Sunday, April 7, 2013
Best Book I've Read in a Long While: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Well, I almost put The Dog Stars by Peter Heller back in the pile because when I first started reading it, I found out it's about a few survivors of a catastrophic event where nearly everyone is wiped out. Oh brother, I thought. Not this crap.
I wasn't interested in reading some Mad Max saga, a shoot 'em up warrior tale. Nah. But I hung in there, and I'm so glad I did! Wow, this book really pulled me in with the uniqueness and hopefulness of Hig, a survivor of a flu that killed off 99 percent of mankind. And of course there's Jasper, Hig's dog.
The novel is set in Colorado, mostly at the Erie airport, which is north of Denver. I used to fly out of a tiny little airport near there with a person who will remain nameless in his little prop plane. We'd fly to Cheyenne for lunch or dinner or just around the Boulder area, maybe over the mountains then back again. A couple of times we even flew across several states stopping at rural airports for aviation gas like you do when driving cross country, just less often. I had to really watch how much I drank because it's just not as easy to land to go pee as it is to pull over to go pee.
So all of the flying Heller wrote about felt very familiar as did the poor guy's outlook. He remained hopeful through his nostalgia and memories. This book moves along through the space of a few months.
I liked this book as much for what it didn't have as for what it did have, mainly there were no outlandish scenarios about how the world fared after this tragic turn. Yes, there was shooting and defense of what they had because other survivors roamed the landscape stealing and killing. But it wasn't over the top or unbelievable. In fact, I'd love to see this book made into a movie. Oh yeah.
Read it. You won't be sorry.
Book Read: The Dog Stars
Author: Peter Heller