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

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  37,461 ratings  ·  2,158 reviews
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 wonde
Paperback, 321 pages
Published June 15th 2004 by Harper (first published June 3rd 2003)
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Monica Christopher Moore is a fan of sexual innuendo in a way that some people may not be comfortable with for their kids to read. For example, the whaley bo…moreChristopher Moore is a fan of sexual innuendo in a way that some people may not be comfortable with for their kids to read. For example, the whaley boys have retractable and prehensile 'members' that they like to wave around. And there is a fairly graphic scene involving 2 biologist researchers and 2 male whales mistaking their zodiac for a female whale. However, it is ultimately up to you as the parent to determine how much your daughter can handle. Personally, I probably wouldn't have found this funny at 11, but at 15 I probably would have. (less)
Mike Manzer Your class might be over now, but I can mention a few if you like. :) I think the book speaks to the complexity of nature and the general goodness of …moreYour class might be over now, but I can mention a few if you like. :) I think the book speaks to the complexity of nature and the general goodness of the nature, how nature is a beneficial, positive force in our lives. I also think there is something about how the basic goodness and inner decency of people is more important than other factors like education and background (and even drug use) and how well-intentioned people can make a difference and change the world for the better.
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Wouldn't...
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Can't blame anybody - hooked by the title
Bite me?! I’m disappointed. Crazy for whales, a Moore fan and the main character’s from where I live, seemed like a no brainer. Well, not this time - I like funny crude, this is more the kind you catch 12 year olds snickering over. A third in I gave up, not due to any maiden aunt sensibilities - it was just…lame. Click spoiler for a taste if you’re undecided, this was my 'enough' point... (view spoiler) ...more
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have yet to read a book by Christopher Moore that I did not like, that failed to entertain and enlighten and to simply be a very enjoyable good read.

Fluke is no exception.

This is the story of a couple of marine biologists who have spent decades studying humpback whales and who really just want to know why they sing. From here we get taken on another Christopher Moore ride that is as hilarious and mind bending as the last.

Is he the American Neil Gaiman?

I like them both and can see the simil
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
After completing Fluke, I started to envision this fantasy scenario on how the novel came to be...

Book Publisher: Thank you for coming in today, Mr. Moore. I wanted to discuss the manuscript you sent us.

Christopher Moore: Yes, of course. The Song Cycles and Migratory Habits of Whales. Did you like it?

BP: Well, liking it isn't really the point. It's about whales.

CM: And?

BP. No. I mean...It's really about whales. It's non fiction. Unfunny non-fiction.

CM: But that's my point! Everybody expects me t
Nov 28, 2008 rated it liked it
Soooo, it took me about 43 years to read this book. And upon thinking for a while and discissing it with Christina for a while I've come to the conclusion that my opinion is based on a two-fold rubric. (Can rubrics have folds?)


Point 1. Character Development.
The character development in this book sucked balls. And not in the good way, either.

Point 2. Plot.
The plot was fuckin' awesome. Except for the fact that it didn't start until a third of the way into the book. But whatev. It's stil
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was ok
People swear by this guy, in a devotional sort of way. I was excited to try one of his novels, and frankly, I’m usually a sucker for otherwise human stories with some elements of the unexplained (see Tom Robbins, “Magnolia”, or Lost). Moore’s “Fluke” started out as no exception. I was engaged by the characters, laughed out loud a few times, and was hooked into these mysterious events and the promise of something larger. The insertion of scientific fact (mostly marine biology and humpback whales) ...more
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-book, adult
I love Christopher Moore.. this is my fifth book of his, but this one fell short for me. The story is of a scientist who studies whales and their songs. He has worked many many years in the field and when he sees the words "BITE ME" on the tail of one of his whales he is determined to find out how it is even possible. Things are further complicated when the town crazy informs him that the whale he saw called her and asked her to tell him to come visit the whale and bring a pastrami on rye sandwi ...more
Feb 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
So far, I haven't met a book by Christopher Moore that I've disliked. Or even merely had a lukewarm feeling for. Fluke is no exception. I mean, how can you not like a writer who produces such lines as "A centipede the size of a Pontiac had once lived in the bottom-right corner of the trunk but had long since moved on once he realized that no one was ever going to bother him, so he could stand up on his hind hundred feet, hiss like a pissed cat, and deliver a deadly bite to a naked foot"?

Moore wr
Good book.
Some laugh or loud moments.
Not one of his best though.
Sep 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I’ve been putting off reading Fluke. It was recommended to me by one of my uncles, who meant well but whose method of recommendation was to spoil almost every major plot point - and who then sent me a copy as a high school graduation gift. Knowing a little something about Christopher Moore’s brand of humor, I didn’t make it a priority, the end result of which is that more than five years went by between when he sent it to me and when I finally opened it. And… while I regret putting it off for th ...more
DJ Harris
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with a sense of humor!

Christopher Moore does it again! Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore is a very enjoyable read! I have enjoyed every Christopher Moore book that I've read. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book.

Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by Christopher Moore, and I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It is about Nate Quinn, a biologist who is studying humpback whales trying to figure out the meaning of their song. Odd things start to happen, though, like finding a whale with ‘Bite Me’ painted on its tale and somebody breaking in and trashing his lab. While trying to figure out who would want to sabotage his research he starts to question how much anybody could even care about the wor ...more
3.5 stars

Nate is a biologist, studying whales in Hawai'i and trying to find out why they sing. He is working with Clay, a photographer; Amy, a new research assistant; and Kona, a local. One day, on the water, Nate notices something a little strange about the underside of a whale's flukes (the "wings" on the tail): it says "Bite Me". Not only that, things start happening, like the lab being trashed and one of their boats being sunk.

It was good and there were funny parts, but the second half of t
Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Wale Sings was pretty good. Eventually. Once I got into it.

Christopher Moore is hard to review. He strikes me as more of a comedian than an author. As such, if he keeps me entertained and makes me laugh out loud, I consider his book to be a success. Fluke is a typical Christopher Moore story in that it involves a group of wacky people working together in a preposterous situation. The whale and conservation info presented here was cool. And chapter eighteen wins
Oct 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
5 Ooks

Do you like mysteries?
Do you like to laugh?
Have you ever wondered why whales sing?
Did you ever wish you lived in Hawaii?
Did you ever wish you could see one of those white-boy poser Rastafarians get a bit of a stomping?...Hey now, don't be a hater...

Moore evokes beach people and the islands in this fun and fast moving tale. It's filled with his usual wit and wacky, but lovable characters, and leavened with a bit of a message (but, not preachy).

This is a book that will draw you in and leave
Joshua Buhs
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction

I've read a few Moore, and this seems to follow the formula of the others: centered on a nebbish man, his struggles to comprehend, survive an increasingly outrageous situation aided and abetted by a cast of kooky guy friends and a more competent, slightly dangerous woman who, nevertheless, unabashedly flirts with him. The story this time derives its humor more from the situation and narrative voice than the characters, and there's a few too many info dumps to move the plot along, but i
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a laugh and who likes whales
Why do humpback whales sing?

This is the basic theme behind the story contained in this book. I picked it up because whales are one of my favorite animals, and I have always loved listening to their singing. Also, I hadn't read a funny book in a while, and needed a break from the 'serious' stuff.

I have to say it: It's a whale of a tale!

The book starts out fairly normal, but then, takes a turn into the land of the zany. Really. You will have no idea what hit you. And that, truly, is the best part.
Jenniet Galvan
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I like reading books by Christopher Moore because they make me laugh out loud! And I like to laugh out loud. I also like them because they are generally pretty irreverent and I like irreverent. For a short time I thought I was going to be a scientist and majored in Biology so the whole science angle was appealing to me and who doesn't like whales? Not to mention I have an irrepressible fascination with anything to do with the sea, making this book an automatic winner unless I was just bored out ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobooks
One star for being intermittently amusing and for (eventually) getting to a fairly interesting premise. But argh. Abundant casual misogyny. Please don't introduce your female characters by the quality of their asses. Please don't think it's hilarious to write women "turning into" lesbians because of being improbably traumatized by whale sperm. Please don't leer at the queer women. Please don't have your ladies be groped uninvited and laugh it off. Please don't call them bitches.
In addition, ple
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
The story starts with marine biologist Nate Quinn studying humpback whales when, all of a sudden, he sees one with "Bite me" written across its tail, which jump starts a whole series of increasingly odd events until things take a turn for the science fictional.

It's this turn that seems to bother people in other reviews I've read, but I thought it was intriguing, and Moore deserves credit for describing these otherworldly elements as quickly and effectively as he does. Worldbuilding can easily we
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
This is the second Christopher Moore book I've read, but it was certainly enough to get a handle on his typical plot line: Random guy gets involved in a strange situation he can't understand that relates to some type of odd deity, he falls for a very attractive girl who is involved in the weirdness, after very silly plot twists the couple find a way to "ride off into the sunset" together. While this type of explanation would usually put me off reading more of his books, his writing is done so we ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Christopher Moore is brilliant. He is so smart, it's insane and this book is proof of that. The fact that he can take a well-researched topic and turn it into this bizarre and magical adventure is pretty amazing. Honestly, I picked up this book so as to "get that one out of the way" as the plot didn't really interest me.
Boy, was I wrong.
The story is super bizarre but it's highy enjoyable and the characters are really well-developed (which so far seems to be a constant with this author and poss
"Nate wouldn’t have been more surprised if he’d walked in on a team of squirrels building a toaster oven." - a quote worth repeating.

I’m giving this one 5 stars because it was simply a delightful read from beginning to end. Christopher Moore tackles the scientific mystery of whale song in his own unique way. This book is wildly creative and funny while being surprisingly well researched. It appears that Mr. Moore spent a fair amount of time with biologists and whale researchers in Hawaii prepari
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I liked Lamb so much that I immediately purchased another Christopher Moore novel to start reading. I will admit that this one was quite a bit more bizarre, but I enjoyed it just as much. There was a lot of interesting facts about whales and biology thrown in so seamlessly that before you realized it, you had learned something. Furthermore, there were many parts of this story that were laugh-out-loud funny and, like Lamb, I found it hard to put it down once I started. I found Christopher Moore t ...more
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
Whale research gone weird. I have read or listened to this book so many times I can't count them, and I still find it an entertaining and delightful read. I honestly don't know why this book never palls as so many other favourites have over the years, maybe someone can come up with a good theory. In any event, I was having a bad patch and decided to go through it all the way and in order again, and it was another wonderful ride. I've no idea if anyone else would likes it as much as I do, but I w ...more
I'm not sure if I should give this book two or three stars. The characters were a little flat, the tone could get a little preachy, and I'm left thinking the book isn't quite as clever as the author thinks it is. I did finish it however, and I didn't want to stop reading it in the sense of a did not finish book. I also enjoyed the whole conversation about memes and genes. At the very least, the book has made me want to try another Moore book at some point.
Apr 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Christopher Moore
About a third of the way through Fluke, I was sure I knew what was going on (view spoiler). Wow, was I wrong. Very, very wrong. I did not see where this was going at all -- but man did I love the ride, and the cast of characters I took it with. An excellent blend of humor, science, environmentalism, science fiction, and adventure. ...more
A ROMP. A ridiculous wild scientifically plausible romp of a book that made me laugh so hard my partner came to check on me. Repeatedly.

There's some suspension of disbelief necessary, but it's the good and fun kind. And while the pace takes a little nap between pages 200-300, it picks back up again in a heartfelt Carol-Channing-dressed-like-a-sea-lion kind of way. And could you turn your back on such a sight? No you could not.
MB (What she read)
Oct 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Like marine life and satire? This book is for you.
First Read: This book has some narrative oddities, but I love it because it is SO WEIRD*! (And because I can picture where the first part of the book takes place, which is cool. I love all the science-y Lahaina whale stuff)

*And what else exactly do you expect from a Christopher Moore book anyway?
Jamie Collins
Oct 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor
This was a fun read. Wacky fiction isn't my usual thing, but I enjoyed Moore's sense of humor and his writing style, and I'll look for more of his books.
   I would divide this book into two parts: the first mostly believable, more scientific part which takes place in Hawaii, and the second being overly fluid with strange half-baked notions of bioscience meets magic which takes place largely underwater.

   Not sure exactly what I expected of it, but it wasn’t this. This is the first book I’ve read of Christopher Moore – oh wait, no, he also wrote The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, which I didn’t like much. This one wasn
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Christopher Moore is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Moore's novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters suddenly struggling through supernatural or extraordinary circums

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