I live in West Michigan, in a county that is known to have the highest incidences of deer collisions in the state. We’re a big city, but with patches of woods sprinkled throughout, and even though I am 100% in The City, I have been in touching distance of deer in large part to my next door neighbor being one of the largest woodland preserves in the city. I mention this because on a walk with the octolet through said park, I saw a deer, pointed it out to him, and then moved on my merry way. On the way back I see the same deer, significantly closer to the trail, snorting at two women who thought that a) it was sneezing, and b) that was hilarious and they should continue to try to take photos of it and “sneeze” back.
People. Are. Not. Afraid. Enough. Of. Nature.
I know that the “Pandemic” square is a free for all, but Devolution is the perfect book for our pandemic times; it’s basically more or less what’s happening now but with cryptozoology instead of social unrest following a natural disaster. (Can confirm: work in pediatric ophthalmology and it’s a sad fact: when the heat waves or snowstorms come, so do the “non-accidental traumas.” Bad weather makes us feel trapped and pushes us to our breaking points, or as Brooks puts it “adversity introduces us to ourselves.”) In Brooks’ book, rather than the ‘rona, we have Mount Rainier erupting, which causes a cavalcade of subsequent disasters – power loss, hoarding of supplies, governmental failure to assist, opportunistic chaos agents shooting down relief (I am now convinced Max Brooks is a time travelling witch – nope, no parallels here).
But here, instead of a significant portion of the population deciding they’d rather survive their next police encounter, we have a group of people who think that they want to get back to nature immediately realizing that they are completely unequipped to deal with it, confronted with a group of sasquatches.
This book is wonderful, and definitely recommended to fans of World War Z. There are similarities beyond the horror subject with multiple sources recorded in a faux non-fiction style, but here we are primarily seeing the bigfoot encounter through one person’s eyes, and that makes this feel like more than “more of the same.” Without giving too much away, the conclusion is more satisfying than I could have hoped; I’m excited for Brooks’ future works, but hope he’ll use his ability to see into the future to give us a FREAKING WARNING NEXT TIME.