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Product Details

  • Paperback: 302 pages
  • Publisher: Ashland Creek Press (July 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979647525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979647529
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #937,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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


"The Tourist Trail is epic, sprawling and strikingly cinematic." --Our Hen House

"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

"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)

About the Author

The Tourist Trail was inspired by a trip to the Patagonia region of Argentina, where John volunteered with a penguin census for The Penguin Project. He has also traveled to Norway and Antarctica, where portions of The Tourist Trail are set.

John Yunker is author of the award-winning short story on which the novel is based. John lives in Ashland, Oregon. This is his first novel.

Customer Reviews

I read about this book in a Kindle discussion.
V. Bolling
This book hooked me from the start and when I got to the end I wanted more.
LiMa
Characters were well developed and interesting.
Kindle Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Linda K. Kerns on September 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
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.
Read more ›
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Sue on July 8, 2010
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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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By BigAl on July 3, 2010
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 By Terri on February 20, 2012
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 By M. Sutherland on 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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More About the Author

John is co-founder of Ashland Creek Press, an independent publisher devoted to animal 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.

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