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The Tourist Trail: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

John Yunker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99

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Book Description

"The Tourist Trail is at once a romance, an adventure story, an environmental polemic, and a keen study of just how animalistic humans are." — Phoebe Literary Journal

"The Tourist Trail by John Yunker is an exciting, thoughtful, intelligent, and extremely well-written eco-thriller." — The Literary Lioness

An IndieReader Discovery Award Winner

"This eco-thriller is a plausible and entertaining page-turner that offers romance, engaging characters, and a fascinating plot." — IndieReader
(Winner of the 2012 IndieReader Popular Fiction Award)

Some people stop at the water's edge.
Some keep going...

Biologist Angela Haynes is accustomed to dark, lonely nights as one of the few humans at a penguin research station in Patagonia. She has grown used to the cries of penguins before dawn, to meager supplies and housing, to spending most of her days in one of the most remote regions on earth. What she isn’t used to is strange men washing ashore, which happens one day on her watch.

The man won’t tell her his name or where he came from, but Angela, who has a soft spot for strays, tends to him, if for no other reason than to protect her birds and her work. When she later learns why he goes by an alias, why he is a refugee from the law, and why he is a man without a port, she begins to fall in love—and embarks on a journey that takes her deep into Antarctic waters, and even deeper into the emotional territory she thought she’d left behind.

Against the backdrop of the Southern Ocean, The Tourist Trail weaves together the stories of Angela as well as FBI agent Robert Porter, dispatched on a mission that unearths a past he would rather keep buried; and Ethan Downes, a computer tech whose love for a passionate activist draws him into a dangerous mission.

294 pages

"This immensely readable and exciting novel brings together the seemingly disjointed lives of characters who share a common thread: whether they know it or not, their purpose is to be devoted to the cause of helping animals...The Tourist Trail is epic, sprawling and strikingly cinematic."
-- Our Hen House

Editorial Reviews


"What's impressive about this novel [is that] it occupies so much literary territory. It is at once a romance, an adventure story, an environmental polemic, and a keen study of just how animalistic humans are." --Phoebe Literary Journal

"I promise that you will finish the book with a different perspective regarding our responsibility to life in the sea." --Penguin News Today

"This is a book for all of humanity, one that questions our actions and leaves us quaking with the consequences." --This Dish is Veg

About the Author

The Tourist Trail is based on the world's largest Magellanic penguin colony and inspired by those who risk everything to protect the ocean and its inhabitants.  John Yunker is the author of the award-winning short story on which the novel is based, selected by Peter Orner and published in Phoebe. He is also editor of the short story anthology Among Animals: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction. He lives in Ashland, Oregon.

Product Details

  • File Size: 389 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0979647525
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Ashland Creek Press (August 15, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001QOGM88
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,348 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally--An Author Who Knows Penguins AND Human Nature September 1, 2010
I feel privileged.

A while back, I became acquainted with one John Yunker through his online short story, "The Tourist Trail." I was impressed with his thoughtful prose, even then. When John told me that he was expanding the short story into a novel, I became excited. Finally--someone who can write and who knows their penguins. Truly a novel mix.

A couple weeks ago, John sent me a copy of his new novel and although I had other commitments at the time, I eyed the book, trailed my hand along the cover, peeked at John's autograph on the first page... I allowed the book to tease me with anticipation. At the first opportunity, I grabbed the book, made a pot of coffee, put the computer on "sleep," and then settled in on the couch to indulge in, what I hoped, was a good read.

Consensus: I couldn't put the book down; I devoured it in two days.

The plot: The story is populated by 4 major characters--Angela, Aeneas, Robert/Jake, and Ethan. Angela studies, counts, and tags Magellanic Penguins at the Punte Verde Preserve; although she loves her profession, she doesn't realize the vastness of the void in her life until she meets a raft-wrecked Aeneas. She follows Aeneas back to his ship and learns the largest lesson of her life. Robert/Jake works for the FBI and he is hot on the trail of Aeneas, who roves the seas in order to cause havoc and mayhem to would be whalers. Robert has a past, which becomes significant as the story moves towards a convergence of all the characters. Ethan is the young man who searches for meaning and purpose in his life; what he discovers will alter his life irrevocably.

Of course, the backdrop of the main storyline is inhabited by penguins and whales.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By Sue
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I recently downloaded a sample of this book after seeing a discussion in the kindle forum. I quickly read through the sample and immediately bought the book. It is fantastic and novels like this are one of the (many!) reasons I am so happy with my Kindle. I have found many great novels that I would have never stumbled on otherwise. Most of the time, the price on these novels is so much less than I used to pay for "best sellers". I am reading stuff outside of my usual genre comfort zone and loving every minute of it.

I will certainly be on the lookout for anything else by this author. I have a feeling that anyone who declined the opportunity to publish this novel will be kicking themselves. The story would make for a great series (pretty please?) or a movie.

Do yourself (and the planet) a favor and READ THIS BOOK!
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller with a Lesson July 3, 2010
By BigAl
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a rule I read nonfiction to learn. Fiction is for entertainment. In "The Tourist Trail" I found what I wanted and expected. It contains adventure. There are characters you'll quickly start caring about and a lot of conflict to overcome. You'll find plenty of romances to spice things up. All the elements of a good thriller are here and, if that's what you're looking for, you should come away satisfied.

Fiction, however, can also teach you things that nonfiction can't. It can help you understand a point of view that, given your life experiences, would be difficult. By putting yourself in the shoes of another you can better understand them. This was the case with "The Tourist Trail."

As in Edward Abbey's environmentalist classic "The Monkey Wrench Gang," the group at the center of this story, the Cetacean Defense Alliance (CDA), is out to sabotage their foes - the scene has just moved from the desert to the ocean. They object to whaler's who continue indiscriminate harvesting of what they believe is an endangered species. They oppose long-line fishermen who they think kill too many birds and other seagoing life as "incidental catch." Their philosophy was summed up in this quote:

"When you raise cattle, you at least feed them. But fishermen don't feed fish. They just take. They even take the food the fish eat. Sheer avarice."

But not everyone agrees with the CDA's methods, calling them "eco-terrorists." That's what the FBI thinks (although the FBI agent chasing them is conflicted). You'll have to decide for yourself. Regardless of what you decide you'll come away with a better understanding of the ocean-environmentalist movement and a good read.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nature Lesson - Good / Characters - Not So Good February 20, 2012
By Terri
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The details about penquin habits were interesting. I enjoyed learning about the scientific research of the penquin colony. But the human characters in the book did not ring true to me. I seem to be in the minority, but I was not blown away by this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, with patience (on Kindle) February 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The second half of this story was thrilling and had a very satisfying ending. But I have to admit I almost didn't make it. The story started out fine, good character development, a little bit of mystery, warm and humorous tidbits. But then some new characters were introduced rather clumsily and the story seemed to stall a bit. The Ethan character just didn't ring true so I put it aside for a few days. Then I started to feel curious where it might go so I picked it back up. I'm glad I did. The pace picked up considerably in the second half and the author did a good job of bringing different story arc's together for an exciting conclusion. Glad I read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting story
Mix in some animal rights activists, government agents, some intrigue, a love interest and a few twists and you have The Tourist Trail. Read more
Published 3 months ago by CC56BUMS
4.0 out of 5 stars Different and engrossing
There are a number of reviews so I will be brief and to the point.

There are four main characters with four separate stories that the author brings together into a... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Robert Krueger
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I liked this book because it gave a good idea of how people that volunteer for research projects, Green Peace type work, etc. live and stand up for their passions.
Published 5 months ago by Cynthia P. Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read!
I had not read a really good book in a long time until this one! This is one of those books that is hard to put down... Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. Russell
3.0 out of 5 stars ebook
I love that I can get free books for my Kindle. I haven't read it yet, but it sounded interesting and i hope one day to read it.
Published 7 months ago by Beverly
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and quick read
This book was interesting and a fast read. It was certainly entertaining, but the story wasn't developed enough for me to give it more than three starts. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Rachel Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
This is a great book! It was wonderful to read about people trying to make a difference. I found it very inspiring.
Published 12 months ago by Esther de Jong
4.0 out of 5 stars unusual
A good read, set in an unusual location with enough twists and turns in the plot to keep my interest.
Published 12 months ago by pip hume
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading Melville? Take a break with this eco-thriller
A quick, clean read this romantic, eco-thriller tells the story of an FBI agent on the hunt for a charismatic eco-terrorist with a backdrop of penguin research in Patagonia and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Shel Graves
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the penguins, not the humans
Mr. Yunker has a great story to tell and his writing is very clean; however, I felt no connection with any of the characters. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Angy
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More About the Author

John lives in Ashland, Oregon and is co-founder of Ashland Creek Press, an independent publisher devoted to animal rights and environmental themes. He is author of the novel The Tourist Trail and editor of the short-story anthology Among Animals: The Lives of Animals and Humans in Contemporary Short Fiction.

He's also a web globalization geek -- helping companies improve their multilingual websites. He believes that the Internet should be fully accessible to all people, regardless of where they live or what languages they speak. For more than a decade he has written about web globalization, including the landmark report The Web Globalization Report Card. He is author of The Art of the Global Gateway and The Savvy Client's Guide to Translation Agencies.

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