Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

"Life and death lived inside each other.  That's what occurred to me.  Death was inside all of us, waiting for warmer nights, a compromised system, a beetle, as in the now dying black timber on the mountains." -- Peter Heller, The Dog Stars

I like post apocalyptic books, and this is one that appeared on my radar recently.  It's written in a slightly different style,  but drew me in nonetheless and propelled me  along in my reading.  The story line is this:  Hig survives a flue pandemic that kills his wife and pretty much everyone he knows.   He lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog Jasper and a mercurial gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley.  When a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna,  it ignites a hope deep inside of him  that a better life exists outside of his tightly controlled perimeter.   He risks everything, flying past the point of no return to follow it, only to  find something that is both better and worse.

I loved the descriptions of the landscape, the play of opposites between Hig and Bangley, and the love Hig had for his dog Jasper.  A very compelling read--beautifully done.

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