An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
I actually almost finished this on Sunday. By some stroke of luck I actually managed to read at my mom's house rather than just lying around. I was only about 50 pages shy of finishing when the Boys needed to be walked, and I never pass up walking my Boys. So blame them for the delay.
I really liked this one. It was weird and bizarre and a couple of times I asked, "What the shit is going on," but it was really good. Moore has a terrific style. I haven't read another writer with one quite like it, although it does remind me of Douglas Adams a bit, which is a good thing. I like when there's a clear style to writing. It makes it more entertaining to read. And he was really funny. Humor is hard. A lot of times it can just come across really forced. But his humor flowed and felt very natural. I just loved it.
The story had lot of imagination to it. The Whaley Boys, the Goo, it was all so weird. At times it felt a little too weird for me but it didn't hurt the story in the long run. Just gave me a lot of "What the shit" moments (I like that phrase, in case you didn't know). That's part of what made this book so fun. It was very original and I have never read a story quite like it. The world of the story was built very well and I can always respect good world building.
Perhaps my favorite thing about the story and the way it's written is Moore tackles a social topic - the conservation and protection of whales - without it coming across as preachy in the least. When I started reading it and he mentioned things like whaling boats and military experiments, I was really worried. I have read books where part of the story involves a social issue and it ends up being so ham-fisted and overbearing that it kills the story for me (*cough cough* Maximum Ride *hacking cough*). But with Fluke, it's handled so delicately that it just becomes part of the story that is just as interesting as the rest. What I love is there wasn't really any judgement. I LOVED the scene where Clay discussed his experiences on a whaling boat, and how the Japanese whalers he was with just viewed whales as fish, and once they saw the mother-calf behavior they thought differently. Moore humanizes the opposition, which is something I admire. When I reached the end of the book and he had a page with information about the importance of conservation, I actually read it because by that point I was intrigued about the issue, rather than turned off. It's also just as funny as the rest of the book, for the record.
No book is perfect, so of course I had a grievance that does keep this from being a five star review. I wasn't a fan of the pacing. It started off slow, picked up, then slowed down again. I feel like too much time was spent inside the Whale Ship and Gooville. The chapters were all entertaining, of course, but after a point I did get a little bored of Nate just adapting to his new home. I don't know if taking them out would hurt or improve the book, I just feel they slowed the story down over all, made it a bit more difficult the binge than it could have been.
Overall, though, terrific book. 4.5 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend it. It's funny, it's sciencey, and who doesn't love a story about whales?
Separate but related note: Remember Laundromat Guy this book introduced me to? Going out with him tomorrow. I confess to be a tad nervous. It's an entirely new situation for me. But I guess if all else fails, we can talk about books. I can tell him how good this one is.