Dawn's Reviews > The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
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Aug 03, 12

Read from July 25 to 26, 2012

Part of what makes this survival story so remarkable to me is how it made me feel thoughout the journey the storyteller, Hig, made me travel - whether I was ready or wanted to, or not.

Hig's language, the way he thinks, talks, expresses himself, describes events of the past, present and future, are heart-meltingly beautiful. It made me reread passages and sit and think about what he said, why it mattered that I remembered it, and what I hoped to learn from it. I had no idea that such raw and powerful grief could be so beautiful, so that although your head and heart ache, you move through the pain slowly, experiencing and feeling it fully. This is not something I normally appreciate in a book - I dread the loss and pain I know is somewhere up ahead, and then I rage a little bit at the author because I don't want to go through this with the character. But Hig is someone I was willing to endure with, even the most unbearable agonies.

Maybe it's because his spirit embraces the love and pieces of himself he's lost, and continues to cherish those losses and take it all with him as he moves forward with warmth, humor, determination, and a courage I not only admired but wanted to find for myself, too. Hig takes another huge loss nine years after the flu has struck down most of civilization, leaving many survivors with a blood disease, then he sets out to find - he doesn't know what. But he starts the journey anyway, and what he finds - answers of a sort; the great treasure of human connection, affection, and cooperation - doesn't make his loss OK, but it does make those finds more comforting, satisfying, valuable.
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