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Swan Song Audiobook
Swan Song
Written by: 
Robert McCammon
Narrated by: 
Tom Stechschulte
 >   > 
Swan Song Audiobook

Swan Song

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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

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  •  
    jack englewood, CO, United States 02-25-13
    jack englewood, CO, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantistic story, great narration"

    I really enjoyed the story. I recently read the stand by Stephen King. This is a similar end of the world tail except that the world is blown up instead of killed by a man made virus. the tales of survival are similar. Swan song is scarier. I couldn't stop listening to it practically finished all 34 hours without a break. The narration of this book is absolutely superb. if you're driving across country take this book with you and you'll be sure not to do any sightseeing or get out of the car.

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

    Attorney - love to listen to audio books

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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 2015

    I just achieved App Master!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible

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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
  •  
    Hope Broken Arrow, OK, United States 11-24-12
    Hope Broken Arrow, OK, United States 11-24-12 Member Since 2010

    Hope

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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 2016

    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!

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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
  •  
    Victoria United States 08-20-12
    Victoria United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Character Development"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Gripping story with complex characters. The narrator brought the story to life with his multi-dialect ability to capture regional accents and character nuances.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Swan Song?

    When Josh broke out of the compound and overcame his captors.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Swan's face was revealed.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    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.

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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
  •  
    PJPackwood 06-22-12
    PJPackwood 06-22-12 Member Since 2004

    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.

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    "Swan Song"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Jupiter, FL, United States 05-21-12
    Michael Jupiter, FL, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent book and audio"
    Where does Swan Song rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    one of the best Audio's books of it's type I have read.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy - Colorado Springs Colorado Springs 05-09-12
    Andy - Colorado Springs Colorado Springs 05-09-12 Member Since 2015

    amcolorado

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    "Degrades into Cliche and "Campiness""
    What would have made Swan Song better?

    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.


    Has Swan Song turned you off from other books in this genre?

    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.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Narration was OK.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Swan Song?

    The ending.


    Any additional comments?

    Not worth the many, many hours it took to get to the end of this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • Cee cee
    12/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "overlong, overwraught...just over it"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    Has Swan Song put you off other books in this genre?

    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


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Quite a good performance but sometimes he voiced the characters with a very low voice that was difficult to pick up on headphones


    Was Swan Song worth the listening time?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ben Rendle
    12/2/14
    Overall
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    "Excellent"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Swan Song to be better than the print version?

    Certainly, it is so nice to be able to sit back and relax and listen to such a great book


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Josh, he wasn't the sort of character you expected in the beginning, he forepassed my expectations


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

    No, unfortunately I haven't, but would definitely be willing to do so based on this performance


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

    Yes, most definitely I would of done so, if I had had the time!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jeff
    10/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good start but faded"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I thought the ending was poor. It started very well, but just faded at the end and I found I lost interest


    What was most disappointing about Robert McCammon’s story?

    The ending


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, good narration


    Did Swan Song inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jeremy
    10/20/14
    Overall
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    "Everything you need from an audiobook!"
    Any additional comments?

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Perhaps
    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

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