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

World War Z notes; The Great Panic 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 3, The Great Panic; Chapter 7, Todd Wainio.

The imagery of this chapters opening is very vivid.
Max must have gotten the idea of the statue from the iconic “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”.
Max’s description of Todd’s physical appearance is just evocative as the statue. From the old before his time look to the parallel gouges on his cheek, Todd has obviously not only seen it all but had to live through the experience.

I can kind of see where Max may have gotten some of his ideas from, for this chapter. Historical events like World War 1 & 2 and the Zulu wars all have that “lions led by donkeys” syndrome. Most generals think that they’re the ones who win the wars but it’s not. It’s just an ordinary soldier with a gun and some guts. Especially the soldier who can’t see the reason (if any) behind the whole debacle.
I can envision the battle of Isandwala as being the most similar to Todd’s recollections. An advanced army, with vast numbers and superior weaponry getting their heads handed to them on a silver platter.
At Isandwala, the Zulu people royally kicked the British Army (and rightly so). An advanced professional army verses a bunch of natives armed only with shields, iklwa’s & assegai’s. Later learning to use their enemy’s weapons.
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World War Z notes; The Great Panic 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 3, The Great Panic; Chapter 6, Ahmed Farahnakian.

I feel sorry for Ahmed & his fellow Iranians. To be so close to controlling Iran’s borders, only for political nonsense to interfere and endanger everyone.
I never really looked too closely at the maps of Iran. I know where it is & it’s neighbouring countries but I hadn’t really thought too much about the terrain.
Mountains, valley passes and very few roads into or out of Iran, all make the borders reasonably defensible.
Living with a nuclear threat, unfortunately makes such defences irrelevant but as Ahmed no-one thought they would ever be used. They were merely a military & political statement of power & might. Neighbouring countries had them so why not Ahmed’s country.
Personally I’ve never really understood this approach, all it takes to wreck the entire idea is a bored or paranoid nutter sitting next to the button.
However, in this case, we not only get a general type (a paranoid nutter) but one who refuses to communicate with anyone. Including his superiors. No wonder it all went to hell, in a hand basket.
Now that entire block of countries had to deal with masses of infected, dead armies of chomping teeth and now nuclear fallout.
Does a radiated zombie pose an even greater threat? Once you’re dead probably not, but will the radiation cause the virus to mutate further, perhaps spreading the virus to other non-human species…hmmmm.

World War Z notes; The Great Panic chapters 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.

Part 3, The Great Panic; Chapter 4, Maria Zhuganova

Sounds like Maria was a typical Russian soldier. The army wasn’t a place to serve your country or be patriotic, those days were long over. Although I remember stories about Stalin giving his soldiers an ultimatum, fight for mother Russia or we shoot you now. Morton’s Fork.
To Maria, it was just employment, that came with a place to sleep. Food and occasionally some money.

The officials closed the ears & eyes of their countrymen. Even the army troops, the regulars that is, didn’t know about the impending “Great Panic”, the virus or the zombie. So of course, when a sharpshooter in Maria’s outfit is told to shoot a little girl, who just happens to be already dead, he refuses. As he should, he doesn’t know because no-one wants to spread the right information.
The troops weren’t to know of the danger, they weren’t informed afterwards either. That’s why they all rebelled against their orders, Maria included.

The reprisals were quick but effective. Decimation.

To “decimate”…I used to think it meant just to wipe out, cause horrible damage, destroy…it actually means to kill by a percentage of ten, one out of every ten must die…and that’s exactly what they did to us.

Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; The Great Panic chapters 1, 2 & 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 3, The Great Panic; Chapter 1, Gavin Blaire

Gavin used to fly one of those advertising blimps. I can only assume that is how he bore witness to what he describes.

A mass exodus.
Every kind of vehicle has been used, people on foot fleeing the nightmare that was slowly consuming those stuck in the miles of gridlock behind and so, adding to the ranks of the dead.
I couldn’t imagine being one of the poor unfortunates at the rear of that miles long bid for escape. Trapped in a vehicle, no way out with a hungry zombie just waiting to tear flesh from muscle & bone.
Ceaseless and sleepless. A waking nightmare that never ends and you cannot wake from.
And there were miles of this. Even those who were at the front of this long queue, they didn’t really have any safe haven to escape to. Just a hope that maybe. But maybe what. Is safety just a pipe-dream in the face of such a reality.

Part 3, The Great Panic; Chapter 2, Ajay Shah

“The Great Panic” indeed, Ajay was one of lucky ones. He was saved, regardless of caste or colour unlike some others.
Even during this time of panic there are those out to profit from another’s misfortune and yet still more with enough irrational hatred pumping in their veins. But the loses, mercy. They reanimate after drowning and pull even more unfortunate wretches to their deaths & doom.
To hell with “Jaws”, tiger sharks and box jellyfish; at least with naturally evolved predators you might just have a chance, no matter how small. What chance does a swimmer have against a legion of zombies. No fear, no need to breath, just permanently & insatiably hungry.
Then there are the ships that do manage to pull away with as many passengers Continue reading this post

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 Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Blame chapter 2

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 2, Blame; Chapter 2, Travis D’Ambrosia.

A rather short account compared to the others, but the re-telling is succinct & to the point.
Again the Warmbrunn-Knight report is mentioned, Travis admits to finally finding a copy & reading it. Two years after “The Great Panic”. Seems that’s the par regarding this lost report.
Travis and his peers came to similar conclusions during a U.N. meeting, but he goes on about the fundamental flaws in the second phase of their plan.
People & popular opinion.
Travis states quite sincerely why the American people lost faith in their military and ergo, their government. Because of this, resources suffered and not just the dollar factor. People may have even resented being conned, yet again, into an army uniform. With no national service or draft board to fill the ranks, the main body of the army as it stood then, wouldn’t have been prepared or properly trained for the coming storm.
D’Ambrosia admits he & other’s like him were beholden to the people, but I doubt he, the U.N. or America’s White House could have prevented the onslaught. Even with popular opinion from the American people.
If most governments, Israeli being the exception, couldn’t admit to the truth or voice their doubts without the comfort zone of “what if” role playing scenario’s, why then should the ordinary civilian?
The U.N. has members with Ph.D’s, are Nobel prize winners, battle hardened strategist’s and great humanitarians.
Humanity’s fate rest’s on their decisions, their protocols. Their mistakes. People, no matter how important or intelligent are infinitely fallible.

World War Z notes; Blame chapter 1

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 2, Blame. Chapter 1, Bob Archer.

I immediately like Bob’s sense of humour. To describe an image of the all powerful CIA as an omnipresent octopus with far reaching tentacles is hilarious.
His description does have a point. There are those who truly believe in the all powerful image the CIA seems to have actively cultivated, fuelled both by paranoia & the movies.
Of course, this just reminds me of an old quote.

Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.

A by-product of the 50’s cold war when everyone was suspicious and under suspicion, especially in America.

Bob describes the “chain of comman” & how the agency lost many employees due to blame, scape-goats, political suicide & a total lack of faith in the intelligence of those the agency employed. Ultimately this attitude is the reason Bob was transferred out to Buenos Aires, a swift congratulation for voicing his concerns about the zombie plague.

It seems the Chinese Intelligence community successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of the global intelligence community.
What’s worse is that a few years after the initial outbreaks, the Warmbrunn-Knight report is found at the bottom of some lazy bureaucrat’s stack of papers.
Too late to make any difference to global events, despite the urgent, top secret & eyes only markings on the paperwork. Reminds me of the movie “Tora Tora Tora”, and the events that transpired before the attack at Pearl Harbour during World War II. Another bureaucratic fiasco. From both sides.