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Original Essays | April 11, 2014

Paul Laudiero: IMG Shit Rough Draft



I was sitting in a British and Irish romantic drama class my last semester in college when the idea for Shit Rough Drafts hit me. I was working... Continue »
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More copies of this ISBN

The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries)

by

The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

 

 Upcoming Event

Monday, May 19, 2014 07:30 PM
Peter Heller, the celebrated author of the breakout bestseller The Dog Stars, returns with an achingly beautiful, suspenseful second novel about an artist trying to outrun his past. A stunning, savage tale of art and violence, love and grief, The Painter (Knopf) is the story of a man who longs to transcend the shadows in his heart, a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life.

See our full selection of signed editions from authors coming to Powell's

Staff Pick

A post-apocalyptic story with an open, elegant heart, Heller's debut novel follows a pilot, Hig, and an ex-military man, Bangley, in their fight for survival. Although stuck together in an uneasy partnership, they each flawlessly compensate for the deficits in the other and guard their "home" — an abandoned airport — from marauding intruders. Even as danger lurks around every corner and death is present in every exchange, the two work together as a well-oiled machine. Yet, nine years on, Hig is lost and yearning for something he can't quite name. Leaving Bangley on his own, Hig takes off in his little Cessna and flies beyond the point of no return, holding onto the only thing he can — hope.

The Dog Stars is an achingly beautiful book with characters that are wholly human. It's a dazzling story full of loss, pain, and sorrow, but also truth. And every page is absolutely humming with brilliance.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A riveting, powerful novel about a pilot living in a world filled with loss — and what he is willing to risk to rediscover, against all odds, connection, love, and grace.

Hig survived the flu that killed everyone he knows. His wife is gone, his friends are dead, he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, his only neighbor a gun-toting misanthrope. In his 1956 Cessna, Hig flies the perimeter of the airfield or sneaks off to the mountains to fish and to pretend that things are the way they used to be. But when a random transmission somehow beams through his radio, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life — something like his old life — exists beyond the airport. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return — not enough fuel to get him home — following the trail of the static-broken voice on the radio. But what he encounters and what he must face — in the people he meets, and in himself — is both better and worse than anything he could have hoped for.

Narrated by a man who is part warrior and part dreamer, a hunter with a great shot and a heart that refuses to harden, The Dog Stars is both savagely funny and achingly sad, a breathtaking story about what it means to be human.

Review:

“Extraordinary....One of those books that makes you happy for literature.” Junot Díaz, The Wall Street Journal

Review:

“This end-of-the-world novel [is] more like a rapturous beginning....Remarkable.” San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

“Heart-wrenching and richly written....The Dog Stars is a love story, but not just in the typical sense. It’s an ode to friendship between two men, a story of the strong bond between a human and a dog, and a reminder of what is worth living for.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Review:

“A brilliant success.” The New Yorker

Review:

“Beautifully written and morally challenging” The Atlantic Monthly

Review:

"Dark, poetic, and funny." Jennifer Reese, NPR

Review:

“An elegy for a lost world turns suddenly into a paean to new possibilities. In The Dog Stars, Peter Heller serves up an insightful account of physical, mental, and spiritual survival unfolded in dramatic and often lyrical prose.” The Boston Globe

Review:

“With its evocative descriptions of hunting, fishing, and flying, [The Dog Stars], perhaps the world’s most poetic survival guide, reads as if Billy Collins had novelized one of George Romero’s zombie flicks.” Publishers Weekly (starred)

Review:

The Dog Stars can feel less like a 21st-century apocalypse and more like a 19th-century frontier narrative (albeit one in which many, many species have become extinct). There are echoes of Grizzly Adams or Jeremiah Johnson in scenes where Heller lingers on the details of how the water in a flowing stream changes color as the sun moves across the sky.” The Dallas Morning News

Review:

“Heller’s surprising and irresistible blend of suspense, romance, social insight, and humor creates a cunning form of cognitive dissonance neatly pegged by Hig as an ‘apocalyptic parody of Norman Rockwell’ — a novel, that is, of spiky pleasure and signal resonance.” Booklist (starred)

Review:

“Terrific....With echoes of Moby Dick, The Dog Stars...brings Melville’s broad, contemplative exploration of good and evil to his story.” Shelf Awareness

Review:

“A post-apocalyptic adventure novel with the soul of haiku.” The Columbus Dispatch

Synopsis:

A San Francisco Chronicle and Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year

Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley.

But when a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return and follows its static-broken trail, only to find something that is both better and worse than anything he could ever hope for.

About the Author

Peter Heller holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in both fiction and poetry. An award-winning adventure writer and longtime contributor to NPR, Heller is a contributing editor at Outside magazine, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure, and a regular contributor to Bloomberg Businessweek. He is also the author of several nonfiction books, including Kook, The Whale Warriors, and Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet’s Tsangpo River. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Diana9009, May 24, 2013 (view all comments by Diana9009)
This book is incredible in so many ways. A rare gem that will make your heart pound like a thriller and make your hair stand on end from the prose. Also rare in the fact that it's written in present tense, yet flows effortlessly. Though I'm a fan of the present tense it has a number of limitations, one of which being that it feels unfamiliar, since most people are used to reading in the past tense. But I hardly noticed it wasn't in past tense. I got about fifty pages in before I realized. That's how perfect and necessary it is. And actually, this book made me rethink the way I write in first person. Hig's narration is fractured, often in incomplete sentences. And of course it is. That's how people really talk, even to themselves. Especially to themselves, especially in a world as lonely as this. And the way he left certain things unsaid. Genius, really. Said out loud they're cliches; unsaid, they're landmines, his emotional revelations. Really it's what the narrator doesn't say that's important. The blank spaces we, the readers, fill in with our own universal experience. Utterly brilliant.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Julie Asregadoo, April 10, 2013 (view all comments by Julie Asregadoo)
I absolutely loved this book. Heller's writing is lyrical, and shows the heart of a poet. I got this book from the library, but when it comes out in paperback, I'll be buying a copy for sure. High praise considering the small amount of space on my bookshelves.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307950475
Author:
Heller, Peter
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Popular Fiction - Adventure
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
20130531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8 x 5.16 x 0.69 in 0.58 lb

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Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Adventure

The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.00 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Vintage Books - English 9780307950475 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A post-apocalyptic story with an open, elegant heart, Heller's debut novel follows a pilot, Hig, and an ex-military man, Bangley, in their fight for survival. Although stuck together in an uneasy partnership, they each flawlessly compensate for the deficits in the other and guard their "home" — an abandoned airport — from marauding intruders. Even as danger lurks around every corner and death is present in every exchange, the two work together as a well-oiled machine. Yet, nine years on, Hig is lost and yearning for something he can't quite name. Leaving Bangley on his own, Hig takes off in his little Cessna and flies beyond the point of no return, holding onto the only thing he can — hope.

The Dog Stars is an achingly beautiful book with characters that are wholly human. It's a dazzling story full of loss, pain, and sorrow, but also truth. And every page is absolutely humming with brilliance.

"Review" by , “Extraordinary....One of those books that makes you happy for literature.”
"Review" by , “This end-of-the-world novel [is] more like a rapturous beginning....Remarkable.”
"Review" by , “Heart-wrenching and richly written....The Dog Stars is a love story, but not just in the typical sense. It’s an ode to friendship between two men, a story of the strong bond between a human and a dog, and a reminder of what is worth living for.”
"Review" by , “A brilliant success.”
"Review" by , “Beautifully written and morally challenging”
"Review" by , "Dark, poetic, and funny."
"Review" by , “An elegy for a lost world turns suddenly into a paean to new possibilities. In The Dog Stars, Peter Heller serves up an insightful account of physical, mental, and spiritual survival unfolded in dramatic and often lyrical prose.”
"Review" by , “With its evocative descriptions of hunting, fishing, and flying, [The Dog Stars], perhaps the world’s most poetic survival guide, reads as if Billy Collins had novelized one of George Romero’s zombie flicks.”
"Review" by , The Dog Stars can feel less like a 21st-century apocalypse and more like a 19th-century frontier narrative (albeit one in which many, many species have become extinct). There are echoes of Grizzly Adams or Jeremiah Johnson in scenes where Heller lingers on the details of how the water in a flowing stream changes color as the sun moves across the sky.”
"Review" by , “Heller’s surprising and irresistible blend of suspense, romance, social insight, and humor creates a cunning form of cognitive dissonance neatly pegged by Hig as an ‘apocalyptic parody of Norman Rockwell’ — a novel, that is, of spiky pleasure and signal resonance.”
"Review" by , “Terrific....With echoes of Moby Dick, The Dog Stars...brings Melville’s broad, contemplative exploration of good and evil to his story.”
"Review" by , “A post-apocalyptic adventure novel with the soul of haiku.”
"Synopsis" by , A San Francisco Chronicle and Atlantic Monthly Best Book of the Year

Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows. Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun-toting misanthrope named Bangley.

But when a random transmission beams through the radio of his 1956 Cessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter. Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return and follows its static-broken trail, only to find something that is both better and worse than anything he could ever hope for.

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