The Dog Stars

By Peter Heller
(Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780307959942, 319pp.)

Publication Date: August 7, 2012

List Price: $24.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2012 Indie Next List
“It is 10 years after the end of civilization. Few survived the illness that wiped out most of the population of the U.S. Hig, a pilot, and his dog, Jasper, live in and defend an airport with Bangley, a gun-obsessed gruff man with no second thoughts about killing intruders. Somehow, Hig has maintained his conscience, continues to yearn for more to life, and sets out to find it. Heller has written a masterpiece full of language so beautiful it will break your heart and then fill it back up.”
-- Hannah Johnson-Breimeier, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI


Description

“Leave it to Peter Heller to imagine a postapocalyptic world that contains as much loveliness as it does devastation. His hero, Hig, flies a 1956 Cessna (his dog as copilot) around what was once Colorado, chasing all the same things we chase in these pre-annihilation days: love, friendship, the solace of the natural world, and the chance to perform some small kindness. The Dog Stars is a wholly compelling and deeply engaging debut.” —Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted
 
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.




About the Author
Peter Heller is a seasoned adventure journalist and a senior contributor to "Outside" magazine.


NPR
Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012

Set in the Rocky Mountains after an epidemic has killed off most of society, The Dog Stars, by adventure writer Peter Heller, casts an unusual mood as it alternates between elegiac reflection, lyrical nature writing and intense, high-caliber action. The Dog Stars will be published on Aug. 7. More at NPR.org

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