Burn: A novel (Hardcover)

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Burn: A novel (Hardcover)


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From the best-selling author of The Dog Stars, a novel about two men—friends since boyhood—who emerge from the woods of rural Maine to a dystopian country racked by bewildering violence

Every year, Jess and Storey have made an annual pilgrimage to the most remote corners of the country, where they camp, hunt, and hike, leaving much from their long friendship unspoken. Although the state of Maine has convulsed all summer with secession mania—a mania that has simultaneously spread across other states—Jess and Storey figure it’s a fight reserved for legislators or, worst-case scenario, folks in the capital.

But after weeks hunting off the grid, the men reach a small town and are shocked by what they find: a bridge blown apart, buildings burned to the ground, and bombed-out cars abandoned on the road. Trying to make sense of the sudden destruction all around them, they set their sights on finding their way home, dragging a wagon across bumpy dirt roads, scavenging from boats left in lakes, and dodging armed men—secessionists or U.S. military, they cannot tell—as they seek a path to safety. Then, a startling discovery drastically alters their path and the stakes of their escape.

Drenched in the beauty of the natural world and attuned to the specific cadences of male friendship, even here at the edge of doom, Burn is both a blistering warning about a divided country’s political strife and an ode to the salvation found in our chosen families.
PETER HELLER is the national best-selling author of The Last Ranger, The Guide, The River, Celine, The Painter, and The Dog Stars. The Painter was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and won the prestigious Reading the West Book Award, and The Dog Stars has been published in twenty-six languages to date. Heller is also the author of four nonfiction books, including Kook: What Surfing Taught Me About Love, Life, and Catching the Perfect Wave, which was awarded the National Outdoor Book Award for Outdoor Literature. He holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in poetry and fiction, and he lives in Denver, Colorado.

Product Details ISBN: 9780593801628
ISBN-10: 0593801628
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: August 13th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English
“A Maine camping trip turns into a fight for survival in this meditative dystopian thriller from Heller….Despite the high stakes, Heller gives the narrative plenty of space to breathe, allowing him to cast a haunting, immersive spell as his heroes traverse the ruined landscape. Painterly descriptions of nature and sparkling philosophical ruminations…elevate the proceedings. The result is a wilderness adventure with real emotional depth.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Heller’s novel follows Jess and Storey, two friends in Maine, as their annual hunting trip turns calamitous . . . The exact nature of the catastrophe isn’t revealed until partway through . . . Heller ably captures the white-knuckle momentum as the two men try to stay alive—bringing this book closer in tone to James Dickey’s WWII–era thriller To the White Sea than to Cormac McCarthy’s The Road . . . An ambitious story of survival . . . Thrilling.”