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Paperback Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings Book

ISBN: 006056668X

ISBN13: 9780060566685

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

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Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

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...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

One of the Greatest works of satirical fiction I have ever read...

I loved this novel. I think Lamb, by Christopher Moore, is his best work but this is superb and extremely entertaining. If you enjoy science fiction, real-world fantasy, the comedic, and especially the weird this novel is for you.

Canadian Jonah lost at sea!

Nate Quinn has journeyed from the vast, frigid wheat fields of Saskatchewan to the warm, comforting waters of Ha'awaii. He studies whales - particularly the singing career of the humpback. With veteran photographer partner, Clay Demodicus, he has clashes with officialdom, encounters with The Old Broad, and dealings with helpers. He suffers the emotional and ethical confusions attending relations with his research assistant "the Snowy Biscuit" - Amy Earhart. He's also been frequently married. Nate and Clay's studies are rudely interrupted by the trashing of their office and the loss of much data. Who vandalises a cetacean biologist's records? Who would care? And who are the "silvery grey ghosts" that sank the research boat "Absolutely Confused" ? Somebody, obviously, doesn't want Quinn to learn the meaning of the whale's songs. It's known that only the males sing, but nobody's figured out why. While they sing only in certain times and places, the motivation remains obscure. Territory? Given the songs can be received thousands of kilometres away, that seems extreme. Mating call? The "ladies" are right in the neighbourhood. A brief swim brings them together at the proper time. Quinn's quest gains a surprise boost from an unlikely source. His New Jersey ersatz Rastafarian helper asks a simple question, leading Quinn to look at his [recovered] data from a different perspective. As a result, Nate is swallowed by a whale! Will he ever return? Moore brings a singular level of research and good science to this story. When a novelist starts reading Daniel C. Dennett and Richard Dawkins as background material, you know there's hope for literature yet. Nate Quinn's loss at sea initiates a pilgrimage about life's origins and development. Moore is able to describe life's beginnings, incorporating that knowledge into a slightly modified scenario of "what might have been". Or still be when we discover it. We know what path evolution took. What other path might it have followed? Once, the seas were covered with a bacterial film. What if, instead of parts of it just evolving into separate species, it also developed into super-organism? Moore uses what he's learned to show us the dichotomy of genetic heritage and the rise of memes in one part of land animal society. In all, this book is an enjoyment at many levels. Moore's wit and dry humour keep the narrative moving, interrupted only by his imagery - Orcas [killer whales] are "just four tonnes of doofus dressed up like a police car". He wants us to know that whales are important, not simply objects to be viewed by "eco-tourists". They are our planetary neighbours, thus deserving our respect. Moore, through Quinn, honours that demand. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

Singing for Moore or I don't know why I waited

Christopher Moore can do no wrong in my book. Or should I say in his book(s). Once again he sublimates his psychopathology to create an inventive, funny and thought provoking work of.. science fiction? Hard to categorize what starts off as a scientifically well researched novel of whale nerds on a mission, turns into a fantasy with a parallel universe, religious icons and an explanation of rastafarianism. His usual hero, "a geek in a cool guy's body", Nathan, is an everyman that we all know and love. Odd characters like Kona and Amy turn into unlikely heroes and heroines. I loved his expressions, like "heinous f***ery most foul" which I plan to incorporate into my vocabulary at every opportunity.

Moore and his book are funny --- there's no fluke about that

I would read Christopher Moore based on the titles of his works alone. He has written fantastically odd and fun books for years, including ISLAND OF THE SEQUINED LOVE NUN, THE LUST LIZARD OF MELANCHOLY COVE, and LAMB: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BIFF, CHRIST'S CHILDHOOD PAL (which, in my estimation, is his best, most bedazzlingly kooky book yet). Once I get past the title page of a Christopher Moore book, I'm never disappointed. He always delivers the goods (the goods being odd characters, odd settings, and odd happenings). The latest Moore delivery is FLUKE: OR I KNOW WHY THE WINGED WHALE SINGS, and he will not disappoint fans.The odd characters include marine biologist Nathan Quinn, a lifelong researcher of the humpback whale and their song; Clay Demodocus, his associate; beautiful research assistant Amy Earhart; and Rastaman, Kona, a white boy from New Jersey. The settings, which are varied, include Maui, a giant whale ship and "Gootown." The odd happenings are too numerous to mention. There's some discussion of a whale calling a benefactor by telephone asking for a hot pastrami and Swiss on rye. There's an escape from an amorous Samoan. There's a situation involving a super-race of piscatorial mutants. And there's that one whale that had written on its tail "BITE ME."Of course, the book is not too thick with such heavy topics as the meaning of life and love. There is, however, some discussion about Canadian hockey violence. Moore won't give you long theories about the nature of man or the political implications of the Middle East. He will, however, give us some interesting cetacean sex, which is always titillating. It's a breeze to read. The reader will sit in a hammock, a drink by their side (with an umbrella in it), and happily read along chuckling mightily (hopefully not spilling said umbrella-laden drink).The one thing that Moore does well (on top of his writing antics) is the research he puts into his books. He knows about whales and cares about them (so much so, in fact, that at the end of the book he highlights ways in which the reader can help out with and address conservation issues). Just as in LAMB, where he studied mightily about the world in Jesus's time, Moore finds many interesting nuggets about whales, the ocean, and the like.If you want Norman Mailer or Leon Uris, you've come to the wrong place. But if you're in the mood for a quick laugh (along the lines of Tom Robbins, Dave Barry and their ilk) and a fun book to read on a sunny weekend, FLUKE is the way to go. Both the book and Moore are funny --- and there's no fluke about that. --- Reviewed by Jonathan Shipley

Another great one from Christopher Moore.

So let me preface this with this: I try and squeeze in reading when I can, and whenever you read in public, someone is always bound to ask "Hey, whatcha reading?" In this case, I honestly had no idea where to begin. "It's a book about humanoid whaley boys and what they can do with their prehensile members!" Security is called and I am promptly asked to go enjoy my book elsewhere. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and I believe it's Moore's most creative work to date. I always enjoy his characters, so not much difference there. I was actually worried about Fluke, thinking "How is whale research going to translate into a Moore story?" At first, I was sure that it would be nice, but Lamb would still be my favorite, but after finishing it, I'm not quite so sure. As mentioned by another reviewer, almost all of his books stand out in some way or another as a favorite. For fans of Lamb and other Moore works, you won't be disappointed. Meep!

CHRISTOPHER MOORE DOES IT AGAIN!

I fell in love with the books of Christopher Moore with the novel Practical Demonkeeping. I found myself laughing out loud again and again, usually in a public place where uncontrollable mirth was generally frowned upon. The book was hilarious, unusual, not the run-of-the-mill fiction fodder that I was used to. I was hooked. I sought out more of his books, greedy for the pure, undiluted pleasure they gave me. I read them all, and not one of them disappointed. Christopher Moore is, and probably always will be, my favorite author of all time. Here is a writer who shows great wit, unbelievable imagination and a kindness to his characters I had never seen before. His latest work, Fluke, is a wonderful tale of a man who one day realizes that the world of marine science and whale research is not what it seems. Reality gets drop-kicked out the window. Throw in some whales with unusual markings, a beautiful stranger, a Rastafarian wannabe, a powerful force that is older than man, and a mob of other memorable characters, and you have pure perfection in the humor/sci fi genre of today. I could not put this book down! I'd highly recommend this book, as well as each and every one of the other books Mr. Moore has written. If you're ready for an adventure, Fluke is for you! Buy the book, grab a beer and some sunscreen and get ready to read the best damn book of the summer! You'll never forget it!

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings Mentions in Our Blog

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