Stephanie's Reviews > The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1085121
's review
Sep 09, 12

bookshelves: 2012, dystopia, post-apocalyptic
Read from August 29 to September 04, 2012

If this book didn't have a dog as one of the mian characters this would have been a three star for me.

Hig survives a super flu out break that kills off everyone he loves except for his dog Jasper and his airplane The Beast (which is also the name of an awesome roller coaster at Kings Island in Cincinnatti). He teams up with a man who is now a sociopath, but might not have always been before the shit hit the fan. They hold up at a small airport that they can protect with the help of a tower, a few guns, good aim, a dog that growls at the sign of trouble and the Beast that Hig flys to scope the area for intruders. Because, you see, everyone turns mean and murderous.

This is a problem I am beginning to have with books like this (I know it's distopian), the assumption when something really bad happens, like a super flu, everybody who had moral values prior to the event turn into killing machines automatically. I don't believe that is the way it would go down in reality. When 9/11 happened everyone pulled together and were kinder to one another than they were on 9/10, at least for a little while. So I believe if a pandemic were to sweep the globe and kill almost everyone, human nature would bring people together probably out of shear loneliness more than anything. "oh hi there! Good god it's been a long time since I've seen another face! Too bad we can't talk and get to know each other because I have to kill you.". Bang! "Now that's a shame."

But that would'nt make for a very good story, and this story was about a bleak future for the human race. As far as that's concerned I think the author did a good job. I did have an issue with the part where after Hig finds a couple of other people and after he convinces them not to kill him and then plans to fly them out (view spoiler).......so that was kind of rediculus.

But the best part of the book is the relationship between Hig and his dog Jasper. Jasper is all that is left of his old life, a reminder of how life used to be before. He did a good job with that.

3.5

29 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Dog Stars.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Trudi (new)

Trudi Stephanie wrote: "everybody who had moral values prior to the event turn into killing machines automatically. I don't believe that is the way it would go down in reality."

Very interesting thought Stephanie. I would agree that singular natural disasters like tsunamis and events like 9/11 definitely bring out the best in humans, not the worst.

The difference has to be when there is an entire loss of all legal and civic institutions, no police, no firemen, no hospitals or doctors. When all the infrastructure is wiped out to sustain electricity, water and food distribution. In cases where these vital services are cut off so abruptly I think humans are plunged into panic and fear, and the more predatory amongst us seize this opportunity to prey on the confused and vulnerable. The rest of us would smarten up pretty quickly and I imagine you'd find yourself doing a lot things just to survive that you would never have dreamed of doing before.

That's not to argue it would all be Lord of the Flies all the time. I think humans would strive to restore some kind of order, some kind of tribe. We are social animals after all that long for connections. I do think early days would be brutal though, and novels often take that route not just because it's the most entertaining, but because it rings the most true.

You should read Blindness. I would love to get your thoughts on that!


Stephanie Trudi wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "everybody who had moral values prior to the event turn into killing machines automatically. I don't believe that is the way it would go down in reality."

Very interesting thought..."


That's probably true....I just don't think it would be the knee jerk reaction to start killing everyone in sight. I'm sure that there would be situations where violence would be warented, but it seems like these books tend to blindly go there. Now if they're zombies, then by all means fire at will.

Blindness is on my list.....it looks good.


message 3: by Trudi (new)

Trudi I would love to get drunk in a bar, and talk about this some more :)


Stephanie ^That would fantastic! I'll get myself a passport and meet you half way!^


message 5: by Trudi (new)

Trudi You're on! ^_^


Melki Ah. Glad someone else was not totally nutso over this book. I always get nervous when I see that EVERYONE else liked a book much, much more than I did. It makes me think I may have missed that one sentence that tied everything together and made it all make sense.


Stephanie Melki wrote: "Ah. Glad someone else was not totally nutso over this book. I always get nervous when I see that EVERYONE else liked a book much, much more than I did. It makes me think I may have missed that o..."

I know! This happened to me again with Angelfall recently, which I liked but everyone else lost their minds over.


Lori Redman Trudi- nice opinion on a nice review. I agree with both of you, in a way... It's difficult to imagine a world in which everyone's first reaction seems to be "kill!". That's one of the reasons why Hig is so, well, likable- he challenges that notion. That it doesn't have to be "rule one: never negotiate". I don't think the author necessarily agrees with Bangley's policy, either. He shot the one girl in the field and Hig is outraged. But can they take the chance? And since we've never lived in a scenario even remotely like this one- not even close- it's difficult to imagine WHAT humans would do. Where morality would go. I think Peter Heller paints a picture that illuminates the issue in a very compelling way. At the very least. I'm not saying it was the best way to do it- but only that I can see why he did.


Stephanie Lori wrote: "Trudi- nice opinion on a nice review. I agree with both of you, in a way... It's difficult to imagine a world in which everyone's first reaction seems to be "kill!". That's one of the reasons why H..."

Thanks Lori, well said.


Charlie Quimby I saw your review after I wrote mine. You've come closest to making the point I thought has been overlooked in most reviews.


Stephanie Charlie wrote: "I saw your review after I wrote mine. You've come closest to making the point I thought has been overlooked in most reviews."

Thanks Charlie.


message 12: by Jean (last edited Jun 30, 2014 11:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean Farrell I loved the book, but I did have to suspend disbelief quite a bit. I agree with you that, in this particular world, people would not have just killed each other indiscriminately. It made sense that people were dangerous to each other in the world created in The Road, because resources were extremely scarce, and the survival instinct is very strong. But in this world, there seemed to be very few people, and probably enough resources to share. It was possible to grow food, there were plenty of fish in the streams (although not trout), there were animals in some abundance, etc. I think humans have an instinct to form commumnities, like in The Stand, where everyone came together, and started to re-form government, and want to get the power back on etc. So I do think that aspect of the book was unrealistic. But I just accepted the authoer's vision of the world, and with that was able to really enjoy the read.


Stephanie Jean wrote: "I loved the book, but I have to suspend disbelief quite a bit. I agree with you that, in this particular world, people would have just killed each other indiscriminately. It made sense that peopl..."

All good points.


back to top