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

World War Z notes; Turning The Tide 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(s).

Part 4, Turning The Tide; Chapter 4, Jesika Hendricks

Under strong influence from the media, Jesika’s father packed up the family to head North. The idea being that the zombies would freeze in the colder and snowier climate of Canada.
Her father had bought a gun, of which he had no training in it’s use or up-keep, and told Jesika that the journey would be fun. Like going camping. Her mother voiced her doubts, but her father was adamant.
Jesika recounts her tale while wandering the ruin of Manitoba as part of the Wilderness Restoration Project, as such she points out the human debris while chatting to Max.

She shows me something in the ice, a collection of cracked DVDs.

I’m an avid camper, thanks to my family, and know what to take on such a trip. Usually travelling light, almost bare essentials. Certainly, I’ve never taken DVDs with me. A music player or radio of some kind but nothing too elaborate, or power consumptive. Most important was a decent sleeping bag, it can get really cold at night under canvas.
It’s amazing what kind of junk Jesika points out during their walk. She mentions Gamecubes and laptops. A spongebob sleeping bag. It’s obvious that during this great migration to the North, that almost everyone had not been properly informed of what to expect or how to cope.
Indeed, Jesika cites this lack of information, something she seems to resent the “media” for, as the main reason why things turned out so badly.
In her later half of this chapter, people natural animosity & territorial-ism start to have an effect on the ever growing community. Once the weather takes a hold, things go from bad to nasty.
I’m reminded of stories I have heard about the “Donner party”, and let’s face it the zombies are coming to the eat the living. Why should the living be any different.

We come upon a collection of bones, too many to count. They lie in a pit, half covered in ice.

Jesika did not know what the stew was made of at first. All she knew was that she was starving & that it tasted so good.

Winter really hit us in early December. The snow was over our heads, Continue reading this post

World War Z notes; Turning The Tide 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 4, Turning The Tide; Chapter 3, Bohdan Taras Kondratiuk.

Why should things be as they should be? They never have been before.

Unfortunately for Bohdan and many of the men in similar units, his government had underestimated the virus, the amount of infected and the supplies needed to marshal their safety zone. For the majority of the area that Bohdan was supposed to police, it was already too late. Although he complains of a lack of equipment, resources and much needed rest, it is the lack of sniffer dogs that make the least sense to me. And to him.
How can you police suspected infected without the sensitive noses of these dogs is beyond me. It’s an impossible task.
Coupled with the shear chaos that these untrained mobs of men in uniforms were confronted with.
It’s little wonder that they couldn’t cope, were even terrorised themselves for trying to weedle out the infected from the ordinary refugee. Kiev was supposed to be a safe zone, it didn’t remain safe for very long.

The solution was RVX. I’m sure I’ve never heard of it but the effects sound familiar.
The powers that be decided to just kill all remaining refugees surrounding the Kiev area starting with the bridge Kondratiuk was on. Good job his was a tank platoon. A place of relative safety from the deadly RVX. It seems his high commanders had in fact, learned from past errors, and possibly even the “Battle of Yonkers”.
Kill all of the refugees without prejudice and then destroy those that reanimate. Effectively destroying the chance of those within that area from spreading the contagion any further.
At a price.

After that ordeal, I don’t blame Bohdan for ordering a retreat. Hell, with a tank at my command I would’ve run as far away from Kiev as petrol and bullets would allow.
It’s not cowardice to want to stay alive. (Although some might speculate on the situation you were running from and on the manner in which you ran.)

World War Z notes; Turning The Tide 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 4, Turning The Tide; Chapter 2, Philip Adler

His first command was to “put down” his former commanding officer.
Mr. Adler’s C.O. must have been one of those rare types of officers. And of course once he got accidentally infected, he gave Adler his command. I can imagine that his last command was for Philip to make sure the infection did not pass on to others.

I do not envy Philip’s situation in Berlin. It all seems like a lost cause. Apparently his superiors must have that same thought.
General Lang was the final word on the matter of withdrawing from their section. Without the hundreds of civilians Adler’s troop was helping.
Lang even threatened him with the same punishments that the Russians inflicted upon their own soldiers in the face of rebellion. That word, decimationpops up again. Adler could not, in good conscience, permit that to happen to his men.
Again, Generals.

I can’t help but wonder though, if some one had either read or heard of Redeker’s Plan Orange. Or simply found someone of equal logic & lack of emotion.
Maybe the Prochnow plan was just a re-badged variety of Orange.

Philip goes on; about General Lang’s inability to bear the weight of what had to be done. He took his own life before Philip could get an opportunity to do it for him.
He openly admits that he & his countrymen needed people like Lang, perhaps in light of the details of the Prochnow plan, he had a better understanding of what had to be done to ensure the survival of the human race.
Even so, his understanding of the situation as a whole, does not lesson his hatred of General Lang.

One last thing, is it an accident that Max Brooks names the German plan Prochnow.
The character of Philip Adler is played (excellently so) by Jürgen Prochnow in the audiobook. I think Max must have had a wish list of actors, and got lucky with a great deal of his list.

World War Z notes; Turning The Tide 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 4, Turning The Tide; Chapter 1, Xolelwa Azania

Azania’s tale is somewhat strange but well worth reading.

I remember news stories of Africa’s apartheid. Growing up in a multi-racial community, going to school with children of many different backgrounds, I could never really understand what the big deal was.
I knew people who were racist. Still do. And I can honestly say that I truly do not not understand it at all.
Azania explains an apartheid South Africa in ways that have never even occurred to me. Of course, that doesn’t mean I understand it any better, in reality I’m even more confused.
He then goes on to “introduce” Mr. Paul Redeker. And his skills as a planner.
Saviour or perpetrator?
A little of both perhaps.
Maybe. I can understand why Paul felt the need to separate himself from his emotions.
How can you plan to save a nation from either itself or zombies when emotions keep getting in the way. It’s a logical decision but it does go against our innate humanity. By default, we are a passionate race.
We love and hate with equal fervour.
Redeker’s planning skills are truly inspired & horrific in equal measure.
It is typical that he has now been vilified. Without him surely South Africa would have succumbed and as a consequence, the rest of the continent’s population.
History, even in this fictional context, is unfair & imbalanced in opinion. People’s perceptions change and as such, the status of past heroes & villains change to reflect society’s current views.

The ending of this chapter had me in a spin (again).
Well done to Max Brooks, it’s has been so long since I last visited his WWZ that I didn’t see that one coming!
Now I know why Mr. Azania deemed himself the only person capable enough to see Redeker’s updated Plan Orange through to it’s conclusion.
A brilliant chapter and a wonderful piece of writing.