Monday, December 07, 2009
The Dolphin People by Torsten Krol
Shortly after the end of WWII, sixteen-year-old Erich Linden and his family have fled Germany and joined Erich's uncle, Klaus, in Venezuela, where they will begin a new life. But, en route to Klaus's outpost further inland, they encounter a storm and their plane crashes in the middle of the jungle. Stranded deep within Amazonia with no hope of rescue, they are discovered by the Yayomi, a violent and superstitious Stone Age tribe. The Yayomi believe the strange-looking foreigners are freshwater dolphins in human form—and the Lindens believe that as long as they can keep up the bizarre ruse they'll be safe. But the jungle is a dark, mysterious place, and no place for a family of sham dolphin-people who are ultimately left with only two choices: to escape or to die trying.
In “The Dolphin People” Torsten Krol has created an unreal situation where a family of four has to survive in the Amazon with a tribe of local natives “The Yayomi” who believe they are dolphins in human form. Set in post WWII, the Erich Linden and family have come to Venezuela to join Uncle Klaus. Their plane crashes in a river, and they are discovered by the Yayomi and are revered as special because of their dolphin status. With little chance of getting back to society they try and assimilate into the native culture with the assistance of Gerhard, another German who has lived with the tribe for eleven years as research for a book. Krol has written this book through the eyes of sixteen-year-old Erich and we observe him grow and change while here. His family has their own issues to take care of. As events unfold we learn more and more about everyone. Some parts are a little disturbing. “The Dolphin People” is a challenging and strange book; yet an enjoyable one.