The log of a six-week Mediterranean cruise from Southern France to Venice, Dolphins is pleasantly engaging and lightweight as a ship's pennant. Better than half the book indulges in these silken descriptions which usually get cut out of novels for the story's sake; but since Mr. Shaw is on a holiday, he should be allowed carte blanche. (Even so, we can't help wondering what kind of book James Morris would have whipped out in those six weeks). The first rule the Shaws made about their chartered trip was ""no Other Couple."" But, with their Scottish captain, his wife as cook, the captain's daughter, and a Greek boy who understood only Greek, they found themselves accompanied by a formidable Other Couple. During the cruise Shaw meets several writing cronies, including Francoise Sagan, Roman Gary and James Jones (who was SCUBA-diving in Yugoslavia). Since it is summer, tourists abound everywhere, and even the natives of France, Italy and Greece, at least in port towns, relish Coke, Elvis and transistor radios. Yugoslavia offers Shaw something to bite into, which he does movingly.