"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!!!
McCarthy king Martin Abercrombie Sanderson and Tolkien My favorite book as of 900 listened to ... Sutree
its long , it borrows alot from the stand even the villain is almost a rf word for word but it has many elements that make it good on its own , and many original concepts I read it when I was younger and liked it enough to listen to it now I still prefer the stand , but i like this book.
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.
Some reviewers have remarked on the similarity of this novel to The Stand. I can see what they are talking about -- the bizarre cast of characters, the epic quality, the quest of many whose paths ultimately converge. It is not quite as majestic; the supernatural Good v. Evil is not quite as elegant (and sometimes too over-the-top) -- and yet, it is a story well told. It grips you from the beginning and never lets go.
If you like a good post apocalyptic yarn, this is one of them.
"THE STAND'S TWIN?"
This was a great book, but Stephen King may have a few things to say about the similarities to his book, The Stand.
The slight difference is that nuclear warheads were detonated here, not a virus, but the oracle is called Sister (the Stand is Mother); and the groups of survivors lead their own tales against marauders until they unite at the end.
You would think that such a long book would be boring, and wonder how you could keep interest in the small group of heroes, but it proves the writing is great as I never once felt the need to check my watch and see where we were. In fact, I looked forward to going to bed, knowing I had more to listen to!
"2nd time around"
Read this book over 10 years ago and never forgot it. Was delighted to see it available as audiobook. Will probably listen to it again. Wonderful story brilliantly written.
such a fantastically riveting book, enjoyed every minute of it...
I will be listening to this audio book again, which I've never done with any other...
"Outstanding first half."
It's very like The Stand and yet totally different.
The first half of this epic is totally engrossing and well written but turns into stereotype and cliche in the last third. A let down in the end. Still worth a go.
"overlong, overwraught...just over it"
not unless they thought Stephen King's characters were just too subtle and nuanced.
If you like your good and evil laid out very clearly, and sledgehammered home at every opportunity, this is the book for you.
Also, where on earth was the editor?! there are errors in this book, eg one character saying to another they've definitely decided to go somewhere then a few chapters later, claiming not to know where to go and all of a sudden, the distance to said place has shifted by about 5 to 10 miles.
Maybe the editor / proof-reader lost all will to plough on at that stage. I don't really blame them.
Apocalyptic novels are not really my chosen genre, I only bought this one as I'd liked McGammon's Matthew Corbett novel (1st one), so I'm not sure I can be put off something I never really went for in the first place
Quite a good performance but sometimes he voiced the characters with a very low voice that was difficult to pick up on headphones
If you want hours and hours of mindless, meandering, vaguely interesting chat, then by all means. It's not brilliant, kind of the literary equivalent of chewing gum...starts off fine then is very same-y then very bland then you keep chewing (not knowing why) and in the end, you don't mind if you spit it out and never think about it again.
Certainly, it is so nice to be able to sit back and relax and listen to such a great book
Josh, he wasn't the sort of character you expected in the beginning, he forepassed my expectations
No, unfortunately I haven't, but would definitely be willing to do so based on this performance
Yes, most definitely I would of done so, if I had had the time!
"Good start but faded"
No, I thought the ending was poor. It started very well, but just faded at the end and I found I lost interest
Yes, good narration
"Everything you need from an audiobook!"
Superb! Everything about this audiobook works. Tom Stechschulte's narration is excellent which brings this epic story to life and keeps you enthralled from start to finish. All characters are fascinating and you want to know what happens to them. Tom's character intonations, voices, accents really work well. This was my first Robert McGammon audiobook and on the strength on this I have since purchased several more. You won't be disappointed with this one!
"What a journey!"
This book kind of hits quite high with me. I was slightly put off with the long intros, which really did not need the length to them, but nevertheless, every word spoken by this brilliant narrator were like gems to hold onto.
My favourite character has to be Josh. A gentle giant in all ways, and from his own doubts of his humanity, the reality of it saw his selflessness come to the fore.
The best scene? Well there were several, but if I had to pick out one scene, it would be when in the subway tunnels, the demonic character confronts the small team of newly found friends, where a battle of minds ensues, and revenge promised. Gripping.
In a world lost of hope, strangers bring light to the dark world of the lost and displaced.
I have to mention the narrator, Tom Stechschulte. The book would only have a matt finish to it. Tom sets the gloss on in his efforts to bring the characters to life. Thank you TOM!!
"The next best thing to The Stand and The Passage!"
No, but that's only because I don't read the same book twice. If I did, I would read it many times again!
Swan Song has huge similarities to Stephen King's The Stand (in my opinion, best book of all time) and Justin Cronin's The Passage. It is an epic post-apocalyptic story of good vs evil and at nearly 40hours it builds a vivid picture of the world in your head which remains there even after you've finished it.
I'm fussy with narrators. I often find good books with brilliant stories but I can't get past the first chapter because the narrator's voice doesn't work.
No problems here! The only narrator that I've preferred (and it's extremely close between the two) is the guy who narrated The Passage. Tom adds real life to the world and characters and you forget he's reading it to you.
He makes the whole thing an experience rather than just a book.
I would if I could, but at 37 hours it's a tough ask!!!
I can't decide what I thought about the ending, even now I'm not sure if it could have been done a bit better. Only a very, very minor niggle.
Download this now, and set aside lots of time. I promise you will enjoy this.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.