This was pretty typical Christopher Moore: fun, a little bonkers, excellent supporting characters. Nate Quinn, a marine biologist trying to figure out why whales sing, his long-time friend and photographer Clay, and his grad student intern Amy have adventures in Hawaii, studying whales, recovering from mysterious sabotage efforts, and hiring a sketchy Rasta-wannabe Jersey boy as a crew member. When Nate sees “BITE ME” written on the underside of a whale’s tail (the fluke), it sets off a series of events that goes slowly but inevitably off the rails.
It’s silly, it’s creative, and Moore definitely has a way with words, but I found it very hard to like Nate. The book never actually says how old he is, but he’s had three wives, worries about his gray hair, and has a 20+ year career as a whale expert and is well established in the scientific community. So his immediate infatuation with young, “luscious” Amy, his heroic efforts to look away when she applies sunscreen, and his urge to comment on her “bottom” every time she bends over a boat rail to drop a microphone into the water, really soured me on the character. When Amy disappears for a while later in the book, the other characters call around looking for her, telling people things like “you can’t have missed her, she’s got a great ass.”
Then, we find out some things later that I can’t say without spoiling the whole thing, but that mean that it’s TOTALLY OKAY for Amy to show up in Nate’s cabin totally naked and “striking a cheesecake pose.” The eye roll, it burns.
The whale stuff was fun and interesting, and the side characters were great. I just couldn’t quite get behind the older guy leching all over his beautiful young intern, no matter how conflicted he felt about it. It makes it hard to root for the main character.