Monday, April 4, 2011

CBRIII: Book#17: Fluke by Christopher Moore

This book is my least favorite of Moore's novels. That's not to say that this is a bad novel or poor story-telling or any other really negative slam on Moore or Fluke. It just wasn't my favorite.

This time around we have whale researchers Nathan Quinn and Clay Demodocus are working in Maui. They record the song of the humpback whales, photograph the whales, get samples from the whales, and identify the whales. And then they use this knowledge to...well, there isn't much they can do without knowing the purpose of the song. They haven't quite figured that part out yet. Maybe they'll write a paper.

One day, Nate and new research assistant Amy go out on the Constantly Baffled to study the whale stuff. While getting the identifying photograph of the whale's flukes, Nate sees something that can't be real. The words "Bite Me" painted on the whale's flukes. Unsettled, Nate takes the boat back to the harbor so that he can send off the film and either confirm or debunk his descent into madness. When he arrives back at the research compound, Nate finds that someone has destroyed all of the work that he and Clay have done. Who is behind this? You will truly never guess.

It took a long time, at least it felt long, for the story to move past whale science. That's why I kept putting the book down and then not returning to it for a day or two, which I don't usually do with Moore novels. I couldn't see where the story was going, which is nice, but it also made it harder to hook me. When the big reveal/big bad shows up? I did not see that coming. At all. I had an inkling of who was behind some of the sabotage, but no idea in what capacity or why. Seriously, I don't think I could have ever guessed.

Moore is a romantic at heart. An insane, gifted, and odd romantic, so it should come as no surprise that there is a boy-meets-girl, girl-plays-hard-to-get, boy-gets-girl storyline in the mix. It's a nice touchstone in Moore's novels and he never does overly mushy when romance is involved. He usually does sweaty, dirty, romance. I like that.

If you've never read Moore, do not start with Fluke. Maybe Practical Demonkeeping.


  1. I know I'm totally in the minority, but Fluke was my first and still my favourite of Moore's. I spent the first half of the book marveling at how well this guy writes field biologists, and the rest of it in a bemused, confused state of "what-the-hell-just-happened?"

  2. i'm in that same minority. though, scientists as characters, and the ocean as setting and sci-fi as the frame hooks me from the get go.