The Dog Stars - Peter Heller
By the time I'd finished reading the first chapter of this book, I didn't think I could get through it. I thought it seemed too experimental, too poetic for my personal tastes. But I pushed through a couple of chapters, and WHAM. This book challenged me, and turned out to be the greatest surprise I've ever had reading a post-apocalyptic book. It's the deepest emotional reaction I've ever had with a novel. This is literature, and you'll have to get used to a unique style of writing, but it's really worth it. It's a simple story about a man and his dog living in a world devastated by a terrible pandemic, and it's spectacular.
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