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Swan Song Audiobook

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

4.2 (4144 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mel USA 11-28-11
    Mel USA 11-28-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11863
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    651
    281
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    5809
    18
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    Story
    "ThunderTome"
    Would you try another book from Robert McCammon and/or Tom Stechschulte?

    Never say never, but probably not--because horror is not my favorite genre.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Most: the vivid characters and the quick pacing; Least: cliches, made-for-the-movies smarmy moments, undefined talismans and loose ends.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    I'm split on this...one moment he is doing an excellent job, the next he is obviously interpreting the written words with incongruent meaning and inflections. But he certainly read with gusto!


    Do you think Swan Song needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I'd bet the fans would shout yes, but at 30 plus hours, I'm good, movin' on...


    Any additional comments?

    I can see why this '86 book is considered a standard in the post apocalyptic horror genre, holds up okay, in '86 was probably considered original, but I kept envisioning Mad Max and the steam-punk type characters. I definitely should have stayed away from the whole genre--but a barrage of 5* reviews?! I think enthusiastic listeners overrated this one. The Good vs. Evil, the vague religious references and symbolism, seemed worn and cliched, the horror element campy. A great post apocalyptic read from the past for the more

    22 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. BURLEY, ID, United States 08-23-12
    D. BURLEY, ID, United States 08-23-12 Member Since 2015

    Climbing since 1995

    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "X rated, way too graphic, for my taste."

    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.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon OAKDALE, CT, United States 11-27-11
    Shannon OAKDALE, CT, United States 11-27-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    24
    3
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    "Wow. Just wow."

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nick chicAGO, IL, United States 11-24-11
    nick chicAGO, IL, United States 11-24-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    1
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    "Gripping, fast moving and timeless."

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 11-23-11
    Michael LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 11-23-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    110
    ratings
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    708
    11
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    "Can't put it down!"

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey 12-29-11
    Jeffrey 12-29-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
    ratings
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    344
    10
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    "Poorly written, contrived motivations, childish."

    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.

    10 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 04-13-14
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 04-13-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    159
    ratings
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    105
    90
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    "Unnecessary if you’ve read The Stand"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maynard Moravian falls, NC, United States 11-07-13
    Maynard Moravian falls, NC, United States 11-07-13 Member Since 2011

    Scientist, artisan, anachronism

    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
    ratings
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    34
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    12
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    Overall
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    Story
    "p is for plagiarism"

    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%...

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tm P. 05-23-13
    Tm P. 05-23-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    19
    6
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    "Wants to be "The Stand" but ends up crawling"
    What disappointed you about Swan Song?

    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.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins


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

    It was fine. I think he tried to give a different voice to each of the many characters.


    What character would you cut from Swan Song?

    Swan - - Sister Creep and everyone she comes in contact with


    Any additional comments?

    I think I've said enough

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Cincinnati, OH, United States 03-20-13
    Michael Cincinnati, OH, United States 03-20-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    70
    2
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    0
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    "Letdown"
    What disappointed you about Swan Song?

    One dimensional characters.
    Predictable plot.
    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?)


    What didn’t you like about Tom Stechschulte’s performance?

    Narrator did his best with what he had.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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
    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
  • Lee
    IPSWICH, United Kingdom
    2/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best audio books I have heard"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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!


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

    This book is singularly different different but the closest I could find to compare it with is 2016.


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

    I have not will fully intend to.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PAUL BRIERTON
    WALLASEY, United Kingdom
    1/20/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Listen"
    Where does Swan Song rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    With out doubt my favorite of all the books i have listen to on this site :)


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Tallow, Ireland
    1/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story"
    What did you like most about Swan Song?

    This is like Stephen kings The Stand and Colm McCarthys The Road in one book with a twist.


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

    There are lots of memorable moments in Swan Song, but none that stand out in particular.


    What about Tom Stechschulte’s performance did you like?

    I thought he did a great job, especially with sister who seemed so real.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Derek
    HULL, United Kingdom
    12/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Roderic
    Victoria Park, Australia
    12/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flat characters and dull plot"
    What disappointed you about Swan Song?

    The characters were one-dimensional and the main aspects of the story were delivered in a clumsy way.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert McCammon again?

    No.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tom Stechschulte’s performances?

    No.


    What character would you cut from Swan Song?

    Colonel Macklin and Roland Croninger


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Camberley, United Kingdom
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Niall
    England
    11/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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