"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.
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.
At the start of the book you will be introduced to a number of characters as they go about their lives in various parts of the United States. However, before you can even get to know them the nukes are flying and the world around them is destroyed. This sets the stage for a tale of good vs evil amidst a holocaust that develops a fantasy twist to it. Special powers and magical items are not abundant, but they are central to the confrontation as it unfolds.
Although they have different causes for the fall of civilization, the similarities between this book and The Stand by Stephen King are all too obvious, especially during the first half of the book. Both novels are well done and Swan Song does eventually develop its own personality and stands on its own merit. The two books are similar enough to say that if you didn’t like The Stand then you aren’t likely to enjoy Swan Song either.
Things get pretty dark as the tale goes on, and in predictable fashion, the various threads of the story eventually come together in a final confrontation. The characters are not that complex but the reading is well done and the story moves along well. If you are in the mood for a classic good vs evil story in a post-apocalyptic setting then you have come to the right place. If you are looking for a complex story with multi-layered characters then you should spend your credit elsewhere.
I'm actually a day old tart, filled with maple custard. Perhaps, this reads as a rational introduction to others, and you are deliberately misreading it, because, come on, maple custard.
I thought I was prepared for the bible-beating, and could appreciate this novel. I've enjoyed many post-apocalypse stories and religious stories before, but I had trouble with the constant bone-dry religious ravings. Crazy inner-city cardboard billboard 'SAVE US JESUS, THE END IS NIGH!' brand of rantings. This is not a light-hearted fun storyline. Get ye behind me, comedy!
This book isn't tongue-in-cheek, and the evil has a paper-thin alibi for suddenly destroying civilization. There is no linear progression to the meandering accident-prone plot. McCammon offers a repetitive flat cameo perspective of the world, and people, as three dimensional as tooth-paste, and misfortune enfolds them like a dull and rather poorly tailored suit.
Stechschulte's voice dips breaks and rises in ways that had me fidgeting with my ipod volume regularly. His vocal range for his female characters is rather limited between floral male voice and whiskey dry screech.
If you are an enthusiastic christian, you will probably enjoy this book. I'm sorry I can't give a better review. This book just wasn't for me.
There are few things better than a good story well told!
If you loved The Stand, you HAVE to get this book. If you don???t mind the hairs standing up on the back of your neck, get this book. If you???re looking for an epic good read that you can???t put down, get this book. It will scare you and keep your nerves tied up from start to finish. It's one of those books that you don't want to end.
Thank you Audible for this treat. Please add more unabridged McCammon.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
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.
all books horror. especially zombie
I bought this book because I heard that it is one of Stephen Kings favourite books...I was not disappointed.The only books I could compare it too are ... Stephen Kings' - The Stand andJustin Cronins' - The Passage.I loved this book! It is very long but give it a try!
Wonderful story. I "listen" to books alot & simply could not put this one down. I'm an older mom with a two year old who needs sleep and actually caught myself several nights not realizing how late it was. (3am). The narrator is hands down the best I've heard. It wasn't until chapter 8 that I realized there was only one narrator. He's that good even with female voices and NO ONE sounds like anyone else. Great simply great. The story is not too shabby either. For those of us that like supernatural undertones this book did not disappoint. I've been reading alot of doomsday & zombie books lately and this is definitely my favorite. If I had to pick one thing I would change I think I would unfold the eerie/supernatural elements sooner for those of us that like that genre. The characters were well developed and it wasn't forced like some books. It honestly makes you think this could really happen. There wasn't one time that I skipped through a chapter (yep done that before). Another thing I like is that he spends just the right amount of time on character development & even imagery. I recently listened to a book where it seem it took the author a whole chapter to describe what a simple spoon looked like. I'm definitely a Robert McCammon & Tom Stechschulte fan. Just downloaded "The Oath" & so far Mr. Stechschulte is superb again! If you're on the fence - go for it - you won't regret it!!!!
Where to start? I think it would be easier to say what is good about this book. If you liked The Stand, despite all it's wordiness and boring characters (I did), then you will probably enjoy Swan Song. It has a few unique ideas but I began to suspect, about five hours in, that I could tell where this story was going.
1) There was ultimately no price paid by humanity for destroying the Earth. Nuclear winter was over in 7 years? Everyone good got a new face? Complete tripe.
2) The crown was introduced as protection for Swan and then never used. Did the author forget about it?
3) Everyone is backwards. Like the world had reverted to the Dark Ages in just seven years. Someone smart must have survived.
The narrator did not help raise the seemingly low IQ of the characters. He performed them all as sniveling dullards.
Every other sentence.
For what it's worth, I did listen to the whole book.
Mother of teenaged bear, Wife to chaos, Warrior
I loved this book. I found myself trying to find hidden corners to listen.
I really like trying to figure out what was with the characters. What was so special about them.
When swan's horse died. The raw emotion she felt moved me. I felt for her.
I did really like the story and wanted to give it a 3.5 but that's not possible. I liked everything enough to keep listening and find out what happens but there were a few issues for me. The story was really graphic at times, as you would expect in an end of the world tale. Certain elements were quite fantastical and stretched credulity.In the end I would recommend for those who like end of the world stories and are used to explicit detail.
This is by far the best 'End of the World' story I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. The pictures Robert McCammon paints are dramatic and realistic, the pain, suffering, humility and downright evil are explicit and intense. This is a brilliant book and my wish is that Robert would write a sequel. This is one of a handful of books I believe everybody should read and learnt from its characters experiences.
Although long, the book was well read and I rarely lost interest. Possibly a bit out of date but nonetheless, a good story.
Robert McCammon is a wonderful writer and this is excellent. Would love to see The Wolfs Hour or Stinger here too.
After listening to Swan Song, I shall certainly be hunting down more books by this author!
I got this book as I was a major fan of the Stand and heard this was similar. It is an amazingly crafted tale of good vs evil and beautifully set in a post-nuclear apocalypse setting. It features a wonderful array of characters of all ages and creeds.
The author really gets into the heads of his characters and gets across the nature of pure evil and over-whelming goodness. It's a perfect black and white, yin and yang sort of feel to it as there story focuses on multiple characters/groups based on either side of the moral compass.
It shows just what levels people will sink to or raise themselves up to in order to survive when all is lost.
"Great book to listen"
This was my third english audiobook and I really enjoyed to listen this. Even though that story was a bit "too easy" I enjoyed the story and storytelling by the reader. It was always obvious who was speaking and that made the story easy to follow.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes books from this genre.
This is a fantastic book; the only reason I haven't given it a fill five stars is that tha narrator doesn't really do it justice. Great chracters, epic story and an underlying current of disquiet.
I thoroughly enjoyed this great story with it's excellent characters and it was narrated brilliantly.
"Before Stephen King's THE STAND...."
there was "Swan Song", and though I love King's book, I can't help but think that he was influenced, in some way, by this bizarre, violent, mystical mammoth of a novel. Granted, some of the violence is off-putting, but what do you expect from a modern-day apocalypse? This books needs to be more widely known by aficionados, it'll give them more thrills than the umpteenth retelling of a zombie apocalypse
what an amazing book! well written and very well read. the narrator does a great job with the voice acting for every character. the story itself is told with vivid detail. i got a real strong image of every scene. the characters were all interesting and enjoyable, mostly :)
gave this a 4 because there were a few parts tht made me roll my eyes, but i wont mention them off of plot spoilers
"Interesting and absorbing"
Swan Song seemed to be one of those books that as I was going through it I wasn't quite sure where it was going to end up.
So the setting is post-apocalyptic style America and the character list is good, with some well developed characters and intriguing personalities. These characters unfold in sometimes not the most obvious ways and sometimes in the very obvious ways, which is both a good and bad thing. There are some absorbing plot devices (again without going into spoilers) but safe to say that there seems to be a heavy influence of good and evil, god and the devil at work here.
The detriment of the book seemed to me that when it came to the end of the book I was left wondering what happens while already knowing what was going to happen. This really takes away what would make this a 5 star book for me.
To finish this off. This is a really intriguing book and while I listened to it I was enthralled. The reading is really good and the personalities of the characters really come out well in this reading.
Upon reading my own review If I could give it 4.5 I might but I shall have to stick with 4, a damn good book.
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