Final Thoughts: The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Good afternoon, readers!

We had plans of going to Edinburgh today, but they were foiled by people who didn’t let us know they were coming over to do stuff in the house. They were meant to be moving into the house in a week, not this weekend. Buttfaces. We’ve exiled ourselves to a little pub in Limekilns called The Ship Inn and are currently making (indecent) use of their wifi. We’re consuming what will probably amount to large amounts of alcohol though, so it all evens out.

I’m finally done with The Dog Stars by Peter Heller and speaking of human condition, this novel is bursting with it. It’s steeped in loss and sadness. Over and over again, the characters come up against a world that has been robbed of normalcy. Where initially it was difficult to read Hig’s disjointed thoughts, towards the end the book feels more fluid. Somewhere after the middle point it gathered speed, taking me to some really surprising places. Sometimes with a small bit of morbid humor thrown in, which is always nice. Morbid humor for the win, you guys.

I’m not going to lie, I dragged my heels with this book. I’ve been feeling like reading something entirely different, which didn’t help matters. Mostly though, I just had a hard time really getting into it. It felt like nothing was happening. It makes sense in a world where things have ceased to happen for the most part. The last half of the book was filled with things I didn’t really expect, which brought about a very welcome change of pace. It also introduced some sorely needed new characters and made the whole thing more dynamic.

Don’t get me wrong, Hig as a character is pleasant. I really enjoy those moments when he stops to think about life, his thoughts a muddled mess I could recognize even if my brain hadn’t been cooked by extremely high fevers as his had. He talks about poetry, songs he likes, what it feels like to find small bits of happiness, but mostly he thinks about the things he’s lost. I think we can all relate to him in that sense, losing something you weren’t ready to part with and finding the memories springing up at strange times like alarms we forgot we’d set.

Really, the whole book is an ode to loss. An exploration of what it’s like to lose everything and the strangeness of finding things within that loss. It’s about losing friends and family, losing your best friend, your home. It’s about realizing you have things to lose, even after you thought you’d lost everything you could. And then finding things in the nothingness, reasons to fear loss again.

In the end, it was a really touching book. When you think about loss, really focus on it, you can’t help but remember everything you have and all the things you’re grateful for. It’s a nice reminder if ever there was one.

I’ll be without internet for a bit longer, so bear with me readers. I’ll try to post as often as I can find an internet connection. Keep it cool, readers.

Until next time!

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