If James Dickey and Robert Penn Warren had collaborated on a book, it might have read like The Dog Stars. Hellers prose is terse and often almost poetic as he gives us the story of Hig, living an a future America where most of the population is dead via a flu and the rest are either predators or like Hig, trying to stay alive. Hig struggles with the grief of losing his famliy and, within the story, his dog, Jasper who is all that reamins of the past. Higs greatest release is to fly in a small airplane and this is where the writing is almost poetic. I can't help wondering if Heller is a pilot or loves to fly. There is a lot of violence in this book and despair but there is also and most important hope. The Dog Stars is a very good book.