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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark little fairy tale of the color blue
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...
Published on 1 July 2012 by Maine Colonial

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moore plays the blue - 3+
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...
Published on 14 Sep 2012 by Blue in Washington


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moore plays the blue - 3+, 14 Sep 2012
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Blue in Washington "Barry Ballow" (Washington, DC United States) - See all my reviews
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark little fairy tale of the color blue, 1 July 2012
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Maine Colonial (Maine, United States) - See all my reviews
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.'" Far from it. He's definitely made it a whole lot weirder, but isn't that what you're looking for from one of his books?

Moore always travels to the settings of his books before he writes and, in this case, that means France, mainly Paris. If you visit his blog. he has included a chapter guide where, as he says, "you'll find some photographs, a little background on the geography, history, and art featured in the book, as well as observations and musing I had while researching and writing the book that just wouldn't fit in the story, but I hope will give some perspective on it." Before, during or after you read the book, I highly recommend a visit to the blog and the chapter guide. Among many other items of interest---and more extensive attempts to ruin art for everyone---there are photographs of Auvers, the village where Van Gogh was living at the end of his life, including the real-life settings of several Van Gogh paintings, juxtaposed with the paintings themselves.

In addition to being a flat-out joyride of a novel, this is a beautifully produced book, with typefaces evocative of its 19th century Parisian setting and reproductions of artworks of Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and many other luminaries of the period. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I will now look at Mr. Lautrec in a ..., 2 July 2014
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I will now look at Mr. Lautrec in a different light. The usual Christopher Moore hilarity but set in an impressionist landscape - oh how I wish I was there..
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Art, 23 Dec 2013
By 
Camembaert (Northamptonshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read, 7 Nov 2013
Very enjoyable book. Never read his material before; don't know much about art. An introduction to the period in art history and an enjoyable story with some very amusing lines. Borrowed form the LA public library
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chris <3, 22 May 2013
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This review is from: Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art (P.S.) (Paperback)
The guy is a comic genius. As witty and hilarious as ever. If you're a fan you wont be disappointed and if you're new to the wonderful imagination of Christopher Moore you're in for a treat.
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1.0 out of 5 stars What is this book about, 17 May 2013
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Robert (Uxbridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art (P.S.) (Paperback)
I really cannot see humour or even a plot here. It just drivels on. Van Gogh gets shot. Fast forward to Paris and an art dealer who knows everyone in La Belle Epoch. No story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 22 Mar 2013
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For the first time ever i find i have an interest in art!!

Christopher Moore never lets you down. His books are fast paced, intriguing, funny and thought provoking all at once. A thououghly enjoyable read and a good addition to the excellent and diverse collection that make up Chris Moore. Read them all, you wont be dissapointed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sacre Bleu: an exciting mystery of color!, 6 May 2012
By 
Billy J. Hobbs "Bill Hobbs" (Tyler, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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Christopher Moore--who's not French and seems more like Christopher Hitchens!--returns in another of his "rapier-sharp" fencing bouts with and in literature with Sacre Bleu, set in France about some very famous French people. Moore's "comedy d'art" is one of the more delightful reads I've come across. Indeed, he "does" to France what he has "done" previously to Shakespeare (and King Lear) as well as to Santa Claus and to San Francisco vampires in previous novels.

"This is a story about the color blue," Moore writes in his Prelude. "It may dodge and weave, hide and deceive, take you down paths of love and history and inspiration, but it's always about blue....Blue is beauty, not truth. `True blue' is a ruse, a rhyme; it's there, then it's not. Blue is a deeply sneaky color."

"Sacre Blue"--we discover--is part mystery, part history, part love story, and a definitely clever tale as Moore takes on the great French (painting) masters. In this "adventure," Moore follows a young baker-painter Lucien Lessard who joins Henri Toulouse-Lautrec to solve the "mystery" behind the supposed suicide of Vincent van Gogh. Moore's venture into late 19th century France and the Impressionists is at once surreal (reminding readers of both Salvador Dali and Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon) yet recognizably human, touching the reader here and there, and always at spots the reader can identify and identify with (well, mostly). Certainly we get a different "take" on some of the characters, like Vincent and Toulouse-Lautrec themselves. Lessard comes across, of course, as more than a "mere baker who likes to paint" and, under the guidance of Moore's deft touch and approach, evolves literarily into a character we would love to meet again.

As Robert Cooke writes in "The Literary Gazette," "If you like Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and Emily Dickinson you may or may not like "Sacre Bleu." Nothing's sacred to Mr. Moore." Well, except the color blue.

This may not be a brilliantly written book for the world's intellectuals. It's not "Finnegan's Wake" or "Remembrance of Things Past" or "The Name of the Rose" (who can really understand those books anyway), but "Scare Bleu" is, indeed, a literary adventure and one not easily forgotten.
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Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art (P.S.)
Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art (P.S.) by Christopher Moore (Paperback - 8 May 2014)
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