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Fluke, Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Moore, Christopher

34,016 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0380978415 / ISBN 13: 9780380978410
Published by William Morrow & Co, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., 2003
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Culpepper Books (Tacoma, WA, U.S.A.)

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Very nice copy in d/j. Has a name on the inside cover and is signed on half title page by author. Bookseller Inventory # 006117

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Fluke, Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings

Publisher: William Morrow & Co, Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: By Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

After reverently lambasting the most cherished rites and credos of virtually every one of the world's major religions in his transcendently hilarious novel Lamb, the one and only Christopher Moore returns with a wild look at interspecies communication, adventure on the high seas, and an eons-old mystery.

Marine behavioral biologist Nate Quinn is in love -- with the salt air and sun-drenched waters off Maui ... and especially with the majestic ocean-dwelling behemoths that have been bleeping and hooting their haunting music for more than twenty million years. But just why do the humpback whales sing? That's the question that has Nate and his crew poking, charting, recording, and photographing any large marine mammal that crosses their path. 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.

No one on Nate's team has ever seen such a thing; not his longtime partner, photographer Clay Demodocus, not their saucy young research assistant, Amy. Not even spliff-puffing white-boy Rastaman, Kona (the former Preston Applebaum of New Jersey), could boast such a sighting in one of his dope-induced hallucinations. And when a roll of film returns from the lab missing the crucial tail shot -- and their research facility is summarily trashed -- Nate realizes that something very fishy indeed is going on.

This, apparently, is big, involving dangerously interested other parties -- competitive researchers, the cutthroat tourist industry, perhaps even the military. The weirdness only gets weirder when a call comes in from Nate's big-bucks benefactor saying that a whale has made contact -- by phone. And it's asking for a hot pastrami and Swiss on rye. Suddenly the answer to the question that has daunted and driven Nate throughout his adult life is within his reach. But it's waiting for him in the form of an amazing adventure beneath the waves, 623 feet down, somewhere off the coast of Chile. And it's not what anyone would think.

It must be said: Christopher Moore's Fluke is a whale of a novel.

Review:

In his entertaining adventure-in-whale-researching, Fluke, or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings, Nathan Quinn, a prominent marine biologist, has been conducting studies in Hawaii for years trying to unravel the secret of why humpback whales sing. During a typical day of data gathering, Nate believes his mind is failing: the subject whale has "Bite Me" scrawled across its tail. Events become even stranger as the self-proclaimed "action nerds," Nate, photographer Clay, their research assistant Amy, and Kona, a white Rasta (a Jewish kid from New Jersey), encounter sabotage to their data and equipment. They also observe increasingly bizarre whale behavior, including a phone call from the whale to their wealthy sponsor to ask that Nate bring it a hot pastrami and Swiss on rye, and discover both a thriving underwater city and the secret to what happened to Amelia Earhart.

Thoughtful, irreverent, and often hilarious, Moore has crafted a tale that contains a bit of the saga of declining whale populations due to hunting and habitat destruction, as well as his over-the-top, decadent wit as applied to scientific methodology and professional jealousies. Moore notes a pasty, rival scientist "looked like Death out for his after-dinner stroll before a busy night of e-mailing heart attacks and tumors to a few million lucky winners," and that killer whales (which are all named Kevin), are "just four tons of doofus dressed up like a police car." Smart, sincere, and a whale of a story, Fluke is terrific. --Michael Ferch

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