I have been participating in the Countdown to Halloween blogging for awhile now, and over the last few years I have enjoyed passing along some reading suggestions for you to consider. Right now I am reading a book called Swan Song by Robert McCammon. I've always been interested in reading post-apocalyptic fiction, and when I find myself running out of books to read I like to look on-line at lists of books that others highly recommend. I always find Swan Song on those lists, and often times toward the top, and I can see why.
If you have read Stephen King's classic The Stand (especially the larger uncut version), and loved it, then you owe it to yourself to read this book. The Stand came about ten years before Swan Song, but both describe a world gone to hell and the battle between good and evil in the aftermath. Civilization ends as we know it in Swan Song via massive nuclear exchanges between Russia and the United States. Given that the publication date is 1987, this seemed a very real possibility. Ronald Reagan had moved the doomsday clock to one minute before midnight, Threads and The Day After were on the television screens, and the consequences of Nuclear Winter was being discussed. If I had read this book when it was first published it would have scared the crap out of me!
You will not get any "Spoilers For The Grey" from me about specific plot lines, but this is a book this is tough to put down. We follow a number of key characters as they experience the nuclear nightmare and eek out their survival in the ruins. There is a great line in the book that states, "The rules of the world have changed, he thought. Now the mysteries hold sway." Magic has it's place in the new world, and it drives the survivors to move either toward the light or to the dark. McCammon's Swan Song is a darker and grittier world than the one found in Stephen King's The Stand. Nothing is easy or pretty in this world. There is a boogie man in both stories, but at it's scariest we discover the depths one is willing to go to in order to survive. I for one can't wait to see how the book ends - and if you are hoping to read a scary book in October, this might just be the one. Don't let the fact that it is just shy of 1,000 pages long! The Stand is even longer, and you won't be able to stop reading it once you start. When hunting for the cover art I came across some fantastic International covers for Swan Song. Have a look -