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Gone South

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  4,695 Ratings  ·  229 Reviews
A veteran’s moment of rage leads to a chase through the bayou in this tale of “jackhammer suspense” by the New York Times–bestselling author of Swan Song (Kirkus Reviews).
 Two 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 tr
ebook, 412 pages
Published October 18th 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1992)
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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
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
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
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.
Paul Nelson
Jul 17, 2015 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
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperbacks
I'm not worthy of reviewing this book. A modern classic. Enough said.
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.
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...
Jan 21, 2010 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.
Aug 24, 2012 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
Fred Forbes
Jul 03, 2012 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
Feb 08, 2015 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
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
Nov 08, 2007 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 04, 2009 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.

May 11, 2012 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
May 17, 2011 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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..
Jul 19, 2012 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
Oct 16, 2015 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
Michael Mesirow
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A rip roaring good time!!! A must read!
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.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm in love with this book. I'll read it again, and probably soon. It's a violent, suspenseful, hilarious, and beautiful story with a good heart. Ultimately it's a story about love, kindness, faith, and redemption, but told in a way I won't even attempt to describe. Read as little as you can about this book, and just read this book ASAP.

McCammon is a brilliant writer, and the audio version I listened to narrated by George Newbern lived up to the beautiful prose in every way possible. This is an
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
My first experience with McCammon, and I'm a bit underwhelmed. This one feels like several separate ideas for books that were crammed together in an attempt to create a story. Except it doesn't really work. There are characters and situations that should be action-packed or hilarious, but they fall flat.
David Agranoff
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-gothic

Gone South is a part of one of may favorite literary sub-genres. Weird Crime, adding horror or bizarro elements to a crime novel almost always works for me. This is one strange southern gothic crime novel but it is so perfectly with brutal and beautiful moments it is hard for me to imagine anyone not enjoying it.

Opening with an amazing first line… “"It was hell's season, and the air smelled of burning children...." It is the story of Dan Lambert a Vietnam vet who is having a rough go of it. He
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 and 1/2 stars I would give this, not just four (but not a full five, I guess). This was a story where, as I was reading, I wasn't sure where it was going. As the 'Wall Street Journal' stated in a review, seen on the bottom of the book's cover: "PART CRIME NOVEL, PART QUEST... MCCAMMON CREATES A TYPE OF STORY ALL HIS OWN". I must agree with that, because this books doesn't easily slide into a particular genre. It isn't a horror. Maybe a suspense-thriller. There was no actual 'mystery' as you, ...more
Joshua Buhs
Mar 21, 2013 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
Jan 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-fiction, fiction
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
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Robert McCammon: Gone South-We're Done! SPOILERS AHEAD! 49 17 Sep 30, 2013 09:05AM  
Robert McCammon: September Group Read-Gone South 100 28 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.

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

The second book in the Trevor Lawson I Travel by Night series, Last Train from Perdition, was published in October 2016.

More about Robert McCammon...

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“It was hell's season, and the air smelled of burning children” 0 likes
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