Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d'Art by Christopher Moore
The year is 1890, and the news of infamous painter Vincent van Gogh's death has quickly spread throughout Paris. Lucien Lessard, a baker turned painter, can hardly believe the news. He has been part of the French art scene for years, and has experienced, first-hand, the brilliance and madness of the late artist. No stranger to depression himself, Lucien feels sadness for the loss of a great artist, and recalls the sadness he felt when his beloved Juliette left to London without any further contact with him.
As Lucien discusses Vincent's death with his friend, painter Henri Fantin Latour, he surprised to see a familiar face. Juliette, the woman who inspired him to paint only to break his heart, has returned from London. Despite his shock and bitterness, the relationship quickly picks up where it left off. Soon Juliette is posing as Lucien paints what is sure to be his masterpiece. For this painting, he acquires a special blue, Sare Bleu, or the color of the Virgin Mary, from the mysterious Colorman. When Lucien uses the paint, time seems to stand still and he is riddled with a strange loss of memory. Henri begins to worry about his friend and recalls his own experience with similar time and memory altering instances. All of which occurred while painting his own lover and using the mysterious Sacre Bleu. As the novel progresses, Lucien and Henri discover the prominence of blue paint and peculiar behaviors in the lives of many famous artists. It quickly becomes apparent that The Colorman and his paint have malicious intentions and could even have been responsible for the death of some of art's most prominent figures. Now Lucien and Henri must try to stop The Colorman before they too become the victims of this vicious Sacre Bleu.
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this novel. Moore obviously researched this novel, but took lots of liberty with the facts to turn what could have been a stuffy art lesson into a highly entertaining story. There is a lot going on in this story, but every aspect is presented in a way that eventually brings clarity to the events. The story does take a bit of time to get off the ground, probably because I was trying to figure out what the point of the book really was, but the action kicks into high gear after about a hundred pages. Overall, this novel will probably divide readers, but anyone looking for a definitely "out of the box" story should give this one a try.
For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and GoodReads.
(week 52, book 47)
This entry was posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 and is filed under Art,Book Review,Comedy,Fantasy,France,History,Murder,Painter,Paris,Sacre Bleu by Christopher Moore,Suspense,Vincent van Gogh,William Morrow. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.