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  • Mandy McHugh

Devolution, Max Brooks: A Review

Woo, July is a powerhouse of titles. I've been in the mood for an outrageous zombie apocalypse type book, and thankfully, Max Brooks was right there with Devolution. If you've read World War Z (we won't talk about the film adaptation here) you know Brooks' writing is first person, journal-entry, conversational type dialogue--as well, you know, blood, gore, and tons of violence.

Devolution, in that regard, did not disappoint. Told through alternating accounts pre and post Ranier eruption, Devolution follows a cutting-edge off-the-grid community of Greenloop as it deals with not only the uncertainty and fear of being cut off from the rest of the world after the volcanic eruption, but also a strange group of animals stalking their site. I'm sure you can see where this is going. Admittedly, I've never been into Sasquatch. Harry and the Hendersons was good enough for me, but Bigfoot sightings, I just never found that interesting. Devolution doesn't center around the mystery of do they or do they not exist--that question is answered pretty quickly--but rather what happens when this group of people, cut off from civilization and afraid for their own survival, feels threatened by the unknown. This is the most interesting part of the story, as we watch the transition from quinoa-eating strangers to spear-making fighters and everything in between. The title itself is pretty on the nose. You think at one point it refers to the Bigfoot tribe, but ultimately it stands as a symbol for the overarching ability of man's ability (or lack there of) to adapt to his environment. I feel like SNL Stefan: This book has everything: volcanos, bigfoot, military interviews, glass trinkets, bamboo. I wasn't always on board with the character arcs; sometimes they felt rushed or forced, but overall, this is definitely a read that will take you out of the current circumstances and put you...in other horrible, survivalist circumstances, but are more fun. Because Bigfoot. Devolution is a thoroughly enjoyable ride.


 

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