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The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

The Dog Stars (edition 2012)

by Peter Heller

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1,6211394,473 (3.95)215
Title:The Dog Stars
Authors:Peter Heller
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:2013, Untitled collection
Tags:fiction, literary fiction, post apocalyptic fiction

Work details

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Recently added byDeborahJ2016, alaskayo, LitaVore, SMcGonegal, dcunning11235, Kaethe, sasmpls, private library
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» See also 215 mentions

English (137)  Spanish (1)  All languages (138)
Showing 1-5 of 137 (next | show all)
SPOILER ALERT. Best book of this type I've read in a long time. The whole book, including dialogue and action, comes from inside his head, and is delivered in pieces that move the story along. It took awhile to get used to this kind of storytelling, and frankly there were times I wished he'd just get on with it. His dog dying is the turning point of his story, it unbalances him and sets him on the path that leads to everything else that happens, which has nothing to do with logic or common sense, and everything to do with need--from that point on it just gets better and better, and I was sorry to have it end. Like all good endings, it's really a beginning, and I wish Hig the best. One last word of warning--every heart in this book is a grieving one, and yours may be too by the time it's done. Liked it so much I tracked down a signed first edition. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Oct 3, 2016 |
This was my "put on my make-up" audio on my iPad. Since I've retired, I don't like wearing make-up every day but this book made me wear make-up more often! The story takes place some years after a pandemic has wiped out most of the world's population. Hig, our main character, is a pilot and flies a small Cessna plane. He lives in a small, deserted air strip with his dog, Jasper and a gun-crazy, guy, Bangley. They've cobbled together an odd kind of life and spend their time guarding what they have and dealing with the day to day living. When Hig hears a random transmission during one of his flights, he decides (after a traumatic loss) to take off and see who else is left out there. This begins the second part of the story, which I didn't expect, but made this a 4 star read for me. ( )
  Dianekeenoy | Aug 1, 2016 |
I will make this a brief review:

I am not really certain how to rate this book as I have mixed feelings about it. Although my rating will officially be listed as three stars, it actually should be closer to 3.5 stars due to the unique storyline and writing style.

The violence and darkness within the first half of the book made me consider why I was reading The Dog Stars and question if I should continue. Thankfully some rays of sunshine finally did emerge during the final chapters of the book and I found myself enjoying the story much more. Also, the writing style of the book was not an issue for me. I just chose to view the short phrases and odd puncuation as a representation of how people truly think. After all. How many people think their thoughts fully. Well, in complete sentences? Not I. ( )
  Lisa805 | Jul 23, 2016 |
It took me a while to get the rhythm of this book, but once I did, it was magic. Set in a post pandemic world, Hig's life unfolds first in his life with his dog Jasper, his plane, and the somewhat scary gun-crazy Bagley, and a nearby small settlement who still carries the blood borne illness that killed most of the world. Together, they make a world, a life. But the story moves in a different direction when Hig decides to take off, seeking the source of a random transmission he heard. I thought I liked the first part of the book, until I found the second part, and moved with that rhythm. ( )
  bookczuk | Jul 12, 2016 |
This book starts out dark and brutal, but the story was well worth it in the end. ( )
  euroclewis | Jun 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 137 (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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