I spend my days on the thirteenth floor of a glass high-rise in Manhattan. I answer emails, I make phone calls, and I go to meetings. And yet, one day I did something totally different. I flew a plane and almost crashed, I stalked a deer through the woods, I hid behind a bluff as gunfire raged overhead, and I fell desperately in love with a long-haired woman I had never met.
That day I sat in my office, reading The Dog Stars, the story of a pilot named Hig and his dog, and I lived every word of it. Peter Heller has written a novel that is original and funny and scary and moving and just so extraordinary that it reminded me of why I became a reader in the first place: because it is the best chance you will ever have to live another life. In your everyday world you may stare at a computer, you may buy your dinner at the grocery store, and you may fall asleep with a roof over your head, but no matter how different your world is from Hig’s, you will find a reason to love this book.
If you love dogs, you will love this book. If you love fishing, you will love this book. If you love poetry or gardening, you will love this book. If you love crazy old men with guns, or the best kind of love story, you will love this book. This is a novel that asks the big questions: What is the point of living if you don’t have people to love? How can you justify violence? Can we find true solace in art and literature? This book is great food for thought—and food for discussion.
So, I answer emails, I make phone calls, and I go to meetings, but sometimes I look out the window and I see a little plane chugging up over the Hudson River and I smile, remembering the day I flew a plane and fell in love with a novel called The Dog Stars.