Regular price: $28.00

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,086
  • 4 Stars
    797
  • 3 Stars
    322
  • 2 Stars
    77
  • 1 Stars
    52

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,231
  • 4 Stars
    621
  • 3 Stars
    190
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    24

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    991
  • 4 Stars
    681
  • 3 Stars
    299
  • 2 Stars
    73
  • 1 Stars
    50
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fishing, gardening, fishing, fishing, fishing

Would you try another book from Peter Heller and/or Mark Deakins?

No. Boorrrrrinng. Nothing happens, just endless descriptions of nothing

Would you ever listen to anything by Peter Heller again?

No Boring.

Any additional comments?

I wish I could return this terrible boring book.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Brant
  • United States
  • 02-06-15

Slow and introspective

Enjoyed, but barely. The author really belabors Hig's life to a point of repetitiveness. Pretty interesting though in its overall scope.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

What a disappointment!

This book is so slow, boring and repetitive, that it's painful just to listen. No real insight, just sad dreary characters and DULL ongoing drivel. Don't waste your time with this one.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Yes there is pure evil in the world.

Where does The Dog Stars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Upper third of my 200 plus. Could be higher. See below.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Better development of those that would set traps for peaceful passersby. Would have been better if there was no one left in Grand Junction.

Any additional comments?

This is one that I really need a half star for. Then I could have given 3.5 for story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • DW
  • 01-23-15

anti climatic

Kept looking for the profound ending that never came. Interesting characters and reasonably fun to listen to but overall a bit disappointing.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

loyalty to one's own and death over a can of soda

What becomes of humanity years after a killer plague ravishes the world? This is a compelling story of what could happen in a kill or be killed world that felt all too possible (though if a sign saying you've got a killer blood disease keeps others from preying on you, you'd think more people would post that sign! ). This book has glimpses of the best of humanity when the worst has become the norm. I enjoyed it, if one can use such a word for dark apocalyptic fare.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Stupid when it's not tedious (plot spoilers)

I had to return this. I made it through the first 2/3s, though I confess I was hitting the fast-forward button pretty frequently. This author has a weird idea of pacing--he's in the middle of some action, and suddenly he starts drifting off to describing the scenery. Or feelings, or whatever--but he loses the thread of the story. Speaking of the story. . .look, I know not everybody is a pilot, but could anybody be as stupid as this pilot? Let's see. . .apparently the last plane left on earth, and for nine years, all he can think to do with it is go retrieve Cokes? He sets off on his big adventure--without pre-positioning gas or other supplies--drills along at low altitude so that his fuel consumption goes way up? Let's see. . .other technical errors include getting blasted by a shotgun--just how frickin' low was he flying??? The hero just doesn't seem like a realistic representation of a person to me; not believable. I'm all for survival stories, but a world where you only shoot on sight and never attempt to gain allies or friends, is just not anything like the humans I've grown up with. I'm surprised this got as many good reviews as it did. Maybe I was expecting more--especially after reading The Martian, which was an outstanding story of a man struggling to survive. This story. . .is just stupid.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful Performance

Would you consider the audio edition of The Dog Stars to be better than the print version?

The narration made the book really come to life, so yes.

Have you listened to any of Mark Deakins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was a first time with Mr. Deakins. I will definitely look for him again.

Who was the most memorable character of The Dog Stars and why?

Bangly was well written. I had a very clear sense of him and where he stood, although it was not clear just in the words.

Any additional comments?

Definitely recommend.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Renae
  • Gold Canyon, AZ, United States
  • 06-01-14

A refreshing change: An Adult Dystopian Novel

Good concept and well told but with very annoying quirks of the author. Too often the author leaves out the pronouns which grated more than anything. I persevered and did enjoy it enough to get the author's next book. But I doubt I'll get anything else he writes. I just don't like his style enough. Based on other reviews I expected this to be visually stunning but the stunted narration style and the funky sentence structure didn't work for me. What I did like was that every detail of how the world "ended" wasn't spelled out.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tina
  • STL, MO, United States
  • 05-30-14

Very Good

Where does The Dog Stars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top 15

What other book might you compare The Dog Stars to and why?

A much better version of The Road by Cormac McCarthy...not to knock CM....I loved some of his other novels.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Hig is walking into the perimeter with the villians on his tail, and Bangley uses the radio to get him through.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. It made me pay more attention to my dog, Sonny. It made me realize how much I appreciate him as a real companion.

Any additional comments?

Not a plot driven book...but really...Such great writing and narration.