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Swan Song by Robert McCammon
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Swan Song (original 1987; edition 2009)

by Robert McCammon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,381843,854 (4.2)2 / 125
Member:LMLacey
Title:Swan Song
Authors:Robert McCammon
Info:Gallery Books (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 864 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

Swan Song by Robert McCammon (1987)

  1. 90
    The Stand {1978} by Stephen King (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Another post apocalyptic horror novel that is often compared to this one.
  2. 40
    The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King (infiniteletters, Scottneumann, BeckyJG)
    BeckyJG: Dark, detailed tale of post-apocalyptic survivors fighting supernatural evil.
  3. 30
    The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Another post-apocalyptic book with fantasy elements woven in.
  4. 10
    Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  5. 00
    The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy (sturlington)
  6. 00
    The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (BeckyJG)
    BeckyJG: Industry gone wild creates apocalypse, yet survivors still work for the company. Surprising and touching ending
  7. 01
    Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Epic, apocalyptic tale of survival with supernatural elements of good v evil
  8. 01
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  9. 01
    A Plague Upon Your Family (Zombie Fallout, Book 2) by Mark Tufo (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Epic, apocalyptic cross-country tale with supernatural elements of good v evil
  10. 02
    The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (Phantasma)
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English (82)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 82 (next | show all)
This book gave a good description of the humanity, good or evil, after the all out nuclear war that renders the earth an wasteland. The characters were well depicted with a bit of mytical power that bring hope to the humanity in the post-apocalyptic era. I do have problem with some of the details in the book. There was a seven years gap that seems randomly choosen by the author, and I am also not sure if the fuel reserve and ammunition can really last that long without careful planning and rationing beforehand. I expected people will reverse back to pretty primitive stage of life after the war. Despite these points, overall, the book is a good read albeit a bit on the long side. ( )
  Baochuan | Oct 16, 2018 |
I'm sure a lot of people will disagree but I found this to be your basic potboiler--a crapload of different characters centered around a big event (nuclear war), with a stiff dose of supernatural nonsense that to my mind only detracts from the visceral events taking place. It's the end of the world by fire, do we really need magic gems and devil figures? At lease it isn't a trilogy. ( )
1 vote unclebob53703 | Sep 1, 2018 |
REVIEWED: Swan Song
WRITTEN BY: Robert R. McCammon
PUBLISHED: June, 1987

Another successful novel by author, Robert R. McCammon. Swan Song is a post-apocalyptic horror story following the survivors of a nuclear Armageddon. The characters are diverse and engaging, though many border on the stereotypical “too-good” vs. “too-evil.” However, I appreciated the variety of characters’ “Points of Views” by chapter, similar to Stephen King’s own post-apocalyptic novel, “The Stand.” The desolation and misery created by McCammon is emotional; you can feel the pain and weariness of the survivors as they trek across the ruined country. But that’s also offset by the perpetual hope and innocence of the girl, Swan, as well as the life lessons learned and perseverance by Sister and Josh and the others. The ending is very satisfying, even somewhat beautiful. Swan Song is a classic and recommended reading for anyone who enjoys dark fiction.

Five out of Five stars ( )
  Eric_J._Guignard | Jul 26, 2018 |
I love post-apocalyptic fiction, but this is absolute garbage. ( )
  Rynooo | Apr 25, 2018 |

One leading to another to another, I find I am wading through decades of old novels. I have been shoveling them into my gaping brain maw and chewing them up, enjoying every bite.

One stands out a little from the others. It is having it's 30th birthday this year and holds sway in my view as under appreciated and overly influential to how my think meats process the world.

My perspective post reread of Robert McCammon's Swan Song? As expected, it was every bit as good as the first time, with the exception of spoiled surprises.

I was introduced to Swan Song in 2002(3/?) by a karaoke singing dirty old man (RIP: Dr Lou). He traded me for a Stephen King novel (Black House, sequel to The Talisman). King is important here because at the time, I was of the impression The Stand was an infallible masterwork of apocalypse. Two days after receiving Swan Song and 800 pages later, King was knocked to his knees and deposed of his throne. All hail the new king, McCammon.

Swan Song opens with the introduction of various characters, including Sister Creep. Sister is crazy, drunk, and homeless. Not long after looking the devil in the eye at a screening of 'faces of Death' she finds herself boiled alive and dropped into a post nuclear wasteland. Following instinct, her remaining shreds of humanity, and faith, Sister begins a journey hide from the ultimate evil and save the survivors of our race.

I will spare the internet a blow by blow of plot and characters on a 30 year old book. If you want that, head out to google and I am sure you can find other options.

This novel is not simply a good read, I find that it influenced how I view large cities and even foot travel. Trigger statements might follow for some east coasters.

Positive influence- At one point in the book, there was mention of the need for a good pair shoes. Through conversation it was stated "[...] take it one step at a time. One step and then the next gets you where you’re going." This stuck with me and I have since refused to wear unreasonable or uncomfortable shoes. This was even a restriction at my wedding, that I would only get hitched wearing comfortable shoes.

Negative influence is worse. When I look at large buildings or cities, I cannot help but imagine the sheer volume of corpses mixed with rubble that I would have to climb over to escape a city post nuclear collapse.

My reaction to this mind bendingly good book:
* This tainted my view of the world. The taint itself is unusual, however. This novel left me with a strange feeling of hope, astonishment that the human race is so foolish, and a blatant desire not to be locked into a fate where my only choice is death. As there will always be a choice, I will walk and fight till my bones and sinews can no longer remain connected.

King, you still hold a position next to the throne, but McCammon Frankenstein wrestled you to the mat and kicked your butt. While you were writing fever dreams of corn fields and rats, McCammon's corn fields were burning in the wake of Minuteman flames. ( )
  JasonBrownPDX | Jun 12, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert McCammonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Morrill, RowenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stechschulte, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Sally, whose inside face is as beautiful as the one outside. We survived the comet!
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Once upon a time we had a love affair with fire, the president of the United States thought as the match that he'd just struck to light his pipe flared beneath his fingers.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671741039, Mass Market Paperback)

Swan Song is rich with such characters as an ex-wrestler named Black Frankenstein, a New York City bag lady who feels power coursing from a weird glass ring, a boy who claws his way out of a destroyed survivalist compound. They gather their followers and travel toward each other, all bent on saving a blonde girl named Swan from the Man of Many Faces. Swan Song is often compared to Stephen King's The Stand, and for the most part, readers who enjoy one of the two novels, will enjoy the other. Like The Stand, it's an end-of-the-world novel, with epic sweep, apocalyptic drama, and a cast of vividly realized characters. But the tone is somewhat different: The good is sweeter, the evil is more sadistic, and the setting is harsher, because it's the world after a nuclear holocaust. Swan Song won a 1988 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel. It's a monster of a horror book, brimming over with stories and violence and terrific imagery--God and the Devil, the whole works.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:06 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"An ancient evil roams the blasted, nightmare country, an evil as old as time. He is the Man with the Scarlet Eye, the Man of Many Faces, gathering under his power the forces of human greed and madness. He is seeking to destroy a child, the one called Swan."--Cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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