"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.
Climbing since 1995
Its one thing to talk about what would happen, its another to go into detail of the sounds, textures, and smells as people crush each others skulls for the last scraps of food. Yick. I could stand it for once or twice, but every 10 minutes or so it got too gorey for me. I also didn't care the fantacy side of things. The shapeshifting satan character, and the dream glass ball, were too dumb for me to enjoy.
Here I am a grown man, father of 4 and I felt like I needed to take a shower after listening. I only got through 10 hours then called it quits. Don't know how it ends, don't care. Yick, yick, and icky.
I will say this. The actor that read this book should get an award! So many voices, and with such natureal tallent. WELL DONE.
Everything about this audiobook is absolutely amazing. The story is phenominal. From beginning to end I was completely riveted. The story flows easily from one place to another, through big events and small. And then there is the amazing tension for what is going to happen to the characters.
A big part of that is the naration by Tom Stechschulte. He does a such a wonderful job bringing the characters to life. He gives the each their own voice and through this you really get to know them and feel for them as old friends. You feel their joys and their sorrows as if they were your own. I laughed with them and cried for them.
What else can I say? Buy this book. Listen to it. You will not regret it.
I had never heard of Swan Song when I browsed the Audible Best Sellers catagory, but with all the wonderful reviews I downloaded it. I am so glad I did. In only 5 days I listened to 34 hours of untold intreige. Tom Stechschulte's narration is spellbinding, just unreal. A magical story that you never want to end.
Good story. McCammon has a wonderful writing style. I don't normally like detailed descriptions as so often it just interrupts the flow of the story for me. I can only say his writing feels "silky" to me. Wierd, but that's the only word that comes to mind. I can't stop listening to this book.
What makes this audio book so much more exciting, is the reader. Stechschulte is the best I've heard. I will look for his work for my future selections.
I can understand a dark post-apocalyptic novel full of characters who, say, kill over a bowl of soup because starvation is an understandable, human motivation. Other human motivations might include vengeance, depression, lust, greed, ect. As readers we intuitively understand these kinds of motivations even if we are repulsed by them.
The protagonists in this novel have no such motivations. They are one dimensional cartoon characters motivated by their pure goodness or badness. In their wanderings they meet one dimensional cartoon villains every one of which is an uber violent sadistic psychopath intent on inflicting violence and suffering for no other reason than they are evil. Good guys do good things and bad guys do bad things for no particular reason. Repeat. It's childish dribble that fails to capture even the barest sliver of humanity or human motivation. You might be able to get away with it in a video game but not in a novel or audiobook.
The writing is also best described as immature bordering on childish. For example, it's hard not to giggle when we are constantly bombarded with messages of the empty desolate landscape, and yet every house or shelter the characters walk into is already occupied. I'm not sure if they ever enter an empty house even if we later learn that every other house in the entire city is supposedly empty. Over and over so often you have to laugh. Childish.
Sometimes the writing quality hits like a bucket of cold water that snaps whatever illusion had been created. For example, in one action scene a 300+ pound man, described over and over as a giant, is in a fist fight. After he dodges a punch he-- get this-- ducks down, crawls between his opponents legs, gets up, and hits his opponent (who incidentally is of course a sadist) when he turns around. Trying to suddenly picture this inane action sequence jarred me completely out of the scene, and so on.
For the purposes of context, I am an avid audiobook listener who draws from all genres but am especially attracted to science fiction, some fantasy, and horror, so it's not like this was out of my realm. It's just poorly executed and simply childish. I am writing this review because I wish someone else had written it first so I wouldn't have wasted my time and money on it.
I gave up after about 8 hours. This is almost identical to The Stand, only really weak. The cliches of the magic Negro and The Chosen One, to name just a few here, are so generic that it's hard to take the book seriously. The supernatural elements are perfunctory. But I think the main reason I decided life was too short to finish this is that I didn't care about any of the characters and the writing is business-like with no genuine sense of wonder about the apocalypse.
Scientist, artisan, anachronism
is it just me or does anyone see the similarity to The Stand, by Steve King?
this book is well written, yeah, but in each scene i can't stop thinking of the Stand. it's sooooo close to being the same plot. there's disaster that decimates human kind; an evil entity reminiscent of the Satan character in Christian mythology; there's an innocent with special powers that is on a quest; there is the foreshadowing of a clash between good and evil... it's the Stand 2 (or the Stand too).
maybe if you've never read the Stand you'll find this to be a fantastic yarn. Or maybe you like the Stand so much that you wish there was another... well this is for you. however, it just wasn't for me.
it is well written, and as far as I've listened to the tale it seems like a fine story. but i just cant get by the feeling of the rip-off. i had to stop at about 25%...
I found this book meandering and frustrating.
I've tried three times to listen to this book. I always get 2-3 hours into it and just can't stand it any more. I'm left with the impression that this is a really bad attempt to weave together a political - scientific thriller with elements of horror and the supernatural, somewhat like Stephen King's The Stand. Unfortunately, I find it a D-rate effort. I've no feeling for the characters experiencing the 'supernatural' aspects of the story - possibly because they only exist to further that part of the plot. If they had been introduced as 'normal' people who then, during the course of events, experience the unexplainable in the midst of a catastrophic nuclear war, they might be interesting. I ended up just wanting to skip any section of the narrative that dealt with these people.
The multiple story-lines also failed - to me - to come together into a whole. It was like this was two or three books mushed together with an attempt to tie them into a cohesive narrative.
I'll try to return this, but since the original purchase was last year, I don't know if I can.
Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins
It was fine. I think he tried to give a different voice to each of the many characters.
Swan - - Sister Creep and everyone she comes in contact with
I think I've said enough
One dimensional characters.
Annoyed with the Christian tone (only religion presented was Christianity).
Over-stereotyping race and gender (and what's up with the only gay character was a pedophile?)
Narrator did his best with what he had.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
I loved how the story was always moving forward fast. No lulls.
He had fantastic voices and emotions, however, I did listen to it at 1.5 speed. I tried to listen at regular speed but his reading was too slow for my liking. It did not sound too funny at the faster speed.
There were quite a few; When brave Glory helped them when no one else would. When Killer, the small terrier, attacked people and animals that were far out of his league. He had the heart of a lion. Throughout most of the book, Mule, the horse, always took care of Swan.
Even though armageddon type books are not at all my taste, this book pulled me right in from the very beginning. I was so pleasantly surprised by this wonderful story, it really moved along fabulously and stayed interesting. There were many rich characters that were woven together beautifully throuout the story. I had a hard time putting it down. The only reason I purchased this book was because of all the great reviews. Thank you Audiblians for a great read.
"One of the best audio books I have heard"
Definitely especially for a long journey. This is a great story unwinds and twists and turns so that the final solution cannot be guessed. I really enjoyed this book even though the subject matter is somewhat dark. The characters were well-defined and different enough that you could follow them. I was kept guessing how they would all be put together throughout the story. The background to the story and the different environments were well described so that you felt you were actually in each different town or scenario. Although the subject matter is sometimes troubling it was never so horrific that you could not listen. I felt that it was accurate description of what the world after nuclear holocaust would be. Cold, troubled, definitely scary and challenging. Recommended very highly!
This book is singularly different different but the closest I could find to compare it with is 2016.
I have not will fully intend to.
The final battle for life as we know it was heartwarming and totally not foreseeable within the writing. I really thought that the end was nigh but the author Paul something out this hat at the last moment. Tears streaming and surprised.
I came across this book by accident not having heard of the author but will definitely be searching for other books by the same author. The narrator was also very good he had a cast of players that he was able to give different voices to and this enabled me to follow the story much more easily it also gave a good sense of being involved with the storyline.
With out doubt my favorite of all the books i have listen to on this site :)
This is like Stephen kings The Stand and Colm McCarthys The Road in one book with a twist.
There are lots of memorable moments in Swan Song, but none that stand out in particular.
I thought he did a great job, especially with sister who seemed so real.
Now this is a story. I loved this one.
No spoiler to say that this is a post apocalyptic tale, the transition from normal everyday life to the resulting wasteland is horrific and terrifying. The emerging characters have depth and the power to grip you through an epic of a story that takes a cross the burned out wasteland that is now their home.
You get to follow a number of individuals changed forever, some for good, some for oh so bag and you just know as the story progresses that the point is coming when they will all meet. I found that as this story unfolded, I was not just listening to it, I had invested in it.
This is all massively supported by Tom Stechschulte's superb narration, Stechschulte identifies each individual character and breathes life into them. .
It is going to be a hard act to follow. Well worth the credit/cash
"Flat characters and dull plot"
The characters were one-dimensional and the main aspects of the story were delivered in a clumsy way.
Colonel Macklin and Roland Croninger
I wasn't sure about this to begin with but the more I listened to it the more I got into it. I then couldn't stop listening. I felt I was being transported to a world that almost ended and felt that this is how it would be. I thought the writing was brilliant. I loved Swan. I just wanted the book to go on and never finish.
I really enjoyed listening to Tom Stechschulte so much that I've had a look at other books he's narrated and might possibly buy a book just so I can listen to him again.
There are a lot of reviews here and they all cover what I wanted to say so I'll just sum up.
I loved it from start to finish. The characters are all, main and incidental, so real and rounded. The challenges, and settings for them, are well thought out and exciting.
Lastly, the narration was brilliant and each character was recognisable.
To echo another reader, I'll miss the gang, Sister, Josh and Swan.
"A beautiful tale"
A fantastic and brilliantly realized post apocalyptic world, filled with characters that you care about, and your heart pounds when they are in danger.
There are many, over the course of the book you grow to think of them as friends and care about them. There are several moments when they are fighting for their lives that you really get drawn in and are truly afraid for them. One moment in particular was Josh's battle with 'The Devil'.
The aforementioned battle with the Devil, also the AOE invading the settlement to capture Swan.
It made me cry on several occasions. And laugh on a few as well.
If you liked the Stand, The Passage or other books set in post apocalyptic worlds, you will love this.
Yes I would because the story was amazing, the narrator was superb and i just couldnt stop listening.excellent characters introduced brilliantly and the story just had me hooked. i would recommend this to all. well done to Robert and great work and lovely wide range from Tom.
thats hard, there is so many. defo Josh, he came across quite quiet but strong. also has a soft side, his character was defo enhanced by the narrater. i have to say, there was not a character i did not get drawn into...even the bad ones.
wow, i have great admiration for Tom, he gave each character its own individuality, gave them their own personality. i could feel each one as Tom got the voices spot on. Tom read the book with ease, he drew me right in. He is the best narrator i have listened to so far and i have heard many.
i was enthralled in this book, and yes, at some parts i had tears in my eyes. also some really happy parts. also some pretty evil parts lol
i just love this book, awesome listening. people....get this book :) i will be looking for more from this author and this narrater.
The story and the narrator merged perfectly, and both the story and the narrator were brilliant.
The story was brilliant and the characters were so unusual. It was quite a different world, but I got sucked into it and it wasn't a struggle to adjust to this world. I listened to it doing work around the house and I did loads of work as I didn't want to turn off the book.
Well, no I couldn't, due to the length of it and I also wanted some time to absorb what had happened between listens.
Well worth a read. It's fast paced and exciting. It's an action driven book which makes the 40 or so hours zip along.
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