Review: Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre by Max Brooks

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 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.

Devolution by Max Brooks. Narrated by Judy Greer, Jeff Daniels, Nathan Fillion, Mira Furlan, Terry Gross, Kimberly Guerrero, Kate Mulgrew, Kai Ryssdal, and Steven Weber. Published by Random House Audio, 2020. Run time is 9 hours 50 minutes.

I feel like the audio book really makes Devolution a better book. It is an all star cast and felt like a docu-drama radio show. Having a multi cast narration made this story feel real. I would totally watch a documentary like this on the history channel. 😀

It’s Bigfoot, y’all! I love how well researched Devolution is as far as Bigfoot lore goes. All the things you normally see associated with the cryptid has been added in this story… the smell, noise, rock throwing, etc. It’s all here. Something so simple made me so happy. I loved that all of it was included.

Speaking of love, I love the premise. We have a group of yuppy big city or suburban people attempting to move out to the wilderness and living a simple life. With zero back up plan. Seriously, zero?! Oh boy! Of course things go horribly wrong and it becomes humans vs. animals. The humans were seriously unprepared. I enjoyed seeing how different people react to a bad situation. And yes, some of the characters feel flat, but you got to remember that all the info about the characters comes from a woman who isn’t an experienced writer making notes of her day(s) to give to her therapist. It’s not that she is unreliable narrator, she just doesn’t know anything about anyone else to flesh them out with.

Seriously entertaining book, but I was bummed out with the very end. The last little twist was ambiguous about what exactly happened and I’m just not a fan of endings like that. It felt like it was being set up for a book 2 but I don’t know if that was the plan or not. It’s really the only big complaint I have about this book. Other then that, I was entertained. It didn’t feel super scary horror, but still great suspense.

And again…. the audio is the way to go! You have some big names narrating and it really makes this book come alive and feel like non-fiction. Audiobook all the way!

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