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Gone South

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YA-- A psychodrama set in the Louisiana swamps that engages readers in such a way as to make even the greatest doubters continue reading the fantastic plot to its unlikely conclusion. A Vietnam vet, a scarred horse trainer, a deformed bounty hunter, and an Elvis impersonator find more than a killer in this no-man's land where the laws of society no longer apply. YAs will agonize over the plight of these four flesh-and-blood characters whose complex inner dilemmas crash headlong into their shared yet diverse destinies. Very simply, an excellent work of fiction.-- Nancy K. Craig, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA

Bounty hunters chase a Vietnam vet who has killed a bank officer in McCammon's strong adventure yarn. (Aug.)

Author McCammon ( Boy's Life , LJ 7/91) has made a name for himself with well-crafted horror thrillers but recently has explored other areas of fiction. Gone South contains danger and suspense, but it is primarily the story of a quest. Dan, dogged by depression and Agent Orange-induced leukemia, has accidentally killed a man. On the run, he meets Arden, a disfigured woman abandoned at a truck stop. He reluctantly agrees to help her on her journey to the Louisiana swamps where, she believes, the legendary Bright Girl will heal her. Meanwhile, an unlikely pair of bounty hunters is on Dan's trail: Flint began life as a carnival freak, with his Siamese twin's tiny arm and half-formed face protruding from his chest; he is saddled with training Cecil, a self-deprecating and pathetically friendly Elvis impersonator. These four misfits collide and, finally, arrive where the Bright Girl may actually live. What happens then has the satisfaction of a fairy-tale quest fulfilled. Their wishes come true, although not in ways they would have guessed. The four characters are wonderful. Their problems, while unusual, seem very real. And the scenes between irritated, icy Flint and soft-spoken, naive Cecil lend at times a slapstick quality to the novel. Highly recommended. Literary Guild alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert LJ 6/15/92.-- A.M.B. Amantia, Population Crisis Committee Lib., Washington, D.C.

"No one can paint word pictures as vividly as Robert McCammon." -- Sandra Brown "Part crime novel, part quest....McCammon creates a type of story all his own." -- The Wall Street Journal "A story so bravely innovative it will electrify your imagination. Utterly absorbing." -- Tulsa World (OK)

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