Review – The Tourist Trail: a novel by John Yunker

This dares to be different. It is an adventure story and a romance (a couple of romances, actually) wrapped up in a setting that I would risk a small bet you will not have come across before: conservation. That should probably be with a big C. And it’s an indie publication. One of the best I’ve come across.

Inter alia, two different methods of conservation are brought into focus: the rather bleak life of the naturalist who counts, tags and avoids emotional contact with Chinstrap Penguins, and the rather bleak life of the saboteurs who put their own boats between whales and other marine life and the big factory fishing ships. I’ve used ‘rather bleak’ for both cohorts, which is far from fair. And although it might make you think this will lead to a ‘rather bleak’ book, it is far from that. It is immensely thought-provoking – would you drop out of your life and run away to save whales? And the characters who inhabit this unusual novel are so well drawn and so nuanced that you feel yourself swayed first one way then the other, vis a vis the running away/whale Thing, by their emotions, lack thereof, or attempts to keep same under control.

It is all set in the coldest places of the world. Usually a turn-off for me. But the heat generated by the pace of the book, through its good plot and the complex characters inhabiting it more than made up for that.

My only caveat was within the chapter headings named for the character whose point of view we were about to experience. This is usually a good plan (one I’ve used myself), but here a cheat is introduced, in that sometimes one of the points of view is an alias. Not fair!

That apart, one can only hope this book is picked up by a mainstream publisher and given the circulation it deserves.


Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed. BTW - it says the link to Facebook is broken. I dispute that. Click it and see, why not?

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