Just finished The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (Knoff, $15.56 at Amazon.com). Man. What a fantastic novel. Similar to The Road by Cormac McCarthy by a little less gruesome and a little more optimistic. No spoilers given.
The story is post-apocalyptic in nature, taking place in the not too distant future after a virus wipes out 99.9% of humanity. It revolves around Hig, his dog Jasper, and his somewhat unstable “friend” Bangley. Hig and Bangley live at a rural air station, and have been there for almost ten years after the fall of humanity. It is a story of their survival. Their sometimes pressed but necessary relationship.
Just reading this makes me wish that I had an iota of the writing talent of Heller. The prose is fluent, introspective. Just a couple of examples:
“Is it possible to love so desperately that life is unbearable? I don’t mean unrequited, I mean being in love. In the midst of it and desperate. Because knowing it will end. Because everything does. End”
“Grief is an element. It has it’s own cycle like the carbon cycle, the nitrogen. It never diminishes not ever. It passes in and out of everything.”
“Life and death lived inside each other. That’s what occurred to me. Death was inside all of us, waiting for warmer nights, a compromised system, a beetle, as in the now dying black timber on the mountains. And life was inside death, virulent and insistent as a strain of flu. How it should be.”
If you like McCarthy, Hemingway, or post apocalyptic stories go out now and grab this…you won’t be able to put it down.