Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art

Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art

4.0 103
by Christopher Moore
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Playboy
“If there’s a funnier writer out there, step forward.”
Dallas Morning News
“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.”
USA Today
“A laugh-a-page novel that’s raunchy and irreverent.”
People
“A vampire comedy that’s witty, bright and funny.”
Booklist
“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.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“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.”
Rocky Mountain News
“An instant classic . . . terrific, funny and poignant.
BookPage
“[H]ilarious, educational, and original. . . . [I]t is difficult to put the book down, for there are astonishing new developments on every page.”
Washington Post Book World
“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.”
Christian Science Monitor
“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.”
Bookreporter.com
“I can’t emphasize enough how funny BITE ME is.”
Valdosta Times (Georgia)
“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.”
The Oregonian (Portland)
“[A] marvelous, tongue-in-cheek, mythical explanation of the artistic urge... brought vividly to life.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Sacré Bleu is a consistently compelling blend of love story, mystery, and ‘what if?’ art history lesson.”
Houston Chronicle
“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.”
Dallas News
“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 wisecrack....an excellent novel.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“[A]nother exceedingly bizarre, often raucous, and consistently delightful journey into the sweetly demented mind of novelist Christopher Moore.”
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Sacre Bleu is big fun.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on SACRE BLEU
“Christopher Moore’s new novel blends diligently researched art history smoothly with his fevered, fiendish imagination.”
Washington Post Book World on Sacre Bleu
“[A] delightfully ribald romp.”
People Magazine
"A vampire comedy that’s witty, bright and funny."
Jeff Lindsay
“Funny, literate, smart and sexy, all at once!”
Valdosta Times (Georgia) on FOOL
“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.”
Booklist on FOOL
“[W]all-to-wall, farcical fornicating and fighting…a jolly good time can be had.”
San Francisco Chronicle 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.”
Christian Science Monitor 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.”
USA Today on FOOL
“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.”
Dallas Morning News 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.”
Booklist on SACRE BLEU
“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.”
The Oregonian (Portland) on SACRE BLEU
“[A] marvelous, tongue-in-cheek, mythical explanation of the artistic urge... brought vividly to life.”
USA Today on SACRE BLEU
“Can Moore find the funny in gloomy Van Gogh? If anybody can-can, count on Moore.”
Entertainment Weekly on SACRE BLEU
“Sacré Bleu is a consistently compelling blend of love story, mystery, and ‘what if?’ art history lesson.”
Houston Chronicle 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.”
Dallas News 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 wisecrack....an excellent novel.”
Philadelphia Inquirer on SACRE BLEU
“[A]nother exceedingly bizarre, often raucous, and consistently delightful journey into the sweetly demented mind of novelist Christopher Moore.”
St. Paul Pioneer Press on SACRE BLEU
Sacre Bleu is big fun.”
John Wilwol
[Lucien and Toulouse-Lautrec] make for a splendid dynamic duo. Lucien is a starry-eyed romantic for whom stories about famous paintings "were the fairy tales of his childhood," while Toulouse-Lautrec, when he's not with a French prostitute, is an unfailingly loyal comic hero…Moore's work has tended to fall into what one critic called the "zonked-out comic horror" category, but Sacre Bleu is different. Let's call it a historical comedy, with an emphasis on the comedy. There's even a soupcon of art criticism…
—The Washington Post
Library Journal
Moore (Fool; You Suck) set out to write a book about the color blue. What he ended up with is a surprisingly complex novel full of love, death, art, and mystery. When baker-turned-aspiring artist Lucien Lessard, whose father was friends with some of the preeminent French artists of the late 19th century, receives a special tube of vibrant blue paint from the mysterious Juliette, his amateurish painting becomes masterly and his life becomes a mess. Obsessed with painting and loving Juliette, Lucien must discover the mystery of the blue paint, the origins of Juliette, and the identity of her near-constant companion, the frighteningly sinister Colorman who haunted other artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Pissarro, and Cézanne. In the end, the true question for Lucien is, "At what price art?" VERDICT 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. One part art history (with images of masterpieces interspersed with the narrative), one part paranormal mystery, and one part love story, this is a worthy read. Considering the large marketing push and Moore's rabid fan base, expect demand. [Nine-city tour; see Prepub Alert, 10/9/11.]—Jennifer Beach, Cumberland Cty. P.L., VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061779756
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Pages:
403
Sales rank:
109,241
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

What People are saying about this

Jeff Lindsay
“Funny, literate, smart and sexy, all at once!”

Meet the Author

Christopher Moore is the author of fourteen previous novels, including Lamb, The Stupidest Angel, Fool, Sacré Bleu, A Dirty Job, and The Serpent of Venice. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Hawaii and San Francisco, California
Date of Birth:
August 5, 1958
Place of Birth:
Toledo, Ohio
Website:
http://www.chrismoore.com

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Sacré Bleu: A Comedy of D'Art 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 103 reviews.
Rob_Ballister More than 1 year ago
Christopher Moore's latest novel SACRE BLEU is an extremely well researched off the wall romp through Paris' art nobility, taking place immediately after the death of Vincent Van Gogh. And some time before that. And during the time period shortly after the dinosaurs died... No, I'm not crazy. What starts as two friends (one a baker, the other a drunk, whoring aristocrat) trying to solve the death of their friend and fellow painter Vincent Van Gogh turns into a delving into the supernatural as the two meet a model (Juliette) and her odd, surly, dwarfish companion known only as "the Colorman." Along the way, the two interact with many from Paris' art scene, as well as numerous art patrons, prostitutes, a donkey named Etienne, and a genuine mad scientist. Anyone who has read Christopher Moore knows he has a wickedly warped sense of humor, and that shines through almost from the start in this book. But this book isn't just funny, it's so well researched it's almost educational. I am non-artsy, don't care a bit about Monet or Impressionalism, and still feel like I learned a ton about painters and styles of the day. On top of that, I had a pretty great time doing it! Some of Moore's other stories took place in a world he created. But here he proves his ability to paint on someone else's canvas (wow, I learned more than I thought!), and in doing so adds another dimension to his work. Christopher Moore fans, indeed fans of the comic novel in general, will thoroughly enjoy this book. If you do not find this review helpful, please leave a comment so that I know how I may improve my reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my fourth fave C Moore book after Lamb, Dirty Job ad Fool. Love the characters and as always the mystical female. This bastard is such a genius at dialogue and my jealousy of his talent grows with each new book
BookwormReflects More than 1 year ago
Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art By Christopher Moore Vincent van Gogh has been murdered; Lucien Lessard is a painter/baker/rat catcher once he learns of van Gogh’s demise he immediately heads to the Moulin Rouge in search of his closest friend Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The two of them spend a great deal of time together until Lucien’s ex-lover whom broke his heart returns and Lucien finds himself lost to Juliette and he even begins to loose large chunks of time not knowing where or what he was doing. Lucien’s family Toulouse Lautrec’s help in rescuing Lucien from the woman, once Henri tries to intervene he begins to uncover a shocking truth that not only effects Lucien but all painters. I have always been a fan of impressionism so I had worried that Christopher Moore may not be able to capture some of the paintings that I love, but he not only managed to make each artist outrageously funny and interesting but he brought to life some of the world’s most precious pieces of art. I have read a few of Christopher Moore’s novels before and I always end up laughing, if you have a crude sense of humor and can’t help but giggle at idiotic things then this will surely keep you enthralled if not then you may want to move on quickly. My favorite scene was Lucien as a boy in a graveyard trying to catch snails, when he spots one he says “Ah Ha” and in turn the snail says “Ah Ha” to which the young Lucien starts to run away screaming, that isn’t the entire scene of course you will have to actually read the book to find out more but it is a glimpse into the absurdity and childish humor I so love from Christopher Moore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are you SURE Christopher Moore wrote this? Usually one can always count on him for refreshingly quirky characters and hilarious (if deeply bent) plots.But Sacre Bleu is just not funny.Perhaps his mistake is in taking the subject too seriously. I realize that not every book can be a gem, but this one is a real letdown after "Fool". Moore should stick to what he does best.
ReadsalotIN More than 1 year ago
I have read everything that Christopher Moore has written and loved them all, till now. The story line in Sacre Bleu is so slow and tiresome that I almost gave up finishing it. Which is a shame, the author is so worried about including so many historical facts the the story seems to go on forever. I just didn't find this book as witty and spell binding as his other works. If you haven't read a Christopher Moore novel before don't start with this book. His other works are much better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quirky, but I loved it. Great incite into life in that wonderfully creative time. Don't know how he could weave artists from past to present in such a creative, funny and very unusual way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best
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Usual christopher moore wit. Highly recommended
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love his books but this one sucked
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy Christopher Moore's humor and writing. He reminds us that we don't have to take the world so seriously and can laugh, most often, at ourselves. I would recommend any of Moore's books, including this one.
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BlackCougar More than 1 year ago
I am a BIG FAN of Christopher Moore's books and have bought and read every one of them. I have loved every single one - up until this one. Sacre Bleu lacks the wild imagination and irrverent humor that Moore had made me accustomed to. For one thing, I typically read his other books rather quickly - usually less than a week - because I didn't want to put them down. It took me two months to read Sacre Bleu. It was a difficult slog until Part III, when I finally felt like I wanted to pick up the book and see what would happen next. Parts I and II seemed like a tedious art history lesson that wasn't going anywhere. If not for my previous experiences with Moore's books, I would have tossed the book and looked for something else to read. However, I persevered - hoping the story would somehow come together - but I was very disappointed. Part III got better and closer to Moore's typical writing, but it just didn't achieve the brilliance of his other stories. The pace picked up, but it lacked punch. The chuckles that came were also few and far between. The two stars I gave it were because it was just okay as a standalone book. Unfortunately, compared to the rest of Moore's catalog, it surely deserved 0 stars. Sorry Christopher, but I buy your books for what they make me feel. This one let me down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For any Christopher Moore fan this book is a must read. It can be a little dry at times but it is ultimately an engaging novel featuring a series of multidimensional characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely believe that Chris is the funniest writer of our time. This one had me laughing out loud. If you haven't read any of Chris Moore's books you should check them out. If you end up not liking them you may want to give serious thought as to why you are my friend. Just saying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my least favorite Christopher Moore book. It had his usual absurd, irreverent tone, but it just seemed esoteric to me, like I wasn't really getting most of the novel because I was unfamiliar with most of the artists who were characters. If you love and are very familiar with early modern European artists (Van Goh, Whistler, etc.), especially those in the Parisian scene where most of this novel takes place, and don't mind irreverence & the macabre, I suspect you will absolutely love this novel. If you're a fan of Moore's other work, but not an art afficionado, then I suggest you give this one a pass; it's a lot more dense and obscure than most of his other books. I found it overall entertaining (with my small knowledge of modern art), but at times frustrating or even boring as he delved into different artist stories. The character development is not very strong as he seems to be relying on readers to understand and know the historical characters that he is referencing. It has humor, but is very dark (much darker than the other books I've read by him).