ravenotation

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


World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 9

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.

Part 6, Around The World And Above; Chapter 9, Ernesto Olguin.

So the USS Saratoga eventually wound up as a “floating United Nations”, an interesting use for a decommissioned aircraft carrier. I’ve watched documentaries on the designing & building of such vessels. The constant evolution of the carrier are an engineering masterpiece of constant problem-solving. It makes sense that such a vessel would be used not only for the purposes of the U.N. but as a refugee transport. Aircraft carriers are, quite simply, floating cities. Able to house & support a great deal more people than any cruise or luxury liner. From what I’ve seen of these vessels, they seem rather more comfortable than you would expect. Certainly not as cramped as I originally envisioned.

Basically, this chapter relates the politics surrounding the U.N. conference. Ernesto was not a delegate at this event, merely a bystander, a naval attaché with a vested interest on the outcomes of various meetings.
It was also a sharing of ideas, he mentions demonstrations of the British fortified motorways and a live demonstration of Mkunga Lalem. The footnotes mention this to be “the world’s premier antizombie martial art” also known as The Eel and the Sword. Unfortunately Mr. Olguin does not elaborate on this technique. Pity, maybe when the book gets filmed I’ll get to see it.

The Saratoga served many purposes like this, conferences between many country’s representatives concerning trade & naval integration. Sounds like humanity was trying re-connect, albeit on a limited scale.
The highlight of the conferences seems to have been the global decision to stand & declare war on the infected or to simply make do and take a passive role in the future. Continue reading this post


World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 8

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.

Part 6, Around The World And Above; Chapter 8, Terry Knox.

Terry Knox, son of an Andamooka opal miner and an astronaut serving aboard the ISS.

The way he tells his story, from a hospital bed natch, reminds me of a television programme from the 1960’s.
Thunderbirds.
A fantastic show for children of all ages, with this great space station (Thunderbird 5) that monitors all earth communications. The idea being that should there be a catastrophe, the other Thunderbirds would go in and rescue the people under the guide of “International Rescue”.
Wonderful programme, I’ve watched that series over and over.

Mr. Knox’s tale may as well have been that of John Tracy aboard Thunderbird 5.
Monitoring the demise of the Earth and it’s population, human or otherwise. All life was pursued but only humans re-animate.
He and his mates made the decision to remain on board the ISS and maintain any essential satellite’s, the other crew members departed for Earth.
I think Terry may have gotten the better deal but it surely must have been hell not being able to contact family members.
Those spy satellites didn’t help. The entire war played out like an endless soap-opera without sound and no means of intervening. No real way of helping those on the ground.
He saw the battles that raged between the living and the dead. He and his remaining crew mates could only morbidly witness such events as Yonkers & Chongqing.
He saw what really happened in India, how General Raj-Singh did not abandon his men like the rumours say. Continue reading this post


World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 7

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.

Part 6, Around The World And Above; Chapter 7, Admiral Xu Zhicai.

[Note: For the sake of clarity, Western naval designations have replaced the authentic Chinese.]

It seems the Chinese authorities allowed the zombie virus to ransack their country. The army really thought that throwing more people/soldiers to the zombie hordes would solve the problem. Idiots. Pity the poor fools who just ended up as fodder, someone else to be eaten and thus join the ranks of the undead.
Obviously Admiral Xu had no love for the plan to save his country, but orders are orders I guess and he obeyed.
He understands now, of course, but there seems to have been some hostility towards a certain Captain Chen and his plan.
If the army hadn’t been so arrogant, as the Admiral puts it, perhaps they wouldn’t have dismissed the Redeker Plan so carelessly. The army truly was secure in it’s superiority over this and any threat.
They really were dense about the whole situation.

So, it fell on China’s navy to find the solution to this devastating virus. How can they save their people, their civilisation. There was and is no cure.
Captain Chen’s plan, according to the now Admiral Xu, was to escape the mainland. Alone and without authorisation.
It seems that Captain Chen was Zhicai’s commanding officer at the time, he explains how his family was on base already but that his shipmates had to get word to their relatives.
The plan being that they would “get underway” fully stocked with the usual supplies, plus the families of those crew members assigned to the Admiral Zheng He submarine. Continue reading this post


World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 6

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.

Part 6, Around The World & Above; Chapter 6, Seryosha Garcia Alvarez.

I had a little difficulty with this chapter. Señor Alvarez, although likeable, is a little foreign for me. I don’t know very much about Cuba and it’s history. Not being an American, I don’t think it was very important for me to learn about the circumstances surrounding the “Bay of Pigs” or Fidel Castro. Although, Castro is enough of an icon, for whatever reason, for me to at least know who he is. That is why I’m not certain about the political circumstances to which Señor Alvarez relates.

Politics aside, which is my worst subject as anyone could guess from what I’ve written so far, this is an interesting chapter. Señor Alvarez comes across as quietly passionate and dedicated to the new regime in his homeland.
He mentions the pre-war U.S. blockade, the oppression, the military & medical presence on his island home.
How all of these factors managed to keep the number of infected to a minimum.

…our leader knew the true nature of the infection weeks after the first outbreak was reported. By the time of the Great Panic, when the world finally woke up to the nightmare breaking down their doors, Cuba had already prepared itself for war.

Cuba seems to have dealt with the initial outbreaks in a manner similar to Iran, it had the edge by having borders that were already policed and closed off. Being an island also keeps the amount of refugees down compared to those merely crossing over a border on land. An island could be considered a natural defence.

Seryosha points out that those islanders in the Lesser Antilles also Continue reading this post


World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 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.

Part 6, Around The World And Above; Chapter 5, Sensei Tomonaga Ijiro.

Sensei Tomonaga, a victim of the H-Bomb, a survivor of it’s destructive power. Totally sightless, thanks to the image of the bomb burning out his retinas. He is, & will forever be, “hibakusha”.

In Japan, hibakusha, “survivors of the bomb,” occupied a unique rung in our nation’s social ladder.

Pre-war, this meant he was considered a social outcast. He believed that his blindness made him even more of a burden, not only to his family but to all of society. He was politely refused employment because of his disability. An unjust situation and I can understand his constant feelings of unworthiness & suicide endeavours. It is not his fault, it is merely society’s manner of brainwashing. Even in the West, people are expected to think & feel in a particular manner and to never question if it truly is the right way. Thankfully, Sensei Tomonaga stayed his hand. Deep within him, regardless of his desire to do the “honourable thing”, his sub-conscience found a reason to live.

In Sapporo, I met an Ainu gardener, Ota Hideki. The Ainu are Japan’s oldest indigenous group, and even lower on our social ladder than the Koreans.

If memory serves, the Ainu were treated quite harshly & inhumanely during World War II, it is fitting then that these two outcasts should find each other.
Ota-san kindly teaches Sensei Tomonaga many things, even employing him when no-one else will. Were it not for Ota-san, this poor wretched self-loathing man would have perished given either time or the presence of the infected.
In fact, it was his loathing of becoming a burden once more that he Continue reading this post


World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 4

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.

Part 6, Around The World And Above; Chapter 4, Kondo Tatsumi.

I have to admit that Tatsumi-san’s story is a compelling reason not to become addicted to information-scouring on the internet. Having had to stop myself from doing just such a thing adds a personal touch. I’ve spent hours, or even days trying to search for a solution to whatever-problem. Sometimes forgetting to eat or drink. It’s not quite like being addicted to some on-line game as the facts you find have meaning in “real-life”, a solution found to some problem in everyday reality.
Tatsumi-san, being the extreme variety of this kind of information hound. It both works for & against him, he admits his physical strength is somewhat lacking even if his brain supplies the necessary knowledge to survive.
It’s kind of funny though, this addict suddenly being unceremoniously weaned off both his fact finding treasure hunts & the shared glory he used to get from other like-minded “otaku”.
One thing I can’t understand though, is his complete lack of need, concern & (apparently) love for his parents, at a time when most adolescents acknowledge their presence if only to scorn them. He simply doesn’t know what has become of them. He didn’t even know they were gone until he had to feed himself instead of simply waiting for the tray of prepared food. So closed off from his surroundings he doesn’t even notice the danger closing in on him. Safe in his cyberworld & mentally removed from his surroundings. To not be aware of your own surroundings is a dangerous situation at any time in life, no matter how mundane the situation.
How he manages to escape the zombies, or saifu (to use the Japanese term) is a complete mystery really, despite it being explained to me word for word.

It is his discovery of the army issue sword & his deep, sincere Continue reading this post


World War Z notes; Around The World And Above chapter 3

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.

Part 6, Around The World And Above; Chapter 3, Hyungchol Choi.

With the current unrest in North Korea, this chapter is somewhat scary. I’ve done a little history project or two over the years on Korea’s war, the 38th parallel & the differences between the people living on either side of it.
Coupled with a movie & tv programme like M*A*S*H* to amuse & silently educate me.

Hyungchol is, I suppose, a typical example of a South Korean. Modern enough to know his country’s history but not afraid of “the enemy”. He seems to pity his Northern countrymen more than anything else, comparing his freedom in an open society that is not only prosperous but educated in ways the North can never hope to be.
What is worrying, is that the Southern government seems to have entirely misread the North’s mass retreat into areas unknown. Guards, whole units of soldiers leaving their posts completely unattended. Villages of people suddenly disappearing.
From Hyunchol describes, North Korea must have looked like a complete “ghost-town”. The only possible explanation he puts forward, is that they must have misjudged the size & scale of the North’s underground dwellings. How can an entire country make it’s population of twenty-three million (or close enough to) simply and abruptly disappear.

He continues about the signs, surveillance, spies, and so all vanishing as if these people had simply ceased to be.

Before we knew it, there wasn’t a living soul left from the Yalu to the DMZ.

An extraordinary feat. But Hungchol mentions that this is the way the Continue reading this post