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The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

The Dog Stars (edition 2012)

by Peter Heller

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,4211145,316 (3.94)196
Title:The Dog Stars
Authors:Peter Heller
Info:Knopf (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, postapocalyptic, dystopia, friendship, grief, humanity

Work details

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

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» See also 196 mentions

English (113)  Spanish (1)  All languages (114)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Post-apocalyptic story, while it feels a little too much like a wish-fulfillment story at times, was compellingly written and very readable anyhow. It's hard not to like it - but maybe that's mainly true for men readers? In retrospect, feels very much like a guys' book. But I liked it anyhow. ( )
  ronhenry | Nov 17, 2015 |
This is a very bleak, depressing story. I give it four stars because the writing is so lyrical and hypnotic that the bleak circumstances of the story become just scenery. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 24, 2015 |
Dog Stars is one of the best books I read this year, with a brilliant plot of Hig trying to survive in a post apocalypse world, with his beloved dog by his side, and with his ally Bangley, a man who is a survival and weapons expert who relentlessly leads in protecting the three residents. The three of them create a perimeter around the small airport in a wild area of Colorado where they live and where Hig keeps his old airplane, The Beast. They defend the perimeter without mercy in this brutal new world. Hig is the gardener and the one who flies The Beast to get essential supplies like the soda they enjoy. Eventually Hig can not resist putting them in danger by flying to an airport where he received an answer to his plane radio broadcast. This is a stunning and mesmerizing story. A few readers did not like the way some of Hig's thoughts are written, rather fragmented, but for me it seemed natural, and Hig being Hig. And Hig is a good guy. ( )
  hangen | Sep 21, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (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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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.

(summary from another edition)

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