Editor’s note: Peter Heller will read from and sign his novel, The Dog Stars, Wednesday, August 15, 7 p.m.
“The Dog Stars is a book that has everything.”
The opening pages of The Dog Stars are as fragmented, fractured, as the world in which the novel is set. Two men and a dog are holding the perimeter of an airport somewhere in Colorado, backing one another up in an obviously uneasy alliance. It’s been nine years since the narrator, Hig, lost the wife he adored to a flu that killed millions. Nine years since he and his dog, Jasper, made a home at the airport with their unlikely companion, nine years since he began using his plane to spot intruders. Nine years is too long. Dangerous as it is, Hig leaves, chasing a radio voice he’d heard beaming from Grand Junction three years before, willing to pass the point of no return to find its source… The Dog Stars is a book that has everything. A Cessna bouncing off clouds, an old dog as fierce as he is faithful, several firestorms of combat, sweeps of brown forest just beginning to green again, a love story that blossoms slowly and sweetly against a dystopian backdrop. The reader is pulled in willy-nilly, first intrigued by the mystery of the situation, then taken by the characters, then swept into the story headlong. I think I’ll start The Dog Stars over again tonight. I have a feeling it will read as well the second time around. – Betsy Burton, Knopf, $24.95