The Dog Stars

dogstars_af Welp, there’s been another apocalypse. A military plane carrying a shipment of Africanized bird flu crashed in Brampton, England starting a pandemic that wipes out the world’s population. There are only a few survivors. No zombies, so there is some good news.

Holed-up for 9-years at the Erie, Colorado Airport are Hig, his dog Jasper and a gun nut named Bangley. Brotherly love has long since evaporated, so any survivors who cross their perimeter get waxed, then converted into dried jerky for Jasper. Hig and Bangley are an unlikely team, as Hig is pensive outdoorsman/carpenter and Bangley is Wayne LaPierre. It’s clear that Bangley could shrink the airport’s headcount whenever he wants, but although Hig is a comparative softie, he does have his uses. Hig and Jasper sleep outside in furrow near a porchlight the team leaves on all night. Jasper senses approaching intruders, then Hig keys his walkie-talkie a few times, then he and Bangley neutralize the threat. Hig is also a very rare bird in a depopulated world…Hig is a pilot. He flies his Cessna to reconnoiter their perimeter, get supplies, and to help a group of nearby Mennonites who have been stricken with the blood sickness. Bangley is dumbstruck over why Hig engages in the latter, but he has learned that Hig needs his projects.

Hig has been coming a little undone after finishing off a group of five intruders that included one kid. He then flies out to a Coca Cola truck to get some treats for Bangley and the Mennonites and wouldn’t you know it, he has to fight-off two survivors there. Needing some R&R, he grabs his rod and he and Jasper hike into the mountains to fish. Jasper, who is an old dog, passes away peacefully one night and Hig absorbs another gut shot. He hikes down and is unknowingly being tracked by a large group of hostiles. Enter Bangley.

Hig is shot (figuratively.) He needs a change, because what they are doing isn’t living. While on patrol 3-years prior, he received a signal from Grand Junction Airport. Its past his Cessna’s point of no return, but now that doesn’t matter. He’s going. So should you. This is a good book. It’s by Peter Heller. The book cover is an understated masterpiece.

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