Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings by Christopher Moore
February 20, 2024 4:19 AM - Subscribe

Whale researcher Nathan Quinn has a problem. It’s not a new problem; in fact, it’s been around for nearly 20 million years. And Nate’s spent most of his adult life working to solve it. You see, although everybody (well, almost everybody) knows that humpback whales sing (outside of human composition, the most complex songs on the planet) no one knows why. Nate, a Ph.D. in behavior biology, intends to discover the answer to this burning question―and soon.

Every winter he and Clay Demolocus, his partner in the Maui Whale Research Foundation, ply the warm waters between the islands of Maui and Lanai, recording the eerily beautiful songs of the humpbacks and returning to their lab for electronic analysis. The trouble is, Nate’s beginning to wonder if he hasn’t spent just a little too much time in the sun. Either that, or he’s losing his mind. Because today, as he was shooting an I.D. photo of a humpback tail fluke, Nate could’ve sworn he saw the words “Bite Me” scrawled across the whale’s tail. . . Blurb shamelessly stolen from Amazon
posted by Literaryhero (3 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
With a Moby Dick post on the blue and another whale book recently posted to Fanfare, I just felt compelled to post this.

Moore is probably best known for Lamb, but this is pretty good too. Some of it is a bit dated, but the whale stuff is really interesting and then about halfway through it just completely goes off the rails. The goo and whaley boys are a bit gross, but it is still pretty good.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:33 AM on February 20 [2 favorites]

It’s been ages since I read this but I remember that he really captured the experience and lifestyle of being a grad student/young academic.

My favorite of his novels is A Dirty Job - the one where a regular schlub gets (inherits?) the role of Death (in the Pratchett sense). There is a riff early on about the Dangers of Raw Toast that has lived on in my friend group for a quarter-century now. Who knows how it fares on reread.
posted by janell at 10:26 AM on February 20

Years ago at a book signing, I thanked Christopher for giving me a favorite pet name for my wife in this book. “My snowy biscuit!”
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 10:26 PM on February 21

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