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The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
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The Dog Stars (edition 2012)

by Peter Heller

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1,3551115,685 (3.94)194
Member:jlkutte
Title:The Dog Stars
Authors:Peter Heller
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

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» See also 194 mentions

English (110)  Spanish (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 110 (next | show all)
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller is a book that I wasn’t immediately drawn into due to the writing style, but eventually both the story and the writing won me over. This is a post-apocalyptic story that is simple and straight forward yet struck a chord with me with it’s descriptions, the main character and the relationships that he builds. Hig is a survivor who has seen most of the things in his life that he loved die. What he has now is his dog, his plane and his escapes into the wilderness for hunting and fishing.

This is a world decimated by disease and on-going climate changes. Most people shoot strangers on sight and fellowship is difficult to find. Hig is a damaged soul and one that probably wouldn’t have survived without the help of military minded Bangley who lives at the small airport in Colorado with him. Yet when things take a downward turn for Hig, he takes off in his plane looking for someone other than Bangley to connect with.

Although the writing style was difficult to settle into, once the reader accepts that you are basically inserted into Hig’s brain for the duration of the book, it is difficult not to become totally absorbed by this story. Overall I found The Dog Stars a captivating read whose deceptively simple story is a powerhouse of emotions. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Aug 22, 2015 |
This is one of the best books I've read this year. Just the poetry of it's writing would set it apart, but then there's the plot -- one of the best dystopian stories I've ever read. I was not initially a fan of the change in plot from the airport to Cima and Pops home, but I knew the plot had to shift and Hig had to leave to do that. The change was not without its rewards and though it produced more of a feel-good scenario than I thought totally plausible, it was still an ending nearly devoid of hope. I'll look for more by this author. Recommended. ( )
  whymaggiemay | Aug 21, 2015 |
beautifully written book on a post-apocalyptic time when only a very few people are left. Grim at times, describing a kill or be killed mentality, but always with an underlying heart. Addresses big questions, like what is life when everything around you is lost except pure survival? I loved the main character. ( )
  lindaspangler | Aug 19, 2015 |
I was wandering around Goodreads a couple weeks ago, stumbled across a group Apocalypse Whenever. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman was being discussed. It really is the best book ever written. Wonderful, sad, uplifting. A tale of friendship and loneliness and wonder. A pure joy to read.

There's a side bar on Goodreads threads, lists what books have been mentioned in the thread. The Dog Stars was one such book. I clicked on the link and saw they compared the writing a little to Gaiman's. As Neil Gaiman is the a literary master with no equal I decided to give it a try. Looked on Overdrive, and there it was.

This book is...well it's beautiful. Absolute first book I've read that I can say that about. It's a stream of consciousness style, in a poetic way that has forced me to buy the book next time I'm at book store. I want to have the book in my hands, to read, and to study as I have done with American Gods.

The writing is unreal. I don't really know how to describe it.

Describing The Dog Stars is like describing poetry. I'm not a poet. I don't know where to begin when going over poetry. I know what I like with poetry. I like John Keats works, he tells a story with poetry. The Dog Stars is like John Keats. Not really. Both poets tell a story, but Heller's work is more current. Modern.

The writing is beautiful. There's a part with Hig's dog, Hig is the main character, I damn near teared up reading it. The way he writes the words is powerful.

If you ever wondered what type of power words have in a fictional story, then The Dog Stars is the book you want to read. You will be right there with Hig as he goes through loss, and you'll experience beauty through it. He describes a world of desolation, violence, horror and loneliness. To say the way the book is written is beauty stands in stark contrast to the content of the book. Yet there it is. Desolation described with beauty.

Read it. I don't know how anyone could not like the book.

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I did the book a disservice by attempting to write in the same style, but I feel compelled to try. I think it would be a joy to write an entire science fiction book in the same style. ( )
  scifi_jon | Jun 16, 2015 |
Heller's prose is elegant and contemplative but I didn't find the narrative of this post-apocalyptic tale all that engrossing though it is consistenly moving. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 110 (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 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 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.

(summary from another edition)

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