Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Book Review: Fluke by Christopher Moore

"Suck my browridge. Suck it!"

That's just one of the memorable and riotous lines from Christopher Moore's novel, "Fluke, or, I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings." (Trust me, in context it's funny, not gross.) There are quite a few other lines that will stick with you, but I don't want to ruin the experience. I laughed out loud at least six times while reading this book.

Fluke is the story of Nate, a marine biologist who studies whalesong, and his undeniably motley crew, including Kona, the rastafarian surferboy . . .from New Jersey, and their adventures in the waters in and around Hawaii. Hilariously written in a mix of Douglas Adams and Buffyspeak--(there are definite Willow-isms in this book), you won't want to put Fluke down. When Nate spies the message, "BITE ME," spelled out on the fluke of a humpback whale, he starts to investigate before telling anyone else what he's seen. What starts out as a typical day of whalesong research soon swells into an offbeat adventure that predates mankind itself. Fluke is one of the most original combinations of scifi and humor that I've read in years, and well worth the read. You can read an exerpt from the first chapter here.

There isn't a great deal more that I can say about Fluke without destroying the impishness of the characters and the plot, so I'll stick to saying that it was a fun, quick read (great for a weekend at the beach). I learned definitively that whales are big. Big and wet.

And I'll never look at a pastrami on rye quite the same way again.

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