Fluke: Or, I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings

In every post where I talk about a Christopher Moore book, I say the same thing, he is a very skilled writer and it is a horrible mistake to dismiss him as merely a comedic author.  Fluke is the 4th Christopher Moore book that I’ve read, and while it isn’t the funniest of his books that I’ve read, it might be his best.

Book Stats

311 Pages



The main character of this book is Nathan Quinn, a biologist who is working on understanding humpback whale songs.  Nate is a very stereotypical nerd.  He is brilliant and very focused on his research, but this is balanced by his near complete social ineptitude.  In doing his research, he works with his longtime partner and photographer Clay Demodocus, who is fully devoted to his work and his loyalty to his friends.  They also work with Amy , a very attractive research assistant from a questionable background, and Kona, a wannabe Rastaman who is a lot smarter than he looks.  All of the characters were well written and entertaining to read.


The islands and area around Hawaii.


While researching whale songs, Nate sees a whale’s fin with the words Bite Me written across it’s fin during it’s fluke.  Nate starts to wonder if he just imagined it because none of the other researchers saw anything.  When they return and find his research lab trashed, the pictures of the whale missing, and Clay’s boat sunk, they start to wonder who would want to mess up their research.  As they keep researching the whale songs, Nate is attacked and eaten by a whale, and then things start to get weird.


The book is split into three sections.  The first section was kind of slow, but it ended up being the background information that was needed for the rest of the book.  While the first third was interesting, the very first line of part two had me laughing out loud and hooked for the rest of the book.  What begins as a quirky tale about a man researching whale songs quickly ends up as a serious discussion about evolution, humanity’s place in the world, and an interesting discussion about the conflict between genetics and memetics.  There are very few authors who can write a comedic book that really makes you think, and Moore does it very well in this book.

Overall Grade

It’s not Moore’s funniest book, but it is probably his deepest and most thought-provoking (and there are still plenty of laughs in there as well).


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  1. April 2012 Month in Review « Reviews and Ramblings

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