The Dog Stars – Peter Heller

I wish that I could say that someone recommended this book to me.

I wish that there was someone I could figuratively walk up to and thank for telling me about this it.

I stumbled upon it late one night while letting my kindle roam the book lists. I saw it and on a whim hit the purchase button.

What a great find.

It’s hard to describe the book without giving a whole lot away, so I won’t go in to great detail:

After a flu epidemic, and then – just to make sure – a liberal round of blood poisoning wiped out 99.5% of the world’s population, those that survive do what they have to do.

Staying alive is paramount, but the book also alludes to the processing of the grief of loved-ones lost, along with the moral switch that occurs to enable people to carry on and survive the horrors that they have had visited upon them, along with the violence they must inflict upon others that come within the boundaries of tenuous safety.

Unlike “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy – there is some working infrastructure left, and the Narrator, a writer-turned-building-contractor, has use of a plane, (he lives in a rural airport in Colarado) the company of his dog Jasper, and the sometimes overbearing protection of a professional survivor and only human cohabitant – Bangley.

The immediate nature of their lives is counterpoint to the slow unfurling of information about “before”.

Brutal, and never without a sense of impending failure or loss the book still manages to deliver some magnificent image-scapes and explores the nature of personal relationships in impossible circumstances.

The writing style is not your run of the mill layout, and takes a couple of pages to get used to – but if the reader lets go of some of the literary  rules that they might expect, and the allow that this is a narrative of an articulate man speaking in his own and honest voice, the rewards are immense.

Available in paperback or Kindle.

US and most other places, get yours here:

UK folk – here’s your link.:


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