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Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art (P.S.) Paperback – 8 May 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006177975X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061779756
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Christopher Moore was born in Ohio and lived there until he was nineteen, when he moved to California. Before publishing his first novel, Practical Demonkeeping, in 1992, he worked as a roofer, a grocery clerk, a hotel night auditor, and insurance broker, a waiter, a photographer, and a rock and roll DJ. Chris divides his time between Hawaii and San Francisco.

Product Description


“I can’t emphasize enough how funny BITE ME is.” (

“[H]ilarious, educational, and original. . . . [I]t is difficult to put the book down, for there are astonishing new developments on every page.” (BookPage)

“A page-turner…. Your ‘Lear’ can be rusty or completely unread to appreciate this new perspective on the Shakespearean tragedy. That is if you enjoy a whole lot of silly behind the scenes of your tragedies.” (Valdosta Times (Georgia) on FOOL)

“If there’s a funnier writer out there, step forward.” (Playboy)

“[W]all-to-wall, farcical fornicating and fighting…a jolly good time can be had.” (Booklist on FOOL)

“A laugh-a-page novel that’s raunchy and irreverent.” (USA Today)

“A raunchy slapstick comedy of young vampires in love . . . Moore is in top form, and this reviewer laughed all the way through this page-turner. Enthusiastically recommended.” (Library Journal)

“A vampire comedy that’s witty, bright and funny.” (People)

“An instant classic . . . terrific, funny and poignant. (Rocky Mountain News)

“Funny, literate, smart and sexy, all at once!” (Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter series, on FOOL)

“In transforming “King Lear” into a potty-mouthed jape, Moore is up to more than thumbing his nose at a masterpiece. His version of Shakespeare’s Fool, who accompanies Lear on his slide from paternal arrogance to spiritual desolation in the original text, simultaneously honors and imaginatively enriches the character.” (San Francisco Chronicle on FOOL)

“It’s hard to resist so gleeful a tale of murder, witchcraft, treason, maiming, and spanking. . . . Moore’s deft ear for dialogue keeps the pages turning . . . Fool is a wickedly good time.” (Christian Science Monitor on FOOL)

“Less may be more, but it isn’t Moore. Wretched excess doth have power to charm, and there are great reeking oodles of it strewn throughout these irreverent pages.” (Kirkus Reviews on FOOL)

“Moore has produced eight books that deftly blend surreal, occult and even science-fiction doings with laugh-out-loud satire of contemporary culture. Powered by engines of the abnormal and unlikely, his tales feature eccentric lowlifes who find their desperate existences hilariously remade by intrusions from other spheres.” (Washington Post Book World)

“Moore is a very clever boy when it comes to words. There are good chuckles to be had in this tale. …Whether you need to read the original King Lear before you read Moore’s Fool is debatable. Seems a fool’s errand to us. Just enjoy.” (USA Today on FOOL)

“Moore turns things on their head with an edgy 21st-century perspective that makes the story line as sharp, surly and slick as a game of Grand Theft Auto… It’s a manic, masterly mix-winning, wild and something today’s groundlings will applaud.” (Publishers Weekly on FOOL)

“Often funny, sometimes hilarious, always inventive, this is a book for all, especially uptight English teachers, bardolaters and ministerial students of the kind who come to our doorstep on Saturday mornings.” (Dallas Morning News on FOOL)

“Mingling comedy and mystery, Moore crafts an intricate story that teases the reader with numerous twists and bawdy humor.…[T]his is an imaginative and amusing look at the Impressionist era, and Moore’s prose is fresh and engaging.” (Booklist on SACRE BLEU)

“Art history is playfully--and perilously--rewrtitten in this ambitious of Moore’s mix of wit and slapstick will be pleased.” (Publishers Weekly on SACRE BLEU)

“Moore’s humor is, as ever, sweetly juvenile, but his arty comedy also captures the courage and rebellion of the Impressionists with an exultant joie de vivre.” (Kirkus Reviews on SACRE BLEU)

“[A]surprisingly complex novel full of love, death, art, and mystery....Don’t let Moore’s quirky characters and bawdy language fool you. His writing has depth, and his peculiar take on the impressionists will reel you in....this is a worthy read. ” (Library Journal (starred review) on SACRE BLEU)

“[A] marvelous, tongue-in-cheek, mythical explanation of the artistic urge... brought vividly to life.” (The Oregonian (Portland) on SACRE BLEU)

“Can Moore find the funny in gloomy Van Gogh? If anybody can-can, count on Moore.” (USA Today on SACRE BLEU)

“Sacré Bleu is a consistently compelling blend of love story, mystery, and ‘what if?’ art history lesson.” (Entertainment Weekly on SACRE BLEU)

“Captivating . . . Those familiar with Moore’s work will love this rich story, which is full of gleefully anachronistic behavior and language--often pun-based--coming from artists we ordinarily revere.” (Houston Chronicle on SACRE BLEU)

“[A] delightfully ribald romp.” (Washington Post Book World on Sacre Bleu)

“The true joy in Sacré Bleu stems from Moore’s writing....His writing contains the rare combination of poetry and humor; where one moment you find yourself rereading a passage for its sublime imagery, and the next, you are grinning over a well-placed excellent novel.” (Dallas News on Sacre Bleu)

“[A]nother exceedingly bizarre, often raucous, and consistently delightful journey into the sweetly demented mind of novelist Christopher Moore.” (Philadelphia Inquirer on SACRE BLEU)

Sacre Bleu is big fun.” (St. Paul Pioneer Press on SACRE BLEU)

“Christopher Moore’s new novel blends diligently researched art history smoothly with his fevered, fiendish imagination.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on SACRE BLEU)

From the Back Cover

In July 1890, Vincent van Gogh went into a cornfield and shot himself. Or did he?

Vincent’s friends, baker-turned-painter Lucien Lessard and bon vivant Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, have their doubts. Now they’re determined to answer the questions surrounding van Gogh’s untimely death—like who was the crooked little “color man” Vincent claimed was stalking him across France . . . and why had the painter recently become deathly afraid of a certain shade of blue? Ooh la la, quelle surprise, and zut alors, what follows is a surreal odyssey and brothel-crawl deep into the art world of late-nineteenth-century Paris, as the one, the only, Christopher Moore cooks up a delectable confection of intrigue, passion, and art history . . . with cancan girls, baguettes, and fine French cognac thrown in for good measure.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The ever inventive and irreverent Christopher Moore tackles art history (circa 1891) in "Sacre Bleu" and creates a bizarre, spicey and often funny mix of Impressionist painters and angels, demons, trolls and other fantasies. Overall, this marriage of respectably-researched artist biographies cum French cultural history and Moore's usual wild romp of snarky/witty dialogue and otherwordly interventions provides some very entertaining moments. With a fictional Parisian painter, Lucien Lessard, and his Watsonian sidekick, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on board as protagonists, the story is largely about the lives of late 19th Century Paris artists and their muses--especially about their muses! As often is the case, Moore emphasizes the foibles, vices and follies of his characters, creating some wicked and hilarious dialogue between them.

Funny as much of this book is, between laughs I was doing a lot of head scratching, particularly in the first 100 pages when the unfolding fantasy element was interwoven with the straight fictional aspects of the story. Eventually, this is sorted out and the tale takes off pretty well about halfway through. Interspersed throughout the book is a usually profane account (yes, blue) of Bohemian loose living, the vicissitudes of struggling artists' lives and a lot of Randy Newmanesque jokes about short people (poor Lautrec).

My recommendation is this: if you are familiar with Christopher Moore's work, by all means get this book and read it. If you have not tried the author before, go to another title first to see what you're in for ("Lamb", "A Dirty Job", etc.). The author is an acquired taste and one that requires some tolerance of mixed genres, modern sensibilities and dialogue in historic contexts and acceptance of sophomoric sex jokes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Maine Colonial on 1 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
That's how Christopher Moore characterizes Sacré Bleu. It's also a mystery, a comedy and a dizzying, dazzling trip through the art world of fin-de-siecle Paris.

I read somewhere that every single one of Christopher Moore's books has been optioned but not one has ever made it to film. I think it must be because producers eventually realize that it's just too much of a challenge to translate the sheer lunacy and demented sweetness of Moore's books to the screen.

The book begins on the day of Vincent Van Gogh's death in Auvers, a village near Paris. Vincent has gone to a crossroads to paint. The history is that Van Gogh there shot himself, then walked a mile to the home of his doctor to seek treatment. Moore wondered if it made any sense that an artist at the height of his powers, even one as tormented as Van Gogh, would shoot himself at that point. And then, why would he walk a mile to his doctor's place rather than just lie down and die? Moore appoints baker-turned-painter Lucien Lessard, and famed painter and libertine Henri Toulouse-Lautrec as his alter-ego detectives to pursue the answer to this puzzle. The pursuit involves Renoir, Manet, Monet, Whistler, Pissarro, Gaugin, Seurat, a menacing character called the Colorman, the artists' muses, a few side trips through time and space, and lots and lots about the color blue.

It's been a long time since I read a book in one afternoon, but once I started reading, I couldn't stop. Now, here I sit with my eyes burning and my head filled with whirling images of the adventures of the naive young Lucien and his usually drunk and lubricious but always endearing friend, Toulouse-Lautrec. In the Afterword, Moore writes, "I know what you're thinking: 'Well thanks loads, Chris, now you've ruined art for everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Camembaert on 23 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Its difficult to review this as a Christopher Moore work as its so different from anything else of his that I have read. Yes, it involves the supernatural, but otherwise its very different. First of all it involves art, and impressionist art at that. You don't have to know much about that genre, but it does help if you know the names of the artists of the period. These are the greats of the late 19th century and created some wonderful work. To find them now at the centre of a Christopher Moore book is slightly bizarre - bit then bizarre is what Moore does.

I won't try to describe the plot, all I will say is that it involves the colour blue, a mysterious woman, a sort of demon, some murder, a lot of syphillis and some painting. Christopher Moore manages to recreate the atmosphere of Montmartre in the late 19th century. It might even be said that he recreates it too well. I doubt I'll ever be able to look at my print of Le Chat Noir again without visualising Toulouse Lautrec sans pantalons. Not a pretty image to be left with.

The book is perhaps a little long, especially if you aren't into the art, but for fans its a great read and probbaly the best iof Moore's that I have aver read - and not a vampire or zombie in sight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MaskedMarauder on 2 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read pretty much every novel by Christopher Moore, but somehow I missed "Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art" the first time around. A mistake that has been rectified.

To put it simply: I love this book - all caps and three exclamation marks.

It now ranks aside, if not atop Fluke, Lamb and A Dirty Job, my favourite Moores.

I love everything about this book: His style, plotting, characters and first and foremost the setting - the wonderful city of Paris during the birth of Modernism in French art, the days of Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Gauguin and even Seurat, the first pointillist. Moore flawlessly incorporates a large number of these artists and historical events into the story.

Though this book is available for the Kindle (and I made the mistake of starting on same), you NEED to read this is as a hardcover, because it is liberally sprinkled with full colour reproductions of paintings from those days, most of which are nicely incorporated into the story!

Highest possible recommendation.

PS: Fool, the only Moore I've not read yet, has jumped up some 372 spots on my 'to read'-list. (less)
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