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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

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Performance
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  •  
    PJPackwood 06-22-12
    PJPackwood 06-22-12 Member Since 2004

    I really enjoy a good 'Mystery/Thriller' but the narrator can cause me, at times, to not listen to what might have been a really good story.

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    "Swan Song"

    This was an absolutely awesome book. I LOVED everything about it and I was so sorry when it ended. In my opinion this is a classic that rates up among the very top. Do not miss out on this one. I rarely write any kind of review but this book definitely rates one. A++++++ all the way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Jupiter, FL, United States 05-21-12
    Michael Jupiter, FL, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent book and audio"
    Where does Swan Song rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    one of the best Audio's books of it's type I have read.


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

    The Stand. A similar story concept, but much much better. It is a much more intense and complete look at a post-apocalyptic world and the people left behind. It is much more interestingly presented and written about and the characters, I feel, are better developed and easier to relate to or believe. McCammon does an excellent job of putting you into their shoes (or lack thereof) and creating multiple characters with extreme character personalities. He goes way beyond The Stand's character's and morphing them into totally new, and incredible, beings. This is not a zombie book, but I do not want to give away too much. The "devil" creatures in both are well developed, but much more interesting and explained in Swan Song.


    Any additional comments?

    A must read if you liked The Stand or post-apocalyptic novels. It is not a monster or zombie book, but if you like those you should like Swan Song, too. IT deals with survival, but also of inner strength and courage and goes into the inner personalities of the characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AMColorado Colorado Springs 05-09-12
    AMColorado Colorado Springs 05-09-12 Member Since 2015

    amcolorado

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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
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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
  •  
    Ian Frankston South, Australia 12-11-11
    Ian Frankston South, Australia 12-11-11 Member Since 2017

    Movie loving Brit living Down Under. Anything 'end of the world' themed usually gets my attention, but The Stand has yet to be beat.

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    "Top notch!"

    Aside from a very few flat spots, this is now my second favourite post apocalyptic tale after The Stand. The characters are uniformly superb creations that are given real depth and, regardless of their morality, made understandable if not likable. It's a fine story and well told.

    But the cream in the sponge cake, so to speak, is the narration. Mr Stechschulte isn't a narrator I've come across before but his telling is pitch perfect. Regardless of a character's age, gender or ethnicity, they're given distinctive and recognisable voices that evolve even as the characters themselves do. A brilliant piece of work and one of the best narrations I've come across.

    Thoroughly recommended.

    3 of 4 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
  •  
    Shannon OAKDALE, CT, United States 11-27-11
    Shannon OAKDALE, CT, United States 11-27-11 Member Since 2017
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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
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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
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  • Ben Rendle
    12/2/14
    Overall
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    "Excellent"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Swan Song to be better than the print version?

    Certainly, it is so nice to be able to sit back and relax and listen to such a great book


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Josh, he wasn't the sort of character you expected in the beginning, he forepassed my expectations


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

    No, unfortunately I haven't, but would definitely be willing to do so based on this performance


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, most definitely I would of done so, if I had had the time!<br/>


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jeff
    10/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Good start but faded"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, I thought the ending was poor. It started very well, but just faded at the end and I found I lost interest


    What was most disappointing about Robert McCammon’s story?

    The ending


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, good narration


    Did Swan Song inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jeremy
    10/20/14
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    "Everything you need from an audiobook!"
    Any additional comments?

    Superb! Everything about this audiobook works. Tom Stechschulte's narration is excellent which brings this epic story to life and keeps you enthralled from start to finish. All characters are fascinating and you want to know what happens to them. Tom's character intonations, voices, accents really work well. This was my first Robert McGammon audiobook and on the strength on this I have since purchased several more. You won't be disappointed with this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brian.
    8/15/14
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    "What a journey!"
    Where does Swan Song rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book kind of hits quite high with me. I was slightly put off with the long intros, which really did not need the length to them, but nevertheless, every word spoken by this brilliant narrator were like gems to hold onto.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favourite character has to be Josh. A gentle giant in all ways, and from his own doubts of his humanity, the reality of it saw his selflessness come to the fore.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The best scene? Well there were several, but if I had to pick out one scene, it would be when in the subway tunnels, the demonic character confronts the small team of newly found friends, where a battle of minds ensues, and revenge promised. Gripping.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    In a world lost of hope, strangers bring light to the dark world of the lost and displaced.


    Any additional comments?

    I have to mention the narrator, Tom Stechschulte. The book would only have a matt finish to it. Tom sets the gloss on in his efforts to bring the characters to life. Thank you TOM!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan
    8/9/14
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    "The next best thing to The Stand and The Passage!"
    Would you listen to Swan Song again? Why?

    No, but that's only because I don't read the same book twice. If I did, I would read it many times again!


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

    Swan Song has huge similarities to Stephen King's The Stand (in my opinion, best book of all time) and Justin Cronin's The Passage. It is an epic post-apocalyptic story of good vs evil and at nearly 40hours it builds a vivid picture of the world in your head which remains there even after you've finished it.


    What does Tom Stechschulte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    I'm fussy with narrators. I often find good books with brilliant stories but I can't get past the first chapter because the narrator's voice doesn't work.<br/><br/>No problems here! The only narrator that I've preferred (and it's extremely close between the two) is the guy who narrated The Passage. Tom adds real life to the world and characters and you forget he's reading it to you.<br/>He makes the whole thing an experience rather than just a book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would if I could, but at 37 hours it's a tough ask!!!


    Any additional comments?

    I can't decide what I thought about the ending, even now I'm not sure if it could have been done a bit better. Only a very, very minor niggle.<br/><br/>Download this now, and set aside lots of time. I promise you will enjoy this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Farniboy
    Wirral, UK
    7/2/14
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    "As Good as King's The Stand for Apocalyptic Horror"
    What did you like most about Swan Song?

    I read Swan Song in the late 80's when a nuclear war still seemed a very real possibility. The book left a mark on me as a teenager. I was delighted to see it as been released on Audible. Tom Stechschulte, the narrator does a brilliant job with a huge cast and he keeps you at the edge of the seat in parts. Swan Song has similarities to King's The Stand but the story and cast are a match to those in the King book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What can you not like about Swan Song? Its an epic listen at nearly 35 hours long! It deals with the big issues of good versus evil but also concentrates on friendship, love and bravery. It doesn't shirk the horrors of the aftermath of a nuclear war and societies collapse but it also shows how people can make a difference even in the direst of circumstances.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The face off in the supermarket has to be one of the most tense parts of the book. Its one of those books that as many stand out scenes. One minute you are despairing for the heroes fates and then a few pages on you have a goofy grin. I guarantee that you will recommend this book and also relisten to this book in a few years time!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Don't F### with Sister Creep...


    Any additional comments?

    I think Swan Song, like Stephen King's The Stand transcends the genre (ooo, get me!) Even though there are supernatural/horror elements in the book, its the evil that men do to each other that is far more horrifying.Robert McCammon is a fine writer, be it his horror novels of the 80/90's or the historical detective fiction he writes today. I couldn't recommend this book, They Thirst, Boys Life and all of his other work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.<br/>The character development was amazing. The setting of each scene so absorbing, it was easy to visual everything.<br/>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).<br/><br/>I listened to this book a couple of months ago and still get goosebumps thinking about it.<br/>


    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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

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