"We're about to cross the point of no return. God help us; we're flying in the dark, and we don't know where the hell we're going."
Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen - from the president of the United States to the homeless on the streets of New York City - will fight for survival.
Swan Song is Robert McCammon's prescient and shocking vision of a post-apocalyptic nation, a grand epic of terror and, ultimately, renewal.
In a wasteland born of rage and fear, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, earth's last survivors have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil, that will decide the fate of humanity. They include Sister, who discovers a strange and transformative glass artifact in the destroyed Manhattan streets... Joshua Hutchins, the pro wrestler who takes refuge from the nuclear fallout at a Nebraska gas station... and Swan, a young girl possessing special powers, who travels alongside Josh to a Missouri town where healing and recovery can begin with Swan's gifts. But the ancient force behind earth's devastation is scouring the walking wounded for recruits for its relentless army, beginning with Swan herself.
Please note: Two chapters were originally missing from Part 2 of this book. We were alerted to the problem on 11/21/11 and have corrected it. We're very sorry for any inconvenience. If you had already downloaded the book, don’t worry - your library has automatically updated with the corrected version. Simply re-download from your library, at no additional cost, to get the complete book.
©2009 Robert McCammon (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
I was hesitant on buying this book because of the mixed reviews and the length of the book. After the first part of of the book I was sucked into Swan and Sister's apocalyptic nightmare. The book is simply amazing, frightening, funny, sad, brutal, and inspirational. I am for once at a loss of words to describe this book of fear I might not do it justice. If you like The Stand by Stephen King you will IN FACT LOVE Swan Song.
Sister and Swan
Listening to the tone of voice in certain conversations allowed me to experience the characters emotional distress, love, and sadness.
Both.....I laughed and cried...and sometimes yelled!
Since discovering audible, my life is richer. I live in a small rural KS community, with higher than average IQ which can be a bad combo at times. Audible allows me to be myself.
Good story, a touch of magic but not too much. It's rated R so kids should stay clear probably. It kept me listening without much of a break. That's a good book to me. Top 100
Although written in 1987, this book really hasn't dated all that badly. It's a well thought out post-apocalyptic saga with a pleasing amount of paranormal added in to set it apart from the other post-nuclear novels of the time. In all fairness, it could have been about 5 hours shorter, but it is full of excellently characterized bad guys. If I had to find something to criticize, perhaps the Swan character could have been just a little less perfect, but nonetheless, I did enjoy the listen. It wasn't easy to turn it off come bedtime.
The narration is good. Tom Stechschulte does certain characters exceptionally well. I do wish, though, that he toned down his emotive reading a little. I prefer it when narrators let the emotion come through the words instead of using their tone of voice so much. But if you enjoy emotive readers, then you will really enjoy him. And for the most part, the slightly over-dramatic reading doesn't detract from the listening experience.
I certainly thought it was worth the credit!
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
HIS EYES GLAZED OVER LIKE POND ICE
RM has divided this into 14 parts. Part one follows the President of the United States, who is a former astronaut who can't make a decision. Then goes to Professional Wrestler to a Bag Lady to a Trailer Park. I thought the characters were going to be cliche and that the writing was going to be very simple.
YOU AIN'T GOT THE SENSE GOD GAVE A PISS ANT.
Part 2, 3 and 4 got better, but I was thinking this was a cheap copy of "The Stand". Is there really an insect called a piss ant?
AS COLD AS A VIRGIN'S BED
Around part 5 or 6 they get to Matheson, Kansas. Holley crap the story really picks up then. From chapter 37 to 52 it is intense, it is scary, you will not be able to stop listening during these chapters. These chapters are some of the best written and scariest stuff I have ever read or listened to.
LET'S QUIT SHIRKIN AND GET TO WORKEN.
Chapter 54 till the finish is not as scary or intense, but is still a great listen. I am very impatient with most long books, but I found myself every morning, excited about getting to continue the story. Parts of this book will remind you of Stephen King, Orson Scott Card, Robin Hobb, and or Road Warrior.
HOPE IS A DISEASE
This was my first McCammon book, but I see one of his books is on sale in a 3 for two sale, and I will be getting it.
FORGIVENESS CRIPPLES EVIL
I will give the narrator a 95%, he did really well on all the voices and he was easy to listen to. i did think he used the clenched teeth mad a little too often, when a different response was called for, but that could just be my opinion. I have no problem listening to him again.
Wow--how could I have never come across this book before? A big thank you to Audible for drawing this one to my attention. This is a massive, epic book about the end of the world (as it existed in 1987). Instantly reminiscent of Stephen King's The Stand, Swan Song draws readers into a post-apocalyptic landscape where only the strong survive. With a massive cast of characters to navigate, narrator Tom Stechschulte does a masterful job of presenting each one with his/her own personality and voice. Amazing job! This is a long book, and it's not always fun to listen to; the world of Swan Song is pretty dark. But in the end, the message of hope comes through, and the interplay of fast-paced action scenes with slower, more contemplative interludes provides a nice pacing to the story. Robert McCammon rides a perfect balance between realism and fantasy in this amazing book. Highly recommended!
Swan Song has been my all-time favorite book, since I first read it in the 1980's, even when compared to other post-apocalypse dramas, like The Stand, or Lucifer's Hammer.
I still have my old dog-eared paperback copy on my book shelf after all these years!
I'm excited to purchase the audiobook and re-experience the edge-of-your seat thrills, and ultimately the hope for humanity that Swan Song delivers.
Imagine the horror of a sudden and devastating nuclear war. Russia has apparently bombed most of the United States, rendering most cities and much of the countryside as a nuclear wasteland. Pair that horrible situation with small groups of survivors and a mystical and beautiful crystal/jeweled ring which has unfathomable powers and you have story which portrays mankind at its worst and best at the same time. The story is long (34 hours long) and at first I did not think I would get through the entire book. It did not fully draw me in until about 12 hours in, but once it did I could not put it down and finished it in a few days. If you like apocalyptic tales you will likely enjoy this one. Excellent story and performance.
I have been waiting for this book to come out in audio for years. I thought about waiting until I finished listening to the entire book before writing a review, but didn't have the willpower. Anyone who likes sci-fi will love this book. Although is is an older book it is so well worth the listen. It has everything a good book needs; it pits the forces of good and evil against one anther and is superbly written. I can comfortably and with confidence highly recommend this book. Thank you audible for bringing it to me!!!
I wrote a review about missing chapters and how the unabridged version wasn't quite so unabridged. Then I wrote to Audible about it. They responded within 24 hours to tell me they had been made aware of the problem and had fixed it. After a new download, I now have the complete book.
The book itself is fantastic. I have a tattered paperback copy that I have read repeatedly over the years. Last year I bought a copy for my Kindle. Now I have the audio version.
Don't miss out on this great book.
You won't be able to hear "Here we go round the mullberry bush" again with out getting the heebeejeebees. Very original book,great naration,keeps you on the edge of your seat. This would make a great movie.
"As Good as King's The Stand for Apocalyptic Horror"
I read Swan Song in the late 80's when a nuclear war still seemed a very real possibility. The book left a mark on me as a teenager. I was delighted to see it as been released on Audible. Tom Stechschulte, the narrator does a brilliant job with a huge cast and he keeps you at the edge of the seat in parts. Swan Song has similarities to King's The Stand but the story and cast are a match to those in the King book.
What can you not like about Swan Song? Its an epic listen at nearly 35 hours long! It deals with the big issues of good versus evil but also concentrates on friendship, love and bravery. It doesn't shirk the horrors of the aftermath of a nuclear war and societies collapse but it also shows how people can make a difference even in the direst of circumstances.
The face off in the supermarket has to be one of the most tense parts of the book. Its one of those books that as many stand out scenes. One minute you are despairing for the heroes fates and then a few pages on you have a goofy grin. I guarantee that you will recommend this book and also relisten to this book in a few years time!
Don't F### with Sister Creep...
I think Swan Song, like Stephen King's The Stand transcends the genre (ooo, get me!) Even though there are supernatural/horror elements in the book, its the evil that men do to each other that is far more horrifying.Robert McCammon is a fine writer, be it his horror novels of the 80/90's or the historical detective fiction he writes today. I couldn't recommend this book, They Thirst, Boys Life and all of his other work.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The characters were well developed and distinctive in personality. Filled with suspense and nail biting moments. Well worth the purchase. The narrator did an excellent job!
"One of the best books I've know.. Epic!!"
This was an absolute epic, right up there with Earth Abides and Lucifer's Hammer.
The character development was amazing. The setting of each scene so absorbing, it was easy to visual everything.
There's a quality to these old novels you don't find much in modern books. The most noticeable thing is the character interaction. In modern books it's so cheesy but this was exactly how I might imagine (given the circumstances).
I listened to this book a couple of months ago and still get goosebumps thinking about it.
Josh. True gent, pillar of the book.
The narration was perfect, each character well defined and not over the top.
When Josh says he has proud of Swan as any father can be of his daughter.
It had a splash of fantasy, which was enjoyable. There were a couple of elements I would've changed. I don't want to spoil it but the ending (for me) was a bit confusing. The whole book built towards something then, rather disappointingly, sidestepped that thing.
"Long but beautifully read and worth every second"
I do seem to like an end of the world disaster book; I was hooked from the beginning to the end. Soooo!! well read full of emotion. Great characters good and evil. A must read or listen.
Buy enjoy you won't be disappointed.
"Superb post-apocalyptic thriller"
Swan Song is a superb story from the pen of Robert McCammon, written in 1991 there are a few similarities to Stephen King's 'The Stand' but anyone who enjoyed SK's masterpiece from the late 1970's will certainly enjoy this tale.
Clocking in at over 30 hours this story is a real epic & Tom Stechschulte does a great job with the narration (although I did think his portrayal of 'Sister' to be a little tiresome at times), the story has a really good flow & for Audible members a 30+ hour quality book is great value for a single credit.
"A great big story in length and in content!"
Yes, I listened to it again as soon as I had finished as it is so long and complex I wanted to make sure I had it all straight in my head!
Yes, a bit like but not really the Stand, if you enjoy post apocalyptic tales this is for you!
don't want to do any spoilers......but yes! the end
I did not really know of this or the author, I usually find my audible books by looking at good reviews of books I have enjoyed - glad I found this.....it is sad though! We live in this big beautiful world full of amazing things - our plant is mind-blowing - let us pray that we do not ever have this post WW3 world with a 7 year winter! Keep your cool leaders of the world! It is only in your hands for safekeeping for future generations - not yours to abuse of damage.
read this years ago, and had a credit spare so treated myself. a bit different from Stephen Kings THE STAND but I had forgotten how much I enjoyed reading it
"Awesome - if you like The Stand, try this"
Unknown - have not read the book.
I love an in depth epic. Being a huge fan of The Stand on audio, this followed suit and has become a favourite.
"One of the best audio books I have heard"
Definitely especially for a long journey. This is a great story unwinds and twists and turns so that the final solution cannot be guessed. I really enjoyed this book even though the subject matter is somewhat dark. The characters were well-defined and different enough that you could follow them. I was kept guessing how they would all be put together throughout the story. The background to the story and the different environments were well described so that you felt you were actually in each different town or scenario. Although the subject matter is sometimes troubling it was never so horrific that you could not listen. I felt that it was accurate description of what the world after nuclear holocaust would be. Cold, troubled, definitely scary and challenging. Recommended very highly!
This book is singularly different different but the closest I could find to compare it with is 2016.
I have not will fully intend to.
The final battle for life as we know it was heartwarming and totally not foreseeable within the writing. I really thought that the end was nigh but the author Paul something out this hat at the last moment. Tears streaming and surprised.
I came across this book by accident not having heard of the author but will definitely be searching for other books by the same author. The narrator was also very good he had a cast of players that he was able to give different voices to and this enabled me to follow the story much more easily it also gave a good sense of being involved with the storyline.
With out doubt my favorite of all the books i have listen to on this site :)
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