''The Dog Stars'' is a post-apocalyptic novel by Peter Heller. It chronicles the struggles of a man trying find human connection after a super-flu has wiped out almost the entire human population.
!!This novel has examples of:
* AbusiveParents: Bangley's backstory.
* AfterTheEnd: Most of the population has died from a super flu. Many of the survivors of that are suffering from a blood disease.
* BadassBack: Bangley kills a bandit with a burst of submachinegun fire while looking directly at Hig, apparently to make a point.
* BadassBeard: Pops sports a very long grey beard. Notably averted by Bangley, who keeps himself meticulously clean-shaven even in a post-apocalytpic world.
** Pops, who is an ex-Navy SEAL
** [[spoiler:the old man at the airport, who snipes survivors from his window]].
* BigFriendlyDog: Jasper, Hig's hunting dog and only real companion for most of nine years.
* BloodKnight: Bangley was basically waiting for the end of the world so that he could do nothing but kill people.
* CatsAreMean: In contrast the Jasper's loyalty, the cats of the airport couple [[spoiler:drink the man's blood while he's still alive]].
* ColdSniper: Bangley, Pops and [[spoiler:the airport man]].
* CrazyCatLady: [[spoiler:the living quarters of the murderous airport couple is littered with cats]].
* CripplingOverspecialization: Bangley knows almost nothing about anything except building and using weapons. He relies on Higs for everything else. [[spoiler:Subverted, as Higs eventually discovers that Bangley was raised a farmer and has a whole wealth of useful skills that he's refused to acknowledge]].
* EvilOldFolks: [[spoiler:the couple living in the airport, who lure pilots to their doom]].
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Bangley was no one of consequence or training before the end of civilization. Now he's a bloodthirsty one-man-army with countless notches on his belt.
* GoodCannotComprehendEvil: Higs has a hard time understanding [[spoiler:the old couple in the airport]].
* LastNameBasis: Bangley, who never tells Higs his first name even after nine years of living together. Higs has to find out from someone else.
* LastStand: [[spoiler: Bangley has one while Higs is away when their home is attacked by a large group of raiders. He manages to kill all of the intruders and survives long enough for Higs to return with medical aid]].
* MeaningfulName: ''Bang''ley is a gun and explosives enthusiast
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Bangley's last stand while Higs was away. Higs and company return to survey the carnage and eventually find Bangley still clinging to life]].
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Pops.
* PapaWolf: Pops. Don't mess with his daughter.
* PostApocalypticDog: Can't you tell from the title?
* RiddleForTheAges: Where did the flu come from? Where did the blood virus come from? Why is the environment changing? What the deal with the Arabs?
* SociopathicHero: Bangley cares only about survival and seems to get a kick out of killing people. Luckily he's on Higs's side.
* WantonCrueltyToTheCommonComma: Higs's narration uses extremely idiosyncratic punctuation, apparently to represent his erratic mind. He's an educated man, and an aspiring writer, so we know that he could punctuate properly if he were actually writing it down. Spoken dialogue is always formatted according to standard English.
* WarriorPoet: Higs is a gentle soul, but can kick ass when he really needs to. He was also an aspiring poet at one point and still thinks about poetry.
* WouldHurtAChild: Bangley kills a child in a raiding party without hesitation.