Peter Heller Books

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Peter Heller is a bestselling American author that began as a magazine writer before making the leap to fiction. He has written for ‘Men’s Journal’, ‘Outside Magazine’, and ‘National Geographic’. A native of New York where he was born and raised, Heller is an adventurer whose stories and characters are inspired by his own experiences and those of the people he knows.

Order of Peter Heller Standalone Novels

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1The Dog Stars 2012Description / Buy
2The Painter 2014Description / Buy
3Celine 2017Description / Buy
4The River 2019Description / Buy
5The Orchard 2019Description / Buy
6The Guide 2021Description / Buy

Order of Peter Heller Non-Fiction Books

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1Hell or High Water 2004Description / Buy
2The Whale Warriors 2007Description / Buy
3Kook 2010Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

A former student of Dartmouth College and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop from where he received his Fiction and Poetry MFA, Heller spent a lot of time traveling as an expedition kayaker. His exploits took him to Peru, the Pamirs, and the Tien Shan Mountains, to mention but a few.

Along with Roy Bailey, a Kiwi Paddler, he made quite a name for himself when he kayaked the Muk Su River in Tadjikistan. Situated in the High Pamirs, the Muk SU River, also known as the ‘Everest of Rivers’, had claimed the lives of five of the eleven people that had previously attempted to conquer it. So Heller’s achievement was quite monumental.

Those that have read his nonfiction works will tell you that, the more time you spend investigating Peter Heller’s life, the most astounding he appears, especially once you delve into his journey through the Tsangpo Gorge in Eastern Tibet, a natural wonder three times deeper than the Grand Canyon.

His kayaking adventures are just one aspect of the author’s non-conventional life. Heller has worked as everything from a dishwasher and a construction worker to a logger, an offshore fisherman, and a pizza deliverer, to mention but a few.

It isn’t just the wild that has him captivated. He also understands people because his work has allowed him to interact with so many diverse individuals. However, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that he has an obsession with the great outdoors.

As such, some of his fans were probably surprised when ‘The Dog Stars’, his first novel debuted in 2012. He isn’t the sort of person you would necessarily associate with fiction writing. But in truth, few pursuits are more exciting to Heller than the act of writing fiction.

Magazine writing does not compare because he always knows what happens next. The pieces he contributes to publications like ‘National Geographic’ are designed to chronicle his exploits. And because he lived those exploits, the act of writing them does not excite the author.

Fiction writing gets his creative juices flowing because it is so unpredictable. The day he started crafting ‘The Dog Stars’, Heller remembers writing the first line of the very first chapter and then, just like the reader, becoming intrigued by what it meant, the potential it held, and what else would come next.

Rather than putting the next line down, he stopped and listened, waiting for the story to tell him what should happen. And once it did, he wrote the second line and then stopped to listen again.

This is how Heller’s novels are written. He is fascinated by the music of language and the potential for greatness that each sentence holds. This is why it never occurs to the author to plan his novels out. It would kill the magic of his creative process.

Peter Heller Awards

‘The Dog Stars’ received an Arthur C. Clarke Award nomination. ‘The Painter’ won the ‘Colorado Book Award’.

Best Peter Heller Awards

Heller has been praised for his evocative, lyrical writing and taut storytelling, with some of the best books in his bibliography including:

The Dog Stars: Hig is a survivor. His life proves as much. A flu pandemic killed most of the world. His wife wasn’t spared and neither were his friends. But Hig made it. Now he lives in a small abandoned airport with his dog.

When a random transmission wakes Hig from his stupor, he is forced to confront the possibility that a better life might exist for him beyond the walls he has constructed around his home.

The River: Wynn and Jack loved nature, which is why they chose to canoe the Maskwa River. They expected a leisurely journey through Northern Canada. But then a wildfire changed everything. At first, Wynn and Jack just wanted to get to safety.

But then they heard a man and a woman arguing and their kind tendencies pulled them into an unexpected mystery.

When Does The Next Peter Heller book come out?

Peter Heller doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Guide and was released on August, 24th 2021.

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