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Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings | [Christopher Moore]

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 (aka 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.

©2003 Christopher Moore; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"This amusing pastiche cobbles together elements from all the classic sea yarns: from Jonah and the Whale to Moby Dick to 20,000 Leagues under the Sea." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (700 )
5 star
 (273)
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 (248)
3 star
 (137)
2 star
 (22)
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 (20)
Overall
4.2 (305 )
5 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (304 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (15)
Performance
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  •  
    Amy Cadiz, KY, United States 12-20-12
    Amy Cadiz, KY, United States 12-20-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
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    54
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    "Great author, good story, lousy narrator."
    Would you try another book from Christopher Moore and/or Bill Irwin?

    Christopher Moore - YES
    Bill Irwin - NO!


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    It was all quite interesting.


    What didn’t you like about Bill Irwin’s performance?

    He was very flat and lacking in inflection. Narration was nearly painful. I only finished the story because I spent a credit on it. Irwin should be banned from Audible.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was mostly irritated due to the poor narration.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    january huntersville, NC, United States 11-04-12
    january huntersville, NC, United States 11-04-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    410
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    "At first, meh. Then, BAM!!!!"

    I Love Christopher Moore and I'm trying to catch up on a few of his books that I missed. So far I haven't been disappointed. But when I started listening to this book I thought, "You've got to be kidding me!" The narrator made me feel like I was about to fall asleep. Not the best thing to do while you're driving to and from work. He made this funny book so very dull. But then, either he got a memo telling him to liven it up, or he felt the momentum of the story. About half way through he started to sound awake, if not lively. On top of that, Mr. Moore threw a little curve ball. I was sitting there wondering, "What's the point already?" when I heard the word meme. I know what you're thinking. Those stupid cartoon faces all over the internet. That what I thought too until a few months ago when I heard a story about Meme-ology on NPR. Fascinating stuff. I would encourage everyone to go look it up. Anyway, for me it turned a dull book into a great book with just one word. The ending is pretty amazing too. But I'll stop here before I give anything away. If you love CM then you should stick with this book through the dull bits. If this is your first CM book, maybe skip it for now and listen to Fool or Sacre Bleu first.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tanglewood1370 02-28-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    "Great story, disappointing Narrator!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The Narrator! I'm sure Bill Irwin would do a good job with something that was much more serious, but please....Christopher Moore books are meant to make you laugh out loud and I didn't do that once. His voice is somber and atonal and even when he was delivering lines that should have cracked me up, they fell flat.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love whales, so anything to do with them interests me. And of course Kona...I love that Christopher Moore's characters show up from book to book. It links all of them together.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bill Irwin?

    Either Oliver Wyman or Fisher Stevens would have done a much better job of this story.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Absolutely! I think any of Christopher Moores books would make a great movie.


    Any additional comments?

    My daughter read this book and loved it, so I was looking forward to listening to it so much. I'm sorry to say I was very disappointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kellee las vegas, NV, United States 06-13-11
    kellee las vegas, NV, United States 06-13-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book! Bad narrating :-("

    During the very first chapter of the book, maybe even the 1st paragraph, the narrater flubs up a line and it grated on me for at least 15 chapters after that. I found a hard copy of the book just to see if maybe Christoper Moore was being genius and I was too dense to figure it out and he really meant to write it the way Fisher Stevens narrated it. Nope! It was a mess up. Once I got past that it was a great book! Defeinitely not my favorite narrating, but worth the listen just the same. By the end of the book I totally forgot I about the 1st chapter screw up. :-) I will pay attention to avoid this narrater in the future though. Sorry guy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liv2Write 07-13-09
    Liv2Write 07-13-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
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    "No Love for Irwin"

    I bought this book because I thoroughly enjoyed "Fool" by this same author, but the horrible, awful, emotionless reading by Bill Irwin killed it for me. Parts that should have been funny could not even warrant a chuckle because of the disservice Irwin does to this book. I will never buy anything he reads again. I will give Moore's work a second chance, never Irwin. It's a let down for the author and especially the listeners.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Danville, VA, USA 11-19-08
    Emily Danville, VA, USA 11-19-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    2
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    "Great book, really bad narration!"

    Yeah, as stated by others, the narrator is really bad; by far the worst I've heard reading one of Moore's books. The voices are decent, but this guy seems the easily confused type. Still, it's not fatal, and the text makes up for the narration. A worthy listen!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SK 06-29-08
    SK 06-29-08 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "awful narration"

    I really enjoyed other books by the same author, but I just couldn't get over the horrible narration of this one. The narrator seemed bored by the whole book and always spoke in monotone, except when he's completely mangling hawaiian words. The story itself is just ok.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 04-30-09
    William Winston Salem, NC, United States 04-30-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gave up"

    Bill Irwin is a very funny guy, but not a good choice as a reader. I gave up on this book after about two hours.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Webber denver, colorado 03-02-08
    A. Webber denver, colorado 03-02-08 Member Since 2014

    love cherries

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
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    8
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    "Painful Narration"

    I have to agree with the previous review, the narration is awful. This book deserves and upbeat, sharp fast narration, not this slow dull rendition. I've several times thought the narrator did not read the book first as many lines have rather stilted or awkward delivery.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gurmukh 03-03-08
    Gurmukh 03-03-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Passable Read"

    I wouldn't say this is one of Moore's best books. It didn't grab my funny bone and leave me smiling in the same way that "Dirty Job" or "Lamb" did.

    Christopher Moore is really good at creating interesting, memorable characters. I wish he'd put his usual amount of effort into that aspect for this book.

    Kona, the fake Hawaiian/Jamaican Surfer Dude is up to standards for sure. But most of the rest of the characters have nary an interesting personality quirk between them.

    The "Old Broad" is also an interesting character, but she's hardly even in the story. A few other ancillary characters show some promise as well. But as far as the main characters go, they're not much to speak of.

    The general ideas expressed in the book are amusing. For example, the notion that all Killer Whales are named Kevin, and biological technology that involves a lot of sphincter usage.

    In general, though, I felt that this book just didn't live up to Christopher Moore's other works. It just didn't have the same humour and soul that I've enjoyed from his other books.

    But the plot was interesting enough, as were the ideas and settings. So I can't say that I regret buying this book.

    The narrator did a passable job. He's okay at voices and his rhythm is good. He'd be better if he could narrate in less of a monotone.

    I understand there's a version of this story narrated by Fisher Stevens. I really like some of Stevens' voices - but his rhythm is terrible, and he often assigns the exact same voice to different characters making it hard to differentiate between them when they're having a conversation.

    I personally appreciated having a different narrator for this book. I'll admit though, it's hard to find the perfect narrator. It's a very difficult skill.

    All in all, I'd recommend buying this book. Even though I'm more lukewarm about it than Moore's other books, I still believe that it's a worthwhile read.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
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