2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
"The science you do not know looks like magic.",
This review is from: Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings (Paperback)
Christopher Moore's brand of humor, while always irreverent and sometimes off-color, also bursts through the constraints which might limit it to the real world. Moore has often explored other realities, and in this novel, we discover the underwater world of singing whales and the researchers who study them. Far more "straight" and less frivolous than in most of his earlier novels, Moore is clearly fascinated by cetacean biology and the research on which he focuses here.
Nate Quinn is a PhD. researcher who studies the subsonic songs of humpback whales and works the channel between Maui and Lanai, identifying and following individual whales, recording whale songs, and converting the songs into digitized computer programs in an effort to decode them. Three other researchers and numerous other wacky characters, allow the author plenty of room for hijinx at the same time that he is exploring serious issues.
When Moore shifts from science to science fiction, the line between reality and fantasy disappears. The reader willingly suspends all disbelief and succumbs to the spell of Moore's non-stop flights of imagination as he explores underwater life. His famous sense of the absurd, his irony, and his humor, some of it black, never flag, and his imagination, given free rein, soars in this wild fantasy of an underwater colony.
However playful it may be, this novel also marks a significant new direction for Moore. He is clearly fascinated by whales and the threats to their existence, and while the book is great fun and often very funny, it also has something serious and important at its heart--it is not frivolous entertainment. In an unprecedented move, Moore adds three separate Author's Notes at the end of the book, updating the reader on current whale research and acknowledging some of the world's great whale researchers. Readers will come away from this novel with broad smiles, a new appreciation for Moore's talents and his willingness to take risks, and, most significantly, new understandings of whales and the ecosystem in which they flourish. Mary Whipple