The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars

A Novel

Audiobook CD - 2012
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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.
Publisher: [New York] : Random House Audio, p2012
Edition: Unabridged
Description: 9 sound discs (600 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in
ISBN: 9780449013113
Branch Call Number: SWCD Hell
Additional Contributors: Deakins, Mark.


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Jul 16, 2021


THE DOG STARS is haunting and beautiful. It is an extremely satisfying dystopian novel, that drew me in bit by bit until I was mesmerized. It is one of those books that gets better and better until you are completely sucked into the story, transported, and unaware of someone trying to get your attention, who is sitting right next to you!While reading it, I could not stop thinking about my Dad, who died 8 years ago. He would have LOVED this book.

Hig has lost almost everything he ever cared about, in the 10 years since a mysterious virus killed off most of the people. Now his only loves are his aging dog, Jasper, and a four seater plane, which allows him a birds eye view of the near-by Colorado landscape. This advantage allows him and his neighbor, an aging tactical warrior, who seems to enjoy killing people a little too gleefully, a tactical advantage in defending the small airport they call home. Hig is actually a little afraid of the old guy, not sure if his apparent hatred for other survivors, extends to him and Jasper, or not. He does know that "useful" is one quality that is appreciated. Hig may be constantly berated by the old guy, but he learns a lot from him about what is required to survive in this new world.

The need to defend the airport, requires murdering countless people, without stopping to question their motives. There are lots of bad people and attacks on their defences happen frequently. Higs kills out of necessity, but it is never something he would do willingly, if he felt he had a choice.

When Higs faces yet another tragedy, he bravely ventures out, in desperation, to investigates a mysterious transmission he heard from the airport at Grand Junction, Colorado. The only problems are these: he heard the transmission 3 years earlier, and it is past the point of no return, given the amount of fuel he can carry. He leaves safety in search of something he can't quite articulate, knowing it may be a one way trip.

What he finds, is both satisfying and beyond shocking. It turns an already excellent story into a book you will probably never forget --a book you will recommend to others. I loved THE DOG STARS!

If you are intimately familiar with Colorado or happen to be a Pilot, (both applied to my Dad), this may be one of your favorite books ever!!! For the rest of you, THE DOG STARS will not disappoint you!

Oct 21, 2020

This book was deeply moving to me. It is an environmental dystopian that follows a man and his dog after the end of civilization. It takes place in the near future, at an air hangar in Colorado.

Peter Heller has a unique writing style that makes it easy to really feel the main character's feelings of isolation, loneliness, and hope. The first time I read the book, I loved the first half but was somewhat disappointed by the ending. I re-read the book during quarantine this year, and thoroughly enjoyed the whole book that time around. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian-style books or environmental fiction books.

May 18, 2020

Listening to this end-of-times survivalist story during the unknowns of the COVID epidemic was haunting and this book stuck with me long after I finished it.

Great narrator, great characterization; great love scenes. I was willing to suspend belief on some of the details that seem to be bugging people, but that's why we write reviews; opinions are like ... :)

Love that I can still download audiobooks with the libraries closed. It makes life so very tolerable and keeps me company taking me outside my sheltered existence.

I enjoyed "The River" a fairly taunt thriller and I'm about to seek out another of his works.

CCPL_Carly Feb 03, 2020

Author Peter Heller has crafted believable, deeply-damaged characters that still elicit sympathy from readers, in spite of the cold-blooded killing required for them to safely exist in a dangerous world. The story shifts from beautifully descriptive scenes of nature, to heart-pounding suspense, to raw, emotional grief as Hig finds a way to carry on without any meaningful human connection. While sounding bleak, this is far from the average post-apocalyptic novel. Its striking prose in the form of Hig's internal dialogue lends insight into the inner struggles of grief and loss, making it a very affecting version of man in the midst of civilization's decay.

Nov 22, 2019

Interesting apocalypse story of an epidemic that has wiped out about 98% of the population. Main character lives on an acreage with one other survivor and they share patrol duties to fend off mauraders. He is a lonely pilot with a small plane and he and his dog can occassionally venture out to explore and look for other survivors. Satisfying ending.

Sep 26, 2019

Phenomenal book with a complex development of characters and a profound message of hope and relationships in an apocalyptic world. The characters are so well developed, even the ones that seem stereotypical are revealed to have more layers than expected. The story is both a memory of better times with the main character (Hig) revealing his personal life and the slow destruction of the world and one of finding love and hope in a scorched and destroyed world of violence and danger. Well read in the audio version. I was completely absorbed in the danger, discovery and transition of the novel. Brilliant and refreshing at the end.

ArapahoeStaff26 Aug 05, 2019

If you don't already treasure our beautiful planet you will after reading this post-apocalypse story narrated by a man who longs for the lush forests, cold streams, and healthy trout of the time before.

Jul 14, 2019

I read enough dystopia and thought that between The Road and Blindness it had all been said, but then Heller does something fresh. I liked the stream of consciousness-type writing and the truncated sentencing, I liked the protagonist Big Hig, I liked where the plot went and how it got there. All of the traits Heller imbued in Hig - his cluelessness, his yearning, his despair, his denial, his wisdom, his guilt - all made perfect sense. Then there's Jasper. Loved him as a Symbol, loved him as a Dog.

ArapahoeMaryA Apr 11, 2019

I re-read this story of post-apocalyptic America told in poetic, fragmented prose to refresh my memory. Yes, I still like this book – because of and in spite of Heller’s unique style. Oddly, the love scenes did not resonate, but the love between a man and his dog tugged mightily at my heartstrings.

Mar 23, 2019

I've tried this twice, once as a print book, next as the audio read by a generally good voice. It must be the writer's intent to pace this & to have it read as two or three words at a time, like one is reading to a 4 year old child. I hated it!! Even skipping forward I couldn't get away from the tedious, tedious drone of this insufferable man. I must be the only person with this reaction. I may try another of his, but not holding out much hope. Oh, yes, the only parts I enjoyed were the descriptions of his flights - all very well known to me.

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ArapahoeMaryA Apr 11, 2019

You can't metabolize the loss. It is in the cells of your face, your chest, behind the eyes, in the twists of your gut. Muscle, sinew, bone. It is all of you. When you walk you propel it forward....Then it sits with you. The pain puts its arm over your shoulders. It is your closest friend, steadfast. And at night you can't bear to hear your own breath, unaccompanied by another. And underneath the big stillness like a score, is the roaring of the cataract of everything being and being torn away.

So I wonder what it is this need to tell. To animate somehow the deathly stillness of the profoundest beauty. Breathe life in the telling.

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