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The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

The Dog Stars

by Peter Heller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,9681725,134 (3.93)252
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» See also 252 mentions

English (168)  Spanish (3)  German (1)  All languages (172)
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
There is so much about this book I loved, most of all Hig's voice, which was perfectly expressed in a writing style that was sometimes telegraphic, sometimes lyrical - just the way I'd expect Hig's inner monologue to work. And Bangley - what a name, what a character! Don't even get me started on the dog. I wish it wasn't so much of an ode to the 2nd Amendment, but that can't be avoided at the end of the world as we know it. But all this terrificness was compromised for me when ROMANCE took the stage towards the end. I have nothing against love (I'm no Bangley!) but romance is like nails on a chalkboard to me. The beautiful maiden who just happens to be a doctor and her Marlboro Man father jarred the picture. Couldn't they be a little more realistic? After their appearance the story seemed a little cartoony to me. The Junction airport shootout was borderline okay, but everything after that was unrealistically romantic, esp. Bangley surviving such catastrophic injuries. But the very end with the jets and especially the poem brought the book back to brilliant for me. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |

Even though I read this book a while back, I'm having no trouble dredging it up in my memory. Dystopia alert, for those of you who don't like those kinds of things!

This dystopian future has all the things you'd expect - individuals learning to team up to defend themselves from rogue "evil" bands of folks, learning agriculture as well as foraging, reminiscing about the good old days. However, in this book we have an airplane pilot as our protagonist. Because of that, travel is easier and sustaining oneself is easier. Also more complex because of who you meet this way, what your obligations are towards them, and worrying about whether they're going to steal your airplane fuel before they steal your food.

I won't give away what I found the most fascinating aspect of the book - in fact, I won't even give away a hint of what it might be. Suffice it to say that... the part about reminiscing about the times before everything fell apart? I haven't seen a novel approach (novel as an adjective) to this since Station Eleven, and it was both well thought out and disturbing in that thoroughness. ( )
  khage | Dec 20, 2018 |
While the language and phrasing choices took time to get used to, the overall beauty of this story was a huge draw.

The combination of personalities, the depth of characters despite the sometimes shallow understandings of the main character, and the emotional growth... All made this a masterpiece for me. ( )
  HippieLunatic | Nov 23, 2018 |
Can't find it now that I am looking for it, but someone reviewing this book compared it to Shute's On the Beach and that comparison upended my own read of it . . . A few of Shute's characters live still in my memory in a way that I doubt these will - but I think heller's novel is about something quite different in the end reminds me more and more of day of the triffids as time passes . . . ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
3.5 stars ( )
  AaronJacobs | Oct 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
Heller's writing is stripped-down and minimalist, like a studio apartment in Sparta. It's an Armageddon book as written by Ernest Hemingway. The future is spare. If you see an adjective, kill it.
added by WeeklyAlibi | editWeekly Alibi, John Bear (Jul 26, 2012)

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Hellerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I keep the Beast running, I keep the 100 low lead on tap, I foresee attacks.
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Wikipedia in English


Book description
Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life—something like his old life—exists beyond the airport. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return—not enough fuel to get him home—following the trail of the static-broken voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face—in the people he meets, and in himself—is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.

Narrated by a man who is part warrior and part dreamer, a hunter with a great shot and a heart that refuses to harden, The Dog Stars is both savagely funny and achingly sad, a breathtaking story about what it means to be human.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307959945, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2012: Adventure writer Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars is a first novel set in Colorado after a superflu has culled most of humanity. A man named Hig lives in a former airport community—McMansions built along the edge of a runway—which he shares with his 1956 Cessna, his dog, and a slightly untrustworthy survivalist. He spends his days flying the perimeter, looking out for intruders and thinking about the things he’s lost—his deceased wife, the nearly extinct trout he loved to fish. When a distant beacon sparks in him the realization that something better might be out there, it’s only a matter of time before he goes searching. Poetic, thoughtful, transformative, this novel is a rare combination of the literary and highly readable. --Chris Schluep

Amazon Exclusive: Author Peter Heller on the Star of The Dog Stars

Jasper the Blue Heeler Mix
The inspiration for Jasper, a Blue Heeler mix, who is an integral part of this novel.

Our Hero, Hig, lives at a little country airstrip which he shares with his beloved blue heeler Jasper, and a mean gun nut named Bangley. It's nine years after a super-flu has killed 99.7% of the people on the planet. Hig sleeps out under the open sky at night with Jasper. He does it because he loves to see the stars, and because it's safer: if marauders come he won't be trapped in one of the nearby houses.

He used to have a book of the stars, but now he doesn't, so when he's lying out at night he makes up constellations. Mostly they are animals, and he makes one for his best friend Jasper. The Dog Stars. It's Hig's way of reinventing the lost world, and keeping in touch with the things he loves.

Jasper, to me, is the star of the book. He is fiercely loyal, and he gives Hig something to live for when there is not much else to hold on to.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Surviving a pandemic disease that has killed everyone he knows, a pilot establishes a shelter in an abandoned airport hangar before hearing a random radio transmission that compels him to risk his life to seek out other survivors.

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Average: (3.93)
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