Fluke by James Herbert
Recently I read The Last Dog on Earth, Adrian J. Walker’s excellent dystopian novel featuring dual narratives, that of Reg the human and - most memorably - that of Lineker the dog. I loved the book and enjoyed reading Lineker’s thoughts, and also found myself making a mental note, which was simply re-read James Herbert’s Fluke.
James Herbert died four years ago and for many of us who were teenagers or older in the 80s he was - alongside Stephen King - a must-read horror writer. The Rats trilogy, The Fog, The Magic Cottage - novels that have a special place in millions of readers’ lives. And then there is Fluke, and here’s the thing - it is not a horror book, it is a deceptively simple tale into which Herbert imbues pathos and humour and out of my fuzzy recollections of three decades ago two things remain clear: I was enthralled and I ultimately moved to tears.
The novel itself centres on Fluke, a mongrel who wanders the streets, driven by hunger and hunting a quarry he can not define. But he was once something more and in the depths of his consciousness there’s a memory clawing its way to the surface, tormenting him, refusing to let him rest. It is the memory of what he had once been. A man.
This is a novel that explores reincarnation and poses the question of what would it be like to have a human mind and recollections whilst existing in a canine body. Fluke is a charming lead, a mixture of human and canine thoughts, driven by the fear that soon his human thoughts will fade away to nothing. It’s about Fluke discovering other dogs who become friends, all the while seeing humans in a completely new perspective. But what drives the story is Fluke's finding his way home to his wife and daughter and uncovering what reason his life ended so suddenly.
This is simply a very well told story, accessible to all aged 12 and up. James Herbert expertly captures what a dog's life might be like through and you - as the reader - really find yourself at ground level, revelling in the extra sensory overload that Fluke feels.
This Fluke book review was written by Floresiensis
Have you read Fluke?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Fluke reader reviews
8.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren - he felt sure of it. So did his brother Hazel, for Fiver's sixth sense was never wrong. ...
Animal Farm is set in a farmyard where the animals decide to seize the farmer's land and create a co-operative that reaps the benefits of their combined labours. Howeve...
Diana Wynne Jones
A powerful being fights for his life within the body of a humble, earthbound puppy. Sirius, immortal Lord of the Dog Star and infamous for his quick temper, cannot believe ...
Joan D Vinge
Captain Etienne Navarre is a man on whose shoulders lie a cruel curse. Punished for loving each other, Navarre must become a wolf by night whilst his lover, Lady Isabeau, t...
Rosemary Van Deuren
Blood versus fear. Folklore versus mysticism. Animal versus man. In the world of the rabbits, she is hailed as a saviour. In the world of men, a holy man wants her dead. Sh...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own. New alliances and old feuds will remake the natio...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...