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Swan Song [Kindle Edition]

Robert R. McCammon
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,166 customer reviews)

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Book Description

McCammon’s epic bestselling novel about a girl psychic struggling to survive in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust
Something flashes in nine-year-old Swan’s brain, telling her that trouble is coming. Maybe it’s her mother, fed up with her current boyfriend and ready to abandon their dismal trailer park and seek a new home. But something far worse is on the horizon. Death falls from the sky—nuclear bombs which annihilate American civilization. Though Swan survives the blast, this young psychic’s war is just beginning.
As the survivors try to make new lives in the wasteland, an evil army forms, intent on murdering all those tainted with the diseases brought by fallout. When Swan finds a mysterious amulet that could hold the key to humankind’s salvation, she draws the attention of a man more dangerous than any nuclear bomb. To rescue mankind, this little girl will have to grow up fast.

Editorial Reviews Review

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.


“A wild ride into terror. A grand and disturbing adventure.” —Dean Koontz
“Compelling . . . . A long, satisfying look at hell and salvation.” —Publishers Weekly
“A chilling vision that keeps you turning pages to the shocking end.” —John Saul, author of The Blackstone Chronicles

Product Details

  • File Size: 1286 KB
  • Print Length: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (October 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005T54IAY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,431 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
309 of 317 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. McCammon's Opus August 16, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The apocalyptic genre is an endearing phenomenon in fiction. Even after the collapse of the Cold War, authors are still pumping out new novels about the end of civilization. That's probably due to the fact that nuclear war isn't the only way to kill off the human race; Stephen King got a lot of mileage out of a killer virus in "The Stand." This book, by the excellent storyteller Robert McCammon, resembles King's classic novel in several respects, but McCammon sticks with the classic nuclear annihilation scenario in "Swan Song," a book written as the Cold War was winding down in the late 1980's.
"Swan Song" starts out on a bleak note, and quickly goes down hill from there. The world is in turmoil as terrorists use nuclear bombs with impunity, the U.S. and the USSR constantly engage in skirmishes around the world, and the economy does a nosedive straight into the ground. Inevitably, the bombs are launched and the world erupts in a thousand mushroom clouds. This is all within the first hundred pages or so. What follows is the real story, and McCammon pulls out all the stops introducing us to the characters that drive the story.
Just like McCammon's novel "Stinger," there are many major characters in "Swan Song." McCammon introduces us to Sister Creep, a New York bag lady fostering a horrific personal tragedy; Josh, a 7' black wrestler (known as Black Frankenstein) with a heart of gold; Colonel "Jimbo" Macklin, a former war hero with an ominous shadow dogging his every move; and Roland Croninger, a wise beyond his years child who grows into Macklin's sadistic acolyte.
This is post-apocalypse, so there is the unavoidable good vs. evil theme running through the book. The good is Swan, a young girl who has the power to renew earth's ecosystem.
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103 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Novel! November 6, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Written in the mid-eighties, the book describes in chilling detail the nightmare of the times, i.e., nuclear holocaust. Some of the background events may be a bit outdated, but in light of the recent terrorist attacks we know there is still the threat of mass destruction. So my point is that the book is still pretty darn scary! The first couple of hundred pages that describe the nuclear attack and immediate aftermath are terrifying. The horrors that are described throughout the book are gruesome. America has become a scorched and barren landscape. The survivors miraculously scratch out an existence and somehow keep alive the hope of a future in which the sun will shine again and the land will bear fruit again. Ultimately, the story is about the struggle between good and evil, and how the stress of tragic events brings out the best in some and the worst in others.
For a book of over 900 pages, it is a surprisingly fast read, and there are no lulls. McCammon is a superb storyteller who has created memorable characters and a detailed setting. Swan Song is a great book that I think ranks along side The Stand, which for years has stood as my favorite horror novel.
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110 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another 5 star rating, and enough about the stand! August 12, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My aunt lent me this book and I figured it sounded a lot like the Stand, which at the time was my favorite novel. I read Swan Song every night for a week and a half. It was way better then the stand, and wasn't anything like it aside from the 'end of the world' scenario and an evil rising to threaten the survivors, so I'm not even going to compare the two books. The characters in Swan Song are so richly developped that you begin to feel for them. It's almost like you want to protect Swan just as much as the characters do. The last hundred pages or so are simply outstanding. It was so suspenseful that I could hardly sit still, and when it was over, I wished there was more to it then its 956 pages. The ending is what got me the most. There couldn't have been a more fitting end to this amazing story. I enjoyed everything about this book. It never gets boring, it doesn't have seven hundred characters in it all doing different things (like another novel i already said i wouldn't compare it to), but instead three main groups. The symbolism is just amazing, and the underlying themes and story is incredible. I can't say enough about it, so read it for yourself.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have ever read November 10, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Most of the United States is wiped out after a nucleur holocaust. The Devil aka "Man With The Scarlet Eye" sees this as his opportunity to take over the world. However, there is a special girl named Swan with extraordinary powers that is standing in his way. "Swan Song" takes the reader on a ten year journey that follows the war of Swan and others around her, fighting against the Devil and his followers.
The first thing that I would like to get out of the way is that I absolutely hate to read. However, a friend of mine told me how great this book was, so I decided to come on Amazon to check out what others thought of it. I was amazed when I discovered that it received nothing but 5 star reviews. To put all that positive feedback to the test, I decided to give in and read the book. The book is over 950 pages long and I read it in just over two days. I was spellbound with just how great this book was. "Swan Song" is the only book that I have ever read, that I wanted to read more than once. The different settings, the outstanding characters, and the overall suspense and terror make it an epic masterpiece. The book reads at an extremely fast pace and the 956 pages fly by. This is one of the rare occasions that you end up begging for more after a novel of that size. The different settings that McCammon illustrates are incredible. All add a background of suspense, courage, love, and terror. The size of the story is great because it spawns over 10 years, and you get to see the characters develop not only in age, but in personality as well.
McCammon has the story unfold like a chess match between The Devil and God. They each have their respective pieces, and the board is the United States.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars B.S. Review
Little note: Jeffery Leaches review of this book in 2002 is an un-informed bunch of nonsense by someone who obviously did NOT read the book( SwanSong). Read more
Published 4 days ago by Michelle Keys
5.0 out of 5 stars Steven King eat your heart out!
Great book. I have bought this book several times as gifts. This is a page turner.
Published 6 days ago by Tina A. Stephens
5.0 out of 5 stars Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
If you liked Stephen Kings "The Stand". This book took it to another level. Captivating read, in a stay up all night way, to finish. Enjoy
Published 10 days ago by Alana
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutley loved it
Published 13 days ago by Margaret Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars I love McCammon's stories
Another great story. A post apocalyptic science fiction/fantasy about the struggle of good against evil. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Donald Cain
3.0 out of 5 stars The Stand revisted!
Rather than the plaque, in Swan's Song, civilization is gone and it's the nuclear holcaust that brings together good and evil and as usual good prevails,but a good story.
Published 15 days ago by Michael A. Sachs
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
I'd read this a long time ago and thought I'd give it another read. A classic, in my opinion. Easily as good or better than The Stand.
Published 15 days ago by Kenneth B. Soward
5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite book. I've read the 900+ pager twice and ...
By far, my favorite book. I've read the 900+ pager twice and would read it again. Well-fleshed out characters in the ultimate survival story.
Published 16 days ago by JMo24
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better post apocalyptic books around
This was my first McCammon book & it won't be my last. While I admit it was a bit long, it was a fantastic story, well written & definitely kept my attention. I recommend it.
Published 22 days ago by PIA
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe someone else will like it, but I didn't
This was a difficult book to get into. I didn't finish it. Maybe someone else will like it, but I didn't. A much better book is Stephen King's THE STAND.
Published 22 days ago by Gardener
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More About the Author

Robert McCammon is the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, including the award-winning BOY'S LIFE and SPEAKS THE NIGHTBIRD. There are more than four million copies of his books in print. His latest novel, THE RIVER OF SOULS, is the fifth book in the Matthew Corbett series. It is available now from Subterranean Press in both trade hardcover and Kindle formats.

His next novel, THE BORDER, is SF/horror. It will be published in Spring 2015 by Subterranean Press.

Visit his websites: and

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