"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.
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.
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.
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.
Give up on creating female voices. I would have given five stars for the performance had he not done so poorly with the female voices.
Disappointed. I was looking for something like The Stand. I wasn't looking for a lot of originality, but the writing was so sloppy as to spoil my experience.
Plotting was poor. Obvious foreshadowing was frequently not followed up by the author. Based on the frequent descriptions in the book it appears that the author believes 90 percent of the people in the world have blue eyes. The other 10 percent have
I have red a number of post-apocalyptic novels and as far as these go, I found Swan's song very mediocre. It just doesn't feel like a possible scenario and all characters are black or white
Download this book instantly, you WILL NOT BE DISSAPPOINTED. This book gripped me from the outset and wouldn't let me go. I nearly pulled an all nighter listening to this once and I had to ban myself from night time listens. It is just so clever, and emotional and character driven. It shows evil and hope at a great time of difficulty. The narrator is pretty special and the writing is brilliant. It's a long book too (which is great) and I truly dreaded reaching the end. I was sad to see 'my friend' go. Don't hesitate to get this book.
"A gripping story, let down by a few poor elements"
It was tough to give this a 3/5 rating as more of the book than not was excellent. The opening, as it built up to nuclear war, was immediately gripping. Then the war itself was brutal but fascinating. The aftermath let us know the characters better and got their individual stories in motion. I found myself growing genuinely attached to the main characters, even the ones who were clearly evil. It's mainly a genuinely thrilling story of survival in the immediate aftermath of a nuclear war, and then in the nuclear winter some years later.
The author paints a very vivid picture through his descriptions and Tom Stechschulte is probably the best person I've heard read an audio book. I never had any trouble differentiating the characters, even those that could have sound similar, and there are a lot of characters. He also sounded a bit like Charlton Heston at times, which can't be a bad thing.
So why 3/5? Because, unfortunately, there are also some fantasy elements in here and they really don't work. The 'strange and transformative glass artifact' mentioned in the description is easily the worst part of the entire book. The story gets dragged down to a crawl every single time it puts in an appearance with endless descriptions of how pretty it is. It's basically a McGuffin that brings together the main characters, thought that's something I feel could have been done differently anyway.
It sets up two human characters as the villains of the piece and then introduces a more fantasy villain. The trouble is that the two human characters, who are much more interesting, are sidelined by this fantasy villain, who is just evil and therefore actually rather dull.
To make it even worse, both of these elements don't really amount to anything in the end. The other elements of the story do build up to a fantastic conclusion and, although I felt satisfied at the end, it really could have been better.
"The Stand, want-a-be"
The story although long could easily have been longer which may have held it together, instead the writer decided to just skip 7 years. For the most part well written, but it leans heavily on The Stand. The ending seemed rushed, as if the author tired of his own story.
"Talented author but why this? Too derivative"
I have enjoyed other books by this very talented author so much more. I have no idea why it was written. This was far too much like the Stand and I became exasperated with the hackneyed themes and villains that I just gave up.
I have read five of Robert McCammons novels before I read this one and this surpassed my expectations. The narration was outstanding, every character was distinctive and unique. The story itself kept me hooked all the way through and I couldn't figure out what the ending would be. It was a violent book, disturbing and sickening in places, but having read some of McCammons other work it didn't shock me and let's face it, considering the subject matter it couldn't have been sugar coated. But throughout the book there was also beauty and hope and that's what gets you through. My only criticism would be the very end of the book felt rushed and a little anticlimactic. But it's now in my top five books and I would thoroughly recommend it!
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.
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