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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The number one best-selling author of World War Z takes on the Bigfoot legend with a tale that blurs the lines between human and beast - and asks what we are capable of in the face of the unimaginable.

As the ash and chaos from Mount Rainier’s eruption swirled and finally settled, the story of the Greenloop massacre has passed unnoticed, unexamined...until now.

But the journals of resident Kate Holland, recovered from the town’s bloody wreckage, capture a tale too harrowing - and too earth-shattering in its implications - to be forgotten.

In this audiobook, Max Brooks brings Kate’s extraordinary account to light for the first time, faithfully reproducing her words alongside his own extensive investigations into the massacre and the legendary beasts behind it.

Kate’s is a tale of unexpected strength and resilience, of humanity’s defiance in the face of a terrible predator’s gaze and inevitably, of savagery and death.

Yet it is also far more than that.

Because if what Kate Holland saw in those days is real, then we must accept the impossible. We must accept that the creature known as Bigfoot walks among us - and that it is a beast of terrible strength and ferocity.

Part survival narrative, part bloody horror tale, part scientific journey into the boundaries between truth and fiction, this is a Bigfoot story as only Max Brooks could chronicle it - and like none you’ve ever listened to before.

The cast:

Judy Greer as Kate Holland

Nathan Fillion as Frank McCray

Kimberly Guerrero as Josephine Schell

With:

Jeff Daniels as Steve Morgan

Mira Furlan as Mostar

Kate Mulgrew as Hannah Reinhardt-Roth

Steven Weber as Tony Durant

and

Terry Gross and Kai Ryssdal as themselves

and

Max Brooks as the researcher  

©2019 Max Brooks (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Devolution

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Character Breakdown!

We know that Max Brooks can do much better than this! Even with an excellent full cast thrown at it this feels well below his best. The setup of an exclusive and remote eco-village without compromise artificially introduces to as cliched a set of characters as I can remember. And that cast do damn well so there are no problems there, especially Judy Greer who puts in a genuinely excellent performance as the lead. She shows good changes of pace and tone and manages to inject a lot of emotion and energy into her delivery.

That lead, Kate Holland, is probably the most interesting character but it took a long while before I stopped finding her irritating and that was only because she suddenly transforms from a poor caricature of a 'millenial type' into something more like Ellen Ripley! Among the others are the arrogant professor who won't believe anything but his own opinion, a pair of hardline vegans who object to even the thought of harming animals threatening them and an impossibly attractive and successful couple. To me this is a really lazy and unnecessary setup which belies some of the occasional genuine quality in the writing that does shine through.

The story is presented through extracts from Holland's journal of her experiences in the eco-village, a tried and tested formula that works reasonably well but it is also interspersed with what I felt were low-value extracts from interviews, quotes and thoughts about the Big Foot legend. This made the story feel quite bitty at times and while some were very worthwhile a lot of them didn't seem to add much.

So, in summary, I don't feel Max made the best of his ideas in this one, the characters are just too cliched and a lot of it felt lazy in its construction. There are some quality moments in the writing and an exciting ending but I felt there was a lot to endure to get that pay-off despite an extremely good performance from Judy Greer.

4 people found this helpful

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Brooks does it again

Fine work. I was at first put off by the subject matter, I'm not from usa so the bigfoot is just a silly thing to me like other silly foreign things like trickle down economics or such , not part of a legendarium. But mr Brooks turned it into something else. Still don't care about bigfoot of course but a lot of the commentary that mr Brooks sneaked in is very insightful, and some themes, like the references to a certain siege and tragedy in my side of the atlantic or the sense of entitlement of so many westerners in general , are important to me.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

slow starter but what a finish! highly recommend for fans of WWZ or horror books in general

1 person found this helpful

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Gave me two sleepless nights

As a fan of bigfoot horror novels and movies, this is probably the best I've read. Took me two days to read, and I will admit I had trouble sleeping for two nights - the book's second kill kept on playing over in my head.

As the blurb indicates, this is a found journal story about a small community of 11, cut off from civilisation after a natural disaster, and come under attack from a hungry family of bigfoot as food becomes scarce.

The story takes it's time to develop the community, and the immediate aftermath of the volcano erruption for a while before the bigfoot turn up. This slower build up may not be for everyone, especially given most bigfoot horror stories are standard pulp horror with several random hikers being introduced only to to die in the same chapter every chapter or two.

However, this book having a smaller cast makes each death feel more impactful as the community shrinks. And because it's via journal many kills are "off-screen", the journal writer's imagination guessing happened. The deaths she does see are a lot more realistic, like how chimps kill monkeys, than the way monsters usually kill humans. Overall it's feels more believable and quiet chilling.

Really enjoyed. Will listen again.

1 person found this helpful

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Not as clever as expected from Brooks

Struggled to get to the end even though its short and has an excellent narration cast... Although this cast list a bit of a fib, as most of the big names have a couple of minutes at most , a cameo, the main narrator is so 'happy american', so over emotive that her performance lends a false ness to the whole story - there wasn't a single moment that I was 'in' the story. The story is so B movie stupid that it hurts to think about it, for example, the first act of a group cut off in their forest commune would not be to plant seeds in their garage so they can 'survive the next two years', they have vehicles, they'd use them, and walk if they couldn't. The author read The Martian and wanted some of that 'survive through ingenuity' action. Just a C- at best, and very forgettable, not badly written, but certainly lacking in the layers present in the authors previous success WWZ.
The epilogue is woefully stupid, embarrassing... Really suggest that you skip this one.

1 person found this helpful

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narration extremely grating

This is probably just a personal preference but I really disliked the main narrators performance

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing listen!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book! Max Brooks have done an incredible job at depicting at, in my opinion, how our creature comforts or lack there of can change our nature...

1 person found this helpful

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Needs a different reader.

I don't know who was reading the diary parts of the book but she was awful with a whiny US accent and I lost count of how many times she said 'totally'! A waste of money. Can I get my money back on this?

1 person found this helpful

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I love the way Max Brooks writes

I love that Max Brooks writes as essays/journal entries etc. It brings to life the emotions, the fear of the characters. Judy Greer gave Kate life - she was superb as was Nathan Fillion. Not as good as World War Z but still fantastic.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

not that great

some great tension, but characters and plot pretty poor. Ambiguous ending is a bit of a cop out too.