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HoLA: Week 7 (July 3-9) pages 275-352 (78 pages)-Post here from July 10th on

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  • HoLA: Week 7 (July 3-9) pages 275-352 (78 pages)-Post here from July 10th on

    of Leaves Again: The 2009 Re-Read!

    This discussion begins Friday, July 10th over pages 275-352 (78 pages).

    Don't forget to cite the page numbers you wish to reference and quote people in posts.


    No spoilers allowed, please. This means that no material in this thread should reference things outside pages already read.

    Because we have to make this restriction, you may have already guessed, the rest of the forum does not take this precaution. To my knowledge, these re-read threads are the only spoiler-free areas of the forums.

  • #2
    Cryptonomicon, chapter 101 ('Passage'):
    Only five minutes later the depth charge scores a direct hit on the stern of the V-Million and tears a hole through both the outer and the pressure hull. The deck angles beneath Bischoff’s feet, and his ears begin to pop. On a submarine, both of these are bad omens. He can hear hatches clanging shut as the crew try to stem the advance of the water towards the bow; each one seals the fate of whomever happens to be aft of it. But they’re all dead anyway, it is just a question of timing now. Those hatches are not meant to stem five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten atmospheres of pressure. They give way, the pressure spikes upwards as the bubble of air in the front of the V-Million suddenly halves its volume, then halves it again, and again. Each wave of pressure comes as sudden crushing pressure on Bischoff’s thorax, driving all the air out of his lungs.

    Because the bow is pointed straight up, like a needle on a meter, there’s no deck to stand on, and every time a bulkhead yields, and the water level shoots up towards the bow, it leaves them suddenly submerged, with crushed and evacuated lungs, and they must swim up and find the air bubble again.

    But finally the mangled stern of the boat spikes into the seafloor and the V-Million settles down, the forwardmost cabin rotating around them, tremendous rock-crushing noises all around as a coral reef is destroyed by the boat’s falling hull. And then it’s finished. Günter Bischoff and Rudolf von Hacklheber are together in a safe cozy bubble of compressed air, all of the air that used to be in the V-Million reduced to a pocket the size of a car. It’s dark.

    He hears Rudy undoing the latches on his aluminum briefcase.

    "Don’t strike a match," Bischoff says. "This air is compressed, it will burn like a flare."

    "That would be terrible," Rudy says, and instead turns on a flashlight. The light comes on and immediately dims and goes brown and shrinks to a tiny red speck: the glowing remains of the filament in the bulb.

    "Your light bulb has imploded," Bischoff explains. "But at least I got a little glimpse of you, with that silly look on your face."
    of Leaves, p. 299-300:
    The Atrocity is lost along with its secret cargo and all aboard . . . shhhhhhhhhhhh . . . and who would ever know of the pocket of air in that second hold where one man hid, having sealed the doors, creating a momentary bit of inside, a place to live in, to breathe in, a man who survived the blast and the water and instead lived to feel another kind of death, a closing in of such impenetrable darkness, far blacker than any Haitian night or recounted murder, though he did find a flashlight, not much against the darkness he could hear outside and nothing against the cold rushing in as this great coffin plummeted downwards, pressure building though not enough to kill him before the ship hit a shelf of rock and rested, knocks in the hull like divers knocking with hammers--though, he knows, there are no divers only air bubbles and creaks lying about the future. He drops the flashlight, the bulb breaks, nothing to see anyway, losing air, losing his sense of his home, his daughters, his five blonde daughters and ...


    • #3
      That's very curious, especially given that the books were published at almost the same time. Maybe each was working from the same source? Anyway: good catch.


      • #4
        Hey, alright, just finished this section... haha, I am so behind.

        p. 350

        Why a deer? I have no idea.