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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Jill
  • Livonia, MI, United States
  • 07-16-09

Entertaining story, as usual!

Christopher Moore writes another great story peppered with humor, sarcasm and entertainment. I love how he forces you to accept some very weird ideas without hesitation. Unfortunately, this story reader, Bill Irwin, was completely wrong for this type of book. He didn't know how to convey the sarcasm and humor properly and the lightness that we love from Mr. Moore was lost. Mr. Irwin's monotonous voice for the first few chapters of the book almost kept me from continuing on. He got slightly better as the story progressed, or, perhaps, I just got used to his painfully monotonous style of narrating. I would highly recommend this book to read, but not to listen to.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 02-18-08

Best way to ruin a good book.

Okay, I want to make it clear that this book is one of Moore’s best. I LOVED IT. However, and it’s a big however, I didn’t love the narrator. OMG! (As Abby Normal would say). Bill Irwin (Please forgive me Bill) is as dry and unexciting as, well, the most dry and unexciting thing you can think of.
Irwin just kills this book. I thought I saw Fisher Stevens attached to this audio book on Amazon. What happened? My advice is to get this book on disc at Amazon with Fisher Stevens. What a shame.

52 of 57 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lloyd
  • Ithaca, NY, USA
  • 03-12-08

A guilty pleasure

Sorry, I have to admit it. I'm a huge Christopher Moore fan. Admittedly, this author is not for everyone; you have to totally suspend belief in order to keep going when his stories start departing from reality, and just go along for the ride. "Fluke" is no exception: try explaining the plot to another person, and you'll wind up sounding like a candidate for a bed at Bellvue. But it's usually a great ride, and a great read; funny, full of memorable, outrageous characters but never so "over the top" that you can't get on board with them. And nobody writes a line like Christopher Moore. With every book, I find myself quoting his characters on a daily basis. My advice to you: put aside that crime novel, that self-help book, that evil government spy drivel, and pick up Christopher Moore. Suspend belief and get ready to grin and snicker like a Whaley Boy.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amy
  • Miami, FL, USA
  • 06-09-08

What's wrong with Bill Irwin?

I loved "Fluke" when I read it and bought the audio version, looking forward to hearing Bill Irwin read, knowing his work well. It is the single worst reading I've ever heard -- the reader regularly pauses in the middle of a thought as if he got to the middle of the line on the page or is struggling to read the bad print on the page. Either that or the engineering was screwy. Irwin sounds like he didn't read the book first and is reluctantly doing the recording to pay back a debt to an audiobook producer friend. I've listened to 40 minutes and can't stand to listen to any more. Buy the book and read it the "old fashioned" way.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Please..., a better reader next time

I had the misfortune of selecting, as my first Christopher Moore book, A Dirty Job. I say "the misfortune" because that book is narrated by Fisher Stevens and he does such a wonderful job that any other reader was bound to suffer by comparison. My second Christopher Moore book was Bloodsucking Fiends, and that book, although not as well read, was also truly enjoyable. It led me to the mistake of buying this book without first listening to the sample.

I have now tried to listen to this book 3 times. Each time I have gotten a little bit further and will probably try again later, but this last time I only got past the first 30 minutes before giving up. It is not that the book is not well written. I am hear passages that ought to have me laughing out loud, but the reading is so flat that it passes, for me, without the laugh it deserves. Others apparently feel differently, but I would strongly suggest that people listen to the sample before downloading the book.

I gave it 3 stars because it is typical Christopher Moore, but it deserved a better reader (and, with it, more stars).

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Amy
  • Cadiz, KY, United States
  • 12-20-12

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jennifer
  • Sierra Vista, AZ, USA
  • 08-06-09

Poor Narrator Choice

This is one of Christopher Moore's best works. His style, subjects, and humour admittedly aren't for everyone, but Fluke is likely to find a wider audience than many of his other works. The story is pure Moore and not to be missed! Just don't bother trying to listen to this audiobook.

The narrator not only speaks in an off-putting monotone, but his occasional attempts at inflection are typically a word or two off in any given sentence. Such poor narration ruined what should have been a wonderful time getting reacquainted with the quirky story and memorable characters that made me a life-long Moore fan by the second paragraph.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I liked it a lot

When I first got this book I was very much disappointed that it wasn't Fisher Stevens reading it. I thought the guy reading it was very dry and boring, but the more I listened, the more I liked it. I have now listened to it at least 3 times. I have friends from Maui and have visited a couple times. I believe he captures the way most Hawaiians speak. His tone is very laid back and mellow.
I think the book as a whole lacks a lot of the neurotic characters that Moore usually puts in his books. I read an interview with Moore about this book, and he basically said that after finishing Lamb he had to do a smaller less involved book to keep his publishers off of his back about delivery schedules. So you can understand why their aren't quite so many crazy characters in it.
That being said, this book is fun and cute. The characters are likable and always developing. Once you have finished this book you will have a better understanding of why women are the dominant species on the planet.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good Book, Bad narration

First off, this is a pretty good book. Not quite as good as some of his books, but still good.

Second of all, the narration. It made the book sound so lifeless. The reading of the book sounded so monotoned that seemed it sucked the life out of the characters. I'm a certified insomniac and this book nearly put me the sleep just listening to it. If you're going to read a book that's going to be heard worldwide, at least put some feeling and emotions into the reading of the book. It makes it sound more real and inviting as if the speaker enjoys the book he or she is reading. And with Moore's brand of humor, it's needed.

Again, this is a good book. Not as good as some of his other works, but still good. It's just the narration. Good reading rhythm, but no life.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful