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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

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (5043 )
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  •  
    AMColorado Colorado Springs 05-09-12
    AMColorado Colorado Springs 05-09-12 Member Since 2015

    amcolorado

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Longshanks 12-27-11
    Longshanks 12-27-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Didn't hold my attention"

    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.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette 12-12-11
    Annette 12-12-11

    I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you've never read King or Koontz...go do so"

    I"m mystified by the positive reviews.. it reads, well - badly. Like a teen attempt at a genre filled to the brink with talented versions. Maybe it's just me? I found the storyline painfully uncreative and I'm a huge end of the world, creepy terror, classic spook story kinda gal... trite, dissappointing, uninteresting even when i was low on books. And I sometimes relisten to things many times. I'm not hard to please. I'll keep it on my ipod and attempt to get through it someday - but I just drove 20 hours and have had it for a month and can't get past part one. Teach me to buy based on hours long...

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet 11-19-11
    Janet 11-19-11
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    "Great Book"

    I read this book years ago and still have it. Glad it finally came out on audio. I listen to it and going to again. I am sure I miss some of it the first time around. Great listener. Hope more of his books come out on audio too.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey 12-29-11
    Jeffrey 12-29-11 Member Since 2016
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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.

    11 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 11-28-11
    Mel USA 11-28-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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

    24 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon OAKDALE, CT, United States 11-27-11
    Shannon OAKDALE, CT, United States 11-27-11 Member Since 2011
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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
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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
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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
  •  
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 04-13-14
    Mark Reno, NV, United States 04-13-14 Member Since 2012
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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.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
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  • 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
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    Performance
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    "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
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    Performance
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    "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
  • Amazon Customer
    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
    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

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