We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Swan Song Audiobook

Swan Song

Regular Price:$39.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (5568 )
5 star
 (2986)
4 star
 (1540)
3 star
 (627)
2 star
 (247)
1 star
 (168)
Overall
4.2 (4990 )
5 star
 (2750)
4 star
 (1267)
3 star
 (584)
2 star
 (218)
1 star
 (171)
Story
4.4 (4948 )
5 star
 (3066)
4 star
 (1266)
3 star
 (419)
2 star
 (106)
1 star
 (91)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mike From Mesa 06-18-12 Member Since 2015

    MikeFromMesa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2048
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    262
    185
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    381
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    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
  •  
    Nancy CHARLES CITY, VA, United States 03-23-13
    Nancy CHARLES CITY, VA, United States 03-23-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Gail Ridley San Deigo, CA USA 02-18-12
    Gail Ridley San Deigo, CA USA 02-18-12 Member Since 2016

    G.Ridley

    HELPFUL VOTES
    268
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    271
    124
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    47
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    coreybeth Cincinnati, OH, United States 12-14-11
    coreybeth Cincinnati, OH, United States 12-14-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    415
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    160
    91
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    40
    23
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Henrik Crown Point, IN, United States 11-27-11
    Henrik Crown Point, IN, United States 11-27-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    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
    586
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    307
    77
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    34
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Scott Simons Central Ca. 11-25-11
    Scott Simons Central Ca. 11-25-11 Member Since 2008

    Scott S.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    190
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    90
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    22
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Edward Vancouver, WA, United States 12-18-11
    Edward Vancouver, WA, United States 12-18-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    122
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Povilas 01-28-17
    Povilas 01-28-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Christopher V Baker 10-09-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    144
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
Sort by:
  • Rob
    Sussex
    11/19/12
    Overall
    "Long but worth the effort"

    This is my second Audible book, and the first time I have been driven to write a review (of any kind). I have to say that this would not be my choice of book to read. Too big and not my normal genre. I have far too many books and not enough time to read them all ( oh woe is me!). I joined Audible to broaden my tastes with something different whilst walking the dogs, and I found that this lengthy (30 hours) story became an evening obsession for a month or so.

    Yes, it is a dark tale of a post nuclear apocalyptic America and is sometimes difficult to hear of the destruction and long term suffering...but that really is the point. How can you explore the possibility of redemption and survival without the descent into evil and chaos in the first place?. And it is like The Stand in that it is an exploration of good verses evil, with groups of characters on each side.

    But... the similarity ends there.

    The author has created a compelling story where each of the 90 or so chapters follows the POV of groups of people on either side of the moral divide. The main characters soon become familiar, and their individual stories inexorably and sometimes painfully progress to a satisfying and exciting series of confrontations at the climax of the book. I liked the ending.

    The big thing for me though was the experience of having this book, that I never would have read normally, delivered as a professional spoken performance through my earphones in the Ashdown Forest every day for a month. Really quite surreal!

    I was not convinced at the start, but was soon drawn into the timbre of Tom Stechshulte's voice. His vocal interpretation of each of the characters became to be "just right". This is not simply someone reading aloud. (erm Librivox anyone?) This is a proper job! I could not wait for my next daily instalment!

    Great stuff....

    Now...what to listen to next?

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • sharon
    Falmouth, United Kingdom
    7/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "End of the World.."

    Loved the character Sister, a fight between good and evil in the strictest sense, no smudging of lines in-between, very much like the 'Stand' by Steven King, which I must admit nudges into the lead between the two. Easy read and entertaining well as much as the end of the world can be!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Tempsford, United Kingdom
    12/25/11
    Overall
    "Thoroughly enjoyable"

    Have just read the previous review and had to briefly write my thoughts which are the exact opposite of the last reviewer.
    I couldn't wait to finish the book as I was thoroughly enthralled and caught up with the characters, I didn't notice how brutish it was as I expected rage and violence etc as it's an end of the world type of book.
    I really enjoyed it and will read it again at some point.
    Give it a try.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Waterlooville, UK
    9/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More of an Opera than a Song!"

    When I got this book in a special offer I didn't expect too much from it despite the positive reviews. However, when I got round to listening to it my expectations were far exceeded. Sadly for me several of the existing reviews make many of the points that I would like to make. It is indeed very much like Stephen King's The Stand in many ways. The post-apocalypse setting, the fight between good and evil. It's also similar in the large cast of characters and the depth which the author gives to them. They stand out because they are drawn from all levels of achievement within our existing society. They carry the burdens of how current society treated them into this post-apocalyptic world and some discover the merits and strengths that were buried under its negative judgement.

    It's a harsh book set in a harsh world but it carries messages of hope both on a personal and global level. You'll have to listen to it though to find out whether those slender seedlings of hope triumph over the brutal evil of a lawless world.

    The narration is very impressive, particularly for a book of this length. As a result of the fine writing and the fitting rendition from Tom Stechschulte the length of the book is a positive without doubt.

    Try this one, it has real quality.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • @Scattered_Laura
    NEATH, United Kingdom
    7/9/12
    Overall
    "A brilliant, post-apocalyptic adventure tale!"

    How is it that this book has been off my radar for so long!? Seriously. I love epic, post-apocalyptic tales of survival and so this book should have been on my list from the moment of its release. Okay... maybe not that far back as I was two years old when it was originally released. No. This book was so good that even then I should have had it on my wishlist.

    This book is a must read if you are a fan of Stephen King's The Stand or Justin Cronin's The Passage. I happen to be a huge fan of both and Swan Song is a bit like the love-child of these works.

    It has a whole bunch in common with The Stand. The survivors of the apocalypse (which takes the form of a nuclear strike instead of a government-engineered plague) fall into two camps of Good vs Evil. There's a "dark man" figure who is decidedly evocative of King's Randall Flagg, and there are many religious undercurrents to the narrative.

    King's work was first published in '78 so it pre-dates Swan Song. Even though the argument could be made that McCammon's work is derivative, I actually don't care. I see it more as one great piece of fiction inspiring another. While King's work is definitely superior, McCammon's story is still a wonderful read. Whole bunches of books have been inspired by great predecessors, and just because they don't measure up to them, doesn't mean they can't be great in their own right.

    I guess there was a lot about this book which reminded me of other books, and I know that's not necessarily a good thing. However, in this case I honestly enjoyed every aspect of the book. The situation was gripping, the characters were realistic and the premise was epic. This is one of those books that I'd recommend to people after they'd read and loved The Stand. It's not as good as that, but it's damned decent as a follow-up read! A fab not-so-little read!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Joanne
    Stoke-0n-Trent, United Kingdom
    1/9/12
    Overall
    "Loved it"

    I've read most of Robert McCammons books and loved them. This is no exception. Tom does a really good job of the narration as well so double bonus. Not sure why the previous reviewer put what they did it's a post-apocalyptic tale - what did they expect!! Love that the characters are all so different and each have their own story to tell

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • monica
    Ireland
    4/11/13
    Overall
    "Swan Song"

    I was disappointed at first, extremely slow to start but about 5 hours in I got hooked and had to finish it. Have only read one other book by R McCammon the Wolf Hour and loved it so was hoping this would be as good.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    1/9/12
    Overall
    "Loved it."

    Great story which is superbly read. I found myself building a relationship with every main character - good and bad - and thoroughly enjoying every moment of the book. As previous reviewer posted, I would expect a certain amount of "nastiness" in a post-apocalyptic environment and thus it didn't bother me. In fact, I think it helped creating the right atmosphere. Definitely a keeper!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Andy Russell
    New Pitsligo
    7/18/12
    Overall
    "As much an experience as a book !"

    I can say with hand on heart that this is the best book I've ever read, well listened to, but you know what I mean.

    The book covers the story of three main groups of suvivors of a nuclear war and wraps everything together nicely and cleverly by the end.

    Now, there are a few bad reviews here about it being graphic and violent , and this is undoubtably true. However this is a book about the end of the world - it's going to be nasty - there's no sugar coating to be had. I really can't see that it should be marked down because of that.There are a few moments of animals in peril as well that I found upsetting but I think the author just wasn't up for giving any get out of jail free cards - it's the end of the world - walts and all.


    You'll grow to love the characters and sometimes the author will kill them without any warning and you're left truly feeling a personal loss - honestly !

    I finished this yesterday, I did take a break half way through to listen to something else as it honestly is an emotional roller coaster ride and you sometimes need something a bit lighter for a wee while.

    You will cry, you'll maybe have the odd laugh too - but I can't see how anyone who likes this genre could do anything but love this book.

    I'm glad this was never made into a movie - I don't think anyone could do justice to this epic.

    There is a little bit of fantasy wrapped up in the novel as well, this isn't really my thing, but it's not much and it actually fits the story well.

    I think the narrator does a cracking job as well and his voices for the characters were a good fit in my opinion.

    So ... Sister, Swan and Josh - thanks for the journey - I'll miss you !

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • W. Taylor
    Stourbridge, West Midlands United Kingdom
    10/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A thoroughly unexpected pleasure"

    When I bought this book I thought I knew what to expect having seen many reviews which mentioned The Stand and having had a recent binge of post-apocalyptic reading myself. It managed, though, to deliver much more than I expected and something very different from what I expected.

    The beginning was, I think I can say without being too unkind, pretty much run-of-the-mill and conventional. There was a brief pencil sketch depiction of the main characters we were going to follow in their lives before the outbreak of Nuclear War and I have to say at this point the novel felt like the start of any disaster "B" movie and I worried that I had made a big mistake in buying this one, but very soon the author began to bring in some discordant and original notes.

    Without risking too much of a spoiler I think that I can safely reveal that as this novel continues it soon leaves behind gritty realism and approaches something closer to gritty magical realism. The themes of Good and Evil become embodied in certain characters and the nature of reality warps around them and the reader in an original and challenging way. I think herein may lie a challenge for some readers: if you buy a fantasy novel with an elf and a wizard on the front you know the extent to which you are going to be expected to suspend your disbelief but you may not be braced for a similar extent of suspension when you buy a novel about the survivors in an American landscaped ravaged by nuclear war. However, once you make this compromise this becomes an incredible journey in which you become deeply involved - I have to confess there was one point I didn't want continue because what little good had been reclaimed from this destroyed world was all about to be destroyed and I couldn't see any way for it to be avoided: that is how involved I had become in the story.

    The end of the novel might strike some as a little too neat and maybe a touch glib but I think that having travelled so far with the author and these characters we have all earned some kind of closure and not a cheap opening for book two. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will come back to it again (and again, quite possibly). I will recommend it whole-heartedly to certain of my friends and if you want to know whether I would recommend it to you I would say that if you enjoyed The Stand and or The Passage then this book is probably for you or if you enjoy a little fantasy in your reading but don't like it too feel too childish then this is the book for you too.

    I can not leave without a little word about the narration. Tom Stechschulte manages to portray a wonderful array of characters, accents and emotions with consistency and flair. He is a truly talented gentleman and who made a tour-de-force performance with this novel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.