Christopher Moore’s latest book, Sacre Bleu, opens with the prologue telling us that this book is about the color blue. How can you write a book about the color blue? This is how. Christopher Moore pulls it off with his great gift of story and humor.
Sacre Bleu begins with the death of Vincent Van Gogh, the artist shooting himself in a corn field and then walking a mile to his doctor for help. But was that all there was to it? What was influencing Vincent Van Gogh to act so strangely? What influences and inspires all of the famous artists through history? What is the secret of the Sacre Blue? And what is so special about this ultramarine blue, this Sacre Bleu?
Christopher Moore answers these questions with his usual hilarity. And like his other books, Sacre Bleu does not disappoint. It is a fun romp through art history, and while the details may not always be exactly accurate (remember Lamb?) it is still a great introduction to some famous paintings. Beautiful color prints throughout the book twill have the average person (meaning me) going, “Oh yeah, I know that painting!”
Now add Moore’s twist to the creation of the artwork, and the painting just got better. Like an image that emerges slowly as the paint is layered onto the canvas, Christopher Moore layers his story. The plot weaves through the Impressionist period with the baker-turned-artist Lucien Lessard and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec trying to figure out what is happening to themselves and their friends. Why do they seem to have lost whole chunks of time with no recollection of where they were and what they were doing? And why are they afraid of the “colorman”? If only the book were true, it would be even better. Or is it true?
And oh yeah, notice, that the book is printed in “sacre bleu” ink, not black, for those of you who are speed reading or using a black and white e-reader. That’ll teach you not to buy the hard copy! And with a book as pretty (and hilarious) as Sacre Bleu, you definitely want a hard copy.
Sacre Bleu is in stores now. (And a note for readers, it is an adult book, so language & content is intended for older readers.)