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Swan Song by Robert McCammon

Swan Song (original 1987; edition 2009)

by Robert McCammon

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,907623,594 (4.25)2 / 99
Title:Swan Song
Authors:Robert McCammon
Info:Gallery Books (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 864 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, audio, post-apocalyptic, read in 2012

Work details

Swan Song by Robert McCammon (1987)

  1. 90
    The Stand 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. 20
    The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Another post-apocalyptic book with fantasy elements woven in.
  4. 00
    It by Stephen King (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: Book One of The Strain Trilogy 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 (60)  German (1)  French (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
Overall I would say this book would suit a fairly religious person despite the graphic action scenes. Good and Evil are fairly starkly defined. Not half as good as Stephen King's The Stand in my opinion. ( )
  jerhogan | Jun 4, 2015 |
I loved this book!! My brother and sister and I all read it in our teens and hold it as one of the best! ( )
1 vote mlake | Apr 28, 2015 |
I had listened to the audio version of this book several years ago and liked it. Actually reading it made me like it even more.

So dark, and so possible, it is a frightening story. I think the aftermath of nuclear war is probably as close to real as can be conjectured, and it's is bleak. Mankind doesn't come across in a very positive light....power hungry, desperate people take advantage of the situation to exploit their inner evils and the Devil, who uses the name Friend, is there to urge them on.

But there are also those who keep the light hidden inside themselves, and struggle to survive by banding together into a true family. I'm not really sure whether Swan or Sister is the true heroine of the story. Swan is blessed with a gift but must grow into it and believe in it. Sister fights the hounds of hell to get to what she believes in and then struggles to protect it.

It gives the reader a lot to think about.

One other thing....there wasn't a zombie in the entire book,lol!! ( )
  busyreadin | Mar 21, 2015 |
Once upon a time, the Cold War made the U.S.A. a nation of nuclear neurotics. The probability of nuclear war was taken so seriously here that public schools drummed its terrifying possibility into our heads with such practiced, prolonged and one might say paranoid intensity that Armageddon might as well have already detonated deep inside our impressionable minds, enduring as we did, those what were supposed to be surprise but became oddly rote classroom disaster drills that gave everybody involved in the collective safety charade a short-lived sense of security even as they purported to "prepare" us for that inevitable blinding light and shockwave inferno that one day would incinerate us all into kiddie crisps. The question wasn't if an ICBM would pulverize us, but when?

Swan Song, published and set during what turned out to be the Cold War's waning twilight of the mid-to-late 1980s, showcased the absolute worst possible scenario in the event of an all out nuclear blitz. Not just slow miserable death, but cruel physical deformities that were like outward manifestations of the bizarre metastasis overtaking so many hopeless and ravaged minds.

I've read the nearly 1000 page novel twice. I love it. Kudos to Robert McCammon for taking what even around the time the Berlin Wall fell was a tired post apocalyptic premise and breathing some beautifully foul life into the oversaturated genre. I like it better than Stephen King's The Stand by far. Funny how it turned out for the survivors of the ensuing nuclear winters in the States that the likewise decimated Soviet Union had never been their worst enemy after all. ( )
5 vote EnriqueFreeque | Nov 9, 2014 |
Swan Song is an epic post-apocalyptic novel similar in certain ways to Stephen King’s The Stand, but certainly not at the same level of awesomeness. The novel starts off with a nuclear holocaust, which wipes everything out. A group of characters who survive the bombings work toward each other all with the purpose of saving a mystical young girl called Swan, protecting her from the Man of Many Faces. McCammon assembles an excellent cast of characters, my favorite being the former professional wrestler known as Black Frankenstein, who really develops a bond with Swan.

The plot in the novel is compelling and progresses well. The writing is also top notch. I thought the novel was fantastic for about 4/5ths of the way through. It was really shaping up to be one of my favorite horror/fantasy novels, and then the end absolutely falls apart. The last fifth of the novel was poorly thought out and a serious let down. It didn’t kill the entire novel for me, but it really knocks it down a couple of notches. Without spoiling the novel, I won’t give away what happens, but I found it absolutely preposterous and not worthy of the rest of the novel. I would still recommend the novel, but not as enthusiastically as I would if it had a better ending.

Carl Alves – author of Blood Street ( )
  Carl_Alves | Sep 27, 2014 |
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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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