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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

4.1 (747 )
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4.1 (350 )
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  •  
    Jason Sarasota, FL, USA 05-31-10
    Jason Sarasota, FL, USA 05-31-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Narrator should suffer Ahab's fate"

    As in he should be caught around the neck by a loop in a harpoon's rope and then be dragged into the cold oblivion of the sea.

    This would really be, I think, fair and just considering how badly he damaged Moore's work. The reading is monotone, unenthusiastic and impenetrable.

    By impenetrable I mean trying to listen to so-called narrator Bill Irwin is akin to trying to chew your way through the Great Wall of China. Painful, pointless and by the time you have barely started all you have to show for your effort is a mouthful of broken bloody teeth.

    In case I have not been clear so far, the narrator utterly ruins this audio book.

    Fellow listeners I have tried no fewer than 6 times to complete this book. I did myself this harm because all of Moore's other works were fantastically enjoyable listens.

    To this point in time I am still unable to make it very far.

    Such a shame....

    Audible if you release another audio edition of this with a different narrator I'll buy it again.

    Moore fans and those just passing by should stay well away from this and pick another Moore story. The rest are all quite enjoyable and have narrations which can be enjoyed by people other than the deaf.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gurmukh 03-03-08
    Gurmukh 03-03-08 Member Since 2013
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    "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
  •  
    KKB 04-10-15
    KKB 04-10-15
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    "Love Christopher Moore"

    I love the quirky comedy of Christopher Moore. This story is off the wall and written well with very likable characters. I read a lot of murder mystery so I like the 'break' of Christopher Moore. You'll enjoy this one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Canada 05-22-13
    Ron Canada 05-22-13
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    "A fluking good read!"

    What starts out rather seriously, whale researchers in Hawaii, quickly becomes an amazing tale that really keeps you wondering what the heck is going on! I loved the characters, the reading style, the story line and the crazy ideas. When it was all over, I kind of think to myself, hmmm, what about those whales, maybe there is more to them than we know. The whaley boys are hilarious, the ship is imaginable and there's even a love story or two.
    What a wonderful, fun, goofy book!
    Christopher Moore is the best!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 01-30-13
    Joanna Chicago, IL, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2011

    Traveler. Artist. Dreamer.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Snowy biscuit, whaley boys, and goo... Oh my!"

    This is one of Christopher Moore's best books (as far as plot goes - similar to Dirty Job). There are plenty of twists and turns. It really kept me guessing! The characters are awesome, as always. Kona's pigeon speak is hilarious! I do agree that Bill Irwin was a little monotone in the beginning, but it gets better as the story progresses.

    This might help your experience:
    1. Do not listen to this right after listening to chronicles of Abby Normal. Susan Bennett did such a wonderful job and she is a tough act to follow.
    2. Try listening to a non-fiction book with a lot of facts first. Then this might suck you in right from the beginning.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elein Oakland, CA, United States 12-24-12
    Elein Oakland, CA, United States 12-24-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Love Christopher Moore"

    In preparation for tackling Moby Dick, I though this would be a nice whale tale. It was. The plot twists and turns. Christopher Moore's stories are alway interesting and funny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Portland, OR, United States 09-05-12
    Brian Portland, OR, United States 09-05-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Subtle but very pleasent story."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book and anything by Christopher Moore. It's well worth your time and credit.


    What other book might you compare Fluke to and why?

    With obvious similarities in plot, tone and humor it reminds me of "Sweet Thursday" by John Steinbeck. A book I would highly recommend and among my personal favorites.


    What about Bill Irwin’s performance did you like?

    Bill Irwin narrates with an odd meter and quiet intonation that makes for convincing characters and a raised emphasis of the story.


    If you could rename Fluke, what would you call it?

    Moby Dick II. . . no! wait! that's a silly question.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Damien Hoffman-Olcott cortland, NY, US 06-23-12
    Damien Hoffman-Olcott cortland, NY, US 06-23-12 Member Since 2011
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    "love the direction it took"
    If you could sum up Fluke in three words, what would they be?

    Hopeful. Excited. Prayful


    What did you like best about this story?

    Gooville and everything related


    What about Bill Irwin’s performance did you like?

    Mostly good, kept the characters seperate and distinct. Was an annoyingly sharp sssss sound with certain words while listening to headphones


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutley


    Any additional comments?

    Thought it sounded like a boring theme but thought hey, Christopher Moore's never let me down and low and behold it was a great great story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lysa Garcia 06-12-12
    Lysa Garcia 06-12-12 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where does he get his ideas?"
    Would you listen to Fluke again? Why?

    Yes, it's engaging and hilarious


    What did you like best about this story?

    The comedy surprises


    What about Bill Irwin’s performance did you like?

    Very well read and performed


    If you could rename Fluke, what would you call it?

    There's a whale in my martini


    Any additional comments?

    Christopher Moore surprises at every turn!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Jacksonville, FL, United States 01-23-12
    Richard Jacksonville, FL, United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Moore Doesn't Disappoint"

    As a steadfast Christopher Moore fan, I had been running out of material to read that appealed to me. Fool, Lamb, the Vampire episodes, all were outstanding; a story about a whale researcher? Really? But I was "between" other stuff, so I gave it a shot. What a hoot it is! Well written, parts that are laugh-out-loud funny, and much dry wit regarding the human (and cetacean) condition. A very pleasant surprise. I loved it, and if you like Moore, you will too.

    (Loved the Kona character--Yah man, as Ja say, whales be our brudders, ya know. Great stuff.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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