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.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Loved it! An absolute hoot!
Really well written, read it straight through to 3 a.m. trying to muffle my snorts and hoots of laughter not to wake my husband.
No distracting misspelling or poor editing, thank you!
Mildly disappointed with the plot line resolution, otherwise well worth both the time and money.
Happy I discovered this author!
Great read. Totally not what I expected.
As a casual reader, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and a fun escape. While it took a little bit to get going, I dove deep once the climax hit. I've been telling everyone about it!
Having just finished Fluke, and having read several other of his books, i am pleased beyond words that i started reading him a few years ago.
To me, he is first a story teller. This alone makes his work a joyous experience. He is also a writer who in his joy of subject, elucidates, educates and inspires. His humor is contagious, intelligent and whimsical. When i am engrossed in one of his lyrical journeys, i find his characters full and rich, his research compelling, his world view twisted and magical.
Upon finishing every Christopher Moore I have been driven by one simple thought.
Get me another one!