A riveting, powerful novel about a pilot living in a world filled with loss - and what he is willing to risk to rediscover, against all odds, connection, love, and grace.
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.
©2012 Peter Heller (P)2012 Random House Audio
"Richly evocative yet streamlined journal entries propel the high-stakes plot while simultaneously illuminating Hig's nuanced states of mind as isolation and constant vigilance exact their toll, along with his sorrow for the dying world.... Heller's surprising and irresistible blend of suspense, romance, social insight, and humor creates a cunning form of cognitive dissonance neatly pegged by Hig as an apocalyptic parody of Norman Rockwell...a novel, that is, of spiky pleasure and signal resonance." (Booklist)
"In the tradition of postapocalyptic literary fiction such as Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Jim Crace's The Pesthouse, this hypervisceral first novel by adventure writer Heller (Kook) takes place nine years after a superflu has killed off much of mankind.... With its evocative descriptions of hunting, fishing, and flying, this novel, perhaps the world's most poetic survival guide, reads as if Billy Collins had novelized one of George Romero's zombie flicks. From start to finish, Heller carries the reader aloft on graceful prose, intense action, and deeply felt emotion." (Publishers Weekly)
"Leave it to Peter Heller to imagine a post-apocalyptic world that contains as much loveliness as it does devastation. His likable hero, Hig, flies around what was once Colorado in his 1956 Cessna, chasing all the same things we chase in these pre-annihilation days: love, friendship, the solace of the natural world, the chance to perform some small kindness, and a good dog for a co-pilot. The Dog Stars is a wholly compelling and deeply engaging debut." (Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted)
I loved this book. I haven't loved a book this much since listening to/reading Skippy Dies.
I was reading a New York Times book review last week about Peter Heller's latest novel, The Painter. I never read anything by this author. The reviewer said that they like his first novel The Dog Stars better. So I decided to give it a try.
Heller's writing style is very different. I think it's very artistic, beautifully written.
His characters are wonderful especially Hig the protagonist. I love his sensitive description of this man and his dog.
I don't like fishing but I love art. He made fishing feel like art.
This story is believable.
I am now reading/listening to The Painter, Peter Heller's second novel. I'm hoping to love it as much.
Just a great story!
The main character, I could relate to him.
Meeting the woman
MAKE THIS INTO A MOVIE!!
Stop listening to other people's opinions and form one of your own. That's sound advice, or not. It all depends on how literal you take it.
This book held my attention and put me right there at the airfield with the protagonist, though it did drag in a few spots and spawn a love interest that seemed to have no place in this kind of story other than to give this tale a bit of happy for those that need that sort of thing.
Other than that, it was a fun read.
On a very rare occasion a book and the perfect reader connect. This is one of those books.
Another reader suggestion, and another hit. This one is abit erotic, abit violent, and a whole lot interesting. The story really doesn't go in any linear direction, but rather is a slice of post apocalpytic life, with a very complex narrator and associated characters.
I have been listening to quite a few of these types of "end times" books lately, and this one qualifies as "best of breed". Very definitely more of a psychological study, and a good one at that.
Needless to say, highly recommended.
Heller gives readers a look into a future that we fear. What remains of one's humanity when survival depends on meeting basic needs and killing any and all who venture into range? The hero is a unique character. Hig reads & writes poetry, is kind to outcasts and cries a lot. He is also a good if reluctant hunter and a pretty good killer when the situation warrants. The story is told in first person but not always in complete sentences--more like thoughts. The plot progresses slowly but I enjoyed every minute. Even though the book stands on its own merits, I want a sequel!
The 1st person narrative and the almost poetic descriptions and flowing rythm. The narrator was perfect for this book. A unique experience, I'll recommend to everyone and read again.
Obviously, Big Hig -- THE story.
My complaint is it was too short because it was over too soon. I was continually impressed by the poetic descriptions and deep personal points of view. I have never read Peter Heller's books and didn't know what to expect - I was completely satisfied with the choice. Bravo and thank you!
One of those books better in audible format than written not because the text version would leave something to be desired but because the performance was so outstanding.
The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.
Much more than On the Beach or a Boy and His Dog or other better-known post-apocalypse fiction, The Dog Stars offers a realistic vision of life after ~ the life we live and the life we feel.
This is a story of life leavened by sadism, by courage, by terror, by loss, by hatred, by madness and, ultimately, by the many types of love. A remarkable debut novel ~ watch for more from Peter Heller!
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
Most of the reviews of the written version of "The Dog Stars" on Amazon, many readers disliked this book, primarily because it's without dialog-very little give and take..Instead, it's kind of a train of thought and reminded me of the journaling part in "Dances With Wolves" , though the plot is more "The Stand". It's very much one persons reflections on his life.
The story takes place about a decade after the pandemic that kills most of the life on earth. People band together in small groups-this novel relates the story of a couple of these groups. The primary protagonists are Hig and Bangley-two very different men tho have joined together in mutual support. One is a farmer and a pilot, the other is a survivalist hunter type. They support each other, though they aren't really friends. Other characters come to play in Higs relating of his days events, some important, some not so much.
Mark Denkins's narration made everything that could be made of the story line-without his excellent voice, the book could become tedious, however I had a difficult time really getting into the book-it won't be for everyone...It's not an action/thriller story, not a romance or mystery. It simply related Hig's daily life and various characters interactions with him. Slightly dull-I had a difficult time giving the book a rating.
If you like introspective stories, you might enjoy this-not so much if you are looking for action-there isn't much of that here. It's just different.
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