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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Story

This is not that book.

Every once in a while you may come across a book about the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it that centers on how the human spirit, in spite of all of the hardships of the world around us, triumphs. How human nature shines through the darkness and how hope for a better world is the basic animating and driving force in all of us. How, in spite of all, our basic goodness will thrust back the darkness and bring the shining light of the human spirit into our lives and the lives of those around us.

This is not that book.

This book is an unremitting descent into Hell, or at least the first 1/3 is like that since that is as far as I was able to get before I just gave up. I am not a Pollyanna type of person and I don't expect uplifting moments every page, but so far I have found nothing to think that the world pictured in this book is anything other than the lower circle of Hell. Perhaps I will return to this book later. I would like to hope that there is something worth returning to, but I doubt it. One of the books listed under "People who bought this book also bought" was Alas, Babylon. That book, a classic written more than 50 years ago and not the most upbeat book in the world, seems like a light comedy compared to the world pictured here.

On the positive side the book is well written and the narration is very good indeed. Good luck to all of you who venture into this swamp.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy
  • CHARLES CITY, VA, United States
  • 03-23-13

Enjoyable but graphic

Any additional comments?

I did really like the story and wanted to give it a 3.5 but that's not possible. I liked everything enough to keep listening and find out what happens but there were a few issues for me. The story was really graphic at times, as you would expect in an end of the world tale. Certain elements were quite fantastical and stretched credulity.In the end I would recommend for those who like end of the world stories and are used to explicit detail.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Gail
  • San Deigo, CA USA
  • 02-18-12

Credit Worthy

After reading a good handful of well written reviews, I still didn't realize the impact that this story would have. I found myself listening for hours even while I was brushing my teeth and putting my makeup on! There were places where it tended to be over the top but for the most part, this apocalyptic book is a very interesting and entertaining listen. I hope what happens to our world in this book will never depict our end times but it's good to know that good will triumph over evil. The narration was excellent of all the characters.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • coreybeth
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 12-14-11

My first review - Story wonderful & narrator A+

Wonderful story. I "listen" to books alot & simply could not put this one down. I'm an older mom with a two year old who needs sleep and actually caught myself several nights not realizing how late it was. (3am). The narrator is hands down the best I've heard. It wasn't until chapter 8 that I realized there was only one narrator. He's that good even with female voices and NO ONE sounds like anyone else. Great simply great. The story is not too shabby either. For those of us that like supernatural undertones this book did not disappoint. I've been reading alot of doomsday & zombie books lately and this is definitely my favorite. If I had to pick one thing I would change I think I would unfold the eerie/supernatural elements sooner for those of us that like that genre. The characters were well developed and it wasn't forced like some books. It honestly makes you think this could really happen. There wasn't one time that I skipped through a chapter (yep done that before). Another thing I like is that he spends just the right amount of time on character development & even imagery. I recently listened to a book where it seem it took the author a whole chapter to describe what a simple spoon looked like. I'm definitely a Robert McCammon & Tom Stechschulte fan. Just downloaded "The Oath" & so far Mr. Stechschulte is superb again! If you're on the fence - go for it - you won't regret it!!!!

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Henrik
  • Crown Point, IN, United States
  • 11-27-11

Just like remembered

Swan Song is an epic book about a fictional aftermath to nuclear holocaust. Even though it was written at a time where war seemed very real, it hasn't aged nor lost some of it's point of what I would consider an optimistic view on post disaster. The characters are well-defined, and you care about them. The villains are threatening, and not the sort of villains you would root for in any way, which is good; they are simply scary and merciless - there to sweep up the remnants of war.
Hopefully now, Audible will work on other McCammon books, and in unabridged versions. The narrator does well, although his reading of female dialogue can be a little flat, though strangely overdone, in a monotone high-pitch. That being that, though, is very well done overall, if that is the only personal gripe. Good job.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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...

13 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Finally some Robert McCammon on Audible.

Robert McCammon is one of my favorite authors, and I have been reading his books for many years. I have requested his books from Audible several times, and finally they deliver with Swan Song and Boys Life, two of his better books.

I downloaded this book as soon as it came out, and I was not disappointed. The story was just as good as a listen as it was a awesome read many years ago. Some of the subject matter is a little dated, as the book was written in the 80s, but it doesn't deter from the story. The narrator is very good as well.

Thank you Audible. Hope you will include some of Mr. McCammon's newer books as well.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Edward
  • Vancouver, WA, United States
  • 12-18-11

Lazy writing.

Would you try another book from Robert McCammon and/or Tom Stechschulte?

No

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Give up on creating female voices. I would have given five stars for the performance had he not done so poorly with the female voices.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointed. I was looking for something like The Stand. I wasn't looking for a lot of originality, but the writing was so sloppy as to spoil my experience.

Any additional comments?

Plotting was poor. Obvious foreshadowing was frequently not followed up by the author. Based on the frequent descriptions in the book it appears that the author believes 90 percent of the people in the world have blue eyes. The other 10 percent have

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Too much fantasy, narrator mediocre

I have red a number of post-apocalyptic novels and as far as these go, I found Swan's song very mediocre. It just doesn't feel like a possible scenario and all characters are black or white

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Liked as a kid,

like ants on sugar. Huh? Author uses "like as" like a bunny having babies. Like eggs on a hot platter. huh

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Edmund
  • 09-14-12

Interesting and absorbing

Swan Song seemed to be one of those books that as I was going through it I wasn't quite sure where it was going to end up.

So the setting is post-apocalyptic style America and the character list is good, with some well developed characters and intriguing personalities. These characters unfold in sometimes not the most obvious ways and sometimes in the very obvious ways, which is both a good and bad thing. There are some absorbing plot devices (again without going into spoilers) but safe to say that there seems to be a heavy influence of good and evil, god and the devil at work here.



The detriment of the book seemed to me that when it came to the end of the book I was left wondering what happens while already knowing what was going to happen. This really takes away what would make this a 5 star book for me.



To finish this off. This is a really intriguing book and while I listened to it I was enthralled. The reading is really good and the personalities of the characters really come out well in this reading.



Upon reading my own review If I could give it 4.5 I might but I shall have to stick with 4, a damn good book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • zomodo
  • 03-11-12

Breathtakingly amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Download this book instantly, you WILL NOT BE DISSAPPOINTED. This book gripped me from the outset and wouldn't let me go. I nearly pulled an all nighter listening to this once and I had to ban myself from night time listens. It is just so clever, and emotional and character driven. It shows evil and hope at a great time of difficulty. The narrator is pretty special and the writing is brilliant. It's a long book too (which is great) and I truly dreaded reaching the end. I was sad to see 'my friend' go. Don't hesitate to get this book.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Edward
  • 08-21-16

The Stand, want-a-be

Any additional comments?

The story although long could easily have been longer which may have held it together, instead the writer decided to just skip 7 years. For the most part well written, but it leans heavily on The Stand. The ending seemed rushed, as if the author tired of his own story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Seaglass
  • 02-22-16

Talented author but why this? Too derivative

I have enjoyed other books by this very talented author so much more. I have no idea why it was written. This was far too much like the Stand and I became exasperated with the hackneyed themes and villains that I just gave up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-01-15

Excellent book

I enjoyed this book immensely. Story is great and the narrator is absolutely terrific.
I am certainly going to read more of Robert McCammon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • andrea
  • 09-19-13

Gripping apocalyptic tale

I loved this. Very similar in many ways to King's "The Stand" as it is an apocalyptic, good vs evil story but I think this is superior in many ways. I enjoyed the writing and the character development and was sorry when it was over. The setting is wholly believable with graphic descriptions of the scorched earth following a nuclear winter. Not for the faint-hearted as it is very vivid in terms of human suffering but it is also incredibly uplifting in many ways. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian B.
  • 05-10-13

Absolutely Brilliant

This is by far the best 'End of the World' story I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. The pictures Robert McCammon paints are dramatic and realistic, the pain, suffering, humility and downright evil are explicit and intense. This is a brilliant book and my wish is that Robert would write a sequel. This is one of a handful of books I believe everybody should read and learnt from its characters experiences.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MR.D.M.WOOD
  • 06-28-12

One of the best books of its type

If you like post aocalyptic fiction then you must read this. If you like epic stories with in depth characters I also reccomend you read it. At first I thought this book was just a cheap rip off ,of Stephen King's 'The Stand' but no, in actual fact it is far superior and quite different. The book welds factions from post apocalytic fiction into one, with elements from 'The satnd', 'The Road', 'Mad Max' and many others of the genre. Ok yes it is a little remenisent of the eighties with its cold war paranoia and style of the decade, but you must remember it was also written then. I listen and read all kinds of books from Ken Follett to Cormac McCarthy and I will certainy always think of this book with fond memories that stands up among the best of them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Georgina
  • 06-15-12

Gripping

This book kept me interested from start to finish. What an amazing imagination this author has and the narrator is excellent. Highly recommended. Am going to try more of this authors work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Estelle A.
  • 03-19-12

just buy it!

just a fantastic read. A real epic. I've read this twice now (once in print, years ago) thoroughly enjoyed it both times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful