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The dog stars
Peter Heller
Adult Fiction HELLER

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In the tradition of postapocalyptic literary fiction such as Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Jim Crace's The Pesthouse, this hypervisceral first novel by adventure writer Heller (Kook) takes place nine years after a superflu has killed off much of mankind. Hig, an amateur pilot living in Colorado, has retreated to an abandoned airport from which he flies sorties in "the Beast," his vintage Cessna, over isolated pockets of survivors. His only neighbor is the survivalist Bangley, who's sitting on a stockpile of weapons and munitions, and the only visitors are plague survivors who have descended into savagery. Hig's one real comfort, besides the memory of his dead wife, Melissa, who fell victim to the flu while pregnant, is his dog, Jasper. But when that comfort is withdrawn, Hig flies west in search of the radio voice that called out to him three years before. Instead, he ends up being shot down and restrained by a doctor named Cima and her shotgun-toting father, a former Navy SEAL. With its evocative descriptions of hunting, fishing, and flying, this novel, perhaps the world's most poetic survival guide, reads as if Billy Collins had novelized one of George Romero's zombie flicks. From start to finish, Heller carries the reader aloft on graceful prose, intense action, and deeply felt emotion. Agent: David Halpern, the Robbins Office. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In the near future, a flu pandemic has decimated civilization, leaving only scattered pockets of survivors to fend for themselves. Hig is one of the healthy ones. For the past nine years, he has coexisted with a loner named Bangley at an abandoned airport in eastern Colorado. Trying not to think of his former life, Hig finds sanity in fishing, staring at the constellations, and flying his plane. With his dog, Jasper, Hig flies the perimeter of their safety zone in his 1956 Cessna. Bangley has a well-stocked arsenal, and between them, they keep a watchful eye for unfriendly invaders. On one of his forays, through broken static, Hig hears another pilot over the radio, an incident that haunts him until he goes in search of this other human being. Packing enough supplies to get him there and back, he takes off for western Colorado in search of the voice. During his six-week journey, he discovers more than he bargained for. VERDICT After an award-winning career as an adventure writer and NPR contributor, Heller has written a stunning debut novel. In spare,Åpoetic prose, he portrays a soaring spirit of hope that triumphs over heartbreak, trauma, and insurmountable struggles. A timely must-read. [See Prepub Alert, 1/30/12.]-Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., Grand Junction, CO (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Hig
Male
Widower
Survived the flu that killed everyone he knew, including his wife; lives in the hanger of an abandoned airport with his dog; flies the perimeter of the airport pretending his life to be the way it used to be; receives a radio transmission that brings hope that there is a better life beyond the airport.
Pilot



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