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Friday, January 4, 2013

Review: Sacre Bleu

Christopher Moore's latest -- and heftiest -- novel, Sacre Bleu, is one more example of the man's mad and hilarious genius as he explores art and the color blue.  Yes, he wrote a novel about the color blue.  And it's awesome.

Set France in 1890, shortly after the suicide of Vincent Van Gogh, Sacre Bleu follows Lucien Lessard, and baker and aspiring artist who, after an encounter with a mysterious dwarf known only as the Colorman,, paints a masterpiece of his longtime love Juliette in the nude.  That brings him and his artist circle of the day, most notably his best friend, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, in contact with the muse spirit known only as Bleu, and a deadly chase around Europe by the Colorman.

For the last six years, Christopher Moore has been my personal favorite author.  His novels, even the ones (okay, one) I didn't like as much, leave me alternately howling in laughter and deep in thought.  Sacre Bleu is no exception.  The signature, casually conversational style of Christopher Moore is on full display here in this narrative as he shifts between the adventure in the 1890's and the back story millennia ago.  This runs longer than all his previous work -- by a significant margin -- and the only complaint I have is that it's not as accessible to new fans as it could be.  It takes a while to get to the meat of the story, and with 390 pages of story, non-fans could get understandably discouraged  My advice is to start with something a little less daunting (Like Lamb, A Dirty Job, or his Bloodsucking Fiends Trilogy) to get your feet wet with the author, then dive into this one.  The fans will love this one, though and with good reason.  All the hallmarks of Christopher Moore are here: relatable, average Joe heroes, increasingly supernatural phenomenon, improbable love.  They combine into a wonderfully fun package I highly recommend.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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