Swan Song

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Overview

“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.

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Overview

“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” (John Saul) 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: 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. . . .

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What People Are Saying

Dean R. Koontz
A wild ride into terror....A grand and disturbing adventure.
John Saul
A chilling vision that will keep you turning the pages until the shocking end.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439156735
  • Publisher: Gallery Books
  • Publication date: 11/10/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 864
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 2.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert McCammon is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen novels, including the award-winning and critically acclaimed Boy’s Life. There are more than four million copies of his books in print.

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Read an Excerpt

An ancient evil roams the desolate landscape of an America ravaged by nuclear war.

He is the Man with the Scarlet Eye, a malevolent force that feeds on the dark desires of the countless followers he has gathered into his service. His only desire is to find a special child named Swan -- and destroy her. But those who would protect the girl are determined to fight for what is left of the world...and their souls.

In a wasteland born of rage, populated by monstrous creatures and marauding armies, the last survivors on earth have been drawn into the final battle between good and evil that will decide the fate of humanity....

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 435 )
Rating Distribution

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(355)

4 Star

(50)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 436 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 25, 2010

    One Of The Best Books Ever Written

    I read this book in the winter of 1988 and still I can remember vividly the characters, thier voices, their trials. I don't often read a book more than once, but I have read this one twice and am considering a third. My daughters and I are always sharing book reccomendations with each other and this is one that I always come back to. I usually don't read this type of book, but there is something about it that kept me up all night flipping the pages unable to sleep until I knew what happemed next. I felt fear, shock, anger, sadness, frustration and finally joy and hope. As far as The stand vs. Swan Song, Swan Song wins hands down. This book is simply superior.

    26 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2009

    Swan Song - The Stand

    Read both. Swan Song is superior in every way (far superior). Enough said.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    unforgetable

    I read this book about 18 years ago and still cant get the story and characters out of my head. I absolutely loved this book. At the time I read this book, I was not a very good reader, I had no patience and was easily distracted. Not with Swan Song. I couldn't stop reading it. And the way Mr. McCammon moves from chapter to chapter keeping you up with whats going on with all of the characters story lines keeps you wanting more. I couldn't put the book down because I just had to find out what was going to happen to Josh next. It got to the point that in order for me to go to bed, I would have to force myself not to look at the beginning of the next chapter. This book actually helped me quit smoking back then because I was reading during my breaks at work non stop and we were not allowed to smoke in the lounge. I felt very connected to the characters. I have bought this book at least 6 times to give to family and friends because I will never part with my original copy. This book is an outstanding piece of work to this day and I would highly recommend it to everyone.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A classic that withstands the test of time

    First published in 1987, Robert McCammon's Swan Song passes the test of time with flying colors. The story starts in a cold-war world of East and West, politicians driven to the brink by misunderstanding and the world falling over the edge of nuclear disaster. But that's just the beginning. Post-holocaust there's a powerfully depicted dystopia, as real and scary as any imagined in more modern tales. The monsters may not be vampires and werewolves but they're every bit as disturbing. Changing scenes and points of view are handled with nice timing, clues reappearing subtly and mysteries drawn lightly towards a satisfying conclusion. Characters live and die as the setting decrees while the plot flows naturally, mystically guided perhaps but very convincingly earth-bound.

    A young girl holds the key to humanity's future in this bleak world, but she grows convincingly older without knowing or reveling in her powers-no rabbits or miracles pulled out of hats in this tale. Swan's guardians have only half-remembered messages and mystical dreams to guide them, and become more real to the reader because of their lack of confidence. Danger and evil bring surprising strengths to light in wounded protagonists, while others, equally wounded, spiral out of control-man's greatest enemy being his own desires perhaps.

    The hero's journey is fractured and hard with very real dangers, disasters and dashed hopes, and a goal that remains clouded under poisoned skies. This is a long book-think Stephen King-with natural breaks between sections, making it easy to put down but hard to resist picking straight up again. While we may not be so scared of nuclear war as we once were, that doesn't seem to alter the strength of this tale, and it's interesting, coming fresh to it today, to see how its archetypes have woven their way through more recent novels. I'm really glad I got the chance to read this, and I highly recommend it to any fans of Stephen King, dystopias, or heroic journeys.

    Disclosure: My son recommended this book to me and loaned me his copy-do I have to give it back?

    12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2009

    One of the best I've read

    This book is amazing. I wish it were still available in the higher quality paperback, as I have worn out 10 copies. It's an amazing read - I cast the movie for it in my head as I am reading, and then realize again that this book is TOO GOOD to be a movie. The movie would ruin it!
    As for the comparisons to The Stand by Stephen King....I liked The Stand, but this was better.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Edge of your seat read!

    I don't even know what to say about this book other than READ IT! The writing style puts you right in the middle of the action to the point where you feel like a part of the story. There are points in the story that aren't for the faint of heart. If you enjoy post-apocalyptic stories, don't pass this one up.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    4th time through

    First time I read this book was probably 12 or 13 years ago, on a recommendation from a friend. It is the only book I have ever read cover to cover in one sitting...yes, all 1000+ pages of it. Skipped work that day to do it.

    Since then, I am now on my 4th reading of it. I absolutely love it. Yes, it's dark, yes it's depressing...any McCammon book is, in order to deliver a stellar ending. Swan Song does it as well as any book I've ever read.

    McCammon is a great author...a bit raw (Speaks the Nightbird, disturbing, but quite good) at times, but he's an excellent story teller.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2013

    I have to ask if this book was done 4 years BEFORE the Stand how

    I have to ask if this book was done 4 years BEFORE the Stand how is it a rip off ?  Logically time wise the Stand would be a rip of Swan
    Song.I have not even finished reading it. I do find the two books very much alike. SO off I go to finish it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    SWAN SONG is one of the best novels I have read in a long time.

    SWAN SONG is one of the best novels I have read in a long time. I saw the book mentioned in another book's reviews and am thankful to that reader for pointing me toward SWAN SONG? It is kinda along the lines of Stephen King's THE STAND in that it keeps your interest throughout all nine hundred plus pages. You come to know and love some of the characters, and despise some others. There are some shocking and gory parts, but they appear in line with the story line. EXCELLENT READ!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

    excellent read

    one of the best books i have ever read. wish there were more like it. the characters really come to life on the page.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2010

    this book has it all!!!

    this is hands down one of the best books ever written. i couldn't hardly get myself to put it down all three times that i have read it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 28, 2009

    Swan Song - The Stand

    If you liked Steven King's "The Stand", you will like Swan Song. Although I'm sure it's just a coincidence that Swan Song and The Stand are so much a like, I have often wondered.......? Swan Song's first printing was June 1987, The Stand 1991. They are both good reads and I recommend reading both of them. I'd be interested in knowing if others see the similarities.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2012

    highly recommended

    This is my favorite book. I have it in paperback, and ordered the Nook version so I could read it again. Very well written. I am happy to see new books out by Robert McCammon.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 12, 2012

    Derivative with Weak Writing, Yet Somehow Compelling

    This book was suggested to me by a friend who knew I loved Stephen King's "The Stand". And, sadly, this book is very much a Stand rip-off with nuclear war in place of Captain Trips. This book is so derivative that Stephen King should almost be getting royalties. Aside from its lack of originality, the other big problem I have with "Swan Song" is the weakness of the writing. The first chapter is so poorly written that I almost didn't make it through it. The character development is lacking and the author's writing style is just awkward. However, even with those negatives, I found myself continuing to turn pages until the end. There is enough plot and a few somewhat notable characters to make you want to finish. This isn't a book I'd ever read twice, but I ultimately don't regret the time I spent reading it.

    3 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Great Story

    I read this once before in the early 90's. Similar in it's message rgarding the battle between good and evil. I would recommend to anyone who believes The Stand is Steven King's best book. I liked it as well.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The best book I,ve read, I loved Swan, the kind of girl who is a hero.

    Couldn,t put it down. Please read this book, it,s a book of hope, and dreams. Good over evil. This book will touch you. Miss Swan the "Empress" is of God. Everyone I know that has read this says the same thing. Please read this book!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 30, 2011

    Cant download

    I went to download it but it says unavailable. Whats up?

    2 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2011

    good post apoc fare

    why so pricey? this is ten bucks in paperback and far less on every used book store shelf in the country.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Weak and slow in places but a good read overall. This is my fav

    Weak and slow in places but a good read overall. This is my favorite
    genre but not executed the way I like my stories. Still, I give it a
    four.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    A Stand Ripoff

    Copy Stephen King much?

    1 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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