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He was a stringy mongrel, wandering the streets of the city, driven by a ravenous hunger and hunting a quarry he could not define. But he was something more. Somewhere in the depths of his consciousness was a memory clawing its way to the surface, tormenting him. The memory of what he had once been—a man.

215 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1977

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About the author

James Herbert

119 books2,112 followers
James Herbert was Britain's number one bestselling writer (a position he held ever since publication of his first novel) and one of the world's top writers of thriller/horror fiction.

He was one of our greatest popular novelists, whose books are sold in thirty-three other languages, including Russian and Chinese. Widely imitated and hugely influential, his 19 novels have sold more than 42 million copies worldwide.

As an author he produced some of the most powerful horror fiction of the past decade. With a skillful blend of horror and thriller fiction, he explored the shaded territories of evil, evoking a sense of brooding menace and rising tension. He relentlessly draws the reader through the story's ultimate revelation - one that will stay to chill the mind long after the book has been laid aside. His bestsellers, THE MAGIC COTTAGE, HAUNTED, SEPULCHRE, and CREED, enhanced his reputation as a writer of depth and originality. His novels THE FOG, THE DARK, and THE SURVIVOR have been hailed as classics of the genre.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 276 reviews
Profile Image for Pramod Nair.
232 reviews194 followers
August 22, 2015
"It seemed then as if I were seeing sky for the first time, and in a way I was, through different eyes. I gazed rapturously at the blue ceiling for several moments, until the rays of the sun made my eyes mist over, causing me to blink rapidly. It was then I realized what I was. I wasn’t shocked, for my new brain was still functioning mainly as it should, and memories were still lying dormant within. I accepted what I was; only later did I question my new beginning. But at that time, I thought it was perfectly normal to be a dog."

What would be your reaction, if one day you woke up and found yourself trapped inside the body of a dog?

Will you go insane if each of the sights that you encounter for the first time through your new eyes – or the dog’s eyes – feel maddeningly familiar?

What if waves after waves of unexplainable emotions and hazy memories drive your little body towards an unknown goal, only to find that sometimes even your most trusted memories can be warped and distorted beyond truth?

Fluke’ by ‘James Herbert’ – who is often referred to as the ‘English Stephen King’ – is a ‘chilling yet warm’ kind of supernatural tale, told through the thoughts and sights of a confused and special dog – a dog who is ‘Fluke by name, Fluke by nature’ -, which can delight you as a reader.

James Herbert as an author

James Herbert was a British writer who thrilled and terrified readers across the globe with some of the best-selling supernatural thrillers and horror stories ever written. His macabre tales, often featuring some of the scariest of evil elements and with a sales figure of more than 50 million copies, were enjoyed even by non-English readers thanks to translations into more than 30 languages. His tales of the supernatural are often written with a flair to thrill the reader and have elements of horror, crime and fantasy which adds to the enjoyment factor.

Stephen King was all praises for James Herbert’s dark fantasy novels:

"Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency. His best novels, 'The Rats' and 'The Fog,' had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down."

‘Fluke’, a canine’s world

In ‘Fluke’, James Herbert successfully paints a world for the reader through the perspective of a dog; a perspective, which is both charming and heart-breaking at times to read. When you read the blurb of this book, the plot may seem template based on the surface, but the fluency and the make-believe manner, in which he describes the common sights, sounds and smells that surround us humans re-scaled from the sensory viewpoint of the canine is one of strengths of the book. The skill with which James Herbert characterizes ‘Fluke’ as a confused and vulnerable dog - rather than portraying him as a scary ware-wolf kind of character – makes it very original and a pleasant and engrossing story lingering on the borders of being paranormal.

The author takes the reader through many gripping and entertaining scenarios that ‘Fluke’ encounter while going through the confusions and quests caused by the lingering memories in his mind; memories which take him through his life towards an unknown destination and a surprising and pleasant climax.

‘Fluke’ is a grim story, but the element of horror is pretty subtle when compared to the author’s other stories; with ‘Fluke’ James Herbert is focusing more on narrating a story which can entertain and move the reader with gentle waves of chill, warmth, sadness and even a touch of humor. The descriptions of the diminutive world as seen through the eyes of a mongrel and his tormenting memories rising from the depths of his consciousness are a delight to read. Perfect for a relaxed weekend reading.
Profile Image for Paul O’Neill.
Author 3 books185 followers
February 6, 2017
A great wee tale about a dog, Fluke, who used to be a human and his journey to understanding why he is now a dog.

I loved how this book was narrated. I loved the fact that Fluke's characteristics change from dog to human and back again frequently. That, plus it made me feel for Fluke very much.

This feels like the opposite of the only other Herbert book I've read, The Rats. I hated The Rats, I loved Fluke.
Profile Image for Olethros.
2,631 reviews434 followers
September 23, 2019
-¿Qué nos hace humanos?.-

Género. Novela (por mucho que parta desde un concepto de Narrativa fantástica).

Lo que nos cuenta. En el libro Aullidos (publicación original: Fluke, 1977) conocemos a Fluke, un cachorro recién llegado al mundo y que comienza a interaccionar con su entorno. Mientras interpreta a su manera todos los eventos que lo rodean, poco a poco empieza a darse cuenta de que es más que un perro porque, sin la menor duda, antes fue un humano y además recuerda buena parte de su vida.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:

1 review2 followers
August 5, 2012
This book was a real departure from other James Herbert books which are known for as being horrors, written in a gruesome style. The whole story is an adventure written from the perspective of a dog. Herbert captures the world at ground level, as seen through a dog's eyes (and nose) in such a compelling fashion that I actually found myself believing that it was a first account, accurate portrayal of canine thoughts and feelings - when finishing this book, I genuinely looked at my dog in a different way!

I don't want to give the plot away, but, Fluke, from his early puppyhood knows that he is different from the other dogs. He is plagued by distant memories which will him to embark on a journey to discover the truth about himself. Along the way he meets some colourful characters and gets into all sorts of mischievous doggy trouble!

Parts of the story are sad and touching and some are full of tension, excitement and even hilarity. It all comes together at the ending which may leave you with a few theological thoughts and with you probably not being able to look at your dog in the same way again!
Profile Image for Amalia (◍•ᴗ•◍)❤.
298 reviews63 followers
July 14, 2022
No me esperaba una historia tan entretenida y tan repleta de emociones como la que he leído.
Se lee muy rápido ya que Fluke, el protagonista, vivirá abundantes aventuras, tanto buenas como malas, que no dará tregua al lector.
I did not expect a story as entertaining and as full of emotions as the one I have read.
It reads very quickly since Fluke, the protagonist, will live many adventures, both good and bad, that will not give the reader respite.
Profile Image for Leo ..
Author 2 books382 followers
April 13, 2018
This book is very good. I often have conversations with Archimedes my cat, well I think I do. What a wonderful world we would live in if we all knew that we are connected. Imagine if everything was aware of everything that existed. Like an internet of things but, not virtual. REAL! Imagine a peaceful existence where nothing is hidden. No barriers or boundaries. No bigotry or judgement. Only love and transparency. Imagine knowing what the trees were thinking. The flora and fauna. Did our ancient ancestors have these abilities? Fluke is a great book by one of my top ten UK authors. James Herbert created a brilliant story of reincarnation and loves lost. Of the world through the eyes of a man reincarnated into a dogs body. Great book.🐯👍👍🐯
Profile Image for Paul (Life In The Slow Lane).
649 reviews35 followers
November 28, 2022
I'm sure I was a Labrador Retriever in a former life. I can tell by the way I eat dinner. Not a quote from the book; just an observation on my personal behaviour.

In the 70s, Jim Herbert was a favourite author of mine. There was a "friendly" rivalry going on between him and Stephen King. Difference is: King just got better, while Herbert faded away to his death in 2013.

THIS story however, is a big departure from Herbert's usual "scare the nuggets out of you" stories. This is entertaining and heart-warming, especially if you're a dawg person...like me. It's almost like a children's story. In fact, you could read this to your little sprog at night and not worry about ensuing nightmares. In fact, your little scone-grabber will probably want you to hang around reading, until it's finished. And your wife will probably be listening in too. It's that good. The ending is a bit unsuitable for kiddos but good nevertheless.

I guess the plot morphs from a canine reincarnation through to a murder whodunnit - with the obligatory twist at the end. During all this, Herbert answers the meaning to life, the universe and everything (and it's not 42). Great story - well worth a read.

There are some reincarnation concepts you have to accept. And some other weirdness, typical of Herbert's writings, but just put that disbelief away in the closet and read on.
Profile Image for Timothy Mayer.
Author 19 books21 followers
June 8, 2013
James Herbert, who passed this year, was better known in the UK than the US. He started out as a horror novelist with The Rats in 1974. This was followed by another book which proved to be popular, The Fog. Herbert continued to produce novels on many different topics and genres until his recent death. Stephen King thought highly of him and there is a good podcast which covers his work, which you can listen to here.

Fluke was his third novel and was first published in 1977. Herbet was trying to get away from the popular format which had done so well for him. This book can best be described as a dark fantasy. It concerns the adventures of a mongrel who has memories of his former life as a man. The book takes place in England.

Fluke opens with the narrator’s earliest memories as a puppy. He’s sold to a man who takes him home to a disapproving wife. The narrator is then dumped at a dog pound where his remembrance of being a man become more pronounced. He’s on the verge of being euthanized, when he makes an escape out the door and into the world at large. He tries to take up with an old woman who takes care of him, but her lazy son takes a dislike, sending him back into the world. Most of the book is describes the tastes, smells and impressions which are meaningful to a dog.

Eventually, he’s found by a junkyard dark names Rumbo and takes up with him. Rumbo introduces him to the junkyard owner, known as the “The Guvnor”. Here the narrator finally acquires his name “Fluke” when one of the Guvnor’s gangster friends discovers the dog can play a complicated street game. The Guvnor is described as having attributes which are equally cruel and kind. He keeps the dogs around and occasionally feeds them, but ties lLuke up in the rain when the dogs accidentally bring the cops into the junk yard.

Fluke stays with Rumbo long enough to learn more about the world and grows out of his puppy stage. But every good thing comes to an end. The Guvnor’s gangland associates finally does him in. Fluke is forced to travel alone, in search of who he is and where his former family might be living.

Toward the conclusion of the book, Fluke meets a badger who talks philosophically. The badger was a man in a former life himself and understands Fluke’s confusion. The badger advises Fluke to forget his human past: “You accept now. Accept your’re a dog, accept you are a fluke- or perhaps not a fluke. You must live as a dog now.” But Fluke continues in search of the family he remembers from his former life. He eventually finds them, leading to the novel’s near-tragic conclusion.

Much of the book is filled with Fluke’s philosophizing on the relationship between humans and dogs. He wonders why dogs are often used as negative metaphors. Why do dogs, who are the closest to humans of all animals, come in for so much derision. His final question: Is it because we are more like you than any other living creature?

I should make a mention of the 1995 film version which moves the action to the US. It seems to follow the narrative of the book somewhat, but turns the whole story into a family-friendly film. Gone is the sinister machinations of the Guvnor and his ilk. I haven’t finished watching it- just discovered it on Netflix- but it’s a different creature than the novel.

I’d recommend Fluke to anyone who’s looking for a good novel about canine-human relations, the mysteries of life, and The Great Beyond. There’s even ghosts in the novel- dogs can see them, but they are sad, wispy creatures. Not a book to be read if you’re looking for something sweet and cheery.
Profile Image for Jade.
89 reviews154 followers
August 15, 2023
A lovely story about a man who is reincarnated as a dog. Very different from Herbert's other books but still enjoyable. There was a good twist towards the end. The whole concept of the book was a really fascinating but sad one.
Profile Image for  (shan) Littlebookcove.
152 reviews67 followers
June 14, 2016
Fluke.. I honestly wasn't sure if I wanted to read this mostly because I wasn't sure what to expect? I've read The fog and The rats and was expecting something horrific. Animal abuse is something I can't read about at all! as I own a dog, and he's my little man and my best friend. But I bit the bullet and I'm so glad I did.

This book is nothing like James Herbets normal style. This book is absolutely wonderful! In this tale we meet fluke! Fluke is a tiny puppy fresh into the world, but he's not like an ordinary puppy he's different. We then follow Fluke on his vast adventures and find out just what fluke is and why he was a puppy, and along the way we meet some really amazing characters as well as some really nutty ones too.

I was expecting a heart breaking Watership down kind of vibe from this book and I wasn't looking forward to it. But instead it was an Inspiring and warming read. There's a big theme in this book and it's about life. I applaud James Herbert for this book, This book is one of the reasons why he deserved that OBE he got. As for a favourite character in this book it had to be Rumbo after Fluke of course. :P
Profile Image for Richard.
Author 1 book41 followers
October 4, 2022
This is very different from James Herbert’s usual fiction—a fantasy rather than horror, and more touching, even funny.
    We first meet Fluke as a tiny puppy among his little brothers and sisters, on sale at a street market filled with noisy (and smelly) giants (the descriptions of how we humans smell to a dog are graphic!). Catching the eye of a kindly old man, he’s soon carried off through the busy streets and road traffic, none of which he’s ever seen before and all described the way they must look to a very small dog. His first home is not a bad one either: true, he makes all the usual puppy-mistakes—crapping on the bedroom carpet and innocently shredding a pile of female clothing—but there are also warm evenings in front of the fire and a lawn to race, jump and roll about on during the long sunny days. We’re not exactly sure why (most likely that shredded laundry) but eventually the man, very reluctantly, carries him off again to the Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home nearby. He doesn’t stay there long though, escaping to finally end up out on the London streets as a stray. There he gets lucky, meeting Rumbo, a much older and more streetwise dog who takes him in hand (or paw) and shows him how to survive.
    That’s how it all begins, but from fairly early on it’s clear that there’s something very odd about little Fluke. He has strange flashes of memory: of another, much smaller, town surrounded by green fields; of a second mother, a human mother; of a much younger woman and a little girl in a house at the end of a narrow muddy lane. Human memories. How could a puppy come to have human memories? That’s the real story as Fluke sets out to discover the answer: who he once was, who he has become now, and why.
    I liked the story itself hugely, if not the philosophy behind it. This “explanation” is the sort of lazy-minded cod-mysticism I won’t bother going into, but the story itself is anything but: it’s gritty, poignant, often funny—and with a real extra twist at the end I didn’t see coming at all. Particularly well-imagined is the way everything looks to this puppy: because he’s part dog and part human, the world around him is vast, loud, incomprehensible and at times terrifying—yet increasingly lit up by sudden shafts of human understanding too. Despite the hippie-style eastern philosophy, I read the whole thing in one sitting, totally engrossed.
Profile Image for Siobhan.
4,564 reviews475 followers
February 17, 2016
What happens when Siobhan finds a James Herbert book going cheap? She buys it, of course.

Well, technically, she has a little squeal in the store. She gets a little bit too excited. She searches for some more books so that she can get the offer. She holds the book close to her chest. Then, she buys it with a wide smile on her face.

In case you cannot tell, I rather enjoy a good James Herbert read.

My initial foray into Herbert’s world was accidental. I needed a new read and I found Ash sitting in a bookstore. It screamed ‘pick me’. My mother said she enjoyed his work, and that it was worth a try. Thus, I nabbed it. I was unaware that it was the third book in the David Ash series, but such a thing did not stop me. I devoured the book. Then, upon finding out it was the third in the series, I went ahead and got my hands on the two prior books. Those books were also devoured and my status as a Herbert fan was cemented. It was a long time before I picked up another Herbert book, as my mother could not find all her old copies. Being a lover of the horror books that existed in the seventies and eighties, my mother hand plenty of good reads stashed throughout the house. It was merely a case of finding them. When they were finally found, a lot of her books were missing. We continue to search, but we’re not hopeful. Such a thing saddens me, especially with how we found so few Herbert book. Ergo, I grabbed Fluke upon seeing it going cheap. I had to have it. It was one of the Herbert books my mother thoroughly enjoyed.

Don’t let the three star rating fool you, I really enjoyed this book. In fact, it was very close to being a four star rating – but it wasn’t quite there.

I’ll start at the beginning, though. First off, it’s a wonderful idea. Is Fluke a man turned dog or a dog who thinks he is a man? You do not know what to believe. If it is the former, what cause this change? Being a Herbert book, my first thought was magic – yet there are other possibilities. We have countless supernatural possibilities all the way through to the possibility of reincarnation. What, exactly, is to blame? Of course, Herbert is not going to give us the answer until the end of the book. We need to work for that. We need to read about the life of the dog before we can understand the why of the situation.

It really was interesting to read a book written from a non-human perspective. It is so much fun, so unique. I’m certainly open to reading more books like this. With Herbert’s usual flair (although there is a lot less horror compared to what we are given in some of his other books), we’re pulled into the story. Even though the main character is a dog, you connect with him. You understand him. You understand what he is going through. You cannot help but want the best for him as he searches for his answers.

However, I couldn’t help but grow somewhat annoyed by the constant mention of hunger. Ninety percent of the events come about due to Fluke’s search for food. I understand why this was, yet I grew tired of reading the same information written in different ways. Whilst we’re constantly told that dogs are natural born optimists, what Herbert fails to mention is that they are also controlled by their stomach. Due to this, I found my eyes misting over somewhat when Fluke once again went on a hunger rampage. I knew what would happen – it was just a build up to the main event that followed the full stomach.

Despite my annoyance at the constant food related segments, I adored the overall story. Throughout we have the mystery of what is going on. The ending was wonderful, and I really should have seen the revelation before it was given. I honestly had expected it to play out in a completely different way. Whilst I wasn’t overly happy with the way it ended – I had wanted a lot more action – I found I enjoyed it a lot more than I imagined I would enjoy such an ending.

Overall, it was a wonderful short read. Had I not been so displeased by the stomach focus, it would have been a full four star rating. Nevertheless, it is a must for any Herbert fan.
Profile Image for Clare.
89 reviews2 followers
October 6, 2013
This is the story of a dog named Fluke who, since being a very young pup, believes he was once a man. We follow his story - which is told in the first person (or rather dog) - from being in a litter of pups, through his boisterous time of adolescence whilst living on the streets, to becoming an adult and his quest to find out the truth about his past. To say I was hooked by the reading the first page is an understatement - I read the first page twice to appreciate the utterly captivating writing style. I believed this was written by a dog. This is such an enchanting story and up there as one of the best books I have ever read. I think the last book that had me blubbing was Charlotte's Web when I was about 9 years old. By the end of Fluke, I was crying my eyes out. Beautifully written and a must for animal loving readers who also have a penchant for the supernatural and paranormal genres. I can't recommend this book enough.
Profile Image for Nourhan.
37 reviews48 followers
October 16, 2009
One of the most amazing, inspiring & breathtaking books. It made me cry sometimes. It had risen my sympathy toward that poor dog.It talks about a dog who thinks that he was a man or a human being someday.Until one day he met a pretty young girl whom he recognized as his own daughter.He kept on barking at her trying to tell her that he's his father but she couldnt understand.She showed her sympathy and felt an attraction toward that poor dog.Then he met her mom which he recognized as his wife.He followed them to home.Trying to convince them that he used to be human and he was the one who died years ago!
The story itself is about dogs life how they cooperate with its own small environment.
Also it arises the idea os reincarnation.
Recommend this book for animal lovers & reincarnation believers.
Profile Image for Emma Webb.
3 reviews6 followers
September 10, 2011
I thought this story was absolutely wonderful. I only read it because my fiance recommended it to me, thinking I'd enjoy it. He was right! From the off, Herbert had me hooked. It's quite a compelling story and as it's not that long, it's really easy to read.

I'm not usually a big fan of stream-of-consciousness writing, and though this is only very loosely SOC, Herbet weaves the story together so well that I didn't really notice.

This is the first Herbert story I read, I'm pretty sure 'The Rats' is next on my list, as I've heard from a few people that they are good stories. And I do love a good story!
Profile Image for Jason.
1,218 reviews118 followers
June 15, 2017
One of James Herberts better stories, in this book he isn't just trying to gross you out or scare the pants of you, the plot is a bit more serious.

Fluke is a dog, he realises from a young age that he isn't normal, he then goes on an adventure to discover the truth about himself. Things do feel a bit disneyish at times, not too much in this to shock you.

In my opinion Dog!: You'll Never Look At Your Dog the Same Way Again. is a more interesting point of view by a dog.
Profile Image for Benjamin Stahl.
1,864 reviews46 followers
February 21, 2022
Since I fear I would not enjoy The Ghosts of Sleath nearly as much if I read it again, I think it's safe to say Fluke is the only great James Herbert book I have ever read. Haunted: too formulaic. Ash: ridiculous. The Survivor: mediocre. The Fog: a superficial gore-fest. The Dark: only a slightly better version of The Fog. The Spear: ludicrous. The Secret of Crickley Hall: boring.

It's fair to say I'm not a fan of James Herbert. But, perhaps merely because of this one exceptional book, I return every few years to give him another chance.
Profile Image for James Burton.
1 review
January 26, 2013
I have read this book many times and own my original copy from 1983. I have always admired this book, I love the way that you sit back and see life through the eyes of the dog, the colors, the ghosts and many other smells and intuition..This book made me laugh and cry and still does today. Its an easy read and I always find that if I have another chance, maybe a dog would not be a bad place to start. This is a great read for everyone, oh and if you think its like the movie, its not, this is 100 times better than hollywood....
Profile Image for Bill Mclean.
2 reviews
July 29, 2012
While very different to what I expected after reading other novels by James Herbert, I found this to be a very unique and intriguing writing style. The story is well put together, and while I thought in the first few chapters I may not find this story through the eyes of a dog too interesting, the ensuing 3 chapters hooked me in. I could not put this book down until it's unexpected ending.
Profile Image for Ignacio Senao f.
983 reviews44 followers
February 2, 2022
Gracias James por esta sorpresa tan agradable.

Leés Herbert y automáticamente lo relacionas con el terror. Pero en este caso parió una historia llena de emotividad y aventura.

Fluke es un perro que nos cuenta su historia desde el primer momento que tiene conciencia, al conocer otros animales se va dando cuenta que es más listo que el resto e incluso tiene memoria de otra vida, el antes era un ser humano, alguien que tenia familia y fue asesinado. Pues nada, comenzara un viaje en busca de su mujer e hijos, para intentar demostrarles que el era quien era. Nada es fácil y aun más si eres un perro que simplemente ladras o lloras.

El mejor libro de James a falta de unos pocos por leer de él.
Profile Image for I'mogén.
961 reviews37 followers
June 20, 2017
I was mildly confused to begin with we are thrown into the story by seeing everything through a dog's eyes, and of course, he described things differently than humans would. I soon got to grips with his views on the world though, so I began to quickly understand what Fluke was talking about. This only got stronger, thankfully, as the story progressed.
The plot itself was pretty intriguing to me. I know of films and books to go down similar routes but I believe this is the first time I personally have ever read a story where our protagonist is a man trapped inside of a dog's body.
I'm glad we got some spiritual/religious reflection on how this extraordinary circumstance came to be and was glad to find it wasn't preachy at all. In fact, I found it quite eye opening and it strengthened some of the points that I think this book was trying to make. I say "think" because I didn't really grasp onto any strong lessons and ultimately I was left feeling like this novel was just okay: a fun read at the time, but something that won't stay with me for too long a time.
I feel like we had a bit of a cameo from one of the fiendish rats from Herbert's (probably best known) novel "The Rats". If so, I'm wondering if his other books have any slight connections. I'll look forward to that, as this is only the second book I've read from this author.
One part I was a bit confused over was that I think someone tried to justify animal cruelty at one point. The whole speech around that was very moving, but I think that was slyly snuck if, if that is the case and if so, I didn't like it.
I was expecting the plot to end in a certain way and for the most part my assumptions were correct, although I was pleasantly surprised by the twist right at the end. The shocking truth was very good, especially because the truth became apparent to Fluke near the place everything changed for him.

Overall, I do believe this was a good book, a fun read and something I enjoyed at the time, however I wasn't always motivated to pick it up and I doubt it will stick with me for ages. Nevertheless, it is a book I would recommend.

Pick it up, give it a go and enjoy! ^^
Profile Image for Laura.
7 reviews7 followers
October 18, 2008
I hadn't considered reading Fluke before seeing the slightly soppy movie adaptation of it, when I was about 9 or 10, being as the front cover resembled those of the many other James Herbert books my parents owned- all of which, I believed to be quite scary. With a scary black dog, with a man-shaped shadow, I was certain it was a scary book, but it turns out, that despite its supernatural themes, Fluke is actually quite different from other James Herbert novels. No mention of sex, and no real horror elements, it follows the life of a young dog, who is plagued by dreams of being a man, and, determining that he was once a man in a previous life, that he had been murdered and decides to track down his human family to protect them. Its a rather sweet story about reincarnation, and about acceptance in your life. Albiet sweet, it certainly doesn't have the same soppiness the American movie had, and the message is much stronger in the book. It was the book that made me really start thinking more about spirituality, and prompted me to start thinking for myself, instead of relying on what the teachers drummed into us during assembly prayers. I would recommend it to anyone who likes animals, spiritual messages, and of course, a fair little dashing of humour.
481 reviews16 followers
June 13, 2011
Fluke was quite a surprise to me. I would have never expected the author of The Fog and the Rats trilogy to write something like this. It isn’t horror at all. Instead, it is a beautiful story about the adventures of a dog told in first-person by that dog who was once a man. Through out the novel, Fluke remembers bits and pieces of his former life as a human and this is what drives the story in a vague direction. For the most part, however, this novel doesn’t have a specific purpose other than to follow Fluke’s many interesting experiences. Herbert’s writing is brilliant in this novel and his descriptions of life as a dog are so detailed and convincing that you would think he has been one himself at some point.
This novel is emotional and fast-paced all the way through. I have read books a bit similar to it (White Fang, Marley and Me, and the Redwall series to name a few) but this one is still unique. To me, reading yet another book about a dog seeming new and unique is a miracle.
Profile Image for Nik Morton.
Author 66 books38 followers
December 22, 2012
This fourth novel was a brave departure for James Herbert at the time, as he was making a name as a 'horror writer'. But this is a fantasy in which he seamlessly steps into the paws of Fluke, the puppy that grows into a dog... and wonders about the flashes of memory where he was sure he was actually a man. 'I called out to the men, but the sound wa just a dog's howl. I tried to think of my previous life, but when I concentrated, the mental pictures slid away. How had I become a dog?'

It's a superb piece of observation, a moving tale of character and, paradoxically, humanity in the animal kingdom. Excellent writing, too:
'I was free and the freedom lent vigour to my young limbs. I fled and wasn't pursued; nothing on this earth could have caught me anyway. The taste of life was in me and questions pounded my brain.'

It's an emotional rollercoaster, injected with humour and pathos. The ending is truly affecting.

Profile Image for Jessica.
27 reviews3 followers
August 28, 2010
Very interesting idea, telling about a man coming to accept that he was reincarnated into a dog's body. Great job of describing a dog's point of view.
Profile Image for Ronnie,.
59 reviews13 followers
November 9, 2012
I read this book Fluke in the 80s and adored it, a must for anybody who owns a Dog, this will get the imagination going.
Superb reading.
Profile Image for Donna Davies.
66 reviews1 follower
January 30, 2023
I first read this as a young teenager, but I only had the vaguest of recollections of it so it was love to revisit.
Fluke is a story of a puppy as he grows up in a harsh world, but he isn't quite like the other dogs, he has strange recollections of a time before he was a dog, when he was a man. As he grow some of these recollections become more vivid and he goes looking for the life he left behind that he cannot quite remember.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 276 reviews

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