The Dog Stars and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $6.52 (43%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it tomorrow, April 25? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by JSW Media
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Very good condition, NO writing or highlights. Eligible for Fast and Free Super Saving Shipping!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries) Paperback


See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$8.48
$7.34 $3.54 $14.00

Frequently Bought Together

The Dog Stars (Vintage Contemporaries) + The Road + The Book Thief
Price for all three: $24.58

Buy the selected items together
  • The Road $8.52
  • The Book Thief $7.58

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

$7 Showcase Weekly Deals in Science Fiction & Fantasy
Browse the showcase weekly book deal featuring great titles for $7. Learn more

Product Details

  • Series: Vintage Contemporaries
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307950476
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307950475
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (906 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2012: Adventure writer Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars is a first novel set in Colorado after a superflu has culled most of humanity. A man named Hig lives in a former airport community—McMansions built along the edge of a runway—which he shares with his 1956 Cessna, his dog, and a slightly untrustworthy survivalist. He spends his days flying the perimeter, looking out for intruders and thinking about the things he’s lost—his deceased wife, the nearly extinct trout he loved to fish. When a distant beacon sparks in him the realization that something better might be out there, it’s only a matter of time before he goes searching. Poetic, thoughtful, transformative, this novel is a rare combination of the literary and highly readable. --Chris Schluep

Amazon Exclusive: Author Peter Heller on the Star of The Dog Stars

Jasper the Blue Heeler Mix
The inspiration for Jasper, a Blue Heeler mix, who is an integral part of this novel.

Our Hero, Hig, lives at a little country airstrip which he shares with his beloved blue heeler Jasper, and a mean gun nut named Bangley. It's nine years after a super-flu has killed 99.7% of the people on the planet. Hig sleeps out under the open sky at night with Jasper. He does it because he loves to see the stars, and because it's safer: if marauders come he won't be trapped in one of the nearby houses.

He used to have a book of the stars, but now he doesn't, so when he's lying out at night he makes up constellations. Mostly they are animals, and he makes one for his best friend Jasper. The Dog Stars. It's Hig's way of reinventing the lost world, and keeping in touch with the things he loves.

Jasper, to me, is the star of the book. He is fiercely loyal, and he gives Hig something to live for when there is not much else to hold on to.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“Extraordinary. . . . One of those books that makes you happy for literature.” —Junot Díaz, The Wall Street Journal
 
“This end-of-the-world novel [is] more like a rapturous beginning. . . . Remarkable.” —San Francisco Chronicle 
   
“For all those who thought Cormac McCarthy’s The Road the last word on the post-apocalyptic world—think again. . . . Make time and space for this savage, tender, brilliant book.” —Glen Duncan, author of The Last Werewolf
 
“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

“A dreamy, postapocalyptic love letter to things of beauty, big and small.” –Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl 

"Heartbreaking" —The Seattle Times
 
“A brilliant success.” —The New Yorker
 
“Beautifully written and morally challenging” –The Atlantic Monthly

“A book that rests easily on shelves with Dean Koontz, Jack London or Hemingway." —The Missourian

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

“Terrific. . . . Recalling the bleakness of Cormac McCarthy and the trout-praising beauty of David James Duncan, The Dog Stars makes a compelling case that the wild world will survive the apocalypse just fine; it’s the humans who will have the heavy lifting.” —Outside

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

“Take the sensibility of Hemingway.  Or James Dickey.  Place it in a world where a flu mutation has wiped out ninety-nine percent of the population. Add in a heartbroken man with a fishing rod, some guns, a small plane. Don’t forget the dog. Now imagine this man retains more hope than might be wise in such a battered and brutal time. More trust. More hunger for love—more capacity for it, too. That’s what Peter Heller has given us in his beautifully written first novel.” —Scott Smith, author of A Simple Plan and The Ruins

“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)

 “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

“Full of action and hope…. One you’ll not soon forget.” — The Oklahoman

“A heavenly book, a stellar achievement by a debut novelist that manages to combine sparkling prose with truly memorable, shining, characters.” —The New York Journal of Books

“Gruff, tormented and inspirational, Heller has the astonishing ability to make you laugh, cringe and feel ridiculously vulnerable throughout the novel that will have you rereading certain passages with a hard lump in the pit of your stomach. One of the most powerful reads in years.” —Playboy

The Dog Stars is a wholly compelling and deeply engaging debut.” —Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted

“Beautiful, haunting and hopeful. . . . Makes your breath catch and your heart ache.” —Aspen Daily News

“At times funny, at times thrilling, at times simply heartbreaking and always rich with a love of nature, The Dog Stars finds a peculiar poetry in deciding that there’s really no such thing as the end of the world—just a series of decisions about how we live in whatever world we’ve got.” —Salt Lake City Weekly

“What separates Heller’s book from other End of Days stories is that it doesn’t rely on the thematic fail-safes to tell the story—The Dog Stars is quite simply the story of what it’s like to be alonet.” —The Stranger

“Proves a truth we know from our everyday nonfictional lives: Even when it seems like all the humans in the world are only out for themselves, there are always those few who prove you absolutely wrong—in the most surprising of ways.” —Oprah.com

“Heller has created a heartbreakingly moving love story. . . . It’s an ode to what we’ve lost so far, and how we risk losing everything.” —Cincinnati City Beat
 
“A stunning, hope-riddled end-of-the-world story. . . . Bound to become a classic.” —Flavorwire

“Heller’s writing gives you a heartbreaking jolt, like a sudden wakening from a dream.”  —The Seattle Times

“Heller is a masterful storyteller and The Dog Stars is a beautiful tribute to the resilience of nature and the relentless human drive to find meaning and deep connections with life and the living.” —Julianna Baggott, author of Pure

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

“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)


More About the Author

Peter Heller is a longtime contributor to NPR, a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and Men's Journal, and a frequent contributor to Businessweek. He is an award winning adventure writer and the author of four books of literary nonfiction. He lives in Denver. Heller was born and raised in New York. He attended high school in Vermont and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire where he became an outdoorsman and whitewater kayaker. He traveled the world as an expedition kayaker, writing about challenging descents in the Pamirs, the Tien Shan mountains, the Caucuses, Central America and Peru.At the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he received an MFA in fiction and poetry, he won a Michener fellowship for his epic poem "The Psalms of Malvine." He has worked as a dishwasher, construction worker, logger, offshore fisherman, kayak instructor, river guide, and world class pizza deliverer. Some of these stories can be found in Set Free in China, Sojourns on the Edge. In the winter of 2002 he joined, on the ground team, the most ambitious whitewater expedition in history as it made its way through the treacherous Tsangpo Gorge in Eastern Tibet. He chronicled what has been called The Last Great Adventure Prize for Outside, and in his book Hell or High Water: Surviving Tibet's Tsangpo River.

The gorge -- three times deeper than the Grand Canyon -- is sacred to Buddhists, and is the inspiration for James Hilton's Shangri La. It is so deep there are tigers and leopards in the bottom and raging 25,000 foot peaks at the top, and so remote and difficult to traverse that a mythical waterfall, sought by explorers since Victorian times, was documented for the first time in 1998 by a team from National Geographic.

The book won a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, was number three on Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" of all pop culture, and a Denver Post review ranked it "up there with any adventure writing ever written."

In December, 2005, on assignment for National Geographic Adventure, he joined the crew of an eco-pirate ship belonging to the radical environmental group the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as it sailed to Antarctica to hunt down and disrupt the Japanese whaling fleet.

The ship is all black, sails under a jolly Roger, and two days south of Tasmania the engineers came on deck and welded a big blade called the Can Opener to the bow--a weapon designed to gut the hulls of ships. In The Whale Warriors: The Battle at the Bottom of the World to Save the Planet's Largest Mammals, Heller recounts fierce gales, forty foot seas, rammings, near-sinkings, and a committed crew's clear-eyed willingness to die to save a whale. The book was published by Simon and Schuster's Free Press in September, 2007.

In the fall of 2007 Heller was invited by the team who made the acclaimed film The Cove to accompany them in a clandestine filming mission into the guarded dolphin-killing cove in Taiji, Japan. Heller paddled into the inlet with four other surfers while a pod of pilot whales was being slaughtered. He was outfitted with a helmet cam, and the terrible footage can be seen in the movie. The Cove went on to win an Academy Award. Heller wrote about the experience for Men's Journal.

Heller's most recent memoir, about surfing from California down the coast of Mexico, Kook: What Surfing Taught Me about Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave, was published by The Free Press in 2010. Can a man drop everything in the middle of his life, pick up a surfboard and, apprenticing himself to local masters, learn to ride a big, fast wave in six months? Can he learn to finally love and commit to someone else? Can he care for the oceans, which are in crisis? The answers are in. The book won a starred review from Publisher's Weekly, which called it a "powerful memoir...about love: of a woman, of living, of the sea." It also won the National Outdoor Book Award for Literature.

Heller's debut novel, The Dog Stars, is being published by Knopf in August, 2012. It will also be published by Headline Review in Great Britain and Australia, and Actes Sud in France.

Customer Reviews

Very well written and draws you into the story very well.
brett
This is a book you should not know too much about before reading, so I don't want to go into details about the storyline.
Kindle Customer
The choppy style of writing was irritating but I did get used to it.
Michael K. Grace

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

232 of 245 people found the following review helpful By Kiki VINE VOICE on June 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This novel was so lovely and poetic, a post apocalyptic story reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy's The Road, but a very different story at the same time. Hig, the narrator, is a man who has survived a flu pandemic, that has changed life in the United States as we know it completely, wiping out most of the population. Those who have survived seem to be subject to some kind of contagious auto-immune disorder of the blood as well, that has continued to decimate the population, and a certain amount of climate change has become noticeable as well.

Hig is a very sad man, having lost his wife, but he appreciates the quietness of this new world. He is a gardener and a hunter, and has a strong relationship with the natural world around him, as well as his dog, Jasper, his little airplane (The Beast) and Bangley, his neighbor in their isolated outpost. Bangley loves guns, and does a great job of protecting them from the occasional marauders looking for, well, anything they can get their hands on (food, weapons, etc.), and willing to kill (and die) to get it.

Hig is tortured by a call over an airport he heard a few years back, while out in his plane one day. Should he risk it all to try and find other survivors, when just seeing another human being now almost requires 'a shoot first and ask questions later' attitude? Hig does not embrace that attitude, although Bangley, an older man, insists it is the only way to survive. Hig needs more from this life. He sets out to find more after a revelatory week alone in the forest.

This was a heartrendingly beautiful story. The writing is wonderful, Heller's descriptions of nature and of the human condition are gorgeous and moving.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
169 of 178 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Del Sesto on July 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the only thing I want to say about the story of this book. It is post-apocalyptic. If that appeals to you, don't hesitate. Beyond that, no need to even read the jacket copy; just let the book surprise you.

There were three ways this book could have gone awry for me.

1. First and most obviously - it is post apocalyptic fiction and I've read a TON of it. At this point, if you are going to tackle this topic, it had better be special. This was.

2. The manner in which the story was told. It was definitely a non-traditional narrative which could have backfired, but it didn't. Instead, it gave the book intimacy.

3. Writing style. This really could have been a issue for me, it's gotten to be a pet peeve of mine. Authors deliberately leaving out words as a style choice. Difficulty getting the hang. Missing words. Read it anyway. Could have ruined it. Writing like that drives me BATTY. But, it worked here for a couple reasons. The author didn't write exclusively like that, so you might have "Walked on the trail. I ran into Jeff on the way." The economy of the language really gave a feel for the economy of the time, and it was the language that most logically suited the structure of the novel. I have to hand it to Heller, I think he achieved a good balance.

The writing is so good! Evocative. I know that I will see glimpses of this book in my mind's eye for days to come.

The characters were well constructed and really interesting. The relationship dynamics most of all.

There was emotion and the sense of loneliness and futility was conveyed without throwing it in your face.

It was tender and harsh, funny and sad, at times edge of your seat suspenseful. I found it as powerful as The Road; but without the bleakness.

I loved it.
5 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
78 of 90 people found the following review helpful By J. Hauer VINE VOICE on June 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Wow - I absolutely loved "The Dog Stars". I usually cannot stand books with stream of consciousness writing as if you are in the character's head listening to strands of thought but I couldn't see this one being written any other way. You've got a pilot, a half-crazy (or maybe more) gun happy neighbor, and a dog looking out for one another after a killer flu/plague kills off 99% of the population. One day, when out for a reconnaissance flight, the pilot gets a return radio message. This sets off a chain of events which I didn't anticipate. Others have compared this to a happier version of "The Road". I see a few similarities but unlike McCarthy's book, this one will stay with me for a long time. There's much to think about and it's worth a re-read.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you liked Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD, you're going to like Peter Heller's THE DOG STARS. If you did not like THE ROAD, you're STILL going to like THE DOG STARS.

Yes, Heller's book is reminiscent of McCarthy's, but you don't have to be a dystopia devotee to appreciate it. Why? Heller is a writer's writer with a talent for deft descriptions, for one, and his dystopian yin hasn't forgotten its utopian yang. Meaning: Hope hasn't escaped the box for good, in the case of this rewarding book.

There's something here for everyone. At times, it is one creepy and violent thriller. But at other times, like when protagonist Hig takes to the mountain streams with his faithful dog, Jasper, it reads like Hemingway. It's almost as if a public service announcer says, "We interrupt this dystopian nightmare to treat you to a Big Two-Hearted River moment." And then: "Now back to our regularly-scheduled apocalyptic mess." Then there is the turn the novel takes in its second half -- the addition of a romantic element, like an echo from Hig's burnt past. All this, yet Heller keeps it together and makes it fit.

To start, we have Hig and his ruthless partner-in-survival, the appropriately-named Bruce Bangley. With his old Cessna, Hig is able to tour the perimeter of the extensive grounds he, Bangley, and Jasper protect from survivors of (what else?) a killer flu pandemic. And what a pair. Where Bangley seems to kill with joy, Hig appears to kill under duress and despite his aversion to it. Both killers, though. By necessity. Only one has a poet's conscience.

Stylistically, the book has its quirks, too. You won't find any quotation marks, for one. Victims of the pandemic, I guess.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa305e6f0)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?