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    Review of FLUKE by Christopher Moore (see his website)


    Perennial, June 2004

    Review by Jennifer Vilches

    It should just be another day in paradise for Nate, action nerd biologist - researching whale song in Hawaii with his cute, smart-mouthed assistant Amy. But he starts to doubt his sanity when he sees words written on the tail of a whale, and returns to shore only to find that their office has been trashed and their research destroyed. He and his partner Clay, an underwater photographer with strong feelings on loyalty, are baffled - who in the world cares that much about their whale research? Competing researchers with shady morals? Mysterious naval officers engaged in dubious projects? As the strange occurrences and disasters mount everyone pitches in to solve the mystery, including their newest assistant, Kona (a.k.a. Preston Applebaum), a dreadlocked stoner kid with surprising insights and Clay's girlfriend Clair, keeper of the booty and the wooden spoon of doom. In the end, the search for the secret of the whale song will lead to unimaginable locations and surprising revelations.

    Fluke is light, funny and fast-paced - perfect for a day at the beach. The absurdity level rises rapidly and the action escalates into a potential end-of-the-world scenario before plummeting back to just mildly warped reality. The plot is a little weak towards the end, but the memorable characters, sharp dialogue, and all-around zaniness definitely make up for it. Moore doesn't go completely overboard with the “save the whales” message, but he does include some serious whale info in an appendix.

    The humor is very similar in tone to Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett with more of a scatological bent. This book caused a quite a few giggle-out-loud moments for me and while it's my first Christopher Moore book, it will not be my last.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 8/18/04

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