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Book Review: Swan Song

Swan Song by Robert McCammon
This 1988 novel was a New York Times bestseller and at 956 pages is a fat, pulpy, lurid, excellent read. It is similar to ‘The Stand’ as the cold war leads to nuclear war destroying the world. This was dated in several ways: World War III destroys the World Trade Centre, there are videotaped movies, a game arcade, the author had no idea of how politics would change, a boy enthuses over a 128k computer game and what on earth are data tapes?

In the charnel pit that was once North America, survivors face their destiny. As for the rest of the world? Not mentioned. This was memorable with a lurid cover and something that is the ruin and enemy of creation wanders the wasteland bothering survivors with challenging behaviour. The survivors either descent into a litany of violence or find themselves in the unenviable position of fighting to survive. Post apocs are notoriously perilous and this is no exception as only a few people are compassionate or reasonable. Some take malignant glee in the ruins.

People are divided into good and bad camps and an evil thing wanders stirring the pot. Events come to a climax and this was wonderful and memorable. One wonders how do people hear through the malformation that is called Job’s Mask? How do the survivors get petrol, bullets, guns, food, vehicles and clothes during the 7 or so years this book covers?

Best Lines:
“The stories they’d heard of Captain Croninger’s inquisition methods.”

“Sessions of raving.”

“Landing invasion barges.”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review
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