Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

This is a first novel by outdoor magazine writer Peter Heller about those who inhabit what was once the state of Colorado after a devastating flu epidemic some decades from now.  This is not "The Road", with its most bleak of depictions of a post apocalyptic world, but it is mostly populated with people living in a kill or be killed existence.

That description is probably enough for many to stop and not bother with the book.  However, the upside is a compelling story interspersed with lyrical writing about hunting and fishing, flying, and a man's relationship with his dog.  The writing style is different, with a quasi-stream-of-consciousness rambling whenever you are inside his mind.  Heller could work on that some but I got into the rhythm and didn't notice after a while.

I've thought a lot about this book since reading it last month and think Becky would like it and know that Jackie already does since she read it as well.  If you skip over the idea that this fellow probably should have been killed off early on because he was and still is hesitant to just kill anyone who's still around, then the story works well enough and really moves along the farther you get into it.  At about 250 pages, it's a quick read and worth giving a try.

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