Wave of Destruction: The Stories of Four Families and History's Deadliest Tsunami

Erich Krauss, Author . Rodale $24.95 (244p) ISBN 978-1-59486-378-3

Kraus (Wall of Flame ) provides a compelling account of four families in a Thai village devastated by the tsunami of December 26, 2004. The author first describes the harsh everyday existence of these villagers before the tsunami: a life of poverty in which children are sent off to work for abusive bosses, of earning a hazardous living by diving for tin or stealing lobsters from Burmese traps. The villagers Krauss describes are courageous: one woman, Dang, became an activist, fighting the powerful tin-mining company trying to force her from the land. Puek, blinded in an accident, rallied to help his wife, Lek, after the death of their young son. Krauss then details the tragic tsunami and its aftermath. Trying unsuccessfully to save a baby as wave after wave comes over her, one woman knows "she would never sleep another night." A thug hired by the mining company keeps Dang from returning home to seek her family. Even the aid efforts, these survivors report, are not always blameless: Christian relief workers tell the Buddhist Wichien he must convert to Christianity to get their help, and vacationing foreigners are treated before more critically injured Thais. Passionately told, this tragic story portrays the full human cost of natural devastation. Maps not seen by PW . Agents, Frank Scatoni and Greg Dinkin. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/17/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
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