Read Prime The Dog Stars By Peter Heller – Circuitwiringdiagram.co

Meager as it is Nothing to lose as I have Nothing is something somehow Hig doesn t have much, but what he has is precious to him He has his books of poetry He has rivers to fish in He has fuel to fly his plane He has a furry co pilot named Jasper He has a garden He has Bangley He used to have a wife He used to have friends He used to have the possibility of a long life full of happiness achieving all those things we are supposed to achieve He wasn t supposed to be old at forty Meager as it is Nothing to lose as I have Nothing is something somehow Hig doesn t have much, but what he has is precious to him He has his books of poetry He has rivers to fish in He has fuel to fly his plane He has a furry co pilot named Jasper He has a garden He has Bangley He used to have a wife He used to have friends He used to have the possibility of a long life full of happiness achieving all those things we are supposed to achieve He wasn t supposed to be old at forty They say it was a weapons grade flu that got loose from a lab in England Of course, they blamed it on India The same way we call stickers in Kansas Texas Sandburs If it ain t good it had to come from somewhere else Nobody wants to be responsible for an apocalypse especially one that kills 99.6% of the population Hig doesn t seem like the kind of guy that would survive the apocalypse, not because he doesn t have skills or value, but because at his core he is a helluva nice guy Too nice to do what needs to be done to stay alive Like kill people Bangley is a man who loves his guns and incendiary devices The end of the world was a horror story for most people, but for Bangley it meant he could finally blossom into the man he always wanted to be Don t be fooled though, he has regrets as well They live up near the mountains Hig lives in an old airplane hangar and Bangley lives in a house up on the hill with a good view of the kill zone The house in front of the hanger is the bait The place that people looking to score food, and weapons will attack first They even leave an old dumpster out front to provide the attackers with a place to hide which actually just bunches them up so Bangley can pick them off like yellow ducks at a county fair Hig and Bangley disagree on tacticsStill we are divided, there are cracks in the union Over principle His Guilty until until nothing Shoot first ask later Guilty, then dead Versus what Mine Let a visitor live a minute longer until they prove themselves to be human Because they always do What Bangley said in the beginning Never ever negotiate You are negotiating your own death What keeps them alive is their differences It is one of those strange alliances that maybe doesn t make sense when drawn out on a blueprint Half the time they aren t even sure they like each other, but the fact of the matter is Bangley is the relative you can t hardly stand to break bread with, but you still love the stubborn SOB Dogs are really something else They are the only animal on the planet that absolutely loves humanity They are loyal They understand the hierarchy and consider their owner their King Queen They will kill and they will die for a human being I grew up with a pack of farmhouse mutts, but there is one dog that is a ghost in all my memories He was part pointer and part who knows what He was never trained as a bird dog, but he still would assume the stance of his ancestry whenever he would run across a quail or a pheasant He was a lover, as many of our neighbors for miles around would remind us when they found themselves saddled with a bunch of black and white puppies He had a groove along the top of his back where someone had shot him with a rifle One time I found him on the edge of our property bloodied from a shotgun blast I hauled him back in my red wagon to the house bawling my eyes out He recovered, scarred, but undeterred My best memory of Spot Putz He never was formally named, but should have had the name of a gladiator Putz was short for puppy was one time when I was somewhere around ten I was playing in the yard which was the size of a football field Farm machinery surrounded the outer edges, but my dad had always kept the center open so he could hit my brother and I pop flies in the evening Across the street lived this gigantic German Shepherd I m sure he was a normal sized shepherd, but when one is 10 years old a dog like that looks like of Cererbus He was meaner than chicken shit Not sure why we say that, but I will say that I have never fallen harder than the time I fell liberating eggs from a coop on a chicken shit slick floorThis German Shepherd saw me out in the yard and came racing across the street at me I was caught in no man s land I was too far from any of the equipment to climb to safety or to get to the line of trees and lilac hedges that surrounded the house to hide I was about to become dog chow Out of the corner of my eye I saw this black and white blur Putz was streaking from the line of hedges and he exploded through the Shepherd I remember the meaty impact as he sent his chest through the legs of the Shepherd The Shepherd cartwheeled into the air and landed on his side Putz took off running for the hedge I ran for a Combine threshing machine for those not familiar with farm equipment terms.A few days later Putz was chained in the yard for one of his many transgressions up in town The Shepherd came to see him with a couple of Labs he liked to hang out with He didn t come by himself because he was a yellow bellied % The fight was a brawl, cage fighting at its worst My Dad had to fire off a shotgun in the air to get the encroachers to leave, tails between their legs, limping So when Jasper dies, I understand how Hig felt Jasper doesn t get to go down fighting like a Valhalla inspired dream He just passes in the nightfrom old ageYou can t metabolize the loss It is in the cells of your face, your chest, behind the eyes, in the twists of your gut Muscle, sinew, bone It is all of you When you walk you propel it forward.Then it sits with you The pain puts its arm over your shoulders It is your closest friend, steadfast And at night you can t bear to hear your own breath, unaccompanied by another And underneath the big stillness like a score, is the roaring of the cataract of everything being and being torn away Then, the pain is lying beside your side, close Does not bother you with the sound even of breathing We all have to have reasons for getting out of bed in the morning Hig s universe had shrunk down to the space that Jasper occupied When he died the Dog Stars stopped orbiting There was only one solution Hig needed to expand out his universe beyond just the continued day to day survival with Bangley If he had been in Australia he would have went on a walkabout, but since he was a pilot with a 1956 Cessna at his disposal he went on a flyabout The rest of the story can only be found between the pages of Peter Heller s book Although I would like to mention that the flutter a man feels at seeing a woman s shape, those hips, the way they walk, even at a hundred yards brings out the pointer pup in all of us There is nothing that adds to my own enjoymentthan someone telling me how much they loved a book Thank you Gloria Your words expressing your joy for this book certainly enhanced my own I also want to dedicate this review to a black and white mutt named Putz who gave me my first lessons in courage, boldness, and squeezing every drop out of life I ve been on a bit of an apocalyptic reading binge of late For those that have followed me for a while you well know these binges do happen from time to time I am not depressed as a worried friend recently asked me I find well written apocalyptic novels strangely uplifting 4.25 stars out of 5 The Menagerie of Apocalyptic Reviews On the Beach by Nevile ShuteNo Blade of Grass by John ChristopherEarth Abides by George R StewartThe Reapers are the Angels by Alden BellIf you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at Hig somehow survived the flu pandemic that killed everyone he knows Now his wife is gone, his friends are dead, and he lives in the hangar of a small abandoned airport with his dog, Jasper, and a mercurial, gun toting misanthrope named Bangley But when a random transmission beams through the radio of hisCessna, the voice ignites a hope deep inside him that a better life exists outside their tightly controlled perimeter Risking everything, he flies past his point of no return and follows its static broken trail, only to find something that is both better and worse than anything he could ever hope for One star for this, only because I couldn t finish it The writing style of this book drove me bat shit crazy In addition to no quotation marks AT ALL, here are a few examples of sentence composition For the dog he said Angry Because I didn t do my job To him But The way the landscape falls into place around the drainages, the capillaries and arteries of falling water mountain slopes bunched and wrinkled, wringing themselves into furrows or couloir and creek, draw and chasm, the low pla One star for this, only because I couldn t finish it The writing style of this book drove me bat shit crazy In addition to no quotation marks AT ALL, here are a few examples of sentence composition For the dog he said Angry Because I didn t do my job To him But The way the landscape falls into place around the drainages, the capillaries and arteries of falling water mountain slopes bunched and wrinkled, wringing themselves into furrows or couloir and creek, draw and chasm, the low places defining the spurs and ridges and foothills the way creases define the planes of a face, lower down the canyon cuts, and then the swales and valleys of the lowest slops, the sinuous rivers and dry beds where water used to run seeming to hold the hills and the waves of the high planes all together and not the other way around I was interested to find out what happened to Hig and his dog, but not enough to wade my way through that mess Apocalyptic PointlessnessReading The Dog Stars Is like riding in a car with someone who is learning to drive Lots of jerky shifts, stops, starts, long pauses, and stalls Meanwhile listening to a constant stream of reminiscence and emotional brain dump that is intended to camouflage the lack of driving experience And not going anywhere in particular, of course.I m sure this is a tale meant for a specialised redneck niche they read but mouth their words backwoods pilot and handyman teams up Apocalyptic PointlessnessReading The Dog Stars Is like riding in a car with someone who is learning to drive Lots of jerky shifts, stops, starts, long pauses, and stalls Meanwhile listening to a constant stream of reminiscence and emotional brain dump that is intended to camouflage the lack of driving experience And not going anywhere in particular, of course.I m sure this is a tale meant for a specialised redneck niche they read but mouth their words backwoods pilot and handyman teams up with survivalist gunsmith to protect their little piece of heaven after a global flu epidemic wipes 99% of the population But the truck don t run, the dog dies, and they run out of Dr Pepper It s Cormac McCarthy s Road from the point of view of the bad guys And these guys are pretty good at one thing homicide Of course one of them hasscruples than his pal, which causes tension So a mutual suspicion lingersLike an old married couplethe author repeats any number of times More like long term prison cell mates They ve heard all of each other s stories Like the one about automobile petrol having a shelf life of only 9 years but 100 octane aircraft fuel going for an extendable 10 with the right additive at least four times for that one Either one could snap first Its not enough really to hold a story together though.Unfortunately this thin male mateship is what it s all about Dirty jokes, NASCAR posters of girls in bikinis holding Uzi s, joshing each other like at the bar in the old days, skills with machines like the breasts of the girls in the posters the bigger the better , confident machismo, and guns, lots of guns as well as mortars, grenades and other ordnance These are the things that bind guys together when the end of the world is nigh Got your back, mate, is all you need to knowAmazing how not having to kill someone frees up a relationship generallyA line that sums up the ethos of The Dog Stars rather well the title makes no sense by the way This is Clint Eastwood just the slightest hint of homicidal regret in his voice And naturally it signals the entrance of the female of the piece who has the potential to blow mateship to hell It s a plot device straight out of the jungle films and Flash Gordon serials of the 30 s Well it s a break from the details of murder and airplane maintenance anyway at least until the sex scenes, which make the aircraft stats sexy.At one point the protagonist musesSo I wonder what it is this need to tellI can only muse right along with him This need to tell when there is not really much to tell is mysterious indeed It may be the most important part of the story Peter Heller is becoming one of my favorite authors I loved The Dog Stars and can see why it received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist How The Dog Stars became a national best seller This is a post apocalyptic story and this alone might will turn off a lot of readers But in the hands of a skilled author the story and characters come alive on the page A post apocalyptic story in many ways really shifts over into a fantasy genre The author has to create an entirely differe Peter Heller is becoming one of my favorite authors I loved The Dog Stars and can see why it received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist How The Dog Stars became a national best seller This is a post apocalyptic story and this alone might will turn off a lot of readers But in the hands of a skilled author the story and characters come alive on the page A post apocalyptic story in many ways really shifts over into a fantasy genre The author has to create an entirely different world and world building is difficult to do and make it real Heller brings the story down to ground level as seen through the protagonist point of view I just finished reading The River by Heller and that book is even better than this one Heller is on my permanent, to be read list I highly recommend this book.David Putnam author of The Bruno Johnson series 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, descriptive strokes, 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 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, descriptive strokes, 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 yes, there s a dog book hidden in here at least for 100 pp or so , 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 And fragments sentences, I m talking are as common as the frayed leftovers of civilization featured in the book Still, the fragmented delivery fits Hig s personality nicely and gives Heller a chance to show his talents in creating voice.The greatest treat of all, though, is the writing Some of Heller s descriptions give you pause, they re so poetic More than once, I reread a passage and said, Nice Very nice Here s an excerpt that might give you a flavorWe were on the edge of a small basin above treeline and in the bottom were patches of old snow and a small lake recently cleared of ice A lake like a gem set in a bezel of tufted tundra and rough scree, the water green with the luminous unapologetic green of a semiprecious stone but textured with the wind Then it wasn t The surface stilled and glassed off, polishing itself in an instant, the water reflecting the dark clouds that massed and poured against the ridges like something molten and it was suddenly very cold and the snowflakes began to touch the surface Ringless, silent, vanishing I let go the sled s bridle I was fifty yards from the water The snow heavier A white scrim that darkened the air, that hastened the dusk the way a fire deepens the night I stood transfixed Too cold for bare hands but my hands were bare The flakes struck in my eyelashes They fell on my sleeves Huge Flowers and stars They fell onto each other, held their shapes, became small piles of perfect asterisks and blooms tumbled together in their discrete geometries like children s blocks I don t know about you, but with writing like that, I don t even CARE if all Hades is breaking loose around the characters At least they stop and smell the snowflakes now and again 8 14 12 I heard the author read from this last night I m SO glad I made the effort to do so as he was fantastic A little scary to begin a book with such high expectations, but I really feel good about this one Here goes8 18 12 Best book of 2012 Very likely it will be for me.The writing is very unique and takes a few pages to get used to, but it becomes so personal and powerful that I inhabited the world of Hig and his beloved dog, Jasper I don t think I fully returned to reality during 8 14 12 I heard the author read from this last night I m SO glad I made the effort to do so as he was fantastic A little scary to begin a book with such high expectations, but I really feel good about this one Here goes8 18 12 Best book of 2012 Very likely it will be for me.The writing is very unique and takes a few pages to get used to, but it becomes so personal and powerful that I inhabited the world of Hig and his beloved dog, Jasper I don t think I fully returned to reality during the 3 days of reading And I know it will stay with me for a long time.The author is a poet, a pilot, an outdoor adventure writer, and a cat owner Now he is an outstanding fiction writer as well.My hubby son are both wanting to read it next Husband will relate because he grew up flying in small planes with his dad he also spent a year in the Colorado mountains before college Son loves good writing, post apocalyptic novels, and calls our dog Jasper her name is Jazzie, he has called her Jasper for almost 12 years now They will both probably shed a tear I sobbed.Glen Duncan says it well on the dust jacket Make time and space for this savage, tender, brilliant book Good advice I knew Bangley well enough that he d had enough killing in one night not to fuck with my dog Butwhy kill anyone is what I kept thinking Even in a post apocalyptic world Yes, I had the conversation with Paul he tried to explain to me why, but I still feel angry.I HAVE A DIFFERENT MIND SET than automatically killing off people Lots of profanityLots of stream of thoughtsA man and his dog.Dog dies Nut gun man Airplane, fishing, cooking, a love story Colorado.I have a I knew Bangley well enough that he d had enough killing in one night not to fuck with my dog Butwhy kill anyone is what I kept thinking Even in a post apocalyptic world Yes, I had the conversation with Paul he tried to explain to me why, but I still feel angry.I HAVE A DIFFERENT MIND SET than automatically killing off people Lots of profanityLots of stream of thoughtsA man and his dog.Dog dies Nut gun man Airplane, fishing, cooking, a love story Colorado.I have a LOVE HATE relationship with this book but couldn t put it down DISCUSSION BOOK..THINKING BOOK.Expect to feel off balance Reluctant Rating 3.5 of fiveThe Publisher Says A riveting, powerful novel about a pilot living in a world filled with loss and what he is willing to risk to rediscover, against all odds, connection, love, and grace.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 Reluctant Rating 3.5 of fiveThe Publisher Says A riveting, powerful novel about a pilot living in a world filled with loss and what he is willing to risk to rediscover, against all odds, connection, love, and grace.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.My Review I ve tried and I ve tried to think of a nice way to say that I don t like Iowa Writer s Workshop stuff because it s always Very Writerly I was, as you see, unsuccessful It s always full of good lines, it s always got charming or beautiful or moving imagery and characters with flaws and sometimes even dialogue with some zest.But it s always Very Writerly Thick and heavy and nutritious like spelt or brown rice Sulphur molasses in gluten free muffins Serious and Good For You.I hate that Sorry, Mr Heller, but that s you all over.I like dystopias and post apocalyptic stories, since I am the least chirpily optimistic person walking on Planet Earth I want them to make sense, however, and not be rehashes of zombie munch fests This one makes sense The pandemic that collapses the population Totally buy that The evil vile behavior of the humans afterwards Totally buy that Actually, from what I see, we haven t waited for an apocalypse to behave like scum to each other But I digress The source of the dog Jasper s jerky treats Brilliant, and also very frugal.I like the story, too, up to the point where Hig, our pilot main character, flies off and Finds Himself I know, I know, all characters must go through stuff and change as a result of it to make a novel really interesting But the fact that Hig goes off n gits him a woman is a little over the top It s artificial feeling, like something inside Heller or an editor outside Heller said there s no hope give the poor bastard hope It was, in my humble opinion, a wrong turn The story up to then was an interesting, stream of consciousness exploration of an average joe who, inexplicably, survived the Apocalypse and kept on moving, breathing, numb from loss and scared, but real And then, suddenly, he gets A Message and has to move move move to find the source And he finds him a gal Who knows, maybe that little impotence problem will clear up, they ll have a family.That s not the same book I started reading, and I don t much like that book.But in good conscience, I can t tell you it s a bad book It s a pretty good book that could ve been a really, really good book It takes the subverbal vocalizations of its main character and puts them front and center, makes the style the point, makes the point the pleasure of reading I just have this one little problem with the whole enterprise It feels to me like it s been overthought, overwrought, and overworked All down to that workshoppy aesthetic, and that happyendingitis that comes from thinking about the audience and not the story.Well, so Three and a half stars for the good, good phrases Mr Heller has made and the promise of that first half It will do I opened the door today to a man in a mask He apologised but stood at least six feet away Every day now there s at least one moment that was completely unimaginable two months ago And for the first time in my life I can t imagine what life will be like in two months time All of a sudden, it s like nothing can be taken for granted I suppose a wise monk would say this is how we should always live every moment but, as we all know, that s much easier said than done I think the mental health pr I opened the door today to a man in a mask He apologised but stood at least six feet away Every day now there s at least one moment that was completely unimaginable two months ago And for the first time in my life I can t imagine what life will be like in two months time All of a sudden, it s like nothing can be taken for granted I suppose a wise monk would say this is how we should always live every moment but, as we all know, that s much easier said than done I think the mental health problems all these restrictions will bring about will be a lotdevastating than the virus itself I m not sure you can ask people to live like this for long without it having a catastrophic effect on their mental wellbeing Yesterday, in the supermarket, it was like watching panicked buffalo following each other over a cliff edge I m in England, not Italy, by the way And the relentless scare mongering media coverage here disgusts me Not once on the media have I seen an interview with someone who is recovering from the virus, which would be immensely informative there are infected footballers for example who could easily be skyped It s like they only want to report the deaths last night that of a 88 year old man who we were told was full of life but who, like 8,000 people every year in the UK, could have died from the flu which certainly wouldn t have made the news But it s deaths, not recoveries which interest the media It s no wonder everyone is overloaded with anxiety No doubt the underlying agenda is, if we don t scare people they won t take preventive measures In other words, we re being treated like children I m still waiting for someone to explain to me why we re shutting down the world, putting at risk the global economy to stop a virus that, like any other virus, is only deadly to those who already have grave health issues What, for example, is different about this virus to Swine Flu or SARS which governments ignored Is there something about this virus they re not telling us No one addresses these questions on the media It s as if these extreme measures taken are so rationally watertight they are beyond questioning No wonder conspiracy theories are rife Frankly, it s alarming how easy it s been to whip up the hysteria in which entire populations will accept martial law and draconian restrictions of personal liberty I m muchworried about all this stuff than catching the damn virus