Visceral, engrossing, terrifying
The characters and the story development. I am 32 years old and I originally read this book in college since McCammon is one of my favorite authors. I vividly remember Regan, Gorbachev and the Cold War threat growing up. I remember being terrified reading this book originally thinking that if both sides really did end up pulling the trigger the world would resemble the nightmare that McCammon paints in our minds eye with radiation sickness, the sun being blacked out, and human depravity.
I did like the voices he had for Swan, Sister, & Josh.
There are few authors that can tell a story like McCammon and if you remember being a kid around a campfire while a gifted adult storyteller drew you in that's the sort of feeling you get when reading McCammon's work during this era of his writing. One of the only modern day authors that evokes the same feelings for me as far as feeling as if I am in the presence of a "master storyteller" is Jeffrey Archer (Kane & Abel, Only Time Will Tell, etc.).
I would say his best work woudl be: 1.) BOY'S LIFE -- A classic Coming of Age Tale 2.) Swan Song 3.) The Wolf's Hour -- the best and most plausible werewolf yarn I have ever read think Indianna Jones meets James Bond but he's a werewolf fighting Nazi's in WWII--sound crazy? It is and somehow he manages to pull it off maginificently! 4.) Usher's Passing 5.) MINE -- probably one of the most terrifying female villains since the character in MISERY 6.) I love his recent historical series with Matthew Corbett (Speaks the Nightbird, etc.)
In the 80's he was known as the Southern Stephen King and the big three in horror at the time were King, Koontz, & McCammon and then he wrote his masterpiece Boy's Life in 1991 which isn't a horror novel at all. Boy's Life was probably the most powerful coming of age novel I have ever read and it does rank up there with To Kill A Mockingbird. It was a bestseller but the boys in New York had him pegged as a "horror" novelist and they wanted him to continue writing in that genre so he walked away from writing after he wrote Gone South which had some supernatural elements to it but it was not really horror.
Thank God he decided to make a comeback with the Matthew Corbett series. If you have not read McCammon you do not know what you are missing. Spend the credit and then spend another credit on Speaks the Nightbird (totally different genres) but both times you will be in the presence of a master storyteller.
Please AUDIBLE more McCammon unabrigded...Please!
This book gives us a good look into our evil nature and the balance of that with goodness and humanity. You see the hope of what is yet to come and the importance of relations. Unselfish love and faith can work miracles. God is in the details.
This is a fast-moving, captivating tale about post-apocalypse life in the US. I recommend it because it is a good story, keeps you on the edge of your seat, and ends in a satisfying way.
The only quibbles I have are some of the assumptions of the story. A full-scale nuclear exchange between the USA and the USSR is no longer possible. Using the USSR as a combatant makes the story dated. I also quibble with the level of destruction described. The author basically states that human civilization ends with nuclear war (scanning the airwaves with a shortwave radio found absolutely 0 people still transmitting). But given that there were about 8,000 warheads at the peak of the cold war, I don't see how every city in every country could have been destroyed. Do you think Fiji would be targeted? Madagascar? Also, as an engineer, I cannot picture that a nuclear exchange would have this total "success", meaning I believe that since no intercontinental nuclear missile has EVER been really tested (including blowing up a city), the vast majority of them wouldn't work. And after a few explosions, the ability of the remaining missiles to still function and find their targets seems even more suspect. So the whole setup of the story seems unreal to me. Also, although I enjoy fantasy, I thought the addition of many supernatural forces to this story was unnecessary. The challenges and situation is so remarkable on its own, that we don't really need to hear about magical lights and evil monsters.
But despite my quibbling, I think the story of groups of survivors trying to survive in a nuclear winter makes a fascinating premise for a story. I listened to it intently, and was sorry to reach the end because I wanted to know more about what happens to the survivors. Caring about the characters is what makes good writing, and that's why I recommend this book.
Very scattered and too many unbelievable (being very easy on him) events.
Too many to name
Many explorations and adventures await!
Yes, because it's full of excitement and wonderful hidden messages that if one has read the Holy Bible can see the similarities. An excellent book from beginning to end plus very well read aloud.
Highly recommend this book for all ages
Mankind at the brink of extinction, evil threatening to take over, survival uncertain and excellent character plot what more can you ask for. Love this book and would change very few things about it. It was a little annoying that some of the mane characters came off as weak and often required help to survive but other than that it was a fascinating story and well written.
This book was a more mature and complete version of the old SK "The Stand" on Steroids.
Well written and read.
All of them were fantastic
Very Long and worth ever second.
I don't normally write reviews. I have to say the narrator did an EXCELLENT job. Each character was portrayed very well. This book is compared to "The Stand" a lot - and while I love that book as well - I liked this one much better. It has less characters and really easy to follow along with the story. Although some parts in the book feel dated (as with nuclear war) the story is really captivating. The book is really loooong but I hardly felt it because of the narrators excellent work!!! Get it. You will not regret it!!!
Yes! It keeps you glued to your device (kindle, iphone, etc.)
I haven't listened to any other book that compares....it was fascinating to me.
The voices for the characters are so perfect I felt like I was there!! That evil guy that could change his faces freaked me out! I loved every minute and my 34 hrs of listening made my work days fly by!! Thank God I can use my kindle fire at work!
Maybe some kind of name you could make for the magical glass piece Sister found.
I purchased Swan Song with a free credit not knowing if I would like it. I was in a hurry to download something to listen to at work that day and was completely stuck to my seat for a week!! Very pleased with this one!!:)))
I read the book years ago and loved it. Listening to it was really great. It was like listening to a play. Tom Stechschulte is a wonderful narrator and his voices totally sucked me in.
I enjoyed Joshua a lot but it is really hard to pick. This is quite a sound and well rounded story.
Yes. He is really good with capturing the different characters.
Joshua because I like gentle giants.