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Swan Song

af Robert R. McCammon

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
3,2931183,819 (4.12)2 / 148
Fiction. Horror. HTML:New York Times Bestseller: A young girl's visions offer the last hope in a postapocalyptic wasteland in this "grand and disturbing adventure" (Dean Koontz).
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

Swan is a nine-year-old Kansas girl following her struggling mother from one trailer park to the next when she receives visions of doom??something far wider than the narrow scope of her own beleaguered life. In a blinding flash, nuclear bombs annihilate civilization, leaving only a few buried survivors to crawl onto a scorched landscape that was once America.

In Manhattan, a homeless woman stumbles from the sewers, guided by the prophecies of a mysterious amulet, and pursued by something wicked; on Idaho's Blue Dome Mountain, an orphaned boy falls under the influence of depraved survivalists and discovers the value of a killer instinct; and amid the devastating dust storms on the Great Plains of Nebraska, Swan forms a heart-and-soul bond with an unlikely new companion. Soon they will cross paths. But only Swan knows that they must endure more than just a trek across an irradiated country of mutated animals, starvation, madmen, and wasteland warriors.

Swan's visions tell of a coming malevolent force. It's a shape-shifting embodiment of the apocalypse, and of all that is evil and despairing. And it's hell-bent on destroying the last hope of goodness and purity in the world. Swan is that hope. Now, she must fight not only for her own survival, but for that of all mankind.

A winner of the Bram Stoker Award and a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, Swan Song has become a modern classic, called "a chilling vision that keeps you turning pages to the shocking end" by John Saul and "a long, satisfying look at hell and salvation" by Publishers Weekly… (mere)
  1. 100
    Slutspil : The Stand af Stephen King (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: Another post apocalyptic horror novel that is often compared to this one.
  2. 40
    Opgøret af Stephen King (infiniteletters, Scottneumann, BeckyJG)
    BeckyJG: Dark, detailed tale of post-apocalyptic survivors fighting supernatural evil.
  3. 40
    Høstens engle af Alden Bell (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Another post-apocalyptic book with fantasy elements woven in.
  4. 10
    Speaks the Nightbird af Robert R. McCammon (Scottneumann)
  5. 00
    The Gone-Away World af Nick Harkaway (BeckyJG)
    BeckyJG: Industry gone wild creates apocalypse, yet survivors still work for the company. Surprising and touching ending
  6. 00
    Alas, Babylon af Pat Frank (sturlington)
  7. 01
    Slutspil af Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  8. 01
    A Plague Upon Your Family af Mark Tufo (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Epic, apocalyptic cross-country tale with supernatural elements of good v evil
  9. 01
    Zombie Fallout af Mark Tufo (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Epic, apocalyptic tale of survival with supernatural elements of good v evil
  10. 02
    Blod af Guillermo del Toro (Phantasma)
Indlæser...

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Engelsk (114)  Spansk (1)  Fransk (1)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (117)
Viser 1-5 af 117 (næste | vis alle)
This was definitely a book of two halves. It started off as a very absorbing story, setting up certain characters who were going to be swept up in the imminent disaster - which, given a scene where the President of the United States is being briefed on the latest Soviet incursions against a background of worldwide conflict (this was published in the late 1980s) - is looming nuclear war. Then the war breaks out and is vividly described with scenes of destruction and semi-miraculous survival of the previously introduced ordinary people (and an extraordinary child, the Swan of the title), which the author manages to make believable. As well as the positive characters, there are also negative ones and their journeys are also depicted.

However, the book started to veer into Stephen King/The Stand territory early on because a strange and terrifying character appears in New York just before the missiles land - something which seems ancient and evil, and which is responsible either directly or indirectly for a lot of the evil throughout history. This thing thrives on destruction and begins to chase one of the characters, an ex-bag lady called Sister who has a tragic past, because she has found an artefact of glass and jewels, created by the nuclear explosion. This ring shows her visions when she gazes at it, as well as lighting up in tune with her pulse, and it can perform similar things when handled by other people. But for Sister it shows her glimpses of things happening elsewhere, which she does not understand but which draws her in pursuit. Meanwhile the reader knows she is on the trail of Swan, without realising it. The creature is made uneasy by the artefact and follows her to destroy it (and not, as the book back cover blurb says, follows Swan who he doesn't even know about until much later in the story).

This first part of the book is an exciting narrative of the perils befalling the various characters, and also an absorbing insight into the various characters. Unfortunately everything changes when Part Two begins and suddenly it is seven years later and nuclear winter is in full sway. Swan and her guardian Josh are travelling with an ex-clown they met earlier, while Sister is now accompanied by Paul, a character who saved her in Part 1. A lot of people including Swan, Josh and Sister are beset by a strange malady: a growth which by now covers most of their faces making everyday life increasingly difficult. As well as various communities which try to eke out a living, some of them squalid and lacking in motivation, there are quasi-military groups which are wandering the former USA committing atrocities and stealing any stores of food and clean water held by the other survivors. One of these armies is led by the two negative characters seen in Part 1, and becomes an increasing background threat to any community trying to hold things together.

Without giving away too much, the various characters in Part 1 do eventually come together and clash. The second half of the book is, I'm afraid, glacially slow and I found it very difficult to maintain interest. The characters have just wandered around for seven years - in the case of Swan and her friends aimlessly. Why did she do nothing with her gift, made so abundantly clear in Part 1, until fairly late on in Part 2? It is also rather unbelievable that tinned food, bottled water and fuel are still as readily available as shown, especially as the plants all appear to be dead and no one can therefore grown food. I found it hard to believe even a relatively small number of people could have lived off stores for seven years, especially as travel isn't easy either. Storylines which had been set up early in Part 1, and which I had anticipated a big pay off from, eventually fizzled out. For example, when Sister finally gives the artefact to Swan, it starts to create an impervious armour of light over her but Swan takes it off, supposedly finding it 'too much' - in reality because the author would write himself into a corner if the heroine became immune to the numerous threats which she and her friends face at that point in the story - and it plays no part in the climax.

There is also some heavy handed moralising such as having the growths eventually break off the heads of those affected leaving the good people cured of their radiation burns etc and even beautiful while the bad people are now visibly the monsters they are inside. And it doesn't do to become fond of any of the lesser characters in the book, either human or animal, despite the fact that there is a rather unfeasibly happy ending. Which begins when the clouds that cloak the planet suddenly break up to allow the sun's lifegiving rays to reach the surface again - for no real reason. Given the extreme slowness of the greater part of the book - which runs to nearly 1000 pages - and the over the top number of psychopaths committing graphic atrocities - it's fair to show a realistic portrayal of how bestial some people would be but the inclusion of a criminally insane mechanical genius is just a bit too much - I ended up not enjoying the book much despite the promise of Part 1 and so can only give it an OK 2 star rating. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Amazing read. Robert McCammon is a great story teller and I never lost interest while reading this 1200 page behemoth. ( )
  everettroberts | Oct 20, 2023 |
I've read through this monster of a book twice, and will gladly do so again. With most books of this size (919 pages in this edition), most of the time, I'm just happy to have gotten through it. Not with this book. I wanted more. The characters were the big draw for me. ( )
  MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
The easiest way to describe this book is as an epic analogy against war, especially nuclear war. One can’t help think of Stephen King’s The Stand while reading this, and, I imagine, vice versa, once having read both, but each deserves their own place on anyone’s bookshelves. I can’t say everything I want to say without giving away the plot and outcome, but I’m not sure the anti-hero attempt quite works for me, maybe because it seems so sudden and brief. Sadly, the outcome speaks so eloquently, showing us with a painful foresight that some people may never change, even though hope runs throughout. There was a moment where I rolled my eyes when they get to their final destination and who they find there, but that soon dissipated when the author flipped the story defying my expectations. A head hopping but absorbing narrative worthy of recognition. ( )
  SharonMariaBidwell | Sep 6, 2023 |
Gave up just after the start of the second "book". There was a time skip and I realised I was just uninterested in what had happened in the skip or the rest of this novel generally. What I had read, while it did contain a few nice scenes, was filled with cliches, just passable unimaginative writing, poor dialogue, and was overly long for not much payoff whilst having no real depth to it. For the most part, the horror and/or tense sections failed to hit the mark with me. I think I added this to my to-read pile during one of my periods of intense interest in the horror of "thinking about the unthinkable" in nuclear war planning, but Fred Kaplan's and Danny Ellsberg's non-fiction books deliver more horror on that count. ( )
  laurence_gb | Jul 30, 2023 |
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Robert R. McCammonprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Morrill, RowenaOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Stechschulte, TomFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Fiction. Horror. HTML:New York Times Bestseller: A young girl's visions offer the last hope in a postapocalyptic wasteland in this "grand and disturbing adventure" (Dean Koontz).
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

Swan is a nine-year-old Kansas girl following her struggling mother from one trailer park to the next when she receives visions of doom??something far wider than the narrow scope of her own beleaguered life. In a blinding flash, nuclear bombs annihilate civilization, leaving only a few buried survivors to crawl onto a scorched landscape that was once America.

In Manhattan, a homeless woman stumbles from the sewers, guided by the prophecies of a mysterious amulet, and pursued by something wicked; on Idaho's Blue Dome Mountain, an orphaned boy falls under the influence of depraved survivalists and discovers the value of a killer instinct; and amid the devastating dust storms on the Great Plains of Nebraska, Swan forms a heart-and-soul bond with an unlikely new companion. Soon they will cross paths. But only Swan knows that they must endure more than just a trek across an irradiated country of mutated animals, starvation, madmen, and wasteland warriors.

Swan's visions tell of a coming malevolent force. It's a shape-shifting embodiment of the apocalypse, and of all that is evil and despairing. And it's hell-bent on destroying the last hope of goodness and purity in the world. Swan is that hope. Now, she must fight not only for her own survival, but for that of all mankind.

A winner of the Bram Stoker Award and a finalist for the World Fantasy Award, Swan Song has become a modern classic, called "a chilling vision that keeps you turning pages to the shocking end" by John Saul and "a long, satisfying look at hell and salvation" by Publishers Weekly

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