Gone South by Robert McCammon

Gone South Robert McCammon
Gone South by Robert McCammon

Gone South, Robert McCammon, 1992


My favorite quote: “It was hell’s season, and the air smelled of burning children.” 

Most interesting characters: Dan Lambert, a desperate man haunted by the past; Pelvis Eisley, an Elvis impersonator; Flint Murtaugh, a freak-show refugee who carries his half-formed brother, Clint, hidden on his body

Opening scene: In Gone South, Robert McCammon throws the reader headlong into the plot, which begins in Louisiana, during one of the hottest summers to date, with Dan Lambert, who has fallen on very hard times. The remarkable thing about this opening is Robert McCammon’s ability to give readers everything they need to know right up front without compromising the speed of the plot. Within the first page or two of Gone South, everything has been deftly put in place and the story has already commenced

The gist: Dan Lambert, haunted by memories, poisoned by Agent Orange, and now dying of cancer, kills a man in a moment of rage and terror, and goes on the run, heading toward the Louisiana bayous. Hot on his heels is the most bizarre team of bounty hunters you’ll very meet, in or out of any Robert McCammon novel 

Greatest strengths: As it is with every Robert McCammon book I’ve read so far (and I still have quite a few to go — yay!) there’s a lot to admire about Gone South. It’s a little like a symphony where all the smaller working parts come together, each contributing equally to the music. That said, if I had to single out a single instrument, a particular strength that I think really drives this book home, I’d say that Gone South strikes the perfect emotional harmony. Action, sadness, comedy, horror, and drama. It’s all here, in all the right amounts

Standout achievements: Gone South has the rare distinction of being equal parts both beautiful and bizarre. I think I can fairly say I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before  

Fun Facts: In the foreword of Gone South, Robert McCammon includes a kind of “author’s note” titled “Why I Wrote Gone South,” in which he explains his travels through the world of publishing, his much-discussed ten-year retirement from it, and his return to writing — which I think we can agree was a triumphant one, indeed  

Other media: N/A

Additional thoughts: When it comes to Robert McCammon, I’m a self-professed fanboy — I’m convinced he could make a shopping list riveting. I love all of his work, but each of his books seems to have something uniquely special about it. In Gone South, Robert McCammon further cemented my admiration for his work

Hit or Miss: Hit. Still waiting for a Robert McCammon ‘miss’  — but nothing yet

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Read Gone South

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Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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