Looking for Comic Relief? – A Review of Fluke

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Fluke, Christopher Moore, audio book, downloads, digital download gift subscription

 Looking for Comic Relief? – A Review of Fluke

I once read that a doctor actually prescribed Christopher Moore books to a patient who needed to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol. How awesome is that? I guess laughter really is the best medicine!

To those of you who haven’t experienced the joy and sometimes unending laughter or fits of giggles that come from listening to a Christopher Moore audio book, I suggest that it’s about time you did! I am a huge Christopher Moore fan and recently sat down to listen to Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings.

This is story about  whale researchers (or action nerds as they are lovingly described) who are trying to discover why the Humpback Whales sing. They have been living in Hawaii and documenting whale songs for years without any real leads on why the whales sing. After hundreds of hours of work, they finally hire a young, stoned fake-Hawaiian with dreadlocks who unexpectedly gives them their first real clue about what the whales are singing. Unfortunately for the action nerds, this is where the trouble starts. Their house is broken into, their ship is missing, and the head researcher is eaten by a whale.

Christopher Moore takes his listeners on a wild ride where any science that you don’t understand is simply, magic. I highly recommend that you start listening to this, or anything else by Christopher Moore, but be careful where you listen. Public transit riders may give you some strange looks when you’re sitting on the bus laughing to yourself.

The Art of Racing in the Rain – A Hidden Gem

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The Art of Racing in the Rain – A Hidden Gem

As an avid reader, I’m always scanning through staff picks, bestseller lists and book blogs for my next read. After seeing this book on a number of lists I figured it was time to give The Art of Racing in the Rain a try. I hadn’t heard any reviews, and didn’t know anyone who had read it, but it just kept popping up so I wanted to hear what all the fuss was about for myself.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is narrated by Enzo, the beloved family dog, on the day of his death. Enzo knows that he is different from other dogs, almost human, and he explains how he knows this and how he desperately hopes to come back to life as a human.

Throughout the story, Enzo is reliving his life as a dog and tells the tale of Denny, his race car driving best friend and human owner, Denny’s wife Eve and their daughter Zoe. There are many hardships faced by the family as well as many wonderful heart-warming events.

This audio book is brilliantly narrated and will take you on a wild ride of emotions. It is a wonderful pick for any fiction lover, and particularly great for those who love their canine companions.

Spoilers Are A Good Thing?

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Spoilers Are A Good Thing?

I just finished reading an article about spoilers and I have an interesting insight I wanted to share. The article was about what makes a great experience when either listening to or reading a story, and if knowing the ending makes the experience better. I know for myself, one of my favourite parts of a good story is the ending, (I’m sure there are others that agree). I go through great lengths to make sure I don’t overhear the ending, or read a review accidently. However, when the unfortunate event occurs and I end up overhearing the end before I get there, I can’t help but feel my experience has undoubtedly been spoiled.

But has the experience truly been spoiled? According to the latest research published in the Journal of Psychological Science, it shows that “knowing the ending of a story before you read it doesn’t hurt the experience of the story. It actually makes you enjoy the story more.” This is what the article coined as the “Spoiler Paradox”.

Enjoy it more? How does that make any sense?

Easy. Storytelling fulfills a basic human function. Stories are an important tool to help us understand human behaviors and to communicate our understanding to others. We have the ability to attribute thoughts, desires, motivations and intentions of others, and we use this to predict and explain actions and behaviors of others in stories. That’s why it’s argued a “spoiled” story, that we know the ending to beforehand, is more engaging than stories that leave us hanging. Spoiled stories are also easier to follow and understand because we know what is to come. When you don’t know the ending to a story, you might find yourself paying attention to details that may not even be relevant.

So, with all this said and done, which side do you find yourselves on? After all, a spoiler may not be a spoiler, just a great way to simplify a complex story, who wouldn’t want that!

To read about the experiments that were conducted, check out the full article here.