Rebecca Says… Read This Book by Peter Heller

By Rebecca Johnson

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
The Dog Stars
by Peter Heller

A flu pandemic swept the globe. Those that did not die from the outbreak succumbed to a blood disease that developed in the wake of the epidemic.

But Hig survived. His wife, his friends and his family are all gone, and the people that are left on the planet are wasted with disease and have quarantined themselves, or they are murderers, scared for their lives and just trying to survive.

Hig lives in an abandoned airplane hangar, a stronghold of sorts with plenty of food, water and firepower, and too much time to think about how things were before. With his only company being his dog Jasper and a time-hardened misanthrope, Hig takes every opportunity to fly the perimeter or go out to the mountains and into nature, to escape this reality. He hopes for an end to this way of life, hopes for a future more like how life used to be.

When a radio transmission ghosts through his radio, it ignites the hope deep inside Hig that something better exists beyond his airport hangar. Risking everything, without fuel to get him home, Hig takes a chance past the point of no return; in search of he knows not what.

For this post-apocalyptic novel, the stream of consciousness narration perfectly communicates how desperate and lost Hig really is. A poetic narrator, his descriptions of the scathed landscape and he and his neighbor’s isolation makes you wish for a change for them, too. Although I thought the novel was not as intense as I imagined it would be, it was still a very good story, and it made me think that the mundane things in life are not actually mundane. Through Hig, Heller posed a more hopeful way to see life after cataclysm, but the thoughts that plagued Hig daily cast a darker shade and expressed how strong he had to be to keep his head and to keep his hope. Heller writes to help you appreciate the life that you have, the love that you feel, and the future that you look toward.

About this writer

  • Rebecca Johnson Rebecca Johnson is, at the moment, an editorial intern and an ice cream scooper. She is a student at the South Carolina Honors College at USC studying journalism and international relations. She enjoys hot tea, South Carolina football, a good hike and a great quote. Some day, she hopes to say she is a designer, photographer, writer, and journalist. But above all, she is a hopeless wanderer.

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