My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).

World War Z notes; Blame chapters 3, 4 & 5

World War Z

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Part2, Blame; Chapter 3, Breckinridge “Breck” Scott

Fear sells.

So does sex, but Breck played on people’s fear to sell a vaccine to “African Rabies”. Not a cure, because as he says, a cure implies you’re already infected. This guy is just an old style snake oil salesman, out for a quick profit.
He openly states that the drug had not been tested on a zombie or anyone who was infected with the virus. The drug was marketed as a vaccine for rabies and that’s what he was selling.
By the container load, it seems.
This Phalanx drug made Breck rich in the millions. I don’t suppose it even entered his head to double-check the reports coming out of Africa, never check out the reports from the East. As long as he had his cash cow, he didn’t care. He had the connections too.
Practically bypassing the FDA (America’s Food and Drug Administration) altogether, with top officials giving the drug a big green A-OK. Apparently even the president of the U.S.A. benefited from the drug, political spin & well written speeches ranking up the president’s popularity.
At least, until it all went sour. In this case, it was inevitable.
A whistle blower. An, as yet, unnamed woman ending the fear driven crapfest and ripping the useless security blanket into shreds.

The virus was already spreading throughout America with frightening rapidity.

Part 2, Blame; Chapter 4, Grover Carlson.

Is this guy a typical politician?
Maybe I’m jaded concerning politics, but I’ve got to answer yes.
This guy tells the author to “grow up”, but I think he’s living with blinkers on his eyes and crap for brains.
Ironic that he’s now shovelling it for use as fuel. Just goes to show how useful his skill set is post-war.
I think I may even profoundly dislike Grover, former White House aide. I’d never use the word hate, as it’s reserved for instant coffee, broccoli and the like.
It’s disturbing to think this w**k*r was in a position of power & authority. It’s terrifying that people with this kind of power actively distributed the Phalanx vaccine, knowing from the very beginning that it was a placebo and used solely to calm the public. I notice that he survived “The Great Panic”. Bloody parasite.
He and others in a position of power, actually had a copy of the Warmbrunn-Knight report months before Israeli announced that it was closing it’s borders.
They chose to ignore it, stick their heads in the sand & continue to draw a high pay for the job. Carlson being a classic example of this attitude. The administration, and the jobs associated with such power & money, was the only thing they cared about. Screw the little people.
Carlson also mentions the major media companies and their part in the whole debacle. Just like Greg and his cronies, “the media” was only interested in the next big story, and selling it. Informing the general public about the events unfolding, events that matter and concern the public just doesn’t sell.
Again, greed was a major factor. It’s unfortunate that the people responsible for delivering noteworthy news were largely ignored, the major networks effectively burying them. Or as good as.

It’s fantastic testament to Max Brooks skill how thoroughly he has made me feel disgusted with the Carlson character. I can believe this guy is real. All the people so far have been totally believable & realistic. Anyone could mistake this book as real, non-fictional interviews. It’s that well written.
The power of Max’s words and the situation he has invented has me so thoroughly immersed that I half expect to meet a survivor or a zombie. His “role” as the interviewer is no less pivotal. I’d probably finish the book quicker if I wasn’t writing a journal alongside it. An excellent page-turner of a novel.

Part 2, Blame; Chapter 5, Mary Jo Miller

Mary is the mayor & architect of the new post-war neighbourhood of Troy. Anyone who has had any contact with Max Brooks’ other zombie book, “The Zombie Survival Handbook”, will see shades of his advice in Troy.
One good example is the way the new houses are built. On stilts with a retractable staircase & platforms to reach both the ground & neighbouring houses. The “handbook” had many ways of outfoxing the zombie, of those the destroy the staircase so the zombie’s can’t get at you was one of the most practical and literally screamed of common sense. Simple logic that the zombie movies never use.
Mary’s Troy is built purely to defeat the zombie, from the outer walls to the common abode within. Itself being inspired by the Israeli “Masada” model.

Sweet mother of all that is holy!
Mary explains about her life, pre-war.
Husband Tim, children Jenna & Aiden and dog Finley. House, jobs, bills, school; all the usual trappings of a modern life. Everything seems too important to not worry about, every problem a millstone.

“Piece of Phalanx, Peace of Mind.”

Yeah, they’d bought into the lies, the fabrication. Ignored the implausible reality of the plague, took Phalanx, put the kids on various other drugs and went about the daily grind.

The fit hits the shan one ordinary night.
For Mary, Tim and the kids it all changed all too quickly.
With a break-in.
Only these aren’t your ordinary “I want your valuables and NOW” kind of burglars. Mary describes one of them as grey with a puffy, wagging belly. The man smelling of rotten kelp and salt-water, which might explain the greyness of it’s skin.
Tim holds the thing off while Mary runs to get the “just in case” gun, only to see Jenna getting attacked. She somehow, miraculously, frees Jenna. Tim yells at her to get the kids in the car, she starts the engine to the sound of Tim’s glock being fired just outside of the garage.

In my mind, this all happens within the space of 10, maybe 15 minutes.
That’s a short amount of time to have your entire life and everything you deemed important, stripped clean away.
She doesn’t mention if she ever saw her Tim again.

Author: raven

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