Friday, June 26, 2020

Audio Review: Devolution by Max Brooks

Devolution by Max Brooks
Publication Date: June 16th 2020 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Audio Book Length: 9 hrs 49 min
Narrators: Max Brooks, Jeff Daniels, Nathan Fillion, Mira Furlan, Terry Gross, Kimberly Guerrero, Kate Mulgrew, Steven Weber, Kai Ryssdal & Judy Greer
Source: Publisher &
Pages: 304

About the book:

The #1 bestselling 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 these pages, 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 read before.

My Thoughts:
World War Z is one of my favorite movies. I’ve watched it several times, but I didn’t realize it was a book before it was adapted to film until much later.  Since then I’ve had plans to read *listen* to the book, so when Devolution was up for grabs and I found out it was written by Max Brooks, of course I snatched up a copy.  I love a big-crisis/end-of-the-world type of scenario I always wonder what I would do post-crisis, if I would be smart (or lucky) enough to survive.  Add in the possibility of Sasquatch, and I was really excited!

Devolution is told in an original and captivating way: as an investigation into a tragic event detailed through interviews, journal entries, and excerpts from books “related” to the event and relayed in this investigative report. Max Brooks, the author, narrates as the researcher/reporter and his voice fit the bill perfectly!  The journal entries of Kate are where the heart of the story lays; where she chronicles her experience at Greenloop, in a journal written as part of therapy (?). Here we get her firsthand account of life in Greenloop, an advanced planned, remote community, ninety miles outside of Seattle, but connected in every way through technology to life in the city. In this way residents are supposed to have the best of both worlds, but things don’t go as planned when Mount Rainier has a massive eruption and the community is cut off from civilization and sort of forgotten.  What happens next left me on the edge of my seat…

I felt like Kate was talking to me, like a friend telling me her experience as it happens and so in that way I felt very connected to Kate and invested in what happened to her. The Greenloop community was a small one, only nine households. The dynamic between these people was interesting as things unfold and the situation becomes more and more serious.

The audio was fantastic! An all-star cast of characters, but Judy Greer and Max Brooks performed most of the story. Ms. Greer’s performance was a little overly excited at the beginning and I was wondering if I could take that ultra-peppy tone through the whole book, but I think that was on purpose to show how excited she was about her move. She tones it way down quickly, and I really enjoyed her performance.  I also really enjoyed Kimberly Guerrero’s performance as the lead Park Ranger sent in to investigate after the eruption.

My husband and I listened to this on one of our many road trips back and forth to Northern California and we ended up getting home before the book finished so we put in on again after walking in the door because we had to find out how it all ended!

4 Suns


  1. I loved Max Brooks' World War Z, which is one of the reasons why I'm so excited to read this one. :D

  2. Now that is cool to bring the bigfoot legend into this one.

  3. Glad it was good for you. I find book vs. movie comparisons tough sometimes.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  4. I had my eye on this one at my library, but didn't check it out. I may need to give it a listen now!

  5. While this one might not be a good fit for me, I love that you and your husband listened to it together! My husband and I have such drastically different reading tastes, that our books have rarely overlapped. On road trips, we usually listen to MG books for the kids. :) I'm happy you enjoyed it!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  6. ooh I love World War Z as well. Will have to look into this book for sure. Sounds like a win ....lovely review.

  7. Oooh, this sounds really good! I love post-apocalyptic stories too, and those are my favorite movies to watch. I love relatable characters that end up feeling like a good friend! Wonderful Review Rachel!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape