Views & Reviews Review of the Week

Until the hour of separation

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 28 September 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6074
  1. John Quin, consultant physician, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton
  1. John.Quin{at}

Medical school didn’t prepare the young doctor-author of this book for the death of his brother in the south Asian tsunami of 2004, notes John Quin

Here’s another old lie: “Sous les pavés, la plage”—“beneath the pavement, the beach,” that much quoted Situationist graffito from Paris in 1968. In the 21st century we know that if it’s the beach you want then forget about tearing up the paving stones: fly economy and head to the shore. And that’s where so many people were on Boxing Day 2004: on the sands, when that unimaginable natural force—a tsunami—hit. Dominic Stephenson, elder brother of this book’s author, was there and died at the age of 27. Let Not the Waves of the Sea is the younger brother’s account of that tragedy and how, as a brother and a young doctor and scriptwriter, he has made sense of it all.

Stephenson patiently starts with geography, by detailing and helping you visualise the island of Ko Phi Phi. Among other attributes, this book is a …

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