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Devolution

A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre
Written by: Max Brooks
Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (79 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The number one New York Times best-selling author of World War Z is back with “the Bigfoot thriller you didn’t know you needed in your life, and one of the greatest horror novels I’ve ever read” (Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter and Recursion). 

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. 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 heard before.

Praise for Devolution

“Delightful...[A] tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) 

“The story is told in such a compelling manner that horror fans will want to believe and, perhaps, take the warning to heart.” (Booklist, starred review)
 

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

©2020 Max Brooks (P)2020 Random House Audio
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Brutal

I actually paid money for this book, I can’t believe it. I loved World War z but this book is terrible. It is almost laughable at how this book is set up. Who would write this way in a journal? Does the main character hear the voices of the characters she is writing about in her own head? The characters were so unrealistic and not likeable at all - I was actually cheering for the Sasquatch. It would be interesting to hear the perspective from the Sasquatch point of view. It seems typical to assume that the Sasquatch are evil and humans are good. The ridiculous inferences the main character makes about the Sasquatch is so stupid. It is just a bunch of “filler” so the author can paint a “realistic” picture of how they got into their predicament. The voice acting is not good and the main character is so flawed. The end was silly knowing the possible “scenarios” that were presented. Simply not believable based on the way the main character is portrayed. Don’t buy this book.

1 person found this helpful

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I recommend this book

I loved this book had so much to offer and left me speechless Please read you won’t regret

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Recaptures the Magic of World War Z

I was initially sceptical (I mean, bigfoot? Goofy!) but by the end of the first chapter I was in.

I've always described WWZ as "an exploration of human nature and modern society- through the lens of a zombie apocalypse". Devolution is the same, but updated for current trends and with much more emphasis on individual characters than national/international reactions. Much is made of the underlying fragility of our high-tech infrastructure.

Like Z, this book is told through the words of those experiencing the events- though this time it's much more as diary entries than interviews. This gives the book the same immediacy and intimacy that made Z such an impactful read.

The writing is punchy, rich in detail, with an excellent narrative structure that propels the story in a gripping way. It feels tightly edited and nothing seems extraneous. The same depth of research and thought that informed Z is present in Devolution as well. As with Z, the monster is treated with gravity and realism.

The narration is solid. The protagonist (a change from Z) is brought to life well by Kate Mulgrew. She's believable, varied, and engaging. The rest of the cast is solid, though Nathan Fillion (who I love) inflects his sentences the same way every time- it feels a bit artificial.

I only have minor criticisms. Some of the supporting characters feel a bit too much like archetypes- not 1-dimensional, but something of a caricature of themselves. Perhaps Brooks was going for a "we all know someone like that" effect, but it comes off a bit heavy-handed. Still good, very distinct, and definitely human individuals. People's denial of the situation gets a little repetitive and at one point I felt incredulous that anyone would be quite so stubborn. But this is minor and the rest is quite believable. Also, the narrator's impression of Vezini in The Princess Bride ("Inconceivable!") sounds nothing like him- to the point that I wonder if she actually saw the movie.

This is a super cute Easter egg, btw: Devolution is written by Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks. Yes, that Mel Brooks. Before making movies, Mel did sketch comedy with Carl Reiner. The Princess Bride is directed by Rob Reiner... son of Carl.

Anyway, overall I loved this book and recommend it highly. It is gripping, thought-provoking, and a lot of fun.

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Very disappointing

I preordered this book and was quite eager to dive into it. A couple of wasted hours into it, it became obvious that I'm probably to old to listen to this book. The female narrator sounds like a whining excited 6 year old over and over and over. Not for me.

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lots of fun

Like a "found-footage" docuhorror. Exciting enough to make it hard to put down and just plausible enough to make you keep an eye on the treeline at night while you're listening. The cast does an excellent job.

The only big downside is it's good and easy to burn through quickly.

I really enjoyed it.

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Engrossing

Loved this book!! Couldn’t stop listening.
Suspenseful, fun and fascinating. Even though it’s a work of fiction, I love that Brooks created the story based on research and facts. Makes the story really feel true.

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Unable to rip myself away!

what a ride! the slow soft start eases you into a place you feel safe, like a cozy day inside your quiet home. But slowly, with mounting tension and the certain knowledge that something is coming for you, something that activates your base instincts and claws at the edges of your perception until you find yourself smack dab in the middle of horror and awe. what a great book and wonderful full cast performance.

Also I love Judy Greer and the reference to Archer just makes it all the better that it's her reading the journal. for about 2 minutes I kept picturing Cheryl but I quickly got over that and just loved her performance!

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This is a must get for fans of Brooks or horror

The writing and story are so good that you feel that you know and grow to love the all the characters before the action starts. The real sense of dread grows so well that you will not want to stop listening. Judy Greer is so talented you will feel the change is tone as well as hear it. A must get

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A Great Read! Can't Wait For The Movie

As good as World War Z! I really enjoy the format that includes the recounting of the journal entry's. Hopefully the movie stays true to the book!

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starts slow ends awesome

this is the third Max Brooks book Ive read I love them all . this book reads more.like zombie survival guide than world war z. I love his style excellent read.

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  • Mr Dangerous
  • 2020-06-16

Disappointing. Not good.

I was excited for this one as I like Brooks but ---- The format that worked with World War Z did not work in this book. The journal thing felt forced. The story was pretty lack luster. And the leading character was annoying and unlikeable. I expected and hoped for a solid read. I was bored and uninterested and the whole thing felt like a grind. There were a couple good moments, but it couldn't save this.

The smaller rolls were read great. The leading narrator - Judy Greer - was truly awful. She was whiney and felt like someone in a YA or bad romance novel as opposed to the other readers who were quite serious and good.

Bummer this one turned out so bad.

42 people found this helpful

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  • michael waterston
  • 2020-06-16

🤦

So much whining. 3 hours in so far and my skin is crawling listen to all the whining.

ok so I finished.........I shouldn't have.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Frank Murrendo
  • 2020-06-17

That Bad.

People whining about wine and status.

I had to check the description and see that I had the right book.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Russ
  • 2020-06-17

Awful

Nothing happens in the first half of the book aside from an incredibly annoying woman ranting in her journal like a teenage girl about absolutely nothing.

This book was so disappointing. As great as WWZ was, this book was the complete opposite. Save your credit.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Abby
  • 2020-06-17

Judy Greer Ruins this book

I'm 2 hours into this book and ready to return it. Please make the sappy sweet air-head voice stop!
And there doesn't appear to a story.
I love World War Z and was so excited this was coming out. So disappointed.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Scott Archambault
  • 2020-06-17

Well Done Performances on a Solid Horror Story

This is a (primarily) first person perspective horror story with a female narrator, so naturally, a majority of reviews I see are chauvinistic takes of the the performance. Don't let them deter you from what is a genuinely interesting trip into the forests of the pacific northwest! Whether you are a Bigfoot nut, or a skeptic like myself, it is a fun and scary adventure about humanity versus nature, and what a population of people must do to survive. If you like King or Peter Clines, or books about jungle/ forest adventures, you should dig this. The only thing that took me out of it is that the account is apparently a journal- so we are meant to believe that during all these traumatic events, breaks are taken to write down all the drama in intricate detail. That is a pretty minor quibble though- after listening to audiodramas like Tanis and The Black Tapes, my leash for suspension of disbelief is long.

Many of the reviews complaining about "whiny voices" are reductive at best and sexist at worst. If you're up for a fun ride into Sasquatch country, you could do a lot worse than Devolution!!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Commander Shepard
  • 2020-06-17

Extremely disappointing

Probably the worst of Brooks. Nothing to hold my interest. Annoying voices. Dull plot. Only people who might like this are tree huggers .

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Courtney Silk
  • 2020-06-16

dumb city people

sorry if I'm rooting for all these people that died that live in this place but I don't think they deserve to live if they can't fend off Bigfoot plus they don't belong in the woods their belongings in California Los Angeles to be particular

11 people found this helpful

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  • IsacatSF
  • 2020-06-16

Off to buy an ice pick on Amazon

My review is for Judy Greer who is narrating the part of Kate Holland. Her voice is so annoying I don’t know if I can make it through this book. She really makes me want to jam an ice pick into my ear drums. Up talking, millennial valley girl spazz.

I love Max Brooks books so I am very disappointed I won’t be able to listen to this if Kate Holland plays too much of a part.

11 people found this helpful

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  • K. R. Williams
  • 2020-06-17

Slow build to a strong finish.

The release of this book has been in my calendar for ages, and it did not disappoint. The cast was great, the story was brutal but also smart. Loved it.

9 people found this helpful