Saturday, April 9, 2016

Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore, A Review

It was the blue of the biblical paintings, the only ones considered worthy of such a vibrant colour. In the beginning, that is.

A Comedy D'art involving Art, Artists, and the colour bleu. Is it possible that there may have been a conspiracy involving the expensive and hard to acquire 'bleu'? OR did it have supernatural properties? Here is one alternate history of the colour bleu by Christopher Moore. 





Sacré Bleu

Why is blue, especially the ultramarine blue purchased from the Colorman so special? Ultramarine, a blue that captivates and seems to control at times. Many artists know the Colorman and the Woman, even when they keep morphing to fit the era. . . Anyone who touches or inhales the fumes from the paint seems to suffer in some way - from time lapses to broken relationships, but to understand how you will need to read this quirky story which should appeal to anyone who likes art. The art world isn't so sacred that it can't be spoofed.

The Colorman character is a perverse, weird, rather repugnant type. He's been around for centuries. But the Woman, who usually accompanies him, can be what you want her to be, as long as you keep using the blue paint.  She can help make you famous, at a cost of course. 

This book is part mystery, part history (alternate based on reality), part love story and highly amusing. The main character, a young baker-painter Lucien, who is joined by the dapper and diminutive Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on an investigation to unravel the 'supposed suicide' of Vincent van Gogh. They also want to find the inspiration for the Sacré Bleu colour. What gives it the special qualities?

Appearing in this book are the artists who had transactions with the Colorman: Vincent Van Gogh, Édouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Georges Seurat, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. This is the cream of the Art world in the late 1800s. There are scenarios with each artist as Henri and Lucien try to track down the colour's paranormal qualities.

Sacré Bleu is Moore's irreverent look at the Art World, written in his usual style and highly entertaining to read. I enjoyed it and would recommend it. This book will make you think twice perhaps when you see the vibrant colour blue in a painting from now forward. I remember all the Biblical styled paintings I saw with that colour in the Louvre Museum in Paris.  Hmmm. It is a gorgeous blue. . .but the only one which makes you a better painter is from the Colorman.

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Have you read any of Christopher Moore's writing? Have you ever read or been aware of this book, Sacré Bleu? Do you like humour overlapped with irreverence? 

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by!

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References:

Sacré Bleu - definition
A French expression of surprise, exasperation, or dismay. It is a very old fashioned French curse, which is rarely used by the French these days. 

https://www.chrismoore.com/books/sacre-bleu/ Christopher Moore's site

http://www.thelocal.fr/20140902/french-language-swearing-curse-words-sacre-bleu-merde Info on the term 'Sacré Bleu'.
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10 comments:

  1. I have read several of his books. Some I love, others leave me cold. I love the way he romps through genres and am a big fan of irreverance.
    I haven't come across this one, and will keep my eye out for it.

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    1. We bought this book because it had to do with the art world, and we like irreverent humour too!

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  2. Geez I've never heard of him either. :(

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    1. No worries, JoJo, I have eclectic tastes and this appealed to me because of the art connection (like an alternate history explaining artists and their paintings).

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  3. I've read 1 or 2 of his books, but never heard of this one. I intend to read it! Moore is irreverent and funny, and I love alternative history. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. You're welcome. It's tongue in cheek type humor.

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  4. Since I write and read paranormal and enjoy using ultramarine blue in my paintings, I'm glad to know about this book. Thank you for sharing the link to your review!!! Also, thanks for visiting my blog. I was attracted to visit your blog because my maiden name is Hudson.

    Mary Montague Sikes
    Notes Along the Way
    The Artful Way

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    1. You might like it, I did, probably because of the art references but I, too, have always liked the colour blue. (I have an art background)

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  5. Hi, I have not read any of Christopher Moore's writing, I will try to find a couple of his books now.

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  6. Interesting! I like the ideas of alternate history and art history. I'm not too much for irreverent humor, however. I have not heard of or read this author. Thank you, as always, for expanding my horizons with your eloquent description.

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