Sunday, August 10, 2014

Comeback Tour by Jack Yeovil aka Kim Newman

It's rare that I do a negative review. I think there are two total on my site after years of posting. But sometimes I have to break that little rule in order to warn folks like myself. Today's write-up is about Comeback Tour by Jack Yeovil; the pin name for author Kim Newman. Comeback Tour is a book in the Dark Future series, which is based on the Dark Future roleplaying game.

What led me to this series was how quirky it sounded. Not only was it Lovecraft based, but also had a book staring Elvis Presley as a main character. Being a big fan of Elvis, and an even bigger fan of fictional Elvises(ala Bubba Hotep), I was really excited when I found out about this book. Elvis as a hero in a post-apoc style world? Sign me up. After a little research I found that Comeback Tour is the third or fourth book(depending how you look at it) in the series. So I decided it would be worth it to read the other Jack Yeovil(Kim Newman) Dark Future books to get to it. I won't talk too much about them, but a little should be said in order to get to Comeback Tour. 

Route 666 - the first in the series. A really tough book to get through. It takes 90 pages before any of the main characters are even introduced. Very slow start. Also, I think Newman was playing a game of "How many made-up words can I throw in per sentence and give no explanation for?" I kept hearing what a great author Newman was, but he certainly didn't show it here. He seems to be a decent story teller, but a terrible writer. It was a tough read, but I enjoyed the last few chapters enough to push forward. 

Krokodil Tears - More of the same, but a little blander. 

Demon Download - Having neither the main character from Route 666 or Krokodil Tears nor Elvis, I skipped this one. 

Comeback Tour - the fourth book in the series. This book is essentially just one big cut to the South, written by an ignorant author who has probably never even set foot there. Newman more than implies that Southerners are barely out of the civil war in their thinking, and if things went wrong in the world, it would return right back to it. With the exception of Elvis, every white male is fat, ignorant, racist, and a walking Hollywood stereotype. It feels like Newman watched an episode or two of Dukes of Hazzard and decided that Boss Hog is how all Southern males are. The black people in the book, though good in every case and superior to the white people, are still portrayed as ignorant, poor, and easily trapped back into slavery. Newman's use of slang and so called Southern Speech is ridiculous, plantation speak. Even Elvis, who is supposed to be the hero, calls people "queers" and is portrayed as not very bright.

I know this is supposed to be a bad world, but the author's prejudices shine through. You'd think he would have wanted to try a creative approach to things. Not villains who call themselves the Good Ole Boys and look like Colonial Sanders. Just bad writing and a lack of creativity. So if you are Southern, an Elvis fan, or just someone that likes well written weird fiction, avoid this rubbish. 


  1. Hi Rob- Welcome back to blogging.

    This sounds like a real interesting concept, too bad about the ignorant views and stereotyping. I really enjoy Kim Newman's film writing and his commentary/interviews on DVD's, but I didn't know he wrote fiction (and I will be avoiding it).

    1. Thanks. Let's see how long it lasts this time! ha.

      I only knew Newman as a fiction writer; for the alt. take on Dracula he is famous for. But after reading Comeback Tour, it soured me on wanting to read anything else of his.