The right whale is one of the few animals in the world that uses a washout strategy for mating. That is, the females mate with several males, but the one who can wash out the others' seed most efficiently will pass his genes along to the next generation. Consequently, the guy with the largest tackle often wins, and male right whales have the biggest tackle in the world, with testes that weigh up to a ton and ten-foot penises that are not only long but prehensile, able to reach around a female from the side and introduce themselves on the sly.Because I'm actually twelve years old, it's this kind of trivia that made me rather like Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings. Unfortunately, it's supposed to be a comic novel, not a science text, and while as a science text it had its engaging aspects, as a comic novel, it was kind of meh.
Moore has been compared to Douglas Adams, and I can kind of see the basis for comparison. In this novel, he coins the rather clever term "action nerd" to describe the marine biologists who are the main characters, and I'd say that Adams's characters are -- as Adams himself was -- kind of action nerds. Heck, I'm kind of an action nerd myself, so I can relate. But clever wordplay aside, this novel, while more than competently executed, just didn't deliver. And it didn't do itself any favours by constantly reminding me of Adams and coming up short in the constant comparison game my brain kept playing.
I first heard about Moore from the good readers over at Chicklit last spring, and since he seemed to be fairly highly regarded, I went out and got my hands on Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. (One thing you can say for Moore: he has a gift for coming up with catchy titles. Some of his others are Island of the Sequined Love Nun, Practical Demonkeeping, and The Stupidest Angel.) I liked Biff somewhat better than Fluke, but still I felt like I was missing the joke.
Is it me? Someone prove me wrong. There are precious few truly funny writers out there. I'm reluctant to write someone off if there's even the remotest chance he or she could provide me with a laugh.