Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

( 37 )

Overview

Just why do humpback whales sing? That's the question that has marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn and his crew poking, charting, recording, and photographing very big, wet, gray marine mammals. Until the extraordinary day when a whale lifts its tail into the air to display a cryptic message spelled out in foot-high letters: Bite me.

Trouble is, Nate's beginning to wonder if he hasn't spent just a little too much time in the sun. 'Cause no one else on his team saw a thing — ...

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Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

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Overview

Just why do humpback whales sing? That's the question that has marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn and his crew poking, charting, recording, and photographing very big, wet, gray marine mammals. Until the extraordinary day when a whale lifts its tail into the air to display a cryptic message spelled out in foot-high letters: Bite me.

Trouble is, Nate's beginning to wonder if he hasn't spent just a little too much time in the sun. 'Cause no one else on his team saw a thing — not his longtime partner, Clay Demodocus; not their saucy young research assistant; not even the spliff-puffing white-boy Rastaman Kona (né Preston Applebaum). But later, when a roll of film returns from the lab missing the crucial tail shot — and his research facility is trashed — Nate realizes something very fishy indeed is going on.

By turns witty, irreverent, fascinating, puzzling, and surprising, Fluke is Christopher Moore at his outrageous best.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
For all his paranoia-fueled plotting, which escalates to the level of a threat to virtually everything on the planet, Mr. Moore takes his whales seriously. His Author's Notes at the end of the book address conservation issues and suggest ways the reader can help. — Janet Maslin
The Washington Post
Moore is probably the funniest writer of comic fantasy novels working today. — Paul Di Filippo
Publishers Weekly
From Jonah to Pinocchio, men have dreamed of stowing away alive in the bellies of whales. Nate Quinn experiences this doubtful honor in Moore's outrageous new novel (after Lamb). Nate studies whales, operating a small research unit in Lahaina in Maui along with Clay Demodocus, a famous undersea photographer, and two seasonal hires: Amy Earheart, supposedly a grad student from Woods Hole Institute, and Kona, a dreadlocked Hawaiian stoner. When Nate spots a humpback whale with "Bite Me" tattooed on a tail fluke, mysterious disasters start to strike. Then Nate, out with Amy, is swallowed by the tattooed humpback. Technically, this is impossible, nature having created narrow throats for humpback whales, but the tattooed one is a living ship, a simulacrum of a humpback run by a crew of humans and "whaley boys"-human/ whale cross breeds. Nate learns that they were designed by the Goo. (The Goo is a giant, intelligent organism that evolved undersea billions of years ago and has lately been spying on humans with fleets of false whales.) The whale ships dock in Gooville, an underwater city populated by supposedly drowned humans and horny whaley boys on shore leave. The place is run by the "Colonel," Nate's old teacher, "Growl" Ryder. Nate runs into Amy and helps foil the Colonel's mad plan to destroy the Goo. Meanwhile, Clay and Kona plan to come to Nate's rescue. Moore is endlessly inventive in his description of the rubbery, watery world of Goo, and his characters are perfectly calibrated, part credible human beings and part clever caricatures. This cetacean picaresque is no fluke-it is a sure winner. (June) Forecast: Moore's wacky fantasia may not be for everyone, but Morrow is ensuring that it reach the maximum number of readers possible, with a 16-city author tour and a major ad/promo campaign. Cult classic? Could be. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Ever since introducing us to a salt-munching genie a decade ago (Practical Demonkeeping), Moore has been a little offplumb. Here, in the second part of Fluke, he presents an organic, macrobiotic cosmos called "Goo," located some 600 feet below ocean surface off the coast of Chile, populated by "whaley-boys" (don't ask), historical personages and researchers captured when they start to figure out the "meaning" of whale song. In Part 1, we meet some such researchers who meet with one calamity after another until their leader is captured by a "whale-ship" (looks like a whale, acts like a whale, isn't a whale) when he starts to crack code and is taken to "Gootown," where he finds a long-believed-dead former professor changed into the megalomaniac "Colonel" who believes the world headed for a war of Genes (the "Goo") and Memes (the rest of us) and wants his Goo fiefdom destroyed. World-saving (two worlds, really) is in order. Sound complicated? Yes, but this is still one funny sociopolitical-scientific-cultural fable. For most popular collections.-Robert E. Brown, Minoa Lib., NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The culture of cetacean research is cheerfully lampooned in this antic seventh novel from the Tom Robbins/Douglas Adams-like author of Lamb (2002) and other gag-filled romps. The setting is the coast of Maui, where marine biologist Nathan Quinn, his associate Clay Demodocus, and lissome research assistant Amy Earhart are studying the "songs" of humpback whales. The tone is breezy, and the plot quickly fishtails into agreeable absurdity. Rude invective is detected on the thrashing flukes of a frequently sighted specimen. "Old Broad" resident Elizabeth Robinson claims to communicate with whales (one requests a pastrami-on-rye sandwich). "Ersatz Hawaiian" boathand "Kona" is jailed (after Quinn's office is vandalized), and narrowly escapes the amorous attentions of a gigantic Samoan detainee. So it goes. Clay and Amy become disconnected from their boat during a dive and are feared lost. Nathan is "eaten by a giant whale ship," reluctantly bonds with a super-race of piscatorial mutants, meets "the mysterious overlord of an undersea city," and eventually learns-from a radically transformed old acquaintance-what all the singing is really about. Few readers will be surprised to learn that all this is (rather stagily) thematically related to the integrity of the ecosystem and the punishments nature is storing up for humans who have slaughtered whales and otherwise traduced the natural order. Moore is far from at his best when thus veering into sermon mode, but he's a facile, entertaining writer, and has infectious fun hacking away at such targets as Canadian hockey violence, "whale huggers," the US Navy's shortsighted appropriation of oceanic resources for covert tests and experiments, cetaceansexual peccadilloes, supertankers, and a whole lot more. Smooth as a pi-a colada, and just about as substantial. Still: let Moore be Moore, and he will show you a good time. Agent: Nicholas Ellison/Nicholas Ellison Agency. Author tour
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060566685
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/15/2004
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 217,484
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore is the author of thirteen previous novels, including Lamb, The Stupidest Angel, Fool, Sacré Bleu, and A Dirty Job. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Biography

A 100-year-old ex-seminarian and a demon set off together on a psychotic road trip...

Christ's wisecracking childhood pal is brought back from the dead to chronicle the Messiah's "missing years"...

A mild-mannered thrift shop owner takes a job harvesting souls for the Grim Reaper...

Whence come these wonderfully weird scenarios? From the fertile imagination of Christopher Moore, a cheerfully demented writer whose absurdist fiction has earned him comparisons to master satirists like Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams.

Ever since his ingenious debut, 1992's Practical Demonkeeping, Moore has attracted an avid cult following. But, over the years, as his stories have become more multi-dimensional and his characters more morally complex, his fan base has expanded to include legions of enthusiastic general readers and appreciative critics.

Asked where his colorful characters come from, Moore points to his checkered job resume. Before becoming a writer, he worked at various times as a grocery clerk, an insurance broker, a waiter, a roofer, a photographer, and a DJ -- experiences he has mined for a veritable rogue's gallery of unforgettable fictional creations. Moreover, to the delight of hardcore fans, characters from one novel often resurface in another. For example, the lovesick teen vampires introduced in 1995's Bloodsucking Fiends are revived (literally) for the 2007 sequel You Suck -- which also incorporates plot points from 2006's A Dirty Job.

For a writer of satirical fantasy, Moore is a surprisingly scrupulous researcher. In pursuit of realistic details to ground his fiction, he has been known to immerse himself in marine biology, death rituals, Biblical scholarship, and Goth culture. He has been dubbed "the thinking man's Dave Barry" by none other than The Onion, a publication with a particular appreciation of smart humor.

As for story ideas, Moore elaborates on his website: "Usually [they come] from something I read. It could be a single sentence in a magazine article that kicks off a whole book. Ideas are cheap and easy. Telling a good story once you get an idea is hard." Perhaps. But, to judge from his continued presence on the bestseller lists, Chris Moore appears to have mastered the art.

Good To Know

In researching his wild tales, Moore has done everything from taking excursions to the South Pacific to diving with whales. So what is left for the author to tackle? He says he'd like to try riding an elephant.

One of the most memorably weird moments in Moore's body of work is no fictional invention. The scene in Bloodsucking Fiendswhere the late-night crew of a grocery store bowls with frozen turkeys is based on Moore's own experiences bowling with frozen turkeys while working the late shift at a grocery store.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hawaii and San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 5, 1958
    2. Place of Birth:
      Toledo, Ohio

Read an Excerpt

Fluke


By Christopher Moore

HarperLargePrint

Copyright © 2007 Christopher Moore
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061252976

Chapter One

Big and Wet.
Next Question?

Amy called the whale punkin.

He was fifty feet long, wider than a city bus, and weighed eighty thousand pounds. One well-placed slap of his great tail would reduce the boat to fiberglass splinters and its occupants to red stains drifting in the blue Hawaiian waters. Amy leaned over the side of the boat and lowered the hydrophone down on the whale. "Good morning, punkin," she said.

Nathan Quinn shook his head and tried not to upchuck from the cuteness of it, of her, while surreptitiously sneaking a look at her bottom and feeling a little sleazy about it. Science can be complex. Nate was a scientist. Amy was a scientist, too, but she looked fantastic in a pair of khaki hiking shorts, scientifically speaking.

Below, the whale sang on, the boat vibrated with each note. The stainless rail at the bow began to buzz. Nate could feel the deeper notes resonate in his rib cage. The whale was into a section of the song they called the "green" themes, a long series of whoops that sounded like an ambulance driving through pudding. A less trained listener might have thought that the whale was rejoicing, celebrating, shouting howdy to the world to let everyone and everything know that he was alive and feeling good, butNate was a trained listener, perhaps the most trained listener in the world, and to his expert ears the whale was saying -- Well, he had no idea what in the hell the whale was saying, did he? That's why they were out there floating in that sapphire channel off Maui in a small speedboat, sloshing their breakfasts around at seven in the morning: No one knew why the humpbacks sang. Nate had been listening to them, observing them, photographing them, and poking them with sticks for twenty-five years, and he still had no idea why, exactly, they sang.

"He's into his ribbits," Amy said, identifying a section of the whale's song that usually came right before the animal was about to surface. The scientific term for this noise was "ribbits" because that's what they sounded like. Science can be simple.

Nate peeked over the side and looked at the whale that was suspended head down in the water about fifty feet below them. His flukes and pectoral fins were white and described a crystal-blue chevron in the deep blue water. So still was the great beast that he might have been floating in space, the last beacon of some long-dead space-traveling race -- except that he was making croaky noises that would have sounded more appropriate coming out of a two-inch tree frog than the archaic remnant of a superrace. Nate smiled. He liked ribbits. The whale flicked his tail once and shot out of Nate's field of vision.

"He's coming up," Nate said.

Amy tore off her headphones and picked up the motorized Nikon with the three-hundred-millimeter lens. Nate quickly pulled up the hydrophone, allowing the wet cord to spool into a coil at his feet, then turned to the console and started the engine.

Then they waited.

There was a blast of air from behind them and they both spun around to see the column of water vapor hanging in the air, but it was far, perhaps three hundred meters behind them -- too far away to be their whale. That was the problem with the channel between Maui and Lanai where they worked: There were so many whales that you often had a hard time distinguishing the one you were studying from the hundreds of others. The abundance of animals was a both a blessing and a curse.

"That our guy?" Amy asked. All the singers were guys. As far as they knew anyway. The DNA tests had proven that.

"Nope."

There was another blow to their left, this one much closer. Nate could see the white flukes or blades of his tail under the water, even from a hundred meters away. Amy hit the stop button on her watch. Nate pushed the throttle forward and they were off. Amy braced a knee against the console to steady herself, keeping the camera pointed toward the whale as the boat bounced along. He would blow three, maybe four times, then fluke and dive. Amy had to be ready when the whale dove to get a clear shot of his flukes so he could be identified and cataloged. When they were within thirty yards of the whale, Nate backed the throttle down and held them in position. The whale blew again, and they were close enough to catch some of the mist. There was none of the dead fish and massive morning-mouth smell that they would have encountered in Alaska. Humpbacks didn't feed while they were in Hawaii.

The whale fluked and Amy fired off two quick frames with the Nikon.

"Good boy," Amy said to the whale. She hit the lap timer button on her watch.

Nate cut the engine and the speedboat settled into the gentle swell. He threw the hydrophone overboard, then hit the record button on the recorder that was bungee-corded to the console. Amy set the camera on the seat in front of the console, then snatched their notebook out of a waterproof pouch.

"He's right on sixteen minutes," Amy said, checking the time and recording it in the notebook. She wrote the time and the frame numbers of the film she had just shot. Nate read her the footage number off the recorder, then the longitude and latitude from the portable GPS (global positioning system) device. She put down the notebook, and they listened. They weren't right on top of the whale as they had been before, but they could hear him singing through the recorder's speaker. Nate put on the headphones and sat back to listen.

That's how field research was. Moments of frantic activity followed by long periods of waiting ...



Continues...

Excerpted from Fluke by Christopher Moore Copyright © 2007 by Christopher Moore. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Song 1
Part 2 Jonah's People 117
Part 3 The Source 203
Author's Notes 313
Acknowledgments 319
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Fluke
Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Chapter One

Big and Wet.
Next Question?

Amy called the whale punkin.

He was fifty feet long, wider than a city bus, and weighed eighty thousand pounds. One well-placed slap of his great tail would reduce the boat to fiberglass splinters and its occupants to red stains drifting in the blue Hawaiian waters. Amy leaned over the side of the boat and lowered the hydrophone down on the whale. "Good morning, punkin," she said.

Nathan Quinn shook his head and tried not to upchuck from the cuteness of it, of her, while surreptitiously sneaking a look at her bottom and feeling a little sleazy about it. Science can be complex. Nate was a scientist. Amy was a scientist, too, but she looked fantastic in a pair of khaki hiking shorts, scientifically speaking.

Below, the whale sang on, the boat vibrated with each note. The stainless rail at the bow began to buzz. Nate could feel the deeper notes resonate in his rib cage. The whale was into a section of the song they called the "green" themes, a long series of whoops that sounded like an ambulance driving through pudding. A less trained listener might have thought that the whale was rejoicing, celebrating, shouting howdy to the world to let everyone and everything know that he was alive and feeling good, but Nate was a trained listener, perhaps the most trained listener in the world, and to his expert ears the whale was saying -- Well, he had no idea what in the hell the whale was saying, did he? That's why they were out there floating in that sapphire channel off Maui in a small speedboat, sloshing their breakfasts around at seven in the morning: No one knew why the humpbacks sang. Nate had been listening to them, observing them, photographing them, and poking them with sticks for twenty-five years, and he still had no idea why, exactly, they sang.

"He's into his ribbits," Amy said, identifying a section of the whale's song that usually came right before the animal was about to surface. The scientific term for this noise was "ribbits" because that's what they sounded like. Science can be simple.

Nate peeked over the side and looked at the whale that was suspended head down in the water about fifty feet below them. His flukes and pectoral fins were white and described a crystal-blue chevron in the deep blue water. So still was the great beast that he might have been floating in space, the last beacon of some long-dead space-traveling race -- except that he was making croaky noises that would have sounded more appropriate coming out of a two-inch tree frog than the archaic remnant of a superrace. Nate smiled. He liked ribbits. The whale flicked his tail once and shot out of Nate's field of vision.

"He's coming up," Nate said.

Amy tore off her headphones and picked up the motorized Nikon with the three-hundred-millimeter lens. Nate quickly pulled up the hydrophone, allowing the wet cord to spool into a coil at his feet, then turned to the console and started the engine.

Then they waited.

There was a blast of air from behind them and they both spun around to see the column of water vapor hanging in the air, but it was far, perhaps three hundred meters behind them -- too far away to be their whale. That was the problem with the channel between Maui and Lanai where they worked: There were so many whales that you often had a hard time distinguishing the one you were studying from the hundreds of others. The abundance of animals was a both a blessing and a curse.

"That our guy?" Amy asked. All the singers were guys. As far as they knew anyway. The DNA tests had proven that.

"Nope."

There was another blow to their left, this one much closer. Nate could see the white flukes or blades of his tail under the water, even from a hundred meters away. Amy hit the stop button on her watch. Nate pushed the throttle forward and they were off. Amy braced a knee against the console to steady herself, keeping the camera pointed toward the whale as the boat bounced along. He would blow three, maybe four times, then fluke and dive. Amy had to be ready when the whale dove to get a clear shot of his flukes so he could be identified and cataloged. When they were within thirty yards of the whale, Nate backed the throttle down and held them in position. The whale blew again, and they were close enough to catch some of the mist. There was none of the dead fish and massive morning-mouth smell that they would have encountered in Alaska. Humpbacks didn't feed while they were in Hawaii.

The whale fluked and Amy fired off two quick frames with the Nikon.

"Good boy," Amy said to the whale. She hit the lap timer button on her watch.

Nate cut the engine and the speedboat settled into the gentle swell. He threw the hydrophone overboard, then hit the record button on the recorder that was bungee-corded to the console. Amy set the camera on the seat in front of the console, then snatched their notebook out of a waterproof pouch.

"He's right on sixteen minutes," Amy said, checking the time and recording it in the notebook. She wrote the time and the frame numbers of the film she had just shot. Nate read her the footage number off the recorder, then the longitude and latitude from the portable GPS (global positioning system) device. She put down the notebook, and they listened. They weren't right on top of the whale as they had been before, but they could hear him singing through the recorder's speaker. Nate put on the headphones and sat back to listen.

That's how field research was. Moments of frantic activity followed by long periods of waiting ...

Fluke
Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings
. Copyright © by Christopher Moore. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Biologist Nate Quinn is obsessed with one question: Why do humpback whales sing? All his research in the waters off Maui revolves around his quest to find the answer. He's got help: His loyal partner, photographer Clay Demodocus; his attractive new research assistant, Amy Earhart; Kona, a wanna-be Rastafarian with a knack for intuitive leaps of scientific thinking (even while stoned); a dotty old benefactress; and a ragtag cast of deep-sea divers, fellow scientists, an ex-wife and her girlfriend.

Everything's going swimmingly for Quinn until he spots the strangest thing. Is he losing it, or did he see the words "Bite Me" on a whale's tail? He snaps a picture, but when the film comes back the crucial frame is missing. Quinn gets even more confused when his benefactress, Elizabeth, tells him she got a phone call from a whale, who'd like a hot pastrami and Swiss on rye. Huh?

One afternoon, while trying again to get the "Bite Me" on film, Quinn is swallowed by the "Bite Me" whale, which isn't really a whale at all, but a whale-like ship piloted by humanoid whale-creature (whaley boys) and occupied by thousands of other humans.

While his friends mourn his death, Quinn is spirited from one whale ship to another, and finally to "Gooville," where much is revealed to Quinn. Inextricably imbedded in the science he's so doggedly pursued his whole career, Quinn finds magic. Eventually, he returns to life on top of the sea, instead of beneath it, but nothing ever looks quite the same again.

Topics for Discussion

  1. Is the thrill of discovery what motivates scientists to stick to their work, day after day?

  2. Sexuality is a prominenttheme in the book. Did you find the sexuality of the whaley boys offensive? Funny? Do you think it's a commentary on traditional human sexual mores?

  3. The author has a very distinct writing style, especially when it comes to dialogue and his characters' tendency for flip banter, even in the midst of serious conversations and situations. Do you find this treatment distracting, or humorous?

  4. Did this book make you think? What are some of the questions it raised for you?

  5. Did this book make you laugh? Is the author's unique sense of humor one that you can appreciate? Do you like Moore's writing style?

  6. Do you think Moore is delivering an effective message about conservation? Has this book inspired you to change your actions? Or was a concern for the environment one of the things that drew you to the book in the first place?

  7. What do you know about male-female roles in other animal populations? Are human gender roles in line with those of our fellow creatures? And are societal changes in the last several decades something we can attribute to evolution?

About the author

Christopher Moore is the author of Fluke, Lamb, Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 99 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Let Down!

    I love Christopher Moore. He is definitely in my top five. However, this book was not very good. The characters were very underdeveloped and he humor wasn't even that funny. It was kind of sad. Everything else by him is like an A+, but Fluke is probably like a D.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2011

    LOVE IT !!!!!!! ( so far....) POSTED BY: A

    Hi, this is my first book that I wrote a review on. I am only 6% in to the book and so far it is great! I am almost done with all of the Christopher Moore books and will write a review on all of them. I will also be writing the dates for each and every one of them. My signature is A. I will keep you posted on this one and more.

    2 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 5, 2010

    GREAT read for a vacation in Hawaii!

    I loved this incredibly imaginative and very funny book when it first came out, and bought it again (Nook version this time) to read on vacation in Hawaii, where Fluke and the whaley boys lurked (In fact, I'm on Kauai, where Christopher Moore once lived.)

    Just as happened on the first read, I started to dread finishing the book by the time I was halfway through, and am just as sad now that it's done--I really miss Kona and the entire wacky team! What incredible yarns Moore weaves, with even some actual education on the side! Now re-reading Island of the Sequined Love Nun.... long live Christopher Moore!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty good, but not his best.

    I'm a huge fan of Moore's books, and they're very good especially with the laugh factor. But [Fluke] was a little "out there" for me, and keep in mind that I liked the demon hounds from [A Dirty Job] and whatever vampire nonsense he could throw at me from [You Suck]. But some parts of this book just hit me out of nowhere- think of a quiet suburban town that SUDDENLY GETS ATTACKED BY A GIANT RUBBER DUCKY.

    Yes, it's that kind of hits-you-out-of-nowhere action. (Not that a giant rubber ducky really appears in [Fluke] though) But you get the point.

    Overall, [Fluke] is very good with tidbits to make the characters likable and interesting. And the ride of the book is a fun and unexpected one. And you still get those laughs. That's important.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2008

    Cracking up

    I wasn't prepared for what I undertook. The switch half way through the story caught me off guard, but once I accepted it (kind of like accepting your dead) it flowed and continued to be damn entertaining. Ah, Kona. I love Kona. I live in Hawaii and Kona thus holds a very special place this snowy biscuit's heart. Ire.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 25, 2014

    This was such a great read. Bill Irwin was the perfect voice fo

    This was such a great read. Bill Irwin was the perfect voice for these characters. Dead-pan delivery with a hint of surfer and even a goofy pseudo Rastafarian. I loved every one of these guys and even read the book after listening to it because I missed the characters. Super funny, interesting details on whaling (both factual and fictional) and an overall joy. I'm looking for a whale watching trip now. I love Christopher Moore. Fluke definitely gets a 10.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2012

    Hilarious

    If you are a fan of Christopher Moore books this is a must have. Very, very funny.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 27, 2012

    Hilareous!

    This is a laugh out loud book. It takes off into an incredible fantasy, but the reader just comes along because it is such fun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Funny but subpar work from Moore.

    Christopher Moore is without a doubt my favorite author. After reading Bloodsucking Fiends I have done everything in my power to read all his other novels. I have now almost read them all and loved them until Fluke. While the typical Moore humor is in place this story is maybe too weird for me to get into. The quirky characters that are always present in his work are still in here but not as memorable as other books. Overall, the story is funny but not enough for me to enjoy, sadly.

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  • Posted April 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Humor.

    Offbeat, quirky. Gets the gray cells humming. This guy is either a screaming genius or a very talented psychopath. LOL

    I have all of the Christopher Moore books and will only borrow them to select friends. Must have them back. Discover more fascinating things with each reread.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Worth Reading

    A crazy read!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2010

    On of My Favorite Christopher Moore Novels

    Yes, it's other worldly and fantastic! The characters are outrageous and memorable and just might give another reason to save the whales.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    strange, but interesting

    I liked this book and read it for a book club. I had high expectations because I loved Christopher Moore's Gospel According to Biff. This wasn't as good, but enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2009

    Book to Nowhere-Poor Whales

    Had to buy for Book Club; dull and boring;prefer non fiction or good fiction; will donate my copy to Salvation Army

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    eh

    I thought this book was going to be really good. Many people have recommended it to me. However, I wasn't a big fan of it. I thought it was completely bizarre, and to me it seemed to drag on. I could not wait to put it down. Although i will not forget the story line, it seemed to put a big impression in my brain.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 27, 2008

    Great Read

    I really enjoyed this. In typical Moore fashion, humor and charmingly eccentric characters, I fell in love. I also learned more about whales than I ever wanted to know. He kept me guessing where the story was going and just when I thought I had it figured out, he threw a twist in. What a fun ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2006

    the glory of singing whales??

    Marine biology can be a strenuous, yet fun job. But to Nate and his crew, they only have one question to answer, just why do the male humpback whales sing? Everyone seems to think it¿s for mating, but the crew knows different. Off the beaches of Hawaii, Nate, Amy, Clay, and the fake Hawaiian kid, Kona (Preston Applebaum) gather information about the wonderous male humpback singers. Was Nate going crazy one day when he saw the words: Bite me tattooed on the tail? Not one of his crew members seemed to notice the weird message posted on the flukes. The picture of the fluke and the message goes missing. Nate knows he saw something, but he can¿t tell any of his crew. ¿Nate just spends too much time in the sun,¿ they would probably say. But, after all the crew¿s research and equipment gets messed up, Nate starts to think something is going on. Why would someone take boring research on humpback whales? Christopher Moore is an amazing author and his book about humpback whales made me giggle and gasp for air at the same time. With a dozen books written, Mr. Moore has not forgotten just how a good story goes.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2004

    From Fiction to Fantasy

    While I truly enjoyed reading the first half of Fluke, I was struck by the switch from reality-based fiction to sci-fi/fantasy. I'm not oppossed to fantasy, but Moore never prepared you for the switch he was about to make. I found myself thinking for the whole second half of the book, 'Are you serious?' Moore never made the world believable to me and his characters lost depth as he wandered off the sci-fi edge.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2004

    Very Enjoyable Absurdity

    It should just be another day in paradise for Nate, action nerd biologist - researching whale song in Hawaii with his cute, smart-mouthed assistant Amy. But he starts to doubt his sanity when he sees words written on the tail of a whale, and returns to shore only to find that their office has been trashed and their research destroyed. He and his partner Clay, an underwater photographer with strong feelings on loyalty, are baffled ¿ who in the world cares that much about their whale research? Competing researchers with shady morals? Mysterious naval officers engaged in dubious projects? As the strange occurrences and disasters mount everyone pitches in to solve the mystery, including their newest assistant, Kona (a.k.a. Preston Applebaum), a dreadlocked stoner kid with surprising insights and Clay¿s girlfriend Clair, keeper of the booty and the wooden spoon of doom. In the end, the search for the secret of the whale song will lead to unimaginable locations and surprising revelations. Fluke is light, funny and fast-paced ¿ perfect for a day at the beach. The absurdity level rises rapidly and the action escalates into a potential end-of-the-world scenario before plummeting back to just mildly warped reality. The plot is a little weak towards the end, but the memorable characters, sharp dialogue, and all-around zaniness definitely make up for it. Moore doesn¿t go completely overboard with the 'save the whales' message, but he does include some serious whale info in an appendix. The humor is very similar in tone to Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett with more of a scatological bent. This book caused a quite a few giggle-out-loud moments for me as well as a lot of quietly amused moments. While Fluke is my first Christopher Moore book, it will definitely not be my last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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