Published in 1987, the back cover praised this book as "prescient" but its nuclear holocaust scenario, involving the Soviet Union and blaming the "Star Wars" initiative struck me as "dated." That said, the depiction of nuclear destruction, particularly the part set in my own New York City, was chilling. And that only takes you about 100 pages into this 850 page doorstopper. The book centers on three groups. One is a group of survivors from New York City led by a former "bag lady" who finds a magical glass ring in New York City's ruins. Another follows a creepy little boy who has fallen in with a group of survivalists in Idaho. And finally, there's Swan--Sue Wanda, a nine year old girl with special powers. Throw in a confrontation between good and evil, each neatly identified, and given my attempts to read Stephen King's The Stand, I felt very been there, done that. If you're fond of post-apocalyptic literature such as The Stand, you might find this book more compelling than I did--McCammon's style is decent, although his characterizations to me felt too facile and stereotyped--the homeless women who went mad when her daughter died, the wrestler with the heart of gold, the angelic child with powers, the crazy evil military survivalists, etc.