Neil's Reviews > The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
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's review
Jan 14, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: to-read
Read from January 08 to 14, 2014

There's lots for Hig, the narrator of The Dog Stars, to be nervous about. Living in the Colorado mountains after a pandemic has wiped out most of civilization, survival doesn't come easily and the threats are never far enough away.

One of the things that's great about Peter Heller's novel is that the tension the reader feels when Hig describes something that could kill him is equalled by the tensions around moments when he could reconnect with another person. The risk involved in reaching out to another is heightened, and Hig has to decide whether the reward is worth it. In that way, the book could almost be read as an allegory of adolescence: emerging into a new world, trying to figure out what kind of a person you want to be.

Heller combines with that some wonderful descriptions of nature—from the stream as Hig fishes, or from the sky as he pilots his Cessna to patrol for his safety—nature diminished by the lingering effects of climate change, even after humanity has been decimated. The result is a thought-provoking story that I tumbled through quickly, curious to see what would happen next.

I was not disappointed.

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