"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!
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.
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!
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.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
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.
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.
"Flat characters and dull plot"
The characters were one-dimensional and the main aspects of the story were delivered in a clumsy way.
Colonel Macklin and Roland Croninger
I wasn't sure about this to begin with but the more I listened to it the more I got into it. I then couldn't stop listening. I felt I was being transported to a world that almost ended and felt that this is how it would be. I thought the writing was brilliant. I loved Swan. I just wanted the book to go on and never finish.
I really enjoyed listening to Tom Stechschulte so much that I've had a look at other books he's narrated and might possibly buy a book just so I can listen to him again.
There are a lot of reviews here and they all cover what I wanted to say so I'll just sum up.
I loved it from start to finish. The characters are all, main and incidental, so real and rounded. The challenges, and settings for them, are well thought out and exciting.
Lastly, the narration was brilliant and each character was recognisable.
To echo another reader, I'll miss the gang, Sister, Josh and Swan.
"A beautiful tale"
A fantastic and brilliantly realized post apocalyptic world, filled with characters that you care about, and your heart pounds when they are in danger.
There are many, over the course of the book you grow to think of them as friends and care about them. There are several moments when they are fighting for their lives that you really get drawn in and are truly afraid for them. One moment in particular was Josh's battle with 'The Devil'.
The aforementioned battle with the Devil, also the AOE invading the settlement to capture Swan.
It made me cry on several occasions. And laugh on a few as well.
If you liked the Stand, The Passage or other books set in post apocalyptic worlds, you will love this.
Yes I would because the story was amazing, the narrator was superb and i just couldnt stop listening.excellent characters introduced brilliantly and the story just had me hooked. i would recommend this to all. well done to Robert and great work and lovely wide range from Tom.
thats hard, there is so many. defo Josh, he came across quite quiet but strong. also has a soft side, his character was defo enhanced by the narrater. i have to say, there was not a character i did not get drawn into...even the bad ones.
wow, i have great admiration for Tom, he gave each character its own individuality, gave them their own personality. i could feel each one as Tom got the voices spot on. Tom read the book with ease, he drew me right in. He is the best narrator i have listened to so far and i have heard many.
i was enthralled in this book, and yes, at some parts i had tears in my eyes. also some really happy parts. also some pretty evil parts lol
i just love this book, awesome listening. people....get this book :) i will be looking for more from this author and this narrater.
The story and the narrator merged perfectly, and both the story and the narrator were brilliant.
The story was brilliant and the characters were so unusual. It was quite a different world, but I got sucked into it and it wasn't a struggle to adjust to this world. I listened to it doing work around the house and I did loads of work as I didn't want to turn off the book.
Well, no I couldn't, due to the length of it and I also wanted some time to absorb what had happened between listens.
Well worth a read. It's fast paced and exciting. It's an action driven book which makes the 40 or so hours zip along.
This book is one you'll remember. The tale licks along at a lively pace and adventure is gripping. There is a bigger picture of representations of good, evil, temptation, redemption and forgiveness if you are wanting deeper meaning, but the narrative drive was sufficient to keep me riveted. I hadn't realised this was a book I'd read ages ago, and thought I'd enjoy it anew and would have forgotten much of, but it must have meant more to me than most books, as I'd remembered it clearly. That still didn't stop me from enjoying it. There is something more that the reader gains from a book heard, where you can't skip bits when you get excited to find out what happens next.
"A timeless classic"
Absolutely. It's huge so you get a lot of entertainment for your credit. The book runs at a good pace and in the early stages could easily be three different novels. The narrator is fantastic and the book well produced.
Colonel Macklin. "Discipline and control"
Hard to choose, but the authors descriptions of being on the ground during - and just after - a nuclear attack were extremely vivid.
Lots, but wouldn't want to spoil anything.
It's the kind of book that makes you want to immediately find more like it once you've finished it.
I've read this book (books) once in my younger days, and in Norwegian. I really enjoyed to listen to it in English, and although I sort of remembered how it ended it was still a good listening experience. As always when a book captures me, I can't fins enough excuses to listen to it.
"A fun, gory supernatural apocalyptic thriller!"
Having come to McCammon's work through his other famous book, Boy's Life, I was initially quite surprised at the style of this earlier work. Where Boy's Life is quite a slow, ponderous, almost literary work, Swan Song gets in your face from chapter one and doesn't let up.
Initially I found it rather overbearing to the point of silliness. No character ever has an everyday expression here, they all have to wear contorted grimaces of pain, masks of writhing agony and clench-jawed steely gazes while their eyes pop and sweat beads down their faces.
However once I'd got used to the idea that this was going to be a gory, over-the-top tale with zero to offer in the ways of subtlety, I started to really enjoy it.
The story moves on at a good pace with a large cast of interesting, if shallow characters. Interesting situations continue to present themselves and the plot bulldozes on right through to the final chapter, always holding your interest. It's very well read... acted actually. The narrator really throws himself into all the roles, matching the material's over-the-top tone perfectly.
Great fun, great value (34 hours audiobook!) and a great tale!
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