The Dolphin People

The Dolphin People

by Torsten Krol


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Life of Pi meets Lord of the Flies in The Dolphin People, a darkly comic “postmodern novel par excellence” (Sydney Morning Herald) from Torsten Krol, the author of the critically acclaimed Callisto. While fleeing Germany after World War II, a family arrives in Venezuela and encounters a Stone Age Amazon tribe that mistakes them for dolphins in human form. But the ruse can only protect them for so long in this madcap, imaginative tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061672965
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/17/2009
Series: P.S. Series
Pages: 356
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.04(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Torsten Krol is the author of Callisto. Nothing further is known about him.

What People are Saying About This

Adam Davies

“Absurd, frightening, riotously funny, and written with relentless, breakneck velocity.... Utterly surprising and utterly irresistible—a spectacular tour de force.”

Daniel Wallace

“What an audacious book. I loved it. A 20th century adventure that could only be told in the 21st. Wild, daring, honest, gruesome.”

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The Dolphin People 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
vernefan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thorsten Krol¿s incredible talent to show creative writing at it¿s best is executed in his latest novel The Dolphin People. This novel is so unique, peculiar, odd to say the least, yet thought provoking, horrifying, shocking and yet at times humorous as well. The book is a fantastic literary achievement with much panache and style not seen in others too often. I¿ll definitely put it on my ¿doozy¿ list, for this tale is a whopper. Putting it down for a second is not going to happen, I promise you. Shortly after the end of WWII, Erich Linden, a 16 year old German boy is enroute to Venezuela with his mother, brother and new stepfather. After his father died in the war, his uncle Klaus offered to marry his mother and move the family to his home in Venezuela where he owned a successful business. While traveling, their airplane crashes into the ocean and all miraculously swim to safety. Finding themselves alone in the Amazon jungle, with no food, water or supplies, the situation becomes critical until they are found by the Yayomi tribe. Taken to the tribal village, they find another German there, an anthropologist that has been living with the tribe for 11 years working on a book chronicling their culture. They are told that rescue is slim, and getting out of the jungle alive due to weather, violent natives and no boat to take them away, was impossible. Their only choice was to begin living with the Yayomi until circumstances changed. The Yayomi don¿t know what to make of these white people that emerged from the river, and call them the Dolphin People. From their historical legend it is said that there were dolphins that transformed themselves into people and were to be revered as gods. Playing along with this charade seemed logical as to not anger them and cause a dangerous life threatening situation. Erich and his family assimilate into the village until secrets, betrayals, jealous feuds, murders and mischief being to cause the unraveling of this unusual freakish family slowly going mad. Each member of this family has skeletons in their closets and inner demons waiting to burst free, and here in their jungle prison, all hell breaks loose! Frightening, horrible events breathe evil into Krol¿s writing, allowing the reader to perch on the edge of their seats as scenario¿s of love, hate, racial injustice and gender issues bring thought provoking passages for the reader to ponder on. There are tender moments between two brothers struggling to adjust in a world foreign, insanity for a mother who can¿t cope, bitter rivalry between two men of science and intellect, and an introduction to the world of the Amazon jungle, all wrapped up in tense and emotional scenes that keep those pages flying. Intense, this is a very very intense book. One minute heartwarming and touching as two races from two countries entwine, the next minute you will find yourself cringing in horror as you struggle to breathe and attempt to turn the next page in fear. Standing ovation for this unusual novel. I loved it!
LibrarysCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
At any rate, I really liked this delightfully interesting novel. The Dolphin People is narrated by Erich Linden who is a sixteen year old who travels with his mother and younger brother Zeppi to Venezuela. Erich's father has died fighting on the side of the Nazis in World War II. Erich's mother will now marry Klaus, her late husband's brother who has fled to Venezuela to avoid prosecution as a Nazi. And this is only the beginning!After changing their last name, the new family takes a flight to the interior of Venezuela where they will live. Unfortunately the plane crashes and the four must figure out a way to live with the Amazonian tribe they encounter. The family learns the culture of the tribe via another white man, Gerhard, who has lived with the tribe for many years. To save their lives, the family members pretend to be dolphin people, almost gods who had been expected by the tribe. As time passes, the family must do more and more bizarre things to continue the ruse. I will not spoil the fun by telling you the results!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
T-RadSR More than 1 year ago
This is a different type of survivalist story. A family exiting post WWII Germany become shipwrecked in the Amazon and have to learn to get along with the natives of a particular Amazon tribe. Warning though if you are sensitive to any antisemitic remarks, be warned the author has a few rants against the Jews. Of course this is all within the context of the story but it may offend a few. Throughout the novel I found myself continuing to read mostly just to see how things turn out. Today so many novels stick to a predictable story line. This book is filled with suprises. I never knew what was going to happen next. I thought the writing was very good, the author kept me intrigued the plot really moves. Overall I recommend the book just prepare yourself for something different.
DeDeFlowers More than 1 year ago
The Dolphin People is not a great book. I'm not sure what I was expecting from it, but I was very disappointed. I couldn't relate to it in any way and it wasn't crazy enough to bring me into another world. The graphic nature of this book is understandable and reasonable. I don't think I will read anything else by this author though. The writing was not that good.
SkippyNY More than 1 year ago
While I enjoyed this book, it was hard to decide if the author was trying to be darkly humorous or perfectly serious. Given that this is fiction, it would have been more to his advantage to go for the humorous, since some of the scenes depicted, while based in truth, were so off the beaten path as to not be taken seriously by the average reader. I'm not sure if I will read anything more by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book as I enjoy fictional stories that take place in foreign countries where I plan to travel. The plot and characters kept me interested during a 14-hour trip. World War II information was unexpected but relevant. Not for the squeamish, the anthropological details of a fictional Amazonian tribe's life lie somewhere between possible and horrifying. Just relax and enjoy!
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1943 on the Russian Front, Erich Linden's father died. Two years later, now sixteen years old, Erich, his widow mom Helga and his twelve years old brother Zeppi flee the ruined Third Reich for Geneva; there they board the Stromboli and sail to Venezuela where Uncle Klaus waits for them. He will marry Helga so he can care for her and her two sons while also using them as a front to dodge war crime prosecution for his work at the concentration camps. In Venezuela the Brandt family, as they are now called, flies into the Amazon to their new home, but the plane crashes. The Yayomi tribe welcomes the lost Brandt family because they believe they are the dolphins wearing human garb prophesied by a tribesman's dreams. German anthropologist Gerhard Wentzler who lives with the tribe to study them assists the Brandt brood in their temporary not so easy adaptation. The blood (and other liquids too frequently) flows in this deep dark allegorical historical thriller. Each of the Brandt family member has their civilization attire torn off along the lines of Carlyle's Sartor Resartus Clothing theory of man so that the reader can explore deeply their motivations to include growing up too fast, anti-Semitism, and other racial superiority. Not an easy read, The Dolphin People is a thought provoking Post WW II tale told mostly through the biased filtered lens of Erich as the narrator. Harriet Klausner