cover image The Dog Stars

The Dog Stars

Peter Heller, read by Mark Deakins. Random House Audio, unabridged, nine CDs, 10.75 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-0-4490-1311-3

Hig, the hero of Heller’s thoughtful postapocalyptic novel, is a soft man in a hard world. One of the few survivors of a virus that wiped out most of humanity, Hig is better suited to reading poetry, fishing with his dog, and reminiscing than scratching out a hardscrabble existence in the land that used to be Colorado. If it weren’t for Bangley, a cantankerous, survivalist neighbor, roaming hordes of bandits would have killed Hig long ago. So, finding himself alive despite everything that’s happened, Hig must to forge a new life in a new world. Narrator Mark Deakins turns in a winning performance. He deftly alternates between Hig’s inner monologue, lush descriptions of the Colorado Rockies, and staccato prose. Throughout the book, Hig’s first-person narration is interrupted by the imagined voice of Bangley—an element that could be confusing for listeners. Deakins rises to the challenge, however, creating distinct voices for the characters and an enjoyable listening experience. A Knopf hardcover. (Aug.)