This disturbing dystopian story focuses on many characters that often get overlooked in post-apocolyptic tales and McCammon crafts them each perfectly. As much as I loved the lovable characters and wanted to know what was happening, I couldn’t read fast enough to get back to the ones I hated. As is true with mankind in general, when thrown into hot water, you find out what they’re really made of (literally, for Sister Creep). Several sub-plots with their own story lines moving inextricably towards the overall story keep you guessing and promising yourself “just one more chapter” and then…
There’s Sister Creep, the old homeless woman who goes under a street/sewer grill to escape the nuclear blast and ends up getting almost boiled alive. She starts out as a contemptible character and ends up shining and really coming to life. There are several sub-plots that are happening and pulling them all inexticably together. Then Roland, the poor adolescent boy who’s parents are into extravagant underground shelters. They happen to be an underground “Nuclear Blast Boot Camp Prep” with their fully paid membership when the whole thing crumples like a pop can under a waffle stomper. His little ugly grows real big real fast when he proves to be a world class freak and you end up hating but can’t wait to get back to what the hell weirdness he’ll do next. The gentle giant, Josh who’s been exploited by the wrestling industry crosses paths by fate with a little girl named Sue Wanda. Of all the possible twists of fate, this was perfect. Whoo hoo!! Wait till you get to the part where the insane asylum residents with their various deformities and unmedicated issues take over an abandoned K-Mart and play “shopping games” with anyone unfortunate enough to totter towards that “blue-light special”.
There’s some young boys who do what they need to do to stay alive and a few of them develop some true integrity that may not have flourished outside of this disaster that pulls the best from the worst and vice versa. There’s more! The president, a prostitute, some evil thing pulling himself around in a child’s wagon…you just gotta read it.
It’s like Stephen King multiplied by Justin Cronan. Loved this book!! I’ve read it 3 times over the last 25 years or so. I thought it was one of McCammon’s best!! Good thing it's e-audio because I would probably wear out an old school cassette! Will listen again!!
One of the worst written books I have purchased. I have read over 450 books at Audible.com and can't believe i wasted money on this one. If you like to be bored, buy it and make up your own mind.
An avid sci-fi/fantasy reader for over 30 years.
For such long story I was surprised at the fact that I really found none of the main characters very interesting at all. The title character, Swan, wasn't particularly engaging.
The Stand by Stephen King is another post-apocalyptic story with supernatural elements, but the characters stand out.
That's a difficult to question. I think they are both very strong. Stechschulte did a wonderful job, with a great story.
The obvious comparison is to Steven King's "The Stand." Both books were written in the same era. Both books are very long, and both deal with an apocalypse. I found this book kept me engaged word by word, the stand was a struggle to get through the middle. I haven't read anything close and I found the Swan was fathoms deeper than The Stand.
He was able to capture the characters and change his voice in ways that enriched the story. Some of his voices were so authentic, I thought he might have traded places with an actor.
Moment? More like a series of moments. First the actual discription of the apocalypse was incredible. It's like describing a roller coaster. You just have to ride it to really know what it was like, or in this case, read it. Second, I just felt agony over the disfiguring of the heroes caused by the long term exposure. As their faces became worse and worse, I really felt for them. Heartbreaking and frightening.
This is a phenomenal book and story. It's rather gritty. There is violence of every imaginable form and fashion and plenty of gore and "realistic" situations. They are well told and well managed, but they are not for the faint of heart or faint of stomach.
There is also some racial epitaphs used in the latter part of the book. Again, they are appropriately used and should not be taken as offensive. The character voices and the epitaphs are used by the villains to describe some of the most hopeful and strong characters in the book. Some people have good reason to not react well to such things. Be prepared. The words are just bad words uttered by bad people.
It's a really good experience.
Entertaining story, overall enjoyable. If I had to pick between The Stand and this, I'd pick The Stand, but still worth the money...
This was a pretty standard post apocolyptic story. The characters were good but not extraordinary. The story was not predictable exactly, but not gripping either. Entertaining, but not great.
Avid reader! Want fast paced, energetic thrillers. King/Koontz are favorites but finding more authors that are starting to rise to the top
Grabs your attention at the very beginning. Not what you expect instead it takes a turn for the interesting. Makes you want to keep reading.
Ending was not anticipated. Never would have guessed or come close to the comclusive end. Very refreshing!
Just the right inflection at the right times. Made the characters and story come to life.
Made me think.
An unsocial freak living his life around audiobooks, the next best thing to under water blowdryers.
It takes just the right combination of story and reader to make an audiobook shine. The balance is off by an inch and the book fails. This is a book that will hook you to the end not becuase of the story but becuase of the characters which Tom Stechschulte dresses with his unique voice.
You want a true simulation of life beyond a nuclear holocuast, this is the history book for it. Its a must for those who love Mad max style world with a flair of mistery. I will keep my eyes open for more books read by Tom, his voice is unique in many ways. He can turn a ordinary book into a billion dollar movie and all you need is an imagination.
I loved the premise-post nuclear war devastation, good vs evil. I felt like I knew each of the characters by the end of the novel, I was 100% vested, all in. But I was not too into the God vs. The Devil part of it. It wasn't too much of it but just enough to be annoying. It was kind of like when a Stephen King novel is super good and creepy but then turns silly and goofy. It wasn't horrible, like I said, it was really interesting and there was a lot of good about it but juuusssttt enough magical mystical silliness to make me not like it as much as I could have.
I'd still recommend it, there were a LOT of really good parts but not the 5 star story I thought it would be.
The story was long, dragged on at numerous points, and ended rather suddenly. The narrator was good for male voices, but the female ones sounded the same and were notpleasant to listen to.
No, but I willbe more careful picking them in the future. This book was also very outdated, but the original publish date wasn't listed so I didn't realise that until part way into the book.