Friday, August 31, 2012

Readings and Greetings: THE DOG STARS by Peter Heller

I'm gonna miss them.  Hig.  Bangley. Jasper, Hig's dog.  Miss them because I know them.  Erie, Colorado not far from Centennial on an airport where they have survived, killed others, buried  one, and eked out a life.  With only a small plane (1956 Cessna 182) named "Beast", guns, lots of guns, Glock's! and ammunition, grenades, and Bangley's strategies for fighting off thieves, they have lived nine years.  One ready to kill first rather than ask;  the other waiting ready to negotiate. They watched as the disease spread and the world died.  Pandemic.  Apocalyptic. 

Hig talks to himself:  No more geese.  A few.  Last October I heard the old bleating after duck and saw them, five against the cold bloodwashed blue over the ridge.  Five all fall, I think, next April none.

When Bangley killed in cold blood the first intruders, I gasped. Then I knew.  I had entered their world.  My world had been their's once.  Husbands, wives, families, jobs, cars, cell phones, luxuries, grocery stores, communications with the world.  I ached when Hig ached, I dug when they gardened, I ducked when they shot and  killed, I flew over the Colorado landscapes with an eye searching always for what?  I crossed the Continental Divide and met new characters, but then the pages ran out.  The story ended.  I left them, but for how long?  Will I meet them again?  In the pages of a new book or in person, in our not so distant future?

Not since "On the Beach" have I felt compelled to believe that what I just read could be real, in my lifetime.

Dear Readers, what are your thoughts, your reactions to this story?  For more information on this book go to Peter Heller's website .


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