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Search tags: Robert-McCammon
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review 2017-09-02 21:08
Stinger by Robert McCammon
Stinger - Robert R. McCammon

McCammon delivers for me a second time. Gruesome and riveting but with a lot of heart. My sample size is small yet as this is only my second McCammon, but I might prefer him to King.


A small Texas town is rocked by the crash landing of an object of unknown origin. While something a little strange is going on with a local veterinarians young daughter who interacted with the busted up remnants first, the foreign object is not anything that the nearest air force base and personal can't contain and research...that is until a follow up arrival on a much larger scale brings a less than friendly visitor with a mission - one who traps a whole town for one terrifying night.


At 550 pages, I really expected to be reading this for awhile. Fortunately, it moves at such a great pace that I didn't even notice the pages flying by until I reached the end.


McCammon creates not only a story that sucks you in, but an atmosphere that is palpable. A hot, dying Texas town, isolated, and withering since the local mine shut down and took away all the jobs, not only feels uncomfortable and weathered, but also desperate...and thus the book opens. It's inhabitants are beaten, on edge and divided - when the unspeakable comes and threatens their very lives and the lives of everyone on the planet really, they are given one good reason to fight, for each other.


And in case I am making this sound like puppies and bedtime stories, know that I'm glossing over the fact that this messed-up mucous monster from deep space likes to snatch people, eat them, and use it's advanced alien technology to recreate symbiotic extensions of itself in the skins of its victims to go out and destroy more people with a mouth of needle teeth and metal saw type hands.


There is plenty of death and gory violence and characters of all walks and colors - everyone is a little rough around the edges, but the hope in humanity is what really makes this book shine. I loved it.






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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-25 21:13
Swan Song ★★★★☆
Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon,Tom Stechschulte

Oh boy, was this a wild, fun ride-along with characters that I loved and characters that I loved to hate. There was plenty of explicit gore, some of which actually did make me cringe and stop for a bit. But there were some truly touching moments, too. Much like the post-apocalyptic world of this book, it’s not all darkness and cruelty and death, but also some hope and love and a tiny spark of belief in humanity.


It’s not quite a five star read, though, because I had to work pretty hard to suspend disbelief that 

a world in which a nuclear winter lasts for 7 or 8 years, where supposedly nothing can grow, not even weeds, and all plant life has died, seems unlikely to be able to sustain any life at all. Sure, most people starved and some could survive on the remnants of canned food or rats, but what would herbivores survive on? How did they keep that horse alive, if nothing was growing? If there are no herbivores left, did the carnivores/omnivores like rats and bobcats and wolves survive just on eating each other? If there are no plants, then a significant population of insects would go extinct, wouldn’t they? The disruption of the food chain seems unlikely to have allowed survival for that long a period of time.

(spoiler show)

 But this isn’t explained or even addressed, so I wondered and doubted, and that took something away from the story for me. Although it does strike me as funny that I didn’t have the same problem with 

people growing an entire warty coating on their heads with their faces beneath becoming something entirely different that reflects their true self/soul, or non-human creatures growing extra limbs and heads, or an inhuman creature who thrives on death and destruction and performs supernatural feats, or a girl who can magically make plants grow at an accelerated pace, etc.

(spoiler show)

 Why I should fixate on the

nuclear winter

(spoiler show)

thing, I don’t know.


Audiobook, purchased on sale from Audible. The performance by Tom Stechschulte was absolutely fantastic. I’ll look for other books read by him. Warning, though, this is a 34 ½ hour audiobook, so you have to really love audio to consume it in this format. It’s a LOT of listening.


Previous Updates:

7/17/17 – 2% 

7/18/17 – 9%

7/18/17 – 16%

7/19/17 – 23%

7/22/17 – 51%

7/25/17 – 97%


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text 2017-07-25 13:26
Swan Song: 97%
Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon,Tom Stechschulte

Wheeeeeeeeee! It's like riding a runaway mine train!

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text 2017-07-22 16:19
Swan Song: 51%
Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon,Tom Stechschulte

Did the story just jump 7 years forward? That was disorienting. 


Comparisons with The Stand are inevitable, of course, and I was thinking how differently people, in general, were behaving in the aftermath of the apocalypse, and that McCammon must have a much darker view of humanity's essential nature than King does. Then it occurred to me that there is an enormous difference that could account for it - resources. In The Stand, a virus wipes out most of the people, but leaves nature and natural resources intact, along with most of the man-made resources, so there are few humans, but an abundance of food, shelter, and fuel. McCammon's is a nuclear apocalypse, so there seem to be more people, but scarce life-sustaining resources in a hostile natural environment. 


So, yeah, of course people are going to behave differently. 

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text 2017-07-19 15:44
Swan Song: 23%
Swan Song - Robert R. McCammon,Tom Stechschulte

That boy is one sick little bastard. I suspect he's going to be real trouble down the road. 

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