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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
2,221802,912 (4.21)2 / 117
Member:ramblingivy
Title:Swan Song
Authors:Robert McCammon
Info:Gallery Books (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 864 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:**
Tags:fiction, audio, post-apocalyptic, read in 2012

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. 00
    The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy (sturlington)
  5. 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
  6. 00
    Speaks the Nightbird by Robert McCammon (Scottneumann)
  7. 01
    The Strain by Guillermo del Toro (Phantasma)
  8. 01
    Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Epic, apocalyptic tale of survival with supernatural elements of good v evil
  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. 01
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
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English (78)  German (1)  French (1)  All (80)
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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 |
3.5 ( )
  alejandroseneca | May 18, 2017 |
In many many many ways, this reminded me of Stephen King's The Stand. There are differences, but it is very similar. Nuclear war and the survivors are left to fend for themselves. A little girl named Swan has the gift of life (growing and planting) and the very bad man is looking for her. ( )
  bookwormteri | Sep 12, 2016 |
3.5
Now that was a long book. ( )
  Amanda105 | Sep 5, 2016 |
I gave this four stars only because I didn't like the ending, which isn't a fault of the author. Otherwise, I'd say the 900 pages went by pretty fast. Worth the read at any rate. ( )
  Cal_Clapp | Sep 5, 2016 |
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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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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