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Extended Audio Sample The Dog Stars, by Peter Heller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,229 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Heller Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Extraordinary…One of those books that makes you happy for literature.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This end-of-the-world novel [is] more like a rapturous beginning…Remarkable.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “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, New York Times bestselling author of  Gone Girl

  • “Beautifully written and morally challenging.”

    Atlantic Monthly

  • “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.”

    Boston Globe

  • “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.”


  • “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.”

    Dallas Morning News

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


  • “A heavenly book, a stellar achievement by a debut novelist that manages to combine sparkling prose with truly memorable, shining, characters.”

    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.”


  • “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.”


  • “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

  • “Heller’s writing gives you a heartbreaking jolt, like a sudden wakening from a dream.”

    Seattle Times

  • “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 review)

  • A 2012 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize Finalist
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award Finalist for Best Novel
  • Selected for the August 2012 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cynthia | 2/19/2014

    " Never thought I would read a book about post apocalypse times. This book is so much more. Give it a try. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shannon | 2/18/2014

    " I realize this book is not for everyone but I really enjoyed it. I thought the writing was lovely, and a joy to read. It was a nice change of pace from other post-apocalyptic fiction I've read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Gina So many books so little time! | 2/11/2014

    " Why is it that boys can't seem to live together unless on the same team. Loss of a structured society turns most men into rapist-killers. Lord of the Flies, grown up and still making the same mistakes. Lose empathy and kill all in ones territory. Great book story well told. What are the odds of surviving the next seasons flu mutation? Especially when a good portion of life is combating crazy predators. Instead of building some sort of society so one could wash their hands. Or am I missing the point and everyone will die eventually? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Noelle | 2/7/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book after I got comfortable with the writing style. A unique and interesting story about a postapocalyptic world...I am a sucker for this type of fiction! Great character development as well. "

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