Hig narrates life in The Dog Stars set in a future United States, after the world’s population has been decimated by a flu pandemic. The compassionate protagonist has lost his wife to the flu and Heller uses stream of consciousness to give readers an understanding of what he’s going through. His only companions throughout the novel are his polar opposite, Bangley, and his dog Jasper.
With a real history of flu pandemics happening in the United States, the prospect of a world wiped out by sickness is a very plausible plot. Being able to compare our nation’s relevant issues with Higs’ allows for a deep connection with the content. The Dog Stars offers a good balance between realistic fiction and escapist elements. Although science fiction, Heller’s poetic style contrasts the less than ideal circumstances Hig shares with readers.
Why We Love It:
The Dog Stars is an easy read full of beautiful descriptions meant to draw in readers. Heller wraps up the novel with a satisfying end. Although clouds loom in the horizon, there’s a silver lining.
About the Author:
Peter Heller has contributed to NPR, and is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure. The Dog Stars is his debut novel and his second novel, The Painter, was released in May 2014.
The Dog Stars is published by Random House.