing this book. A modern classic. Enough said.
Feb 26, 2015 Rade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, owned
I loved this book. The story, the characters, the setting, the pace of the story were all perfect. The characters were very unique and quite different from characters in the other books I've read over the years which alone gives it a big thumbs up from me.

I don't really want to go into plot much but the story definitely caught my interest from page one all the way to the very end. After committing a crime that was more out of desperation and knowledge that he will lose the last remaining thing
Fred Forbes
Jul 03, 2012 Fred Forbes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think the British term is "gobsmacked"! What a book! (No I did not read it in a day, I posted a book of similar title back on April 22 and just discovered the error.) This has been my lunch book since then and I must admit it caused me to take a few longer lunch hours than normal. I picked this up at a used bookstore for $1.25 because I thought I had read "Boy's Life" by the same author. Turns out if I did it was so long ago I forgot it but it will become my new lunch book shortly based on the ...more
Sep 16, 2013 Charlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-loanable
4.5 stars!

I loved this book!

It's a story of a sick, struggling Vietnam vet who "loses it" when he is denied a loan extension at the bank. That's all I'm going to say about the plot other than general observations.

The characters in the book are truly unique. I wager that you've never met characters like these in any other book, no matter how well read you may be.

This story is serious while also being quite funny and adventurous. This is also a spiritual story, which I find to be true of almost ev
Caley Ann (Katie)
I absolutely loved Gone South. Not only does it have some of the most interesting characters I've come across in a while (the bounty hunters will be on my mind for a long time!), but its a compact, concise and well-told story that tries to do a lot of things...and it works. Gone South deftly weaves together war trauma, illness, physical deformity, impersonation, humor, quest, and crime drama, and none of the aforementioned suffers from lack of attention or threatens the cohesiveness of the plot ...more
Jan 29, 2008 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this book. It's a drama, it's a comedy, it's everything in between. McCammon writes the unbelieveable and makes you believe every word of it. His main character is undeniably flawed and certainly does not paint the portrait of a hero - rather, he is a survivor who gains the reader's sympathy and loyalty from the start. The characters are incredible, the plot is crazy, the ending, satisfying. This book is fun, fun, fun!
Dec 13, 2009 Alannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It was hell's season, and the air smelled of burning children".

Another really good Mccammon Book. The first line hooked me and once I started reading it I couldn't stop.

Oct 30, 2015 Banner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
Borrowing something I read in another review, McCammon work can be classified into great and average. I've never read anything bad. This was one of the great ones.

A story of brokenness and tragedy. The protagonist is a Vietnam Vet that is at the end of his rope, but he has bearly enough left to hang hisselve (speaking metaphorically here). While the book maybe a little (extremely little) dated, since it is dealing with a Vet from the Vitenam war, the themes are relevant to how we view war even
May 18, 2011 Belinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Belinda by: Sarah T
Shelves: horror-fiction
I read this title as part of a double set with Boy's Life. I enjoyed both and even better, enjoyed finding an author that I would like to read more of their stuff. I find McCammon's writing to be similar to Stephen King's--not in a derivative way, but more in terms of a style or feeling. Boy's Life was much more of a traditional coming of age with a touch of horror kind of thing (a specialty of King's) whereas Gone South contains the following elements: a leukemia stricken, down on his luck Viet ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Gary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of Robert McCammon before joining Goodreads.'Boy's Life' was one of their recommendations (thank you Goodreads) so I decided to give it a go and loved it. This is my second Robert McCammon book and I wasn't disappointed. The characters are so wonderfully drawn and the story so well written and paced, you want to weep with frustration at the end becaise there's no more to read.

The blurb talks about the author's ability to draw 'word pictures' - cinematic is the word that spring
Tobin Elliott
It's gotta be me.I see this book getting constant rave reviews. I remember expressing concern to a friend when it first came out. "It'll never measure up to Boy's Life," I said. I was told that it not only held up, but was better.

So I read it back then. I was disappointed.

Almost twenty-five years later, I gave it a second go.

What you have to understand is, there are very few novels like Boy's Life. The story, the characters, the setting, the time, the dialogue, the narrative, the word choice..
ilovebakedgoods (Teresa)
SUCH A GOOD BOOK! I should have read this a long time ago. I could not predict the twists and turns this story would take. Full of some of the most colorful characters I've ever met.
Michael Mesirow
Jan 21, 2016 Michael Mesirow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rip roaring good time!!! A must read!
Jan 13, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gone South by Robert R McCammon was published in 1992 is 392 pages long.

Dan Lambert is a Vietnam vet down on his luck. He's divorced, out of work, and sick. His bills are piling up and he is several months behind on his truck payment. When he goes to the bank to speak to the loan manager about working something out so he can keep his truck, he finds a world of trouble. The new bank manager won't give Dan any breathing room and Dan loses his temper. Before it's all said and done a man is killed a
Joshua Buhs
Apr 13, 2013 Joshua Buhs rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
It was . . . OK. The structure worked, both the alternating chapters between the bounty hunters and the murderer (and girl with whom he travels), and the general narrative structure. The problem was that it seemed too obvious. Oh, here is where the two bounty hunters start becoming friends. Oh, here is where the murderer and the woman with whom he travels start to respect each other. Oh, here is where they face a major decision. Etc., etc. The prose was workmanlike, the dialogue fine--but it nev ...more
Jeff Miller
Mar 06, 2015 Jeff Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you just looked at the plot and odd cast of characters it might put you off. Still McCammon totally pulls off the story with sadness, humor, and ultimately hope. The odd group of characters becomes perfectly natural and adds to the depth of the novel. Very enjoyable from beginning to end and I quite liked the ending.

On another note this book included a forward from the author touching on his gap of ten years from this book and his last "Boy's Life." Interesting in that his publisher had typed
This book is on par with Boy's Life by Robert R. McCammon, which is one of the books I would rescue if my house was on fire.

Dan is a Viet Nam vet suffering from PTSD. He has lost his family, his health and has no job. In a fit of despair, he causes the death of a loan manager about to repossess his truck. Fleeing to escape prison, he runs across some unusual characters.

McCammon seems to have two different writing styles. His mainstream horror writing is fine but he also writes a different kind of horror. I don’t know what to
Kathleen Valentine
Quite a departure from McCammon's usual horror fare but very well written and enjoyable. Colorful, filled with strange characters, and an inspiring conclusion.
Jackie Thoms
Feb 10, 2015 Jackie Thoms rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, this book exemplifies "Don't judge a book by its cover. " I pick up A LOT of books on a whim and this was one of them. And I'm so glad I did. Dan's journey is not an easy one but, like most difficult tasks, it provides abundant opportunities to grow and learn, to love and forgive - especially oneself.
Dec 11, 2011 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McCammon has the wonderful ability to blend local folklore, myth, and personal hardships in his books' misadventures. Here, a Bayou setting offers a mystical untouchable realm where the law does not abide and humanity must take care of itself. The characters in the novel are misfits from the "sideshow-freak" aspect to the fugitive aspect. Gone South's settings are the sweet and sour images of lush Spanish moss covered trees with the subject of a crocodile dangling a crumpled heron from its mouth ...more
Carl Alves
Gone South is a bit of a departure from Robert McCammon’s usual horror fare. The story is part adventure, part fantasy (at least hinted at), and strongly character centric. Dan Lambert is a Vietnam vet slowly dying of Agent Orange. After his wife leaves him, and the bank is going to repossess his truck, his sole source of income, he freaks out and kills the bank loan officer. He then goes on the run, and is being tracked by a pair of strange bounty hunters – one who has the unformed arm and head ...more
Jordan Anderson
Sep 17, 2014 Jordan Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I happen to read. A lot. Anyone can look at my reviews and see that I can safely say reading is one of my favorite hobbies. Because I read so many books every year, it's also a pretty good assumption that I delve into a lot of different genres. I can't pin down my preferred area of reading and that's probably why I switch throughout the whole literary spectrum. I think this also makes me a more well-rounded reader who can discuss a variety of different topics and feel relatively confident about ...more
Aug 15, 2014 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Learning about the man behind the books is fascinating, especially when you see how they connect to each other.

After finishing "Boy's Life" mccammon decided he wanted to branch out and try new things, and his editors told him no. They wanted more horror novels, and they didn't want to give him a chance to branch out.

Boy's Life isn't a horror novel, it's a beautiful portrait of magical realism and childhood. Gone South isn't really a horror novel either. While pitched and promoted as a spiritual
Tom Mendenhall
Apr 28, 2015 Tom Mendenhall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At times a rough read, but glad I did it. The story follows an out-of-work, dying Vietnam Vet named Dan as he careens from one horrible mistake and misunderstanding to the next, until he ends up on the run through swamplands in the Gulf of Mexico accompanied by a girl on her own quest while being followed by two bounty hunters; one with a third arm and the other a struggling Elvis impersonator. In the last half of the book, the story goes from one outlandish situation to the next in rising level ...more
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Robert McCammon: Gone South-We're Done! SPOILERS AHEAD! 49 16 Sep 30, 2013 09:05AM  
Robert McCammon: September Group Read-Gone South 100 27 Sep 18, 2013 07:37PM  
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Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

A new contemporary novel, The Five, was published in May 2011 by Subterranean Press.

The fifth book in the Matthew Corbett historical fiction series is The River of Souls. It was published by Subterranean Press in trade, limited, and
More about Robert McCammon...

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