"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.
Attorney - love to listen to audio books
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!
I just achieved App Master!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible
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!!!!
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.
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!
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.
Gripping story with complex characters. The narrator brought the story to life with his multi-dialect ability to capture regional accents and character nuances.
When Josh broke out of the compound and overcame his captors.
When Swan's face was revealed.
Loved Stephen King's the Stand and didn't think I would enjoy this. Happy to be wrong. It drug a bit at the end, however, I was still sad to say farewell to this cast of characters. I mostly listen to audible books to and from work, but recently have had to do quite a bit of long distance driving. This book made those journeys pleasurable.
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.
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.
I like doomsday books, but mostly I read fiction that deals with real history.
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.
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.
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.
I really enjoy a good 'Mystery/Thriller' but the narrator can cause me, at times, to not listen to what might have been a really good story.
This was an absolutely awesome book. I LOVED everything about it and I was so sorry when it ended. In my opinion this is a classic that rates up among the very top. Do not miss out on this one. I rarely write any kind of review but this book definitely rates one. A++++++ all the way.
one of the best Audio's books of it's type I have read.
The Stand. A similar story concept, but much much better. It is a much more intense and complete look at a post-apocalyptic world and the people left behind. It is much more interestingly presented and written about and the characters, I feel, are better developed and easier to relate to or believe. McCammon does an excellent job of putting you into their shoes (or lack thereof) and creating multiple characters with extreme character personalities. He goes way beyond The Stand's character's and morphing them into totally new, and incredible, beings. This is not a zombie book, but I do not want to give away too much. The "devil" creatures in both are well developed, but much more interesting and explained in Swan Song.
A must read if you liked The Stand or post-apocalyptic novels. It is not a monster or zombie book, but if you like those you should like Swan Song, too. IT deals with survival, but also of inner strength and courage and goes into the inner personalities of the characters.
An ending that doesn't include a megalomaniac with a "doomsday" machine. I felt like I was listening to a James Bond movie with an unlikely bad guy who has a doomsday machine that exists beyond credibility. The doomsday machine relies on nuclear weapons launched from satellites that have existed 10 years past nuclear winter.
A bit. I like post-apocalyptic stories, but this one too itself too seriously with a cruddy ending. I kept waiting for a meaningful ending, but it never came. Cliche is the order for day for this book.
Narration was OK.
Not worth the many, many hours it took to get to the end of this book.
How does one make a nuclear war boring? By telling it from the perspective of cardboard characters, and by not bothering to do any research on how such a conflict would proceed. I listened to the first four hours of this book, and found nothing to hold my attention. I didn't care about the characters, with the possible exception of Josh. I found his description of the nuclear Holocaust laughable in it's inaccuracy. I was dissatisfied with the performance, but since I can't put my finger on just why, it could be that the book was simply too poor for even a good narrator to bring it to life. Very disappointing in almost every respect.
"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!
"2nd time around"
Read this book over 10 years ago and never forgot it. Was delighted to see it available as audiobook. Will probably listen to it again. Wonderful story brilliantly written.
"Outstanding first half."
It's very like The Stand and yet totally different.
The first half of this epic is totally engrossing and well written but turns into stereotype and cliche in the last third. A let down in the end. Still worth a go.
"overlong, overwraught...just over it"
not unless they thought Stephen King's characters were just too subtle and nuanced.
If you like your good and evil laid out very clearly, and sledgehammered home at every opportunity, this is the book for you.
Also, where on earth was the editor?! there are errors in this book, eg one character saying to another they've definitely decided to go somewhere then a few chapters later, claiming not to know where to go and all of a sudden, the distance to said place has shifted by about 5 to 10 miles.
Maybe the editor / proof-reader lost all will to plough on at that stage. I don't really blame them.
Apocalyptic novels are not really my chosen genre, I only bought this one as I'd liked McGammon's Matthew Corbett novel (1st one), so I'm not sure I can be put off something I never really went for in the first place
Quite a good performance but sometimes he voiced the characters with a very low voice that was difficult to pick up on headphones
If you want hours and hours of mindless, meandering, vaguely interesting chat, then by all means. It's not brilliant, kind of the literary equivalent of chewing gum...starts off fine then is very same-y then very bland then you keep chewing (not knowing why) and in the end, you don't mind if you spit it out and never think about it again.
Certainly, it is so nice to be able to sit back and relax and listen to such a great book
Josh, he wasn't the sort of character you expected in the beginning, he forepassed my expectations
No, unfortunately I haven't, but would definitely be willing to do so based on this performance
Yes, most definitely I would of done so, if I had had the time!
"Good start but faded"
No, I thought the ending was poor. It started very well, but just faded at the end and I found I lost interest
Yes, good narration
"Everything you need from an audiobook!"
Superb! Everything about this audiobook works. Tom Stechschulte's narration is excellent which brings this epic story to life and keeps you enthralled from start to finish. All characters are fascinating and you want to know what happens to them. Tom's character intonations, voices, accents really work well. This was my first Robert McGammon audiobook and on the strength on this I have since purchased several more. You won't be disappointed with this one!
"What a journey!"
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.
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.
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.
In a world lost of hope, strangers bring light to the dark world of the lost and displaced.
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!!
"The next best thing to The Stand and The Passage!"
No, but that's only because I don't read the same book twice. If I did, I would read it many times again!
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.
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.
I would if I could, but at 37 hours it's a tough ask!!!
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.
"As Good as King's The Stand for Apocalyptic Horror"
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 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.
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!
Don't F### with Sister Creep...
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.
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