|About the Book|
The Black Dog and the American Woman is one of those stories that transport the reader somewhere new and rarely experienced. The scene is set on an eco-Tour somewhere on the upper reaches of the Cuyabeno River deep in the Amazon rainforest of centralMoreThe Black Dog and the American Woman is one of those stories that transport the reader somewhere new and rarely experienced. The scene is set on an eco-Tour somewhere on the upper reaches of the Cuyabeno River deep in the Amazon rainforest of central Ecuador. A group of tourists has arrived and is just settling into camp as dark clouds gather and a ferocious black dog runs through the tangle of the jungle in hot pursuit of its prey. On one level, it is an interesting and often thrilling tale told of an eco-Tour gone bad- but it is much more than that. As the fine balance of life and death is revealed in the canopy above them, and in their fearful flight up the river, the reader is immersed in the reality of the jungle as few stories of this type have done before. As stated in his remarks, the author has direct experience in this regard- there is a suggestion some aspects of this story might even be true, and it certainly reads like it. The writing is reminiscent of Somerset Maugham’s short stories of the Far East as well as Joseph Conrad’s of the Malay Peninsula. It is a morality tale in which good and bad, like life and death, are in near equal balance.What makes this tale particularly compelling is the intriguing interplay between the characters. Romulo, the Naturalist and guide, holds the philosophical center of the story and there is something fragile but also bold and brave about the American Woman. For Romulo, the American Woman is a conundrum. He takes her under his wing and protects her. He tries to understand her as he takes every opportunity to explain to her his perception of what the jungle, as well as the human experience in general, is all about – namely, a world in which life is delicately balanced with death in the same way that the human experience is balanced between good and bad. She listens and learns but sometimes the lessons are difficult- and, sometimes, as the reader will discover, are life changing.A chilling and surprising ending makes The Black Dog and the American Woman a great story that will stay with you. You will want to read it twice. For the price, you can’t go wrong.