The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars - Peter Heller

This book is slippery. It's so many things, and it's exceedingly difficult to rate. I won't be surprised if my rating, and opinion, increases with time.


It took me a while to get into this book. It's so highly stylized it reads a bit like poetry mixed with steam of consciousness. (Which sounds fairly unappealing to me if I word it like that, given I'm not a huge fan of folks like Faulkner and Woolf.) Still, once I got into the rhythm of the book it read well. This was one of those books I tore through swiftly once I got through the "learning curve" of the writing style.


All in all it was not what I expected. It's a post-apocalyptic story that reads a lot like a wilderness memoir. It has large doses of man's connection with nature, which ring a bit Hemingway-esque, but with more soul. It ruminates on the natural, as well as the nature of man. It's violent but not grotesque. It's meditative but not dull. This is one of those rare books that I feel will really connect with a very specific type of person, and fall flat for others. It's a good book, but your milage may vary - I'm still calculating my own.