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Swan Song | [Robert McCammon]

Swan Song

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. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

"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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Jennifer 10-19-13
    Jennifer 10-19-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Only the best book ever!"
    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Listening gave me more insight to the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book at least once a year but this time I decided to listen to it. I loved listening to the book that I have read so many times, it gave me a new understanding of some of the characters. Thus book is a must.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kali Walnut Creek, CA 08-25-13
    Kali Walnut Creek, CA 08-25-13 Member Since 2010
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    "the darkest of post-apocalyptic fiction!"

    A book that starts with the line “Once upon a time, we had a love affair with fire” is clearly a winner worth pursuing. Swan Song is not for the faint of heart (is any apocalyptic listening?), as McCammon lays down a harsh and brutal future, exploring a loss of humanity among people. Listening to this book is like being dropped into a nightmare, and I mean that in the best way possible. Add to the epicness narrator Tom Stechschulte – he reads this book like he’s really mad about it, and it is the perfect tone to take. The Unabridged audio of Swan Song clocks in at almost 35 hours – a true apocalypse takes a while.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad Kelso, WA, United States 07-16-13
    Chad Kelso, WA, United States 07-16-13 Member Since 2009

    This mountain of books isn't going to listen to itself.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not a Feel good book."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would add more good things into the book (more hope). It felt like every thing was bad for 22 hours. I even stopped listen for a bit, fearing I needed to take a antidepressant. (jk)


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The end was very predictable. Not complaining at all, because its what you want to happen.


    Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He was pretty good. I did hear some inconsistency of voice in one of the characters. But it was fine practically unnoticed.


    Did Swan Song inspire you to do anything?

    Yea, Next book...."Epic fantasy."


    Any additional comments?

    I have 6 reviewers I follow. Each one has a certain task. 3 of them reviewed this book. My zombie/apocalyptic lady reviewer loved this book. The guy who gives 5 stars to everything then writes how he doesn't like it all that much. (he reads lots of fantasy) And my must trusted literary reviewer who I pretty much agreed with. (he gave the book 2 stars. I say 3 is a fair review.)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 03-10-13
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow. What a ride."

    For a 32 hour book to keep me riveted and anxious to get back in the car each morning is by definition a 5 star +. And I got this on sale. Wow. Looking forward to trying more titles by this author. The narrator was top rate, a must for this type of book. If you like Stephen King books, you will like this one. This is not my favorite genre, but any book written this well is a 5 star no matter what genre. Highest recommendation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bebe South Carolina 02-23-13
    bebe South Carolina 02-23-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Good book"

    I really enjoyed Swan Song. It reminded me of The Stand by Stephen King, which is one of my all time favorites. However, Swan Song has its own personality. I really cared about the characters and what happened to them. This is a long book, but it holds your interest throughout and is hard to stop listening to. The suspense is thrilling!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 02-04-13
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 02-04-13 Member Since 2012

    I just achieved App Scholar!! 1000 hours in 1 yr 7 mo and 10 days!!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A must read!!get this book today!!"

    I don't know where to start,this is one of the top 10 books I've read so far!!
    If you like the end of the world type books this is right up their with One Second After.
    From start to finish action,with three stories all intertwined and meet the end of the
    road together!!!You have demons,Mad Armies,crazy people,good people that wants
    the country the way it was before the nuke!! But the only thing that they have is Hope!!
    And that is SWAN, a little girl with a kind hart and the green touch! I had this book in my
    library for four months and what a great surprise!!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Olson Denver, Colorado 12-01-12
    Nancy Olson Denver, Colorado 12-01-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I read this book 3 times before listening to it"

    It is one of my all time favorites. The characters are all very 3 dimensional and you care about them. You hate the villians and love the good guys. This is a post apocalyptic book about what happens after a nuclear strike and reprisal. One of the main characters, Swan, transforms from a girl to a young lady in the book and her protector, a washed up wrestler, is fierce about protecting her. The villians, a psychotic young man who thinks he is in a King’sKnight game protects the King, a washed up former Army Captain. While the story is long it does not drag and will remain one of my favorites. I will read it many more times after this too!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hope Broken Arrow, OK, United States 11-24-12
    Hope Broken Arrow, OK, United States 11-24-12 Member Since 2010

    Hope

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Epic"

    This is one is like The Stand meets On the Beach. McCammon has a new fan, I'm amazed it took me this long to find this author. Since I have exhausted King I was looking for something that took me on a journey, Swan Song did just that. The book is lengthy but it never dragged for me, McCammon's writing and Stechschulte's narration was a great combo which has left me looking for more from both. The end of the world as it was known came from every enemy state nuking each other; the story starts there and what follows is an epic battle of good and evil.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony WA 09-09-12
    Anthony WA 09-09-12 Member Since 2007

    Audible has opened up a whole new world of reading that I could not make work in the traditional page turning world. I am on a mission to listen to a wide variety of adventures, mysteries, thrillers, classics, etc. Thank you Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Something’s just get better with age!"

    There seems to be a steady increase in books focusing on apocalyptic themes, which I must admit I find entertaining and thought provoking. Having read quite a few of the newer apocalyptic books being written I was amazed by how unique and well developed Swan Song still is when considering it won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel clear back in 1988.

    I am frankly awed that after more than 30 years not only has this book remained an excellent reading/listening experience, but I find it has become even more engaging as times have progressed. The twists and ideas presented have not been negatively affected by the passing of time despite all the incredible advancements that have occurred in the past several decades. I feel that this story not only has endured the test of time, but it has actually gotten even better as our world has become more advanced and dependent on technology.

    If you have not yet read this book or if it has been some time since you have I highly recommend that you treat yourself to what I would define as a cutting edge classic! This is well worth the credit given that it provides you with 34+ hours of listening time that will actually leave you wanting even more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ry Young College Station, TX United States 08-05-12
    Ry Young College Station, TX United States 08-05-12 Member Since 2007

    Molecular biology professor and researcher. I love history, historical fiction and future/alternate history. Mostly I listen while jogging, about 30-45 min per day.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Painful and nauseating to listen to."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This would be great as a class project on how to write a bad novel. I cannot find the right words beyond trite, predictable (in the worst way)., boring in the extreme. I resolved to continue listening about half way just to recalibrate my standards. But it was tough. I have never been so glad to finish anything.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I like doomsday books, but mostly I read fiction that deals with real history.


    What aspect of Tom Stechschulte’s performance would you have changed?

    His reading was OK. It must have been hard to keep coming up with the emotive cues when a book is as bad as this one is.


    What character would you cut from Swan Song?

    All of them. Not a single character was believable. The Josh character is a horrible racist joke. The Swan character might be the worst fiction creation I have ever experienced. I was rooting for the devil character by half way through the book.


    Any additional comments?

    It is just possible that the author wrote this as a gag, putting in every cliche he could think of. It is a gag, one way or the other.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 31-40 of 366 results PREVIOUS134537NEXT
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  • Brian
    BANGOR, United Kingdom
    8/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a journey!"
    Where does Swan Song rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book kind of hits quite high with me. I was slightly put off with the long intros, which really did not need the length to them, but nevertheless, every word spoken by this brilliant narrator were like gems to hold onto.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character has to be Josh. A gentle giant in all ways, and from his own doubts of his humanity, the reality of it saw his selflessness come to the fore.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The best scene? Well there were several, but if I had to pick out one scene, it would be when in the subway tunnels, the demonic character confronts the small team of newly found friends, where a battle of minds ensues, and revenge promised. Gripping.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    In a world lost of hope, strangers bring light to the dark world of the lost and displaced.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to mention the narrator, Tom Stechschulte. The book would only have a matt finish to it. Tom sets the gloss on in his efforts to bring the characters to life. Thank you TOM!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan
    8/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The next best thing to The Stand and The Passage!"
    Would you listen to Swan Song again? Why?

    No, but that's only because I don't read the same book twice. If I did, I would read it many times again!


    What other book might you compare Swan Song to, and why?

    Swan Song has huge similarities to Stephen King's The Stand (in my opinion, best book of all time) and Justin Cronin's The Passage. It is an epic post-apocalyptic story of good vs evil and at nearly 40hours it builds a vivid picture of the world in your head which remains there even after you've finished it.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I'm fussy with narrators. I often find good books with brilliant stories but I can't get past the first chapter because the narrator's voice doesn't work.

    No problems here! The only narrator that I've preferred (and it's extremely close between the two) is the guy who narrated The Passage. Tom adds real life to the world and characters and you forget he's reading it to you.
    He makes the whole thing an experience rather than just a book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would if I could, but at 37 hours it's a tough ask!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I can't decide what I thought about the ending, even now I'm not sure if it could have been done a bit better. Only a very, very minor niggle.

    Download this now, and set aside lots of time. I promise you will enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farniboy
    Wirral, UK
    7/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "As Good as King's The Stand for Apocalyptic Horror"
    What did you like most about Swan Song?

    I read Swan Song in the late 80's when a nuclear war still seemed a very real possibility. The book left a mark on me as a teenager. I was delighted to see it as been released on Audible. Tom Stechschulte, the narrator does a brilliant job with a huge cast and he keeps you at the edge of the seat in parts. Swan Song has similarities to King's The Stand but the story and cast are a match to those in the King book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What can you not like about Swan Song? Its an epic listen at nearly 35 hours long! It deals with the big issues of good versus evil but also concentrates on friendship, love and bravery. It doesn't shirk the horrors of the aftermath of a nuclear war and societies collapse but it also shows how people can make a difference even in the direst of circumstances.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The face off in the supermarket has to be one of the most tense parts of the book. Its one of those books that as many stand out scenes. One minute you are despairing for the heroes fates and then a few pages on you have a goofy grin. I guarantee that you will recommend this book and also relisten to this book in a few years time!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Don't F### with Sister Creep...


    Any additional comments?

    I think Swan Song, like Stephen King's The Stand transcends the genre (ooo, get me!) Even though there are supernatural/horror elements in the book, its the evil that men do to each other that is far more horrifying.Robert McCammon is a fine writer, be it his horror novels of the 80/90's or the historical detective fiction he writes today. I couldn't recommend this book, They Thirst, Boys Life and all of his other work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • JS
    Slough, United Kingdom
    5/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating!"
    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The characters were well developed and distinctive in personality. Filled with suspense and nail biting moments. Well worth the purchase. The narrator did an excellent job!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Putney, United Kingdom
    4/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best books I've know.. Epic!!"
    What made the experience of listening to Swan Song the most enjoyable?

    This was an absolute epic, right up there with Earth Abides and Lucifer's Hammer.
    The character development was amazing. The setting of each scene so absorbing, it was easy to visual everything.
    There's a quality to these old novels you don't find much in modern books. The most noticeable thing is the character interaction. In modern books it's so cheesy but this was exactly how I might imagine (given the circumstances).

    I listened to this book a couple of months ago and still get goosebumps thinking about it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Josh. True gent, pillar of the book.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The narration was perfect, each character well defined and not over the top.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Josh says he has proud of Swan as any father can be of his daughter.


    Any additional comments?

    It had a splash of fantasy, which was enjoyable. There were a couple of elements I would've changed. I don't want to spoil it but the ending (for me) was a bit confusing. The whole book built towards something then, rather disappointingly, sidestepped that thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michelle
    Rochester, United Kingdom
    4/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long but beautifully read and worth every second"

    I do seem to like an end of the world disaster book; I was hooked from the beginning to the end. Soooo!! well read full of emotion. Great characters good and evil. A must read or listen.
    Buy enjoy you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Planet Earth
    4/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb post-apocalyptic thriller"

    Swan Song is a superb story from the pen of Robert McCammon, written in 1991 there are a few similarities to Stephen King's 'The Stand' but anyone who enjoyed SK's masterpiece from the late 1970's will certainly enjoy this tale.

    Clocking in at over 30 hours this story is a real epic & Tom Stechschulte does a great job with the narration (although I did think his portrayal of 'Sister' to be a little tiresome at times), the story has a really good flow & for Audible members a 30+ hour quality book is great value for a single credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • dawn
    cornwall, United Kingdom
    3/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great big story in length and in content!"
    Would you listen to Swan Song again? Why?

    Yes, I listened to it again as soon as I had finished as it is so long and complex I wanted to make sure I had it all straight in my head!


    What other book might you compare Swan Song to, and why?

    Yes, a bit like but not really the Stand, if you enjoy post apocalyptic tales this is for you!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    don't want to do any spoilers......but yes! the end


    Any additional comments?

    I did not really know of this or the author, I usually find my audible books by looking at good reviews of books I have enjoyed - glad I found this.....it is sad though! We live in this big beautiful world full of amazing things - our plant is mind-blowing - let us pray that we do not ever have this post WW3 world with a 7 year winter! Keep your cool leaders of the world! It is only in your hands for safekeeping for future generations - not yours to abuse of damage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Sleaford, United Kingdom
    3/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "forgotten goodie"

    read this years ago, and had a credit spare so treated myself. a bit different from Stephen Kings THE STAND but I had forgotten how much I enjoyed reading it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nadine Sutton
    UK
    2/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome - if you like The Stand, try this"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Swan Song to be better than the print version?

    Unknown - have not read the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love an in depth epic. Being a huge fan of The Stand on audio, this followed suit and has become a favourite.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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