As several others have said, nothing is sacred to Christopher Moore. In his newest novel he has completely ripped apart art. All at once, Moore is offensive, profane, outrageous and hilarious in his newest novel, Sacré Bleu: A Comedy D’Art.
Vincent Van Gogh was mysteriously shot in a field around Paris in the 1890s. Was it suicide or was it murder? Lucien Lessard, bread maker and aspiring painter, thinks it’s murder. After receiving a special tube of blue paint from a mysterious and twisted little man, Lucien’s paintings become outstanding, he falls in love with a woman named Juliette, and his life turns into a wreck. Lucien starts to put the pieces together and realizes that all of his problems (and other artists like Van Gogh’s problems) have to do with this particular shade of blue, called sacré blue. In the end, Lucien is determined to stop this twisted little man from selling anymore of the paint and wrecking the lives of artists.
There were several times that I laughed out loud while reading this novel. Moore has a very fresh fantastical look at the lives of the impressionist artists, including Manet, Pissaro, Renoir and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. So while Moore wrote in his usual kooky, ridiculous style, the actual story in Sacré Bleu was full of real life artists and real stories. In the intriguing afterward, Moore writes about how much research he did on the different artists and the snippets of the novel that were based off of true life events.
If books were rated like movies, Sacré Bleu would have an R-rating for its language and sexual references. Moore’s humor is not for everyone. If you haven’t read one of his books before, check out the first two chapters on his blog to get a sense of it. If you do enjoy it, be sure to get one of the first editions of this novel, as it is the only edition that will be printed in full color. The words on the page are blue, and the story also includes full color copies of actual artwork done by the artists. The visual impact that this has on the novel is stunning. I love just flipping through the pages to see the different shades of blue, the different font types and the photos of the artists’ work.
If you’ve got a good sense of humor and a love for satire, next time you’re at your local Half Price Books be on the lookout for some of Christopher Moore’s other most popular novels:
Thanks to the publisher, William Morrow, for sending me a copy to review.
— Kristen B.