No Return for the Eel is Hugo Küsel’s fourth published book. Hugo Karl Küsel, well known among ex scholars and parents attached to the Piet Retief High School, was born in Paulpietersburg, in December 1945.
His ancestors were missionaries, pastors, colonists and artisans. Since 1970, he taught inter alia English, German, isiZulu and Afrikaans to high school pupils, conducted school choirs and cadet bands for the South African Championships, coached tennis players and high jump athletes. He helped develop the oratorical skills of many pupils and wrote two operettas performed by the high school. Hugo has written a number of books, including the novel In the Shadow of the Rock, two Afrikaans books (Merkwaardige genade and Voluit lewe) as well as Pegasus Goes to War and Pegasus Fights in the Bush. No Return for the Eel is his fourth book to be published.
The book tells the story of a young Lutheran teacher named Peter Weber who does not have long to live, and, who learns about the meaning of life when he is sent to Ekhombela, a Mission Station (and home to people of the Amakonondo Zulu tribe) in Natal, South Africa, in 1889. Peter is sent to Ekhombela by Pastor Harms in Hermannsburg (Germany), in order to learn life’s hard lessons in the time left to Peter as he is terminally ill. Peter is aware of his terminal illness and decides to leave his homeland and fiancée, Karin. Through various experiences and inter-relationships, Peter learns from the villagers and they learn from him.
By the time he has spent one year there, he considers the small village his home and family, and they consider him part of their tribe. After about four years, Peter is about to return to Germany when he hears the hammerhead or shadow bird screaming above him while it is flying over the mission station. According to Zulu belief this foretells imminent death. Shortly after, lightning strikes Peter and … The novel was published by JANUS PUBLISHING COMPANY LTD. Cambridge, England. The cover was also designed and illustrated by Hugo. Congratulations, Hugo! We are looking forward to more books from your pen.