"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.
Never trust anyone who doesn't enjoy reading.
BEST BEST BEST!!!!!
Josh. He was amazing!
When Swan transformed revealing her new face.
I cried at the end.
Super long listen but worth every moment. This was one of the best books I've ever read/listened to. Despite how long it is I would DEF listen to it again.
They all were captivating.
Swan of course!
I chose this on a whim, because of the length. I listen to audio books on my commute to work. Wow! I was blown away right from the start. Amazing story line. What's really scary, is that this could become reality. I would love to see this as a movie. The characters are rich and full of depth. I was so sorry to come to the end of it. However, the loose ends were all tied up and I was completely satisfied. What a wonderful choice of stories for just a "whim".
I have been listening to books on tape for over 20 years. Starting with audio tapes, then CD's and now downloads.
There is a good mix of good and dispair; realism and supernatural, I had put it down after I finished the first part for a while. Once I finished part two I was hooked and listened everywhere I went.
The concept that life is a jigsaw puzzle and each piece fits together for a purpose.
I liked Josh the best. A slow acting hero who does what he thinks is best in each situation he is in
The Poem of Death
stick with it, it is worth it
Only have audio version
When she first grew the apples and the glass crown healing the boy in the drs hand
Loved it, was sad when it was over
Imaginative Hopeful Rebirth
Characters were well developed and diverse.
It fit the book's premise.
Yes - but way too long for that.
Excellent story that involves just the right amount of realism plus science fiction/fantasy.
Yes, I would listen again. The book is very long and exciting. I am sure another listen would only enhance the experience. There were parts that gave me the heebie-jeebies, but I continued to listen because I just had to know what happened.
I would compare this book to The Stand by Stephen King.
His performance was exquisite! Part of the magic of the book is his performance. The characters were easy to remember, and the way he brought the emotions to life, and the horrors...well he is definitely one of my top 5 narrators now.
Yes, I would be interested in comparing his plots to existing books.
This would have been a great listen if i hadn't read the S King book The Stand.
What drew me to this audiobook was the repeated comparison to Stephen King's "The Stand". I will say that this book doesn't even hold a candle to "The Stand", BUT I still enjoyed it very much. It started off a bit boring for me, but after the introduction of the main characters, I was hooked. I had to make myself turn it off so I could get some sleep. This will definitely be on my repeat listener list.
It needed better writing, character developments that shows internal depth, less cliche"victims" on both sides. A bit better research...wolves in the appalachians? Coyotes maybe. It read like a pretty amateur first effort. Many elements were "borrowed" from the Stand, which would be fine if done well as an homage, but the book just never felt better than a cheap pulp.
Also another narrator who didn't read all female characters with strange whiny voices.
Good, Bad, ugly
Well, Swan putting on the "crown" and getting coated in a gold shield...it was never used again. It was like a deus ex machina without a cause. The entire cabin full of wolf gut eaters chapters...I mean, why were they eating the guts not the meat? The radiation would be very concentrated in internal organs so no better than the meat...oh, and every head coming out of Job's mask scene
People say if you like the Stand you will like this...I like the stand because of the quality of most of the writing in the Stand as well as subject matter. I did not like this because of the quality of the writing and the way the post-apocolyptic subject matter was handled. It was easier for me to believe Randall Flag than to believe so many people could live through the extremely high levels of radiation the book described
I read this book in the late 80's and loved it. I was afraid this 'read down memory lane' would be disappointing or terribly dated but it wasn't; it's still a gripping story. It's a science fiction classic and deserving of that title. The reader Tom Stechschulte does a great job with multiple characters.
"Long but worth the effort"
This is my second Audible book, and the first time I have been driven to write a review (of any kind). I have to say that this would not be my choice of book to read. Too big and not my normal genre. I have far too many books and not enough time to read them all ( oh woe is me!). I joined Audible to broaden my tastes with something different whilst walking the dogs, and I found that this lengthy (30 hours) story became an evening obsession for a month or so.
Yes, it is a dark tale of a post nuclear apocalyptic America and is sometimes difficult to hear of the destruction and long term suffering...but that really is the point. How can you explore the possibility of redemption and survival without the descent into evil and chaos in the first place?. And it is like The Stand in that it is an exploration of good verses evil, with groups of characters on each side.
But... the similarity ends there.
The author has created a compelling story where each of the 90 or so chapters follows the POV of groups of people on either side of the moral divide. The main characters soon become familiar, and their individual stories inexorably and sometimes painfully progress to a satisfying and exciting series of confrontations at the climax of the book. I liked the ending.
The big thing for me though was the experience of having this book, that I never would have read normally, delivered as a professional spoken performance through my earphones in the Ashdown Forest every day for a month. Really quite surreal!
I was not convinced at the start, but was soon drawn into the timbre of Tom Stechshulte's voice. His vocal interpretation of each of the characters became to be "just right". This is not simply someone reading aloud. (erm Librivox anyone?) This is a proper job! I could not wait for my next daily instalment!
Now...what to listen to next?
"End of the World.."
Loved the character Sister, a fight between good and evil in the strictest sense, no smudging of lines in-between, very much like the 'Stand' by Steven King, which I must admit nudges into the lead between the two. Easy read and entertaining well as much as the end of the world can be!
"As much an experience as a book !"
I can say with hand on heart that this is the best book I've ever read, well listened to, but you know what I mean.
The book covers the story of three main groups of suvivors of a nuclear war and wraps everything together nicely and cleverly by the end.
Now, there are a few bad reviews here about it being graphic and violent , and this is undoubtably true. However this is a book about the end of the world - it's going to be nasty - there's no sugar coating to be had. I really can't see that it should be marked down because of that.There are a few moments of animals in peril as well that I found upsetting but I think the author just wasn't up for giving any get out of jail free cards - it's the end of the world - walts and all.
You'll grow to love the characters and sometimes the author will kill them without any warning and you're left truly feeling a personal loss - honestly !
I finished this yesterday, I did take a break half way through to listen to something else as it honestly is an emotional roller coaster ride and you sometimes need something a bit lighter for a wee while.
You will cry, you'll maybe have the odd laugh too - but I can't see how anyone who likes this genre could do anything but love this book.
I'm glad this was never made into a movie - I don't think anyone could do justice to this epic.
There is a little bit of fantasy wrapped up in the novel as well, this isn't really my thing, but it's not much and it actually fits the story well.
I think the narrator does a cracking job as well and his voices for the characters were a good fit in my opinion.
So ... Sister, Swan and Josh - thanks for the journey - I'll miss you !
Have just read the previous review and had to briefly write my thoughts which are the exact opposite of the last reviewer.
I couldn't wait to finish the book as I was thoroughly enthralled and caught up with the characters, I didn't notice how brutish it was as I expected rage and violence etc as it's an end of the world type of book.
I really enjoyed it and will read it again at some point.
Give it a try.
"A brilliant, post-apocalyptic adventure tale!"
How is it that this book has been off my radar for so long!? Seriously. I love epic, post-apocalyptic tales of survival and so this book should have been on my list from the moment of its release. Okay... maybe not that far back as I was two years old when it was originally released. No. This book was so good that even then I should have had it on my wishlist.
This book is a must read if you are a fan of Stephen King's The Stand or Justin Cronin's The Passage. I happen to be a huge fan of both and Swan Song is a bit like the love-child of these works.
It has a whole bunch in common with The Stand. The survivors of the apocalypse (which takes the form of a nuclear strike instead of a government-engineered plague) fall into two camps of Good vs Evil. There's a "dark man" figure who is decidedly evocative of King's Randall Flagg, and there are many religious undercurrents to the narrative.
King's work was first published in '78 so it pre-dates Swan Song. Even though the argument could be made that McCammon's work is derivative, I actually don't care. I see it more as one great piece of fiction inspiring another. While King's work is definitely superior, McCammon's story is still a wonderful read. Whole bunches of books have been inspired by great predecessors, and just because they don't measure up to them, doesn't mean they can't be great in their own right.
I guess there was a lot about this book which reminded me of other books, and I know that's not necessarily a good thing. However, in this case I honestly enjoyed every aspect of the book. The situation was gripping, the characters were realistic and the premise was epic. This is one of those books that I'd recommend to people after they'd read and loved The Stand. It's not as good as that, but it's damned decent as a follow-up read! A fab not-so-little read!
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.
I've read most of Robert McCammons books and loved them. This is no exception. Tom does a really good job of the narration as well so double bonus. Not sure why the previous reviewer put what they did it's a post-apocalyptic tale - what did they expect!! Love that the characters are all so different and each have their own story to tell
I was disappointed at first, extremely slow to start but about 5 hours in I got hooked and had to finish it. Have only read one other book by R McCammon the Wolf Hour and loved it so was hoping this would be as good.
Great story which is superbly read. I found myself building a relationship with every main character - good and bad - and thoroughly enjoying every moment of the book. As previous reviewer posted, I would expect a certain amount of "nastiness" in a post-apocalyptic environment and thus it didn't bother me. In fact, I think it helped creating the right atmosphere. Definitely a keeper!
"More of an Opera than a Song!"
When I got this book in a special offer I didn't expect too much from it despite the positive reviews. However, when I got round to listening to it my expectations were far exceeded. Sadly for me several of the existing reviews make many of the points that I would like to make. It is indeed very much like Stephen King's The Stand in many ways. The post-apocalypse setting, the fight between good and evil. It's also similar in the large cast of characters and the depth which the author gives to them. They stand out because they are drawn from all levels of achievement within our existing society. They carry the burdens of how current society treated them into this post-apocalyptic world and some discover the merits and strengths that were buried under its negative judgement.
It's a harsh book set in a harsh world but it carries messages of hope both on a personal and global level. You'll have to listen to it though to find out whether those slender seedlings of hope triumph over the brutal evil of a lawless world.
The narration is very impressive, particularly for a book of this length. As a result of the fine writing and the fitting rendition from Tom Stechschulte the length of the book is a positive without doubt.
Try this one, it has real quality.
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