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The Tsunami tragedy, told by the perspective of three different people. The writer does a very decent job introducing these individuals, and then describes the moments when the waves came to shore. Many stories in one book. No doubt about it: Tsunamis are terrible acts of nature, and one best be properly elevated to avoid it. Just the thought of it sends shivers up and down my spine, for it doesn't take a crystal ball to want to wish never to be on the site where a Tsunami takes place. The book was kind of a bargain, and that added to the overall enjoyment. Once the waters receded, and these, far in the horizon long line of a wave appeared, it was time to scream and start running inland. Instead, many, tourists included, decided to venture into the wet sand where the sea had previously been in, watching fishes flapping about, some ignoring the urgency of the hotel employees voice as they asked everyone to clear the area. The number of the fatalities immense. The waves, merciless in their destructive path. Talk about Mother Nature at its most potentially dangerous! It is predictable that after the Tsunami the book deals on the aftermath of such devastating occurrence. I do not know how long exactly the waves lasted that day, for they hit different areas. Some times when I look at a little tiny island, surrounded by sea, a tiny point in a map, I can not help but to think what if I was there as a Tsunami is about to hit the mainland. The same exact feeling I got when Jaws had made everyone and their cousin, think twice before venturing too far into the big blue. Be it Tornados, Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Typhoons, etc etc, I am in awe as to what mother nature can unleash upon us. For the money, a bargain. For the content 4 solid Stars!
This is the most stunning book I have read in a long time and I know my review cannot do it justice as there were so many elements that made this book outstanding and original. The author has captured not only an extraordinary story, but told it from the perspective of those who rarely get the opportunity to tell it - local villagers who lost most in the Tsunami. However, this is so much more than a story of a natural disaster - it is about the rotten choices facing the poor, the corruption at corporate and civic levels and the good and bad in people during times of crisis and desperation. The author holds nothing back and names corporations and individuals involved in despicable acts of greed. Similarly we read about the awful choices forced upon survivors and the guilt they will forever feel. The honesty is both humbling and at times overwhelming, as this is a very human story. But we also meet the heroes who work tirelessly in the hospital, officials who risk their lives to save others and those who coordinate efforts to rebuild. Despite the subject matter, it is impossible not to become deeply attached to the characters and to feel their pain, suffering, and on rare occasions, their joy. The story of the Tsunami is well known, but if you want to truly feel it, then you must read this book.
Found it to be a excellent book. The plight of these people was already hard from day to day, but then with the Tsunami, it was catastrophic. We in America don't really have a clue how blessed we are. Erich Krauss did a great job reaching out and helping these as well as writing about them.
Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2006
I highly recommend Wave of Destruction. Ready or not, it places you in the midst of the horror.
At least twice, while reading these stories, I flipped to the front of the book looking for the word "novel," or a disclaimer stating that the characters had been compiled in order to tell the story of the many who had suffered. No such words exist. The accounts are real and each person's experiences are more than any human should have to bear. The stories of the waves themselves made me savor every breath. Many of the survivors's minds were shattered making me want to reach out and pull them to safety, something that is impossible, even today.
After the physical horror had slowed, greed and corruption allowed people with varying degrees of power to profit from (and, arguably, even enjoy) the tragedy of others. How can they look in a mirror? How can they sleep at night? In contrast, the survivors choose to exhibit a level of grace for which there are no words.
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2005
When I bought this book I expected to learn about what it was like to live through the world's worst natural disaster. The book did just that, but it was also so much more. I learned about four Thai families who have led very different lives than those of us in the United States. The book starts off by telling how these four families came to this fishing village. Most of them came out of desperation. Each of them had lost a family member from starvation or through other horrible circumstances. They had no money, no where to live, and would work for less than a dollar a day. For most of them, it took years to get on their feet. They slaved in tin mines, stole lobster out of Burmese traps like pirates, and took jobs with abusive bosses. You watch as they slowly piece together their lives, find love and hope. Then the tsunami hits. I had pictures in my head of what that day was like, but the picture the author paints through the people in the book is nothing like I imagined. It is fifty times worse. Dang, one of the women in the book, spent days looking for the body of her daughter. Then, when she was at her lowest, a company wanting to buy a hotel on her land, threatened to take her life if she returned. Wimon, another person in the book, lost eight members in his family. While he was looking for them, he realized that no help was coming to his village (it was all at the tourist spots) and put his grief on hold in order to get help to his neighbors. Then the book goes on to discribe the aftermath. This is where I was truly shocked. There were actually people who came to the area to rob money off corpses, to steal donations. Even the village leader robbed his people of the bare necessities. By this time, I had fallen in love with most of the people in the book and I wanted them to heal--but around every corner they met with another challange. Things as simple as finding water to keep their children alive. The book doesn't end on a real happy note, but I didn't expect it to. It was a terrific read and really opened my eyes to just how many lives where forever changed in such a short period of time. I'm going to bring this book to my book club next week. I recommend it to anyone who has a heart.
This book is a must read for anyone remotely interested in the Asian people and their culture. I was truly humbled by the strength and dignity shown by the families featured in this account of the terrible tragedy. Their resolve should be used as a benchmark in our own everyday lives, it makes our own crisis', and the way we handle them, seem pretty silly and trivial by comparison.
Quite by chance, I had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman that employees a Thia aupair just days after finishing this wonderful book. It went out in the mail to him a few days later. I'm sure he will gain some valuable insight upon reading it, and will have a new and better understanding of the person sharing in his own families' culture after reading this wonderful book.