Let Not the Waves of the Sea Paperback – 5 Jan 2012
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'Enviably well written ...one perfect sentence after another' (FT)
'Like William Styron's moving memoir of depression, Darkness Visible, there is profound empathy here' (welovethisbook.com)
A fine meditation on what is salvaged from loss. A humane and manly book (Janice Galloway, Scotland on Sunday)
[A] moving and honest account...the book contains countless heartbreaking moments (Sunday Times)
A beautifully crafted portrait of bereavement that tells us something new about the landscape, people, customs and hardship that he encountered along the way (Sunday Telegraph)
Profoundly moving...it is impossible not to be touched (Observer)
As much a celebration of Dominic's life and the brothers' relationship as it is a lament for his passing (Daily Mail)
'An immensely moving, truthful and honest elegy. Stephenson has created something extraordinary' (Neel Mukherjee)
'An extraordinary and courageous book' (Alex Preston)
Remarkable... seldom will you find grief anatomised quite so acutely and honestly (John Preston, Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year)
'A remarkably moving and compelling read. The travelogue and biography is a celebration of his brother's life and deals courageously with the journey to understand his death in the Asian tsunami on Ko Phi Phi' (Andrew Dixon, Scotland on Sunday)
The world changes when you lose somebody you love...See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
It is by turns beautiful, painfully personal in the intensity of the experiences described and frustrating as, in the process of grieving, Stephenson seems to ramble or retrace ground already covered. Frustrating, that is, until you, the reader, remember that that is how grieving works. Stephenson returns, over and over again to the Thai island where Dominic and his girlfriend Eileen disappeared, he looks for "signs" of them - Dominic's sandal, his wrist watch. He invents stories to smooth over the details of their loss, to pretend things could have been easier for them than probably they were.
As a memoir of grieving and loss, it is superbly, unashamedly honest.
But more than that, what really gave me pure joy from reading Let Not The Waves of The Sea was Stephenson's descriptions of Edinburgh, the city where I, too live. It was in his passages on Edinburgh and his shared memories of growing up with Dominic that his writing really took off, or perhaps my knowledge and love of the city helped me share the intimate moments he was describing.
Regardless, Stephenson is a skilled writer who has made something beautiful from his tragedy.
It's this richness of contrast that makes this book a portrait in the true sense of the word, full of light and shade and a multitude of angles on the subject matter. It is an honest and compelling exploration of loss but it is also a travel book, biography and autobiography (Dominic and Simon were born in such close proximity that the stories of the childhood are almost one and then same), even a historical and scientific account. These strands weave together and at their centre the reader is left with a space which marks the place that Dominic left in the world of his family and those who loved him.
It is Stephenson's courage and humility in weaving his strands together that make the book so haunting. Dominic was one of approximately 200,000 people who died in the disaster, each death creating it's own epicentre of loss in the lives of those left behind. Simon is realistic about Dominic's place in the magnitude of this grief, but the detail and care expended on this work can become a way to appreciate the enormity of loss as a whole - a still eye of a great storm.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautiful and very moving book and a wonderful tribute to all who sadly lost their lives.Published 11 months ago by MRS R A RICE
I knew this book would tug at the heart strings but i did not expect it to be written so well. It was sad and uplifting, to lose a much loved brother and son is unthinkable but... Read morePublished 16 months ago by sharon weekes
I feel for this guy and the loss of his brother in the tsunami. But this book is overlong, repetitive and far too personalPublished on 8 Jan. 2014 by Barbara M
Rather amateurish. But as first novel good try. Doesn't keep ones attention throughout story. Jumped around a bit.
Had questions left unanswered.
I have had this book a while now, but only recently just got round to reading it due to a backlog and other things. I wish I had read this first. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2013 by Andrew - (sekrapa)
And thank you Simon. Beautifully written with intelligence, charm and not a hint of apology. Just brilliant. A very honest raw grieving and a gift.Published on 1 Mar. 2013 by gary gibson
This is a beautifully written biography, full of real people, places & emotions.We all know of the tsunami but this tells the story behind the news. Read morePublished on 28 Feb. 2013 by Mr. C. F. Slinger