Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Review: Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal(ish)
Edition: Hardcover; Library
Page Count: 321
Pub. Date: June 3, 2003

My Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
Amazon.com: 4 stars
Goodreads: 3.63 (Average)

Recommended For: Readers who like a good laugh, Lovers of the bizarre

Let me be frank when I say that I have not read a Christopher Moore novel that I did not like. I first came across Moore about a two years ago when I picked up his book, A Dirty Job. And he's been one of my favorite authors every since. Now moving on...

My Summary:

First the story introduces us to Nate Quinn, action nerd extraordinaire and marine behavioral biologist, who has spent the better half of his life researching the question: "Why do humpback whales sing?" Alongside him is his longtime partner and photographer Clay Demodocus. A man quite in love with the ocean and his boat who knows Quinn better than anyone. Every year while trekking the vast waters off of Maui, research assistants come and go but this year, the boys have hired on Amy: a feisty gal with milky-white skin and black hair who looks so wildly out of place in the Hawaiian setting. And of course, you can't forget Kona. The Rastafarian Hawaiian (by way of New Jersey) who provides endless chatter about Jah, Zion, and the sacred herb.

Together they embark on the ocean waters of Maui, charting, recording, and photographing any large marine mammal to cross their path. Until one peacefully serene day of data gathering, a whale raises its massive fluke to display the message: "BITE ME" in foot-high letters. Stunned and utterly perplexed, Nate makes it his mission to track down that particular whale. But when a roll of film returns from processing missing the crucial shot, Nate Quinn realizes that there is something big, and rather weird going on.

My Thoughts:

About a week ago I decided to take a break from the world of fantasy/adventure novels and settle down with something light and funny. Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings did not disappoint. First of all, I don't even know where to begin to describe this book. Secondly, I'm not sure I can give Fluke a serious review while keeping a straight face. So I won't even try. Seriously, this book is just so completely and totally random, I LOVE IT. There are books that fall into the category of sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, and then just plain weird. I'd say this definitely falls in the latter category - but it's a genius kind of weird.

Christopher Moore does just a fantastic job at creating a bizarrely original tale while keeping it real and true to the world today. And what I loved about the characters was how each person offers their own sense of wit and personality that you can't help but love them. Not to mention, the endless snark definitely contributes to the overall enjoyment of the book. I haven't laughed that hard while reading in a long time. (I may have even snorted once, or twice)

Fair warning: This is an adult read and If you have an aversion to language or use of the word "sphincter", then this just isn't the book for you. But if you're looking to delve into a book so vastly bizarre and full of anecdotes that will have you laughing quite often, then sit down buttercup, because you're in for a real treat. A book filled with mystery, adventure, humor, and the absurd, it's just a fun read from start to finish.

As far as I'm concerned, Christopher Moore can do no wrong. I cannot recommend him enough. But let it be known, his works are on the side of different (unless, for instance, you're already a fan of Palahniuk, then you should be used to different by now). Would I recommend Fluke as a first read for Moore's books? Probably not. But a definite read, nonetheless.


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