"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 loved this story. It gripped me, seriously. I cared about all of the protagonists, and worried over their fates. I actually would get to my destination and keep listening with my mp3 player in the car, to find out what happened next. And esp. if you get it in this 4.95 sale, you will be bagging a deal. It's a wonderful story, don't miss out.
Unless I know something is a classic, I rarely read anything as old as this. But I must say, I'm glad I did. As others have said, given the subject matter, the time it was written is not really relevant. If the world as we know it ends (not a spoiler, btw, since the book opens on this scene), then the things we've come to expect in the 21st century are gone anyway.
While I thought it was a little long, I never wanted to stop listening and I grew very attached to the characters and the outcome. It's a book that makes one consider whether we would devolve into chaos and hatred if we were forced to fend for ourselves or if good would also emerge. Probably a bit of both, but you'll definitely find yourself thinking about it.
Well worth a listen.
So real. Love the narrator. Love books with a semi realistic theme. You'll love it.
Every once in a while you may come across a book about the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it that centers on how the human spirit, in spite of all of the hardships of the world around us, triumphs. How human nature shines through the darkness and how hope for a better world is the basic animating and driving force in all of us. How, in spite of all, our basic goodness will thrust back the darkness and bring the shining light of the human spirit into our lives and the lives of those around us.
This is not that book.
This book is an unremitting descent into Hell, or at least the first 1/3 is like that since that is as far as I was able to get before I just gave up. I am not a Pollyanna type of person and I don't expect uplifting moments every page, but so far I have found nothing to think that the world pictured in this book is anything other than the lower circle of Hell. Perhaps I will return to this book later. I would like to hope that there is something worth returning to, but I doubt it. One of the books listed under "People who bought this book also bought" was Alas, Babylon. That book, a classic written more than 50 years ago and not the most upbeat book in the world, seems like a light comedy compared to the world pictured here.
On the positive side the book is well written and the narration is very good indeed. Good luck to all of you who venture into this swamp.
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.
After reading a good handful of well written reviews, I still didn't realize the impact that this story would have. I found myself listening for hours even while I was brushing my teeth and putting my makeup on! There were places where it tended to be over the top but for the most part, this apocalyptic book is a very interesting and entertaining listen. I hope what happens to our world in this book will never depict our end times but it's good to know that good will triumph over evil. The narration was excellent of all the characters.
Swan Song is an epic book about a fictional aftermath to nuclear holocaust. Even though it was written at a time where war seemed very real, it hasn't aged nor lost some of it's point of what I would consider an optimistic view on post disaster. The characters are well-defined, and you care about them. The villains are threatening, and not the sort of villains you would root for in any way, which is good; they are simply scary and merciless - there to sweep up the remnants of war.
Hopefully now, Audible will work on other McCammon books, and in unabridged versions. The narrator does well, although his reading of female dialogue can be a little flat, though strangely overdone, in a monotone high-pitch. That being that, though, is very well done overall, if that is the only personal gripe. Good job.
Robert McCammon is one of my favorite authors, and I have been reading his books for many years. I have requested his books from Audible several times, and finally they deliver with Swan Song and Boys Life, two of his better books.
I downloaded this book as soon as it came out, and I was not disappointed. The story was just as good as a listen as it was a awesome read many years ago. Some of the subject matter is a little dated, as the book was written in the 80s, but it doesn't deter from the story. The narrator is very good as well.
Thank you Audible. Hope you will include some of Mr. McCammon's newer books as well.
Never say never, but probably not--because horror is not my favorite genre.
Most: the vivid characters and the quick pacing; Least: cliches, made-for-the-movies smarmy moments, undefined talismans and loose ends.
I'm split on this...one moment he is doing an excellent job, the next he is obviously interpreting the written words with incongruent meaning and inflections. But he certainly read with gusto!
I'd bet the fans would shout yes, but at 30 plus hours, I'm good, movin' on...
I can see why this '86 book is considered a standard in the post apocalyptic horror genre, holds up okay, in '86 was probably considered original, but I kept envisioning Mad Max and the steam-punk type characters. I definitely should have stayed away from the whole genre--but a barrage of 5* reviews?! I think enthusiastic listeners overrated this one. The Good vs. Evil, the vague religious references and symbolism, seemed worn and cliched, the horror element campy. A great post apocalyptic read from the past for the more
Post apocalyptic listener with some thrillers mixed in. Follow me on twitter at @drewsant
Along the lines of Steven King’s “The Stand”, “Swan Song” is a well written and engaging post-apocalyptic book with a bit of the supernatural mixed in. The book starts with a background of what’s leading up to the 17th of July, then follows three groups of people on their journeys through the country after a nuclear exchange.
The book does a good job of mixing action and plot development to keep the reader engaged all while painting a vividly stark picture of the new land that people must endure. This is a must read for the PA lover.
The performance was 5 star, but there are times where you can here the narrator breath or lick his lips. Which doesn't ruin the story, but it's noticeable something I haven't found on other Audible books.
I enjoyed this book immensely. Story is great and the narrator is absolutely terrific.
I am certainly going to read more of Robert McCammon.
"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.
"One of the best books of its type"
If you like post aocalyptic fiction then you must read this. If you like epic stories with in depth characters I also reccomend you read it. At first I thought this book was just a cheap rip off ,of Stephen King's 'The Stand' but no, in actual fact it is far superior and quite different. The book welds factions from post apocalytic fiction into one, with elements from 'The satnd', 'The Road', 'Mad Max' and many others of the genre. Ok yes it is a little remenisent of the eighties with its cold war paranoia and style of the decade, but you must remember it was also written then. I listen and read all kinds of books from Ken Follett to Cormac McCarthy and I will certainy always think of this book with fond memories that stands up among the best of them.
This book kept me interested from start to finish. What an amazing imagination this author has and the narrator is excellent. Highly recommended. Am going to try more of this authors work.
"just buy it!"
just a fantastic read. A real epic. I've read this twice now (once in print, years ago) thoroughly enjoyed it both times.
I loved this book, I listened to it at every opportunity and totally engaged with the characters, I found it easy to place myself inside the story. The characters captured all that is good and bad in our race, with good triumping over evil. The authors description and story telling worked increditbly well and I was sorry that the book came to an end.
A bit Stephen kingfish and overall a very engrossing and entertaining book. Let down slightly by some very small plot discrepancies but that may just be me being very picky. Will definitely listen to other books by Robert McCammon
Near the top
no but I will look out for him from now on
No, too long
I just got so into the story and the characters. It had a big impact and made me think about it while I was not in a position to carry on and listen. I really looked forward to my next episode as I listen to the books while at work. I took a little while to get into, but once I was in I was hooked. Brilliant!
This has to be one of the most gripping audio books I have ever listened to. Just fantastic, great characters, griping tension and a wonderfully rich story.
"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!
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