Because all of life is stories.
Today’s review consists of two parts. The short version, and the long one.
The Short One.
Christopher Moore is one of the funniest people living on the planet today and if you aren’t in the process of reading, buying, and lovingly caressing his books right now all the happiness in the world is shedding a tear for you.
The Long One.
As I’ve mentioned Christopher Moore is one of the funniest novelists who is gracing us with his genius in today’s world. And since it’s so impossible to find funny novels nowadays I figured today’s review would be a well timed one.
Fluke: Or, I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings (Or FOIKWTWS if you’re really into acronyms is the story of Nate Quinn and his quirky band of marine biologists and interns. More specifically, the time he, his assistant, the hot intern, and the stoner alternatively die, come back to life, drown, get eaten by whales, and discover a whale is swimming off the Hawaiian coast with the phrase “Bite Me” tattooed to its tail.
Our leading man Nate Quinn is your typical workaday superman. He has a cooler job than ours and is the best in his field at it by a wide margin. Think Robert Langdon with presumably better hair and a much sunnier disposition. He’s a good guy who is absolutely, unapologetically, perhaps terminally fascinated by whales and what makes them sing. Basically, he’s a nerd. And I love him. The world needs more Nate Quinn’s to make sure science keeps on sciencing.
Along the way we meet a surprisingly diverse cast of characters, with a few reliable tropes sprinkled in for good measure. Amy, the beautiful and intelligent assistant, Clay, the laid back but passionate photo- and videographer, Kona, the white jewish kid from New Jersey who got a little way into surfing and weed, and Libby, Nate’s now lesbian ex-wife who once had an unfortunate run in with a very friendly male whale. (No, it isn’t what you think. Yes, it is worse and funnier than what you think.) Not to mention the conspiracy theorists, the guys in on the actual conspiracy, the scientist in it for the money, the military, and the old lady who talks to whales via telephone.
Yeah, you heard that last part right.
One of the best things about Moore aside from his humor is the sheer amount of knowledge he has on any subject he writes about. He is passionate about everything in his books, and the research pays off. For this book, he actually went swimming with the whales and spent time in the lab and field with a research team. His range and depth of knowledge contributes to a very real and believable world. Well, at least until the…no…I can’t spoil that for you. You have to read it for yourself. Suffice it to say that the world he builds feels like one that could exist somewhere out in the world. Minus the really goofy surreal nonsense of course.
Fluke is a gem that doesn’t get nearly the love it deserves, which is not to say that Moore doesn’t have a small army of devoted fans, myself included. It’s fun, light, beach reading that is perfect for when you want to enjoy yourself and not read anything too heavy on morals or meaning. It does carry with it a pro environmentalist message, but it isn’t overwhelming, and it isn’t really what the book is about. If you’re looking for something fun, something that doesn’t require too much effort and something that you will absolutely burst into laughter about, Christopher Moore is your man, and Fluke is a great introduction into his world.
Plus, his author photo is him hiding in a ball pit. How can you not love this man?