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Gone South

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,654 ratings  ·  331 reviews
Flooded by memories, poisoned by the deadly fallout of Agent Orange, and desperate for work, Dan Lambert kills a man in a moment of blind fear and fury. It is an act he cannot excuse--a mistake that will change his life forever. Now Dan is on the run, heading south toward the Louisiana bayous. On his trail are police officers and bounty hunters, including the most memorabl ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Published August 1st 1993 by Pocket Books (first published 1992)
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Lance Dale Anyone who doesn't say Pelvis is lying, either to you or to themselves.

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  5,654 ratings  ·  331 reviews

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Aug 06, 2014 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
Em Lost In Books
I have recommended Boy's Life and Wolf's Hour to everyone I know on GR. Then Swan Song was a loooooong book and I found it to be mediocre but likable. I simply adore Matthew Corbett. So I can safely say that I am a Robert McCammon fan but this book simply disappointed me.

From the Vietnam War veteran to a desperate girl clinging to the idea of Bright Girl who will cure her of her scar to the bounty hunters who wanted to capture the murderer for the prize of 15k. This was a promising story but by
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just. Plain. WOW!

Show me what it’s like
To dream in black and white
So I can leave this world tonight.

Breaking Benjamin – UNKNOWN SOLDIER

There is nothing fair about war. Gone are the days where the soldiers were led into battle by their fearless leader. In the end, nobody wins, at least not anyone who does the actual fighting on the ground. When it comes to patriotism, to paraphrase George Orwell, some countrymen are more equal than others.
War changes people, and most people who have neve
Dan Schwent
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2017-books
When Vietnam vet Dan Lambert gets a notice in the mail that his truck is being repossessed, he heads down to the bank. The bank manager is an arrogant asshole and before Dan knows it, things have gone south in a big way. Where will Dan run when the police are after him and the bank president puts a $15,000 bounty on his head?

After reading Boy's Life, I kept my eye out for more McCammon on the cheap. Gone South, Bookgorilla email, yadda, yadda, yadda.

For some reason, this book languished on my ki
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good road trip read. Well, it's good book about a road trip. I wouldn't suggest it to someone spending a lot of time alone in the swampy part of Louisiana in the dark. No disrespect intended to Louisiana or the good people of Louisiana. Their swamps and wetlands are used a bit much as settings for dark doings. That's no fault of Mayhaw jelly. The place names run in background of this story like a pleasant, familiar song.

I noticed that a lot people loved the first line. It is attention grabber.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Sep 09, 2013 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
Paul Nelson
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fiction
This is one of the best of McCammon's books, and it doesn't seem to get talked about a lot. I'm really surprised the Coen Brothers never made a movie out of GONE SOUTH. Great characters and a superbly quirky adventure with some wonderful redemption in the end...
Cody | CodysBookshelf
I have a new favorite Robert McCammon novel. I didn’t know if anything could ever usurp Mystery Walk or Mine, but here we are. Gone South is a glorious, countrified character study; on display is one of McCammon’s most enthralling plots set against the swamps of Louisiana.

If I may humble brag for a moment, I am going to a McCammon reading/signing on Tuesday and will certainly take my first edition of this book for him to autograph. And I suspect I will be rereading it often — how could I not? A
Edward Lorn
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm not worthy of reviewing this book. A modern classic. Enough said.
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
11811 (Eleven)
Sep 12, 2013 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 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I had read Boy's Life years ago and loved it so I had high hopes for another by this author. However I found it to be very average. It did have plenty of action and a variety of interesting characters but I just never got completely captured by the story line. Some parts like the Bright Girl and Flint's deformity where a bit hard to get on board with.
Quite possibly one of the best opening lines for a novel ever.


Oh yeah. The rest of it is f*cking awesome, as well.

Fred Forbes
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Lance Dale
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
After reading this book, Robert McCammon has become one of my favorite authors. What really makes his work stand out, is his ability to create such compelling characters. He does it so well in this book, it's almost like he's just showing off. I found myself rooting for most of the characters in this book, even those with conflicting interests. Now that I've finished this, it's time to dust off my Grandma's Elvis albums and sing along like the king Pelvis Eisley, himself!
Review of the audiobook narrated by George Newbern

I loved my first Robert McCammon book, Speaks the Nightbird, so much that I had myself convinced he had immediately vaulted to the top of my favorite authors list. Before starting to purchase his books (most of the audiobooks are Audible exclusives) I went with the one my library had for free. Turns out even the best authors can misstep - a fact I knew of course, but it's good to be reminded of.

The good: I like the dark humor. I like the writing
Dave Edmunds
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Robert R McCammon is a prime time, top of the food chain, stellar author. The most underrated author I've ever come across. The guy can write the hell out of it and he didn't let me down in this great cat and mouse mystery.

The writing is brilliant, the characters are brilliant and the vivid and compelling language used to describe the deep south in which this book is set guessed it... brilliant. I was captivated from start to finish. I can't give it enough praise.

Would I read this book
Lars (theatretenor) Skaar
Wow! What an epic book. What an adventure. What a tragedy. McCammon delivered yet again! I picked this book up at a library sale, immediately bought it cause it was a McCammon I hadn’t owned yet, read the synopsis and was called to immediately read it. And that was a great choice! What a cast of characters too! I won’t soon forget Dan, Arden, Flint, Clint, Train, and of course Pelvis!
Have no doubt, McCammon knows how to write! I have never regretted reading a McCammon and I can’t wait to see wh
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story of desperate characters. A poisoned ex marine on the run after killing a man in self defence, Two bounty hunters on his trail: one a freak show refugee and another a fading overweight Elvis Presley impersonator, And a girl desperately looking for a legend. All gone south in one way or another. The story propagates as their paths cross, their destinies unfurl and their lives change forever.

This is a story of guilt, injustice, cruelty, pain, suffering and of hope, love and freedom
Jul 26, 2020 rated it liked it
A disappointing read after having read a couple of other books by this author.

And Bright Girl, the while idea storyline etc was inane and not my cup of tea.
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..
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Caley Ann (Katie)
May 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
"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.

May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Larry H
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. I totally didn't expect it to be so affecting. What I figured would be a reasonably run-of-the-mill story about a man down on his luck who becomes a fugitive from the law after killing another in the heat of the moment became the story of several strangers ultimately on a quest for purpose, for a refuge from their everyday lives. Ironically, this book was written in 1991, so when you'd expect some of the characters to whip out their cell phones or fire up the Internet, they do ...more
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Gone South Limited Edtion? 1 1 Jun 04, 2020 10:20PM  
Robert McCammon: Gone South-We're Done! SPOILERS AHEAD! 49 21 Sep 30, 2013 09:05AM  
Robert McCammon: September Group Read-Gone South 100 29 Sep 18, 2013 07:37PM  

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Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. Among his many popular novels were the classics Boy's Life and Swan Song. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

The sixth book in his Matthew Corbett historical fiction series, Freedom of the Mask, was published in May 2016.

His next novel, a standalone book called The Li

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