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The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

The Dog Stars (edition 2012)

by Peter Heller

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1,092927,618 (3.98)125
Title:The Dog Stars
Authors:Peter Heller
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2012, post-apocolyptic

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The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

2012 (26) 2013 (20) 2014 (7) airplanes (10) apocalypse (11) apocalyptic (12) audiobook (13) Colorado (37) dogs (12) dystopia (43) dystopian (12) ebook (23) end of the world (11) fiction (127) flying (16) friendship (9) Kindle (11) literary fiction (8) novel (15) post-apocalypse (12) post-apocalyptic (67) read (11) read in 2012 (9) read in 2013 (9) science fiction (51) sf (7) survival (36) to-read (104) unread (7) wishlist (8)

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» See also 125 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 92 (next | show all)
Love, love, loved it. On of the best "apocalypse" book I've read. Carrying the emotional and physical scars inflicted by a global virus, the narrator, Hig's, world has been reduced to calculated survival and competition for dwindling resources. Heller's writing is simplistic and stream of consciousness style, the language of a man alone for too long. While this could easily come off as choppy, I found it made the story seem more personal and intimate. I really felt what Hig was experiencing-the stark loneliness, the sorrow of profound loss, the longing to connect, the fear of the future (and present), and the kernel of hope amidst all of the despair. It was all so real. Poignant, beautiful, and haunting, this book tugged hard on my heartstrings and then lifted them back to the stars. Can't wait to get my hand on Heller's latest. ( )
  LaurenMae85 | Jul 7, 2014 |
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it was filled with sadness but yet it was oh so humorous. The Colorado places/landmarks really brought this story home for me, and oh, yes Hig's love of Jasper the dog. Heller's writing style is different but Hig (the main character) could not have been written in any other way.

( )
  Jolynne | Jul 4, 2014 |
I listened to rather than read THE DOG STARS by Peter Heller, and the writing style lent itself well to audiobook. Set in the years after a flu pandemic that wipes out most of the world's population, THE DOG STARS tells the story of Hig, a 40ish man whose wife and unborn child died in the pandemic. Hig still has his dog (Jasper, my favorite character in the book), an airplane, and Bangley--a man of few words who doesn't mind killing people who invade the sanctuary that he and Hig have created. Since Hig can't seem to remember that the rules of society have changed, Bangley's presence has kept Hig alive on more than a few occasions.

Heller's book alternates between Hig's poetic reflections on life, love, and nature, and amazing action sequences that keep the reader (or listener) racing through the narrative to see how it all plays out. I appreciate Heller's beautiful language, although Hig's deep thoughts sometimes run overlong. Thankfully, the book's high octane and tense moments are spaced well throughout.

As is often the case when I read, I wish THE DOG STARS had better editing to tighten up some of the prose, chop out the awful sex scenes, and eliminate the overuse of certain words and phrases. Overall though, I enjoyed Heller's foray into a post-apocalyptic world and most of it was incredibly well done. ( )
  kalky | May 22, 2014 |
What would you do if environmental disasters and a flu pandemic destroyed your world and everyone you loved? How would you choose to live your life? What would you save from your old life, and what would you be willing to do to preserve what you have left?

Hig is a poet and ex-carpenter trying to make sense of his life in this post-apocalyptic world. A pilot, he spends his days in his Cessna, circling the airport where he now lives, scouting for intruders, looking for signs of further destruction or renewal in the nearby forest, and checking on a family of Mennonites, dying of the blood sickness. His only companions are his dog Jasper and a gun-crazy man named Bangley, who showed up at the airport one day and stayed on, determined to keep their parameter secure. It's been nine years, and Hig is lonely, restless, and looking for meaning in a life reduced to killing to survive. One day, three years after hearing it, Hig leaves to discover the person behind the voice he once heard coming from a radio control tower.

The novel is written in the first person with flashbacks that fill in a bit of Hig’s life before the pandemic. The poetic, stream of consciousness style of writing made it a delight to listen to. I had been meaning to read it since it came out and even own a copy of the book, but it wasn't until the audiobook fell in my lap, that I finally "read" it. I don't often listen to audio books, but now I can't imagine reading the book without Mark Deakins voice in my ear. He does a fabulous job with the voices and the pacing. This was Peter Heller’s first novel, although he is an experienced nonfiction author. His second novel, [The Painter], is out this month. ( )
1 vote labfs39 | May 13, 2014 |
This story of a lonely post-apocalyptic world left me feeling like a lonely reader. I didn't think there was enough going on in the book to make me feel connected to the solitary character. I was more concerned about the dog than anything else. ( )
  ElizabethBevins | May 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 92 (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)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Hellerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:34 -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.

(summary from another edition)

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