How 2020 Has Ruined Survival Fiction Books

It’s too soon for that much reality

I’ve been listening to the new Max Brook’s novel Devolution. So far, the pacing has been good, and the story interesting, but something has been nagging at me since I started.

Having thoroughly enjoyed his 2006 bestseller, World War Z, this book just wasn’t gripping me as much. It ultimately hit me in the middle of a hike today, a fitting place since the story is set in the woods of the Pacific North West.

The book is mirroring real life too much. The central theme of the book describes a community separated from society by a natural disaster. The small group of people have to survive while facing an outside threat. It evokes a strange feeling of nostalgia, the feeling of a loss of better times.

These last nine months of home exile have been hard, and the tale Brooks tells is something I find sad and depressing. It reminds me of what we’ve lost this year — that connection to others.

Many of us insert ourselves into books to get away from reality. Doing so with this one is hitting too close to home. Having those feelings of loneliness, of being trapped, powerless to do something. You can quickly relate to what the characters in this book are experiencing because this has been our lives for the past many months.

This it’s going to be one of my favorite books. There is just too much baggage that was dredged up with it. While some of you may enjoy books that add emotion in unexpected ways, I think I will find my escape in another book as soon as I’ve finished this one.

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