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Everything You Need to Know About Devolution by Max Brooks

Dystopia is the new clean energy source. 

devolution by max brooks book cover on red fiery backgroung
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  • Photo Credit: Elina Emurlaeva / Unsplash

Going green by living off the grid is the new Western frontier. Unplugging from the city to live closer to nature is often touted as the next step in our societal evolution.

After all, we have the means to make things easier, more efficient, and more accessible than at any time in our history. But what happens when disaster strikes and all those advantages of modern convenience disappear? 

That’s the question at the heart of author Max Brooks most recent novel, Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre. The story follows a small town, told through one woman’s journal, as they struggle to survive dwindling resources after a natural disaster.

And when they find a predator is hunting them, things quickly devolve, leaving behind a bloody massacre and more questions than answers. 

If you’ve been curious about Devolution by Max Brooks, including whether the audiobook is worth a listen and whether there will be a movie adaptation, we have everything you need to know.  

What is Devolution by Max Brooks About? 

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

By Max Brooks

Why Should I Read Devolution by Max Brooks? 

One of the things you can come to expect from a Max Brooks novel is an incredibly realistic take on a wild scenario. In this case, a devastating volcanic eruption coupled with a Bigfoot attack.

As with his other books, the novel explores what would happen when circumstances outside of anyone’s control forces them into survival mode. 

Like his other novels, Devolution is incredibly well-researched. Brooks may not be able to study Bigfoot specifically, but he did dive into understanding primates, learning everything he could from their biology to their behavior. He did the same trying to imagine what it would be like if Mt. Rainier erupted and how people would actually attempt to survive in the aftermath in that terrain. 

If you enjoyed the multi-media approach of either of Brooks’ zombie novels, you’ll be delighted to dive into a similar format.

The story unfolds through journal entries, interviews, research articles, and new reports, focusing primarily on the first-hand journal account of events and using the rest to fill in the blanks as Frank McCray tries to piece together what happened to his sister. 

Who is Max Brooks? 

It should come as no surprise that the son of two actors would get his start acting. Brooks first appeared in the film, To Be or Not to Be (1983), with both of his parents, actors Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft.

And while he made various appearances or voiceovers over the years, even graduating from film school in the mid-90s. But in the early 2000s, Brooks joined the writing team at Saturday Night Live and his career shifted primarily to writing. 

In 2003, Brooks debuted with The Zombie Survival Guide, a satirical guide to surviving a zombie attack. World War Z followed three years later, and then in 2020, he published Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre

It might seem odd that the son of a comedian would choose to write survival-style fiction, but that’s largely due to his mother’s influence.

In an interview, Brooks credited his mother for sparking his interest in science. She would read Microbe Hunters by microbiologist Paul de Kruif as his bedtime story.  

Brooks doesn’t exclusively write zombie and Bigfoot fiction, though. He’s also written several Minecraft novels and comics like Germ Warfare: A Very Graphic History, The Harlem Hellfighters, and G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds

Should I Listen to Devolution by Max Brooks On Audiobook? 

There’s just something about a full cast audiobook that makes the experience feel like an auditory movie. And with Devolution, you get an all-star cast at that. 

Judy Greer (13 Going on 30, Halloween Kills), an award-winning actress with an extensive filmography under belt, voices Kate Holland. The charming Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) voices her brother, Frank McCray, and actress, professor, and activist Kimberly Guerrero (Son of the Morning Star) voices National Park Service ranger Josephine Schell. 

And the star power doesn’t stop there. Jeff Daniels (Dumb and Dumber, The Newsroom), Mira Furlan (Babylon 5), Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek, Orange is the New Black, and Steven Weber (Chicago Med, The Shining) fill out the rest of the cast, with fun appearances by Terry Gross and Kai Ryssdal as themselves.

Even the author chimes in voicing one of the researchers. 

Will There Be A Max Brooks Devolution Movie? 

The rights to Devolution were sold to Legendary Entertainment shortly after the book was released to the public.

In June 2021, The Hollywood Reporter announced that James Ashcroft signed on as director. He, alongside his writing partner, Eli Kent, would finish polishing the script to prepare for filming.  

In July 2022, Ashcroft confirmed that he and Kent were still working on the screenplay, focusing on the more monstrous nature of humanity, our arrogance, and what happens when we find ourselves at the mercy of a far more predatory creature. 

So far, news on development has been quiet. There haven’t been any actors announced or release dates estimated. The only indication that we may see some movement is when Joe Cornish confesses in an interview that he recently read Devolution and would love to see a Bigfoot movie of that caliber made.

Us too, Joe, us too. In the meantime, we’ll keep an eye out for more news.

With his connections to the industry and the popularity of his novels, we have high hopes that Brooks can find a way to make this movie a reality. 

Featured image:  Elina Emurlaeva / Unsplash