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

Henry VI, Part 3 by William Shakespeare

LibriVox logoHenry VI, Part 3 or The Third Part of Henry the Sixt (often written as 3 Henry VI) is a history play by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) believed to have been written in 1591, and set during the lifetime of King Henry VI of England. Whereas 1 Henry VI deals with the loss of England’s French territories and the political machinations leading up to the Wars of the Roses, and 2 Henry VI focuses on the King’s inability to quell the bickering of his nobles, and the inevitability of armed conflict, 3 Henry VI deals primarily with the horrors of that conflict, as the once ordered nation is thrown into chaos and barbarism as families break down and moral codes are subverted in the pursuit of revenge and power.

Among Shakespeare’s history plays Henry VI Part 3 and Richard II contain the only intances in which a living monarch is displaced. However, unlike Richard who fell because of his misunderstanding of the limits of his sovereignty, the demise of Henry was due to his total incapacity to exercise his sovereign power. The inability of the king to deal with the brutal realities of regal life is dramatically displayed in Act 2 Scene 5 where Henry witnesses the agonies of the father who has killed his son and the son who has killed his father, and sadly acknowledges that this civil strife has been caused by the King’s ineptitude. The crowning indignity comes in Act 3 Scene 1 where the king in hiding is easily detected and trapped by two rustics who triumphantly prepare to lead him before the man who has deposed him, Edward IV. Henry’s death comes at the hands of the brother of Edward, the vicious and rampantly ambitious Richard, who later rises to the heights of supreme tyranny in Richard III. After Henry’s son and heir, Edward, is murdered, also by the future Richard III, and Henry’s most influential supporter, the Earl of Warwick, dies, the House of Lancaster lies in ruins.

Henry VI, Part 3 features the longest soliloquy in all of Shakespeare (3.2.124-195), and has more battle scenes (four on stage, one reported) than any other of Shakespeare’s plays. (Summary from Wikipedia with addition by Algy Pug)

My contribution to this collaborative effort is the (minor) character of “Second Keeper” (during Act 3).

This way to the download locations & the book text…

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.

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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