Swan Song by Robert McCammonRead about the other books on the list.
Everybody loves Stephen King’s The Stand, and they damn well should. But for me, the magic of epic horror was first revealed in the form of McCammon’s Swan Song, which plays not off the fear of a world-ending disease, but rather off the fear of nuclear holocaust, with the natural and supernatural horrors that emerge from a ruined America. Bonus points: it’s suddenly all the more relevant, isn’t it? Ha ha ha oh no what have we done. Double bonus points: McCammon also wrote the pre-Revolutionary War mystery novel, Speaks the Nightbird, which is a very good novel that also contains a bird in the title.