"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.
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.
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!
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!!!
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.
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.
"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 :)
This is like Stephen kings The Stand and Colm McCarthys The Road in one book with a twist.
There are lots of memorable moments in Swan Song, but none that stand out in particular.
I thought he did a great job, especially with sister who seemed so real.
Now this is a story. I loved this one.
No spoiler to say that this is a post apocalyptic tale, the transition from normal everyday life to the resulting wasteland is horrific and terrifying. The emerging characters have depth and the power to grip you through an epic of a story that takes a cross the burned out wasteland that is now their home.
You get to follow a number of individuals changed forever, some for good, some for oh so bag and you just know as the story progresses that the point is coming when they will all meet. I found that as this story unfolded, I was not just listening to it, I had invested in it.
This is all massively supported by Tom Stechschulte's superb narration, Stechschulte identifies each individual character and breathes life into them. .
It is going to be a hard act to follow. Well worth the credit/cash
"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.
"Gripping apocalyptic tale"
I loved this. Very similar in many ways to King's "The Stand" as it is an apocalyptic, good vs evil story but I think this is superior in many ways. I enjoyed the writing and the character development and was sorry when it was over. The setting is wholly believable with graphic descriptions of the scorched earth following a nuclear winter. Not for the faint-hearted as it is very vivid in terms of human suffering but it is also incredibly uplifting in many ways. Highly recommended.
Liked the fact this book had more than one main character. Relaxing listen...
Josh was my favourite character as he seem in my imagination to be 50ft tall but as soft as putty.
Good character voice change
Felt sad at times and thought provoking
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